The Pond Book News #34 – Anticipated Releases From Esteemed Authors: Ghosts, Roses, & Mirrors

issue 34

Welcome to Issue #34!

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcomeSprout the sparrow, doing a curtsy with their eyes closed and a smile on their face. Their cape swooshes in the wind with their arm extended in their curtsy. to another exciting week of The Pond Book News! Every Sunday, The Quiet Pond brings you a fresh issue of book news to catch you up on the week’s lineup of diverse book releases, cover reveals, book news, and sometimes more! We also feature three incredible people in the book community every week, to highlight the important work that readers do in celebrating the books they love. Onward to the news!

Book Releases This Week [April 5th – April 11th]

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business.

Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save town and Lucely’s firefly spirits before it’s too late.

Hello, one of my most anticipated books of the year!!! This was pitched as Coco meets Stranger Things, and I’ve been so excited for this book ever since it was first announced to the world. Claribel is such a warm, hilarious person (and she’s also scary good at social media), and I cannot wait to dive into the world and story she’s created.

Releases on April 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!


Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

War between the devas and the demons is imminent, and the Otherworld is on high alert. When intelligence from the human world reveals that the Sleeper is holding a powerful clairvoyant and her sister captive, 14-year-old Aru and her friends launch a search-and-rescue mission. The captives, a pair of twins, turn out to be the newest Pandava sisters, though, according to a prophecy, one sister is not true.

During the celebration of Holi, the heavenly attendants stage a massage PR rebranding campaign to convince everyone that the Pandavas are to be trusted. As much as Aru relishes the attention, she fears that she is destined to bring destruction to her sisters, as the Sleeper has predicted. Aru believes that the only way to prove her reputation is to find the Kalpavriksha, the wish-granting tree that came out of the Ocean of Milk when it was churned. If she can reach it before the Sleeper, perhaps she can turn everything around with one wish.

Careful what you wish for, Aru…

Loooook at that stunning cover! I still haven’t picked up the Aru Shah series, and the book’s place on this list is reminding me that I really need to get to it. I have heard nothing but praise for Roshani Chokshi’s writing, and this next installment in the series looks like it’s going to be just as epic an adventure as the previous ones.

Releases on April 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!


What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.

He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…

Except who she really is.

Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.

That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.

Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.

If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.

This contemporary looks adorable! I’ve heard pretty good things about this too, and a premise where the guy falls for the girl’s online persona definitely sounds full of shenanigans already, and it’s also super relevant to the way we make friends online today!

Releases on April 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!


The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson

How do you put yourself back together when it seems like you’ve lost it all?

May is a survivor. But she doesn’t feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn’t know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through–no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.

Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister…and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won’t let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.

Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.

I’ve heard such good things about this book, and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I found it on Goodreads. This story sounds like something that’s absolutely essential to be heard in the midst of the gun control crisis in America, and I have no doubt that the voice of this book will resonate with readers all across the country.

Releases on April 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!


Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed

It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, Indian, Muslim—is at a crossroads. This holiday with her professor parents should be a dream trip for the budding art historian. But her maybe-ex-boyfriend is probably ghosting her, she might have just blown her chance at getting into her dream college, and now all she really wants is to be back home in Chicago figuring out her messy life instead of brooding in the City of Light.

Two hundred years before Khayyam’s summer of discontent, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favored status in his harem. In the present day—and with the company of a descendant of Alexandre Dumas—Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic 19th-century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron.

Echoing across centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed.

Samira Ahmed’s done it again! This premise already looks so dang interesting⁠⁠—parallel timelines is always such a cool setup, and has the power to tell stories that truly show us how little and how much has changed from times past. I can’t wait for this!

Releases on April 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!


Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie

A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire.

Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.

But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs?

This book has made the rounds in the book community for its unflinching “gays in space!!!” premise, and I am here for it. From early reviews, this book sounds like it’s going to be full of intriguing plots, forbidden (best friends-to lovers!!) romance, and action in spades⁠—and release day truly cannot come any sooner.

Releases on April 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: The Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

A Latinx fantasy about a dragon-riding sport, where a conspiracy is uncovered? This already sounds incredible, and that cover is so cool! We love ourselves some dragons as spiky as the protagonists. Keep an eye on this one, friends!


Book Announcement & Cover Reveal: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

It is HERE! Angie Thomas yet again blessing the world with her newest and latest story, and I’m already in love. This book will follow a young Maverick Carter, before he became known as Starr’s father, and I love that Angie is continuing to write unabashedly about being black in America. I’ve already added this high up to my TBR, and I cannot WAIT for release day!


