The Quiet Pond is excited and honoured to share with you all the exclusive cover reveal and exclusive excerpt for Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan!
When Tashie visited us in May for Asian Heritage Month and talked about how writing Counting Down With You was a love letter to her Bangladeshi culture and identity, I knew that Counting Down With You would be a book to keep on my radar.
Fast forward to just a month ago, when Tashie asked me whether I would help her reveal the cover for her debut, I screamed in excitement – I believe in this book so much and am so excited to read it, and it is such an honour to show you all the book cover for Counting Down With You and share an exclusive excerpt from the book!
Counting Down With You is a young adult contemporary romance featuring a Bangladeshi-Muslim teen who gets roped into a fake dating façade with her ‘bad boy’ classmate. It’s also a story about family and the difficulties of independence, and has chaotic sisterly friendships that we all love. (And friends, I’ve read a few passages of Tashie’s writing – and you are absolutely not ready for Tashie’s wonderful and charming writing!)
Here is the summary from publisher, Inkyard Press:
In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi teenager has twenty-eight days to make the biggest decision of her life after agreeing to fake date her school’s resident bad boy.
How do you make one month last a lifetime?
Karina Ahmed has a plan. Keep her head down, get through high school without a fuss, and follow her parents’ rules—even if it means sacrificing her dreams. When her parents go abroad to Bangladesh for four weeks, Karina expects some peace and quiet. Instead, one simple lie unravels everything.
Karina is my girlfriend.
Tutoring the school’s resident bad boy was already crossing a line. Pretending to date him? Out of the question. But Ace Clyde does everything right—he brings her coffee in the mornings, impresses her friends without trying, and even promises to buy her a dozen books (a week) if she goes along with his fake-dating facade. Though Karina agrees, she can’t help but start counting down the days until her parents come back.
T-minus twenty-eight days until everything returns to normal—but what if Karina no longer wants it to?
Counting Down With You will be releasing on May 4th 2021!
Cover Reveal Time!
And now the exciting part! Behold the book cover for Counting Down With You:
Exclusive Excerpt: Counting Down With You
As usual, I’m the first to arrive to English. I take my seat in the back corner and pull out my notebook.
I’m writing down the date when someone drops into the seat beside me.
“Don’t start with the marriage counselor thing again,” I say without looking up.
“You wound me. Does our love mean so little to you?”
My head snaps up and I see Ace sitting next to me, spinning a wrapped lollipop between his fingers. I open and close my mouth, unsure what to say, and he raises an eyebrow at me. “Cat got your tongue, Ahmed?”
“Why are you sitting here?” I ask, glancing around for my friends. Nandini walks through the doorway and stops in her tracks, seeing Ace next to me.
She gives me an incredulous look and mouths, What’s going on?
I hope my flustered expression lets her know I have absolutely no clue. There’s no reason for Ace Clyde to be sitting next to me outside of our tutoring sessions. Not a single reason.
Cora walks in and falters at Nandini’s side. Her eyes nearly pop out of her head and she shakes Nandini’s arm. “Nandini,” she says, loud enough that I can hear it from where I am, which means Ace can, too.
I wince and look back at Ace, who’s sucking on his lollipop now. When he notices me looking, he produces another lollipop from his leather jacket and holds it out in offering.
“No thanks,” I say. “I prefer sour patch kids.”
“Your loss,” Ace says before leaning back in his seat, slouching into his usual lazy posture. He doesn’t even have a notebook on the desk. No wonder he’s failing.
“Do you really not have even a single piece of loose-leaf paper?”
“Forgot my bag.”
“As in…your book bag? You forgot your book bag?”
He shrugs and smirks in a way that’s completely infuriating.
I sigh and face forward. Maybe my good work ethic can rub off on him through proximity. Osmosis and all that. Inshallah.
Miss Cannon finishes writing our opening activity on the board and turns around, but she falters at the sight of me and Ace in the back row together.
And then she grins. Like, beams. I’ve never seen her that happy in my life.
“Would you look at that?” Ace whispers.
Without thinking, I smack his arm. As soon as I realize what I did, I open my mouth in apology, horrified, but he’s smiling, too. His dimples are on display, and he’s never looked more annoying or beautiful.
Mouths are strange and peculiar
They can be happy, they can be sad
A curve of a lip here, a downturn there
My classmates are staring at us in disbelief. Well, they’re staring at him, and I’m more of an afterthought. I’m pretty sure Ace has never smiled in public before, so this is an anomaly for everyone.
It doesn’t help that the person he’s choosing to smile at is me.
About the Author
Tashie Bhuiyan is a Bangladeshi American writer based in New York City. She recently graduated from St. John’s University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, and hopes to change the world, one book at a time. She loves writing stories about girls with wild hearts, boys who wear rings, and gaining agency through growth. When she’s not doing that, she can be found in a Chipotle or bookstore, insisting 2010 is the best year in cinematic history. (Read: Tangled and Inception.)