The Pond Book News #41 – Glam SFF Season: Queer Anthologies, Fairytale Swans & Sapphic Vampires


Welcome to Issue #41!

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 24th – May 30th]

The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala

The Sun Mela is many things: a call for peace, a cause for celebration, and, above all, a deadly competition. For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebel spies, it provides the perfect guise to infiltrate King Vardaan’s vicious court.

Kunal will return to his role as dedicated Senap soldier, at the Sun Mela to provide extra security for the palace during the peace summit for the divided nations of Jansa and Dharka. Meanwhile, Esha will use her new role as adviser to Prince Harun to keep a pulse on shifting political parties and seek out allies for their rebel cause. A radical plan is underfoot to rescue Jansa’s long-lost Princess Reha—the key to the stolen throne.

But amid the Mela games and glittering festivities, much more dangerous forces lie in wait. With the rebel Blades’ entry into Vardaan’s court, a match has been lit, and long-held secrets will force Kunal and Esha to reconsider their loyalties—to their country and to each other. Getting into the palace was the easy task; coming out together will be a battle for their lives.

This is such a highly anticipated sequel to follow up The Tiger at Midnight, and I’m so excited for it to finally be out in the world! I hope it lives up to the enchanting atmosphere of the first book for fans and readers!

Releases on May 26th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Out Now: Queer We Go Again! edited by Saundra Mitchell

QUEER WE GO AGAIN! A follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Out anthology, Out Now features seventeen new short stories from amazing queer YA authors. Vampires crash prom, aliens run from the government, a president’s daughter comes into her own, a true romantic tries to soften the heart of a cynical social media influencer, a selkie and the sea call out to a lost soul. Teapots and barbershops, skateboards and VW vans, Street Fighter and Ares’s sword: Out Now has a story for every reader and surprises with each turn of the page!

No lie, this illustration is one of my absolute favorite book covers of ALL TIME. I’m so excited to dig into this book! The author lineup is so freaking stellar, and the short stories sound so compelling too—selkies and vampires and video games? Sign me the heck up!

Releases on May 26th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the US while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California. Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.

Dani De La Cruz, Claire’s new host sister, couldn’t be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate-team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. When her debate coach starts working with her privately, Dani’s game plan veers unexpectedly off course.

Desperately trying to avoid each other under the same roof, Dani and Claire find themselves on a collision course, intertwining in deeper and more complicated ways, as they grapple with life-altering experiences.

Another hotly anticipated contemporary from superstar Kelly Yang! It’s no secret that we here at the Pond adore Kelly Yang’s books, and I cannot wait to see what she’s given us in Parachutes! It’s garnered such good reviews from early readers already, and I have no doubt that it’s going to resonate with so, so many readers.

Releases on May 26th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Read with Pride by Lucy Powrie

Olivia Santos is excited for her last year at secondary school. But when a parent complains about LGBTQ+ content in one of the books, the library implements a new policy for withdrawing books. Olivia is distraught – she’s demisexual and knows how important it is for all readers to see themselves represented.

Luckily, she’s the mastermind behind The Paper & Hearts Society book club, and she knows exactly what to do: start a new club, find ways of evading the system, and change the policy for good!

With two book clubs to run, exams to prepare for, and a girlfriend, just how long will it be before Olivia burns out? After all, creating a book club and trying to get the #ReadWithPride hashtag to get noticed is going to take a lot of energy.

Sometimes, when you’re in too deep, it’s up to your friends to look out for you…

And finally, we’re rounding off this week’s releases with the second book in The Paper & Hearts Society series! This cute contemporary surrounding an underground queer book club set in a school where it’s difficult to obtain diverse books sounds absolutely adorable, and I hope it finds its way into the hands of young readers that need it!

Releases on May 26th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Finding My Voice by Marie Myung-Ok Lee

This YA contemporary about K-Pop, racism, and Korean-American identity was initially released in 1994, and it’s getting a reissue and a whole new cover for today’s readers! I’m in love with the warm illustration that graces the cover, now too. You can add this book to Goodreads here.

Cover Reveal: Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire

YES hello, I was so excited when I saw this announcement! I am very much deeply in love with the Wayward Children novella series (totally didn’t binge read the entire thing in two days >_>), and I am really looking forward to this new installment in the universe! If portal fantasies and children tumbling into magical worlds is your kind of thing, you can add this book to Goodreads here!

Cover Reveal: A Map to the Sun by Sloane Leong

A YA sports graphic novel! This is such a cool concept. I love love love the pink and green gradient on this cover, and also the rough type treatment for the title—this is going to look SO good on shelves, friends. You can add this book on Goodreads here!

Cover Reveal: The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick

This cover is absolutely glittering with delicious details, from the metallic golden finishings to the piercing eyes in the darkness. The premise looks so interesting, and I genuinely cannot wait for it to release! O: This is being written by an author duo too, a half of whom is genderqueer! Check out this book on Goodreads here.

Cover Reveal: What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo

Oh LOOK at this gorgeous cover! I’m so, so here for the new gothic fantasies that are being published right now, and this one looks like it’s going to be a wonderfully dark YA fantasy by a queer they/them author. You can add this book to Goodreads right now too!

Cover Reveal: How It All Blew Up by Arvin Ahmadi

This looks like it’s going to be such a poignant and a vulnerable story—a gay Iranian boy runs away to Rome after coming out to his conservative Muslim family, and having to come back after his cover is blown—and one so searingly relevant right now too. Arvin Ahmadi previously wrote Girl Gone Viraland I’m so interested to see the story he’s giving us next. You can add this book to Goodreads here!

Audiobook Cover Reveal: Once More Upon A Time by Roshani Chokshi

We’re getting an audiobook original from Roshani Chokshi! This is such an interesting project, and though the Audible exclusivity has me a little ruffled, I’m really excited that a diverse author is getting the spotlight in this too! Audiobook lovers who are planning to pick this up, read it and report back? 👀

Cover Reveal: Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez

FRIENDS, this coverrrr! I’m smitten! Isabel Ibañez is a HECK of an artist-author, and her covers have my whole soft heart. Look at the colors! The clever contrast of blue/yellow as the main palette! The lush and beautiful foliage! I’m so very excited to see this on shelves, and I hope you are too. Add this book to Goodreads here!

Book Announcement: A lesbian vampire contemporary fantasy by Isabel Sterling!

Look at this fabulous lesbian vampire book!!! I’m so glad that we’ve been getting new and diverse takes on the vampire canon recently, and fingers crossed that the revival of a certain notorious book series means this train isn’t stopping anytime soon. Highly looking forward to this!

Book Announcement: Elizabeth Lim’s forthcoming reimagining of The Wild Swans fairytale, set in Spin the Dawn‘s fictional universe!

Um, hello, this announcement just slayed me in the best way possible. I absolutely CANNOT wait for more books set in the Spin the Dawn universe, and I’m so very excited that we’re getting a Wild Swans reimagining! Elizabeth Lim’s writing has never disappointed me, and now I just really need to time travel to 2021…

Book Announcement: Jade Fire Gold by June C.L. Tan has a new publishing company and release date!

Attention, Jade Fire Gold stans! We finally have more news about its release! I’m so excited for this delightful Asian fantasy to find a home at a new publishing house, and for it to finally release come 2021. This book has excited me since its acquisitions announcement from wayyy back last year, and I’m so glad it’s finally getting some well-deserved attention! You can also add this book to Goodreads here!

Book Community Spotlight

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

5 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #41 – Glam SFF Season: Queer Anthologies, Fairytale Swans & Sapphic Vampires

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