Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Meredith Ireland, Author of The Jasmine Project; On Writing an Adoptee-Centered Story and the Journey of Becoming Who You Want to Be

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

If you love the sound of a The Bachelorette-inspired YA romantic comedy about a Korean American adoptee whose family set her up with three boys to show her that she’s worth more than her cheating boyfriend, then friends – you really have to read The Jasmine Project. I’ve been in the mood for a funny and heartwarming book about love, and The Jasmine Project hit all the right spots (and if you’re curious, I had the privilege of sharing the first two chapters of The Jasmine Project last week)!

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The Pond Book News #101 – Of Myths, Monsters & Magic: New YA + MG Books that Bring Beloved Old Legends to Life

Welcome to Issue #101!

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!

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Book Review: Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee – A Satisfying and Phenomenal Conclusion to a God-Tiered Series; a Story about Life, Love, Death, and the Legacy We Leave Behind

Synopsis:

Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now known and coveted throughout the world. Everyone wants access to the supernatural abilities it provides, from traditional forces such as governments, mercenaries, and criminal kingpins, to modern players, including doctors, athletes, and movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows ever larger and more deadly, the Kaul family, and the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones, will never be the same.

The Kauls have been battered by war and tragedy. They are plagued by resentments and old wounds as their adversaries are on the ascent and their country is riven by dangerous factions and foreign interference that could destroy the Green Bone way of life altogether. As a new generation arises, the clan’s growing empire is in danger of coming apart.

The clan must discern allies from enemies, set aside aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices… but even the unbreakable bonds of blood and loyalty may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Green Bone clans and the nation they are sworn to protect.

I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book review contains minor non-explicit spoilers to Jade City.

It’s been four years since Jade City by Fonda Lee released. Four years since I fell unequivocally in love with the gangster urban fantasy series with wuxia elements, set in an Asian-inspired island called Kekon where fearsome Green Bones warriors and their creed ruled. Jade City explored family and honour and how the blood feud between the No Peak Clan and their rival, the Mountain Clan, began. It became my favourite book of all time.

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Book Recommendations – 9 Books about Food, Foodies, and Professional Chefs!

In case you’re new to the Pond’s book recommendation posts, the recommendation posts are brought to you by Varian, the Pond’s very own Toadshifter who is knowledgeable in all kinds of magic! One of Varian’s ambitions is to get better at sewing, hence why whenever Varian has come up with their latest costume, they will always recommend a few books that inspired them!

If you know me, you will probably know that I love food. Last year, I made a tribute to my love for food by combining the two things I love – food and books – and wrote a book recommendation, spotlighting some of my favourite books about food. Now that a year has passed and I’ve read a few more books about food, I thought: Why not recommend a few more books about food and foodies?

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Five Reasons to Read: Keeping It Real by Paula Chase – Hip Hop Fashion, Family, Fitting In and Privilege Collide In This MG/YA Contemporary

Synopsis:

Marigold Johnson can’t wait to attend a special program at her family’s business, Flexx Unlimited, for teens who love fashion. But Mari quickly realizes that she’s out of place compared to the three other trainees–and one girl, Kara, seems to hate her on sight.

As tension builds and the stakes at the program get higher, Mari uncovers exactly why Kara’s been so spiteful. She also discovers some hard truths about herself and her family.

Paula Chase explores complex themes centering on friendships, family, and what it means to conform to fit in. Keeping It Real is also a powerful exploration of what happens when parents pick and choose what they shield their children from. Timely and memorable, Paula Chase’s character-driven story touches on creativity, art, fashion, and music. A great choice for the upper middle grade audience. 

I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced story about hip hop fashion and friendship as well as a story that explores the complex intersections of Black identity and class, then Keeping It Real by Paula Chase is a great choice, and will certainly engage young readers and will resonate with Black readers.

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