The Pond Book News #66 – South Asian Heroines, Stories with Curses, and New Fake Dating Romances!

The Pond Book News #66 – South Asian Heroines,  Stories with Curses, and New Fake Dating Romances!

Welcome to Issue #66!

Sprout 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.

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcome 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! Now, onwards to the brilliant books!

Book Releases This Week [November 22nd – November 28th]

Ruinsong by Julia Ember

In a world where magic is sung, a powerful mage named Cadence has been forced to torture her country’s disgraced nobility at her ruthless queen’s bidding.

But when she is reunited with her childhood friend, a noblewoman with ties to the underground rebellion, she must finally make a choice: Take a stand to free their country from oppression, or follow in the queen’s footsteps and become a monster herself.

Ruinsong is finally here! Back in Pride Month, we interviewed Julie Ember about her release and we’ve been excited since. This queer retelling of The Phantom and the Opera sounds fantastic, and even has a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers romance too.

Releases on November 24. Add this book to Goodreads!


Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera and Celia Moscote

Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But don’t worry, Juliet has something kinda resembling a plan that’ll help her figure out what it means to be Puerto Rican, lesbian and out. See, she’s going to intern with Harlowe Brisbane – her favorite feminist author, someone’s who’s the last work on feminism, self-love and lots of of ther things that will help Juliet find her ever elusive epiphany. There’s just one problem – Harlowe’s white, not from the Bronx and doesn’t have the answers. Okay, maybe that’s more than one problem but Juliet never said it was a perfect plan… Critically-acclaimed writer Gabby Rivera adapts her bestselling novel alongside artist Celia Moscote in an unforgettable queer coming-of-age story exploring race, identity and what it means to be true to your amazing self. even when the rest of the world doesn’t understand.

Gabby Rivera’s Juliet Takes a Breath – a story about a Puerto Rican lesbian who interns with her favourite feminist author, who goes on a journey of self-discovery and confronts racism, white privilege, and finds love – is getting a graphic novel adaptation! Celia Moscote brings the story to life, alongside colorist James Fenner

Releases on November 25. Add this book to Goodreads!


Book News

Cover Reveal: She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

It’s finally here! She Who Became the Sun is one of our most highly anticipated books, and we are so excited for Shelley that her cover is as glorious and magnificent as we hoped for. Add this Chinese historical fantasy to your radar – it’s going to be a good one.

Illustration: JungShan | Design: Jamie Stafford-Hill


Cover Reveal: Off the Record by Camryn Garrett

Full Disclosure was one of our favourite books of this year, and we are delighted and thrilled that Camryn is giving us another book! Off The Record sounds fantastic and looks fantastic as well – the cover is drawn by the same artist who did With The Fire On High!

Illustration: Erick Dávila | Design: Casey Moses


Cover Reveal: Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Faridah’s Ace of Spaces has been a book I’ve been dying to read since she announced it – and with its gorgeous cover now revealed, we’re even more excited. This YA dark academia sounds phenomenal – and I’m looking forward to it. 2021 could not come soon enough.

Illustration: Adekunle | Design: Elizabeth H Clark


Cover Reveal: Sister of the Bollywood Bride by Nandini Bajpai

Nandini’s YA debut, A Match Made in Mehendi, was a thoroughly spectacular and wonderful read, so I’m particularly excited to see Nandini’s next story, about an Indian teen planning her big sister’s Bollywood-style Indian wedding. I don’t quite know what to expect – other than family? romance? weather? – but sign me up! This sounds amazing.

Illustration: Sanno Singh


Cover Reveal: A Thousand Steps Into Night by Traci Chee

Wow! A gorgeous cover befitting of Traci Chee’s latest book, A Thousand Steps into Night. If The Reader series is any indication, then we’d be right to assume that this Japanese-inspired fantasy will be as wonderful and exciting as her first series. We can’t wait.

Illustration: Kotaro Chiba | Design: Jessica Handelman


Cover Reveal: From Little Tokyo, With Love by Sarah Kuhn

I just love the sound of this book – about a cynical biracial Japanese teen who doesn’t believe in happy endings (because she doesn’t believe that girls like her get one), until she gets swept in her own romance. This melts my heart already and I cannot wait to read this.

