The Pond Book News #83 – Black-Authored SFF, Queer Summer Love, & East Asian Historical YA

Welcome to Issue #83!

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 [April 18th – April 24th]

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom – and vengeance.

Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.

Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain – except the lengths they will go to win this game.

Releases on April 20. Add this book to Goodreads!

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen

After an embarrassing loss to her ex-girlfriend in their first basketball game of the season, seventeen-year-old Scottie Zajac gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, Irene Abraham, head cheerleader for the Fighting Reindeer.

Irene is as mean as she is beautiful, so Scottie makes a point to keep her distance. When the accident sends Irene’s car to the shop for weeks’ worth of repairs and the girls are forced to carpool, their rocky start only gets bumpier.

But when an opportunity arises for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex—and climb her school’s social ladder—she bribes Irene into an elaborate fake- dating scheme that threatens to reveal some very real feelings.

Releases on April 20. Add this book to Goodreads!

These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy

When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.

But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.

Releases on April 20. Add this book to Goodreads!

Sugar and Spite by Gail D. Villanueva

Can a bully be defeated by a magical love potion?

Jolina can’t take Claudine’s bullying any longer! The taunts and teasing are too much. Though Jolina knows she’s still in-training to use her grandfather’s arbularyo magic, she sneaks into his potions lab to get her revenge. Jolina brews a batch of gayuma, a powerful love potion.

And it works. The love potion conquers Claudine’s hateful nature. In fact, Claudine doesn’t just stop bullying Jolina — now she wants to be Jolina’s BFF, and does everything and anything Jolina asks.

But magic comes with a cost, and bad intentions beget bad returns. Controlling another person’s ability to love — or hate — will certainly have consequences. The magic demands payment, and it is about to come for Jolina in the form of a powerful storm…

Releases on April 20. Add this book to Goodreads!

The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur

Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest, near a gruesome crime scene. The only thing they remember: Their captor wore a painted-white mask.

To escape the haunting memories of this incident, the family flees their hometown. Years later, Detective Min—Hwani’s father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared under similar circumstances, and so he returns to their hometown to investigate… only to vanish as well.

Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and reconnects with her now estranged sister—Hwani comes to realize that the answer lies within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.  

Releases on April 20. Add this book to Goodreads!

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theater rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship.

Releases on April 20. Add this book to Goodreads!

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.

That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…

Releases on April 20. Add this book to Goodreads!

The Key to You and Me by Jaye Robin Brown

Piper Kitts is spending the summer living with her grandmother, training at the barn of a former Olympic horseback rider, and trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. Much to Piper’s dismay, her grandmother is making her face her fear of driving head-on by taking lessons from a girl in town.

Kat Pearson has always suspected that she likes girls but fears her North Carolina town is too small to color outside the lines. But when Piper’s grandmother hires Kat to give her driving lessons, everything changes.

Piper’s not sure if she’s ready to let go of her ex. Kat’s navigating uncharted territory with her new crush. With the summer running out, will they be able to unlock a future together?

Releases on April 20. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee

Illustration: Tou Her | Design: TBA | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Here’s to Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albtertalli

Illustration: Jeff Östberg | Design: Erin Fitzsimmons, Alison Donalty | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Fools in Love: Fresh Twists on Romantic Tales, edited by Rebecca Podos and Ashley Herring Blake

Illustration: Abbey Lossing | Design: Marissa Raybuck | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl

Illustration & Design: TBA | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Tahira in Bloom by Farah Heron

Illustration: Christina Chung | Design: Amanda Hudson | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

Art/Design: TBA | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Far from the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson

Design: Lauren Panepinto | Add the book to Goodreads!

Book Announcement: Elizabeth Acevedo’s forthcoming adult novel about the multigenerational story of a Dominican American family

Book Announcement: Fonda Lee’s upcoming standalone novella set in world of The Green Bone Saga!

Book Announcement: An upcoming YA romance between a bad boy rock star and an aspiring journalist by Gabriela Martins!

Book Announcement: A middle grade story by Lily LaMotte and Ann Xu about a Tawainese American summer camp!

Book Announcement: A middle grade fantasy about a filmmaker girl who stumbles on an island of soulless children by Shakirah Bourne

Book Announcement: Aisha Saeed’s forthcoming middle grade about dreams, boarding school, and class prejudice

Book Announcement: A YA about two estranged sisters connected through dreams by Ayesha Haruna Attah

Book Announcement: A YA debut fantasy duology about cursed storms, daughters of unwanted legacies, and nervous princes by Sunya Mara

Book Announcement: A forthcoming YA graphic novel series retells Shakespeare in a queer and magical high school by Molly Horton Booth, Stephanie Kate, and Jamie Green

Book Announcement: Foz Meadows’ forthcoming queer fantasy romance about arranged marriages and political intrigue

A Strange and Stubborn Endurance is a male/male epic fantasy romance about Velasin, a closeted young nobleman preparing for a political arranged marriage to a foreign noblewoman—but when his sexuality is revealed under unpleasant circumstances, it’s proposed that he marry her brother instead. With no idea of what to expect from life in a culture famously more permissive than his own, Velasin’s troubles only increase when his arrival sparks an onset of violent political intrigue. Working together with his new husband, Velasin must try to figure out who’s behind the attacks—and maybe build a real relationship in the process.

Book Announcement: A YA contemporary about complicated families and first love by H. D. Hunter

Book Announcement: A YA historical about Japanese American incarceration during World War II, about a teen photographer who documents it all by Emily Inouye Huey

Book Announcement: An upcoming YA contemporary about queer discovery, summers of love, and promises by Amy Spalding

Book Announcement: Love and competition collide in a queer summer camp in forthcoming MG by Nicole Melleby and A. J. Sass

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