Loved This Ghibli Film? Read This Book! Book Recommendations with Varian the Toadshifter

Text: Book Recommendations: Loved this Ghibli film? Read this book! Image: Varian the Toadshifter wearing San from Princess Mononoke's red mask, wearing a fluffy white cape, and holding San from Princess Mononoke's knife.

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening friends! What do you think of Varian’s costume of San from Princess Mononoke? Princess Mononoke is perhaps my favourite Ghibli film of all time; it’s a beautiful story with powerful themes and compelling characters, especially San, the human girl raised by wolves.

In case you’re new to the Pond’s 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 shown you their latest costume, they will always recommend a book that inspired that costume.

As you might have already guessed, today’s book recommendations theme is ‘Studio Ghibli’. Read More »

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia – An Insightful Depiction of Online Community, Privacy, and Mental Health

Text: Eliza and her monsters, Francesca Zappia. Image: A sketch of a girl and a boy, facing each other, reading a book.

Blurb:

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

Joce’s review:

Eliza Mirk is a high school student who lives in Indiana and anonymously writes and illustrates the famous webcomic Monstrous Sea, read by millions, as her online persona LadyConstellation. She feels out of place at her school and experiences anxiety, including social anxiety. She develops a close relationship to Wallace, who experiences selective mutism, and he seems to understand what it’s like feeling truly at home online and less so face to face. However, their friendship is somewhat one-sided because Eliza knows that he is the most famous Monstrous Sea fanfiction writer, but he does not know that Eliza is actually LadyConstellation. They communicate mostly online, and a budding relationship, whether it be friendship or romantic, that transpires mostly through written word, is my favorite.

Read More »

The Pond News Issue #10 – Diverse Middle-Grade and Fresh Fantasies – and an Exciting Book Trailer!

The Pond Book News. Issue 10. diverse middle grade and fresh fantasies - and an exciting book trailer

Welcome to Issue #10!

Xiaolong the pink axolotl, dressed up as Stella the Dragonfly; wearing a purple newsy cap, dragonfly wings, and holding up a roll of newspaper.

Welcome back to another exciting week of The Pond Book News, friends! Every Monday, The Quiet Pond releases a new issue of book news to help you keep up-to-date with the latest diverse book releases, book news, cover reveals, and more! Every week, we also feature three incredible people in the book community!

This week, Xiaolong is taking over because Stella the Dragonfly is recuperating after her big travels! We hope that Stella rests well and so, this week, Xiaolong, dressed up as Stella again and is delivering your latest book news! Xiaolong will be sharing the book news with you today, and you’ll see Stella next week!

Read More »

Front Desk by Kelly Yang – A Compassionate & Empowering Story About The Immigrant Experience, Poverty, and Community

Front Desk [by Kelly Yang]

Blurb:

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.

Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?

CW’s review:

A few pages into Front Desk by Kelly Yang, I thought to myself, I’m falling in love with this book. Unsurprisingly, Front Desk became not only one of my effortless favourