The Pond Book News #39 – Sapphic Romances Galore: Rivals, Fairytales, Princesses & Assassins

issue39

Welcome to Issue #39!

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 [May 10th – May 16th]

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.

Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.

The day arrives! The Henna Wars is here! Adiba Jaigirdar is an ICON in the book community, and I’m excited beyond words for her lovely sapphic debut. I will be looking for this fervently in stores once we ease out of quarantine, and I hope you will join me! Also, if you’re as excited for this book as I am, maybe keep an eye out for a little feature that may or may not be going up on the Pond sometime this week… 👀

Releases on May 12th. Add this book to Goodreads!


The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos

Living in a small town where magic is frowned upon, Sam needs his friends James and Delia—and their time together in their school’s magic club—to see him through to graduation.

But as soon as senior year starts, little cracks in their group begin to show. Sam may or may not be in love with James. Delia is growing more frustrated with their amateur magic club. And James reveals that he got mixed up with some sketchy magickers over the summer, putting a target on all their backs.

With so many fault lines threatening to derail his hopes for the year, Sam is forced to face the fact that the very love of magic that brought his group together is now tearing them apart—and there are some problems that no amount of magic can fix.

This looks like an amazing queer coming-of-age with a bit of magic thrown in, and I’m so here for it! I love that the magic here is playing a secondary role in the story compared to the friend group dynamics and budding queer romance—it’s a really different take compared to a lot of high fantasy premises, and I’m definitely interested in checking this out!

Releases on May 12th. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy

I missed the announcement of this, so I immediately added this to my TBR once I read the copy and excerpt! This sounds like it’s going to be a beautiful book, and I cannot wear to bear witness to its brilliance. The red and gold motif on the cover is super cool too!


Cover Reveal: A Crown So Cursed by L.L. McKinney

I love this cover reveal! Go check out the thread if you haven’t seen this, I adore how different authors posted little snapshots of the cover leading up to the full art. Also another black girl being badass front and center here! We stan, we stan.


Book Announcement: Queer Little Women reimagining set in 1940’s United States forthcoming from authors Joy McCullough, Caroline Tung Richmond, Tess Sharpe, and Jessica Spotswood

Oh this is such an interesting premise! Little Women has been such a huge cultural thing lately, and I’m always down for diverse and queer takes on characters we already know and love. I’m so curious to see how the authors will pull this off. I was already previously a fan of Joy McCullough’s Blood Water Paint, so I might pick this up too as further news arrives!


Book Announcement: YA desi genderswap romcom imagining of Beauty and the Beast, forthcoming from Lillie Vale!

Lillie Vale’s previous book Small Town Hearts was a huge hit with cute YA romance fans back in May last year, so this book announcement already has me super anticipating her upcoming book! This sounds like such an adorable story, and I’m keeping my eyes peeled for more news on it.


Book Announcement: Queer YA fantasy about princesses, enchanted forests, and assassins, forthcoming from Rebecca Kim Wells

Yoooo this looks so cool! I know I’ve heard good things about Shatter the Sky, which has me all kinds of excited about this! (Also because this is queer… I wonder if the protagonist falls in love with the princess they are sent to assassinate… 👀)


Book Community Spotlight

…is still in the middle of transforming into something new! See our last post for more details.

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