Illustration: Marcos Chin | Design: Tony Sahara


Cover Reveal: Eat Your Heart Out by Kelly deVos

I have a secret love for zombie stories, so consider my curiosity very much piqued by Eat Your Heart Out. I love that this book cover features a fat girl – front and center! – and I’m really really excited to see what this story is about and how it will unfold.

Illustration: Ursula Decay | Design: Samira Iravani


Cover Reveal: A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

Victoria’s The Fever King was shattering and stunning – and I know, I know, that A Lesson in Vengeance is going to be just as amazing! I mean, listen: set in a boarding school! witchcraft! two girls who dig up the past – with consequences that they would have never expected.

Illustration: Maggie Enterrios | Design: Regina Flath


Book Announcement: A retelling of beloved fairytales blended together, set in magical South Asia

I’ll just leave the pitch for this book right here: “Rumaysa is a Muslim girl who lets her hijab down from a tall tower in order to escape. Set in a magical version of South Asia, Rumaysa explores enchanted forests and dragon lairs, teaming up with Cinderayla and Sleeping Sara along the way to create a strong sense of sisterhood.” How awesome does this sound?! (Cover illustration by Areeba Siddique.)


Book Announcement: A debut fairytale-inspired fantasy, a love/hate romance, and curses

Woah! Take a moment to read the news for this book and what it’s about – because it sounds absolutely fantastic! Moreover, a story about an antiheroine who is a liar and tricks the whole court, but gets cursed and also starts to fall in love with the Prince? Sign me up.


Book Announcement: Star-studded collaboration for a story about Black love

Oh my goodness. Dhonielle Clayton. Tiffany D. Jackson. Nic Stone. Angie Thomas. Ashley Woodfolk. Nicola Yoon. I’m BUZZING with excitement – I’ve read every single author collaborating for Blackout and I cannot be more thrilled for them. I love books with interconnected stories – especially when it’s about love – so I am (im)patiently waiting for this.


Book Announcement: Graphic novel about an aspiring rocket scientist whose plans go awry

We’re getting a graphic novel set in Lebanon! I’m intrigued about this story, and I look forward to meeting the star of the story and see how this story will unfold! And if you want an idea of what Fouad’s work looks like, check out his portfolio – it’s incredible.


Book Announcement: Graphic novel about women samurai!

A graphic novel about women samurai – need I say more? From the author of The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea comes this exciting collaboration with Faith Schaffer, whose work is utterly gorgeous, detailed, and so expressive. I cannot wait to see what this graphic novel will look like, and I’ll definitely be reading this.


Book Announcement: Coming-of-age rom-com à la Schitt’s Creek with a South Asian Muslim heroine!

My goodness, this sounds delightful and such a cosy and fun romance! I cannot wait to meet Tahira and also the plant nerd next door, and how they will help each other and how they will fall in love.


Book Announcement: Fake dating, queer enemies-to-lovers romance, and homecoming!

We have an m/m romance coming our way in 2023 – and it has fake dating and an enemies to lovers romance all set in the context of homecoming. I’m looking forward to the banter, the chemistry, and those moments where both characters are caught off guard by their budding relationship!


Book Announcement: A YA queer romance where a beauty pageant contestant and fanfic author fall in love

How sweet does this sound?! MK England, who has given us YA SFF is now giving us YA contemporary – under a new pen name too! I love the sound of a beauty pageant contestant and fanfic writer falling in love; I’m looking forward to meeting them and getting to know their personalities, their chemistry, and what hurdles they will overcome together.


From Page to Screen: Tiny Pretty Things opens with a show-stopping trailer!

It’s finally here! Tiny Pretty Things, the YA contemporary thriller about the cut-throat and competitive world of ballet, now has a trailer. It’s so exciting to see a series with a Black lead – particularly in the ballet world which is predominantly white – front and center, and I cannot wait to see how everything unfolds on the screen.

One thought on “The Pond Book News #66 – South Asian Heroines, Stories with Curses, and New Fake Dating Romances!

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