Book Announcement: Forthcoming YA fairytale-inspired series from Disney Hyperion!

Friends! Friends! Come and see the announcement of my heart! I’m beyond elated that this is a project that will soon exist in the world—I don’t think I’ll ever tire of both fairytale retellings and fairytale-inspired stories. Also, a multi-generational series about a family curse centred around a magic mirror? Can this pitch get any cooler?


Book Announcement: Ethiopian-inspired Jane Eyre forthcoming from Lauren Blackwood

I’ve never read Jane Eyre myself, but I’m already hooked from this premise. I don’t think I’ve actually ever read any Ethiopian-inspired books at all, so this comes as such a welcome change of pace! Also a girl saving a boy in distress? All the ‘yes’s for this book already.


Book Announcement: Ownvoices disabled picture book from Keah Brown and Sharee Miller

I saw the #DisabledandCute hashtag going around on social media at the height of its popularity, and it warms my heart to see the movement lead to a book deal like this! We definitely still have a gap in young readers’ books about disability, and this sounds like the perfect story to fill in the hole a little more. Very cool!


Book Announcement: Queer picture book about pride from Rosiee Thor, Taylor B. Barton and Sam Kirk!

Look at this all-star team of creators! This is the second diverse picture book we have on the list this week, and I’m so happy that kids today have the opportunity to grow up seeing themselves represented so early in the world. We can only hope that publishing continues to celebrate more marginalised voices in all age categories, across all intersectionalities too!

Book Community Spotlight

Book blogger: Ikram at Readlogy

You might know Ikram from the very aesthetic book bingo template that’s been making the rounds on social media lately! She’s an Indonesian book blogger, and so very underrated in the bookish community. If you’re looking for new bookish creators to check out this week, go and read her review of a recent release, Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry (a Latinx YA magical realism about sisters and haunted houses which is one of my own very anticipated releases!), as well as her tidy little post about content/trigger warnings in books!

Follow Ikram on her book blog, Twitter, and Goodreads!


Bookstagrammer: Holly at hollibrarybooks

View this post on Instagram

“𝘚𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴, 𝘢 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘢 𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘥𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘤.”⁣ ⁣ ✖️🔹🎶🌑🎶🔹✖️⁣ My weekend was wonderfully productive when it came to books—I finished reading (or listening to) three, and managed to take a few photos so I can post more often this week. Yay books!⁣ ⁣ I’m also almoooost back to where I’d like to be in terms of being on-track, and ahead of, the ARCs I need to read. Next up: THE KINGDOM OF BACK. Thank you so much to @penguinteenca for the ARC!⁣ ⁣ And as always, I need to match my book with a booksleeve! This is the discontinued “Snow Queen” sleeve my rep group helped design. You can use my code HOLLI10 to save yourself 10% off your orders from @bellesbooksleeves!⁣ ⁣ —⁣ 💬 #QOTD: Do you play any musical instruments? If not, is there one you’d love to learn?⁣ ⁣ I played clarinet in high school band, and am averagely mediocre at the piano. I’d love to learn how to play the harp!⁣ ⁣ #thekingdomofback #marielu #book #bookstagram #readersofig #bookstagrammer #book #bibliophile #bookaddict #ilovebooks #bookcommunity #booklove #bookphotography #bookishcanadians #bookworm #totalbooknerd #readersofig #booksbooksbooks #bellesbooksleeves #bellesbeasties #sleeveaddict

A post shared by holly. (@hollibrarybooks) on

Friends, Holly is a queer Canadian bookstagrammer and book blogger that deserves so much love for the art that she makes! I love love love all her photos—you can really tell from just a glance that she put so much effort into them! (The book featured in this photo, Marie Lu’s The Kingdom of Back, was also one of my most recent five star reads too.) I adore in particular her photo series where she doodles on book boxes, which are all so fun and beautifully executed. While you’re here, also check out Holly’s book blog of the same name too!

Follow Holly on her bookstagram, book blog, and Twitter!


Booktuber: Mel at mel.theravengirl

Mel is a queer mixed-race booktuber from the UK, and definitely definitely deserves more eyes on her work! I love all her simple, aesthetic thumbnails, and she just looks really cute in all her videos okay don’t @ me. A good jumping off point for her channel is her latest wrap-up of the books she read during February and March (including a five star review of This is How You Lose the Time War, which I highly approve of). If you’d like to get to know Mel and her reading tastes better, I also highly recommend getting into her best reads of 2019 as well!

Follow Mel on booktube and Twitter!

3 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #34 – Anticipated Releases From Esteemed Authors: Ghosts, Roses, & Mirrors

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