The Pond Book News #90 – Across the YA Spectrum: South Asian-Authored Fantasies & Disabled Romance Protagonists

Welcome to Issue #90!

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 [June 13th – June 19th]

Broken Web by Lori M. Lee

The Soulless has woken from his centuries-long imprisonment. Now, he lurks in the Dead Wood recovering his strength, while Sirscha and her allies journey east to the shaman empire of Nuvalyn. Everyone believes she is a soulguide—a savior—but Sirscha knows the truth. She’s a monster, a soulrender like the Soulless, and if anyone discovers the truth, she’ll be executed.

But there’s nothing Sirscha won’t risk to stop the shaman responsible for the rot that’s killing her best friend. While the Soulless is formidable, like all shamans, his magic must be channeled through a familiar. If Sirscha can discover what—or who—that is, she might be able to cut him off from his power.

With Queen Meilyr bent on destroying the magical kingdoms, Sirscha finds herself caught between a war brewing in the east and the Soulless waiting in the west. She should be trying to unite what peoples she can to face their common enemies, but instead, her hunt for clues about the Soulless leads to a grim discovery, forcing Sirscha to question who her enemies really are.

Releases on June 15th. Add this book to Goodreads!


Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury

After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic.

Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?

With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.

Releases on June 15th. Add this book to Goodreads!


Sisters of the Snake by Sarena Nanua and Sasha Nanua

A lost princess. A dark puppet master. And a race against time—before all is lost.

Princess Rani longs for a chance to escape her gilded cage and prove herself. Ria is a street urchin, stealing just to keep herself alive.

When these two lives collide, everything turns on its head: because Ria and Rani, orphan and royal, are unmistakably identical.

A deal is struck to switch places—but danger lurks in both worlds, and to save their home, thief and princess must work together. Or watch it all fall into ruin.

Releases on June 15th. Add this book to Goodreads!


The Tangleroot Palace: Stories by Marjorie Liu

Briar, bodyguard for a body-stealing sorceress, discovers her love for Rose, whose true soul emerges only once a week. An apprentice witch seeks her freedom through betrayal, the bones of the innocent, and a meticulously-plotted spell. In a world powered by crystal skulls, a warrior returns to save China from invasion by her jealous ex. A princess runs away from an arranged marriage, finding family in a strange troupe of traveling actors at the border of the kingdom’s deep, dark woods.

Concluding with a gorgeous full-length novella, Marjorie Liu’s first short fiction collection is an unflinching sojourn into her thorny tales of love, revenge, and new beginnings.

Releases on June 15th. Add this book to Goodreads!


The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson

Amateur sleuth Stevie Bell needs a good murder. After catching a killer at her high school, she’s back at home for a normal (that means boring) summer.

But then she gets a message from the owner of Sunny Pines, formerly known as Camp Wonder Falls—the site of the notorious unsolved case, the Box in the Woods Murders. Back in 1978, four camp counselors were killed in the woods outside of the town of Barlow Corners, their bodies left in a gruesome display. The new owner offers Stevie an invitation: Come to the camp and help him work on a true crime podcast about the case.

Stevie agrees, as long as she can bring along her friends from Ellingham Academy. Nothing sounds better than a summer spent together, investigating old murders.

But something evil still lurks in Barlow Corners. When Stevie opens the lid on this long-dormant case, she gets much more than she bargained for. The Box in the Woods will make room for more victims. This time, Stevie may not make it out alive.

Releases on June 15th. Add this book to Goodreads!


Indestructible Object by Mary McCoy

For the past two years, Lee has been laser-focused on two things: her job as a sound tech at a local coffee shop and her podcast “Artists in Love,” which she cohosts with her boyfriend Vincent.

Until he breaks up with her on the air right after graduation.

When their unexpected split, the loss of her job, and her parent’s announcement that they’re separating coincide, Lee’s plans, her art, and her life are thrown into turmoil. Searching for a new purpose, Lee recruits her old friend Max and new friend Risa to produce a podcast called “Objects of Destruction,” where they investigate whether love actually exists at all.

But the deeper they get into the love stories around them, the more Lee realizes that she’s the one who’s been holding love at arm’s length. And when she starts to fall for Risa, she finds she’ll have to be more honest with herself and the people in her life to create a new love story of her own.

Funny, romantic, and heartfelt, this is a story about secrets, lies, friendship, found family, an expired passport, a hidden VHS tape, fried pickles, the weird and wild city of Memphis, and, most of all, love.

Releases on June 15th. Add this book to Goodreads!


The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor

Part historical fiction, part magical realism, and 100 percent adventure. Thirteen-year-old Mei reimagines the myths of Paul Bunyan as starring a Chinese heroine while she works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885.

Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman’s daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan–reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch.

Anchoring herself with stories of Auntie Po, Mei navigates the difficulty and politics of lumber camp work and her growing romantic feelings for her friend Bee. The Legend of Auntie Po is about who gets to own a myth, and about immigrant families and communities holding on to rituals and traditions while staking out their own place in America.

Releases on June 15th. Add this book to Goodreads!


Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi

It all begins on the night Rea turns twelve. After a big fight with her twin brother Rohan on their birthday, Rea’s life in the small village of Darjeeling, India, gets turned on its head. It’s four in the morning and Rohan is nowhere to be found.

It hasn’t even been a day and Amma acts like Rohan’s gone forever. Her grandmother, too, is behaving strangely. Unwilling to give up on her brother, Rea and her friend Leela meet Mishti Daadi, a wrinkly old fortune-teller whose powers of divination set them off on a thrilling and secret quest. In the shade of night, they portal into an otherworldly realm and travel to Astranthia, a land full of magic and whimsy. There with the help of Xeranther, an Astranthian barrow boy, and Flula, a pari, Rea battles serpent-lilies and blood-sucking banshees, encounters a butterfly-faced woman and blue lizard-men, and learns that Rohan has been captured. Rea also discovers that she is a princess with magic. Only she has no idea how to use it.

Struggling with the truth her Amma has kept hidden from her, Rea must solve clues that lead to Rohan, find a way to rescue him and save Astranthia from a potentially deadly fate. But the clock is ticking. Can she rescue Rohan, save Astranthia, and live to see it all?

Releases on June 15th. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters

Illustration: Daniel Clarke | Design: Samira Iravani | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen

Illustration: Alex Cabal | Design: Gigi Lau | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: One True Loves by Elise Bryant

Illustration: Michelle D’Urbano | Design: Jessie Gang | AD: Alison Donalty | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala

Design: Vi-An Nguyen | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi

Illustration: TBA | Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton

Illustration: Khadijah Khatib | Design: Liz Dresner | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Dreams Bigger than Heartbreak by Charlie Jane Anders

Illustration: Kittichai Rueangchaichan | Design: Lesley Worrell | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Freddie vs. the Family Curse by Tracy Badua

Illustration: Alane Grace | Design: Celeste Knudsen | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: The Truth about White Lies by Olivia A. Cole

Illustration: Mojo Wang | Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: The Kindred by Alechia Dow

Illustration: Aleea Rae | Design: Gigi Lau | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Heartbreak Symphony by Laekan Zea Kemp

Illustration: TBA | Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: This Cursed Crown by Alexandra Overy

Illustration: Marisa Aragón Ware | AD: Kathleen Oudit | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Falling into Rarohenga by Steph Matuku

Illustration: Stacy Eyles | Add this book to Goodreads!


Book Announcement: Christina Soontornvat’s forthcoming Thai-inspired fantasy about seafaring, mapmaking, and colonialism


Book Announcement: A middle grade graphic novel set the aftermath of 9/11, about hybrid households and multiculturalism by Sara Amini and Shadia Amin


Book Announcement: A graphic novel by Nadia Shammas and Marie Enger exploring mental illness and eldritch horrors in Brooklyn


Book Announcement: A YA romance companion to A Pho Love Story following two Viet college students falling in love


Book Announcement: A YA contemporary by Sonia Patel about Ivy Leagues, immigrant families, and South Asian identity


Book Announcement: A musical YA romance by Melissa See featuring a protagonist with cerebral palsy, the pitfalls of viral fame, and love through music


Book Announcement: A middle grade book about culture, friendship, and food by Reem Faruqi


Book Announcement: A childhood best-friends-to-lovers by Abigail Johnson featuring a disabled protagonist


Book Announcement: A sapphic YA romance about summer road trips, roadside attractions, and ice cream trucks by Jennifer Dugan


Book Announcement: George M. Johnson’s YA nonfiction book about Black American history, incarceration, and a path towards freedom


Book Announcement: Ciannon Smart’s forthcoming MG fantasy debut about spooky parallel monster worlds and Halloween


Book Announcement: A YA contemporary by Jesmeen Kaur Deo about beauty standards and debate


Book Announcement: A sapphic YA romcom between two college freshmen by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick


From Page to Screen: Angie Thomas’ On the Come Up headed to the big screen!

2 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #90 – Across the YA Spectrum: South Asian-Authored Fantasies & Disabled Romance Protagonists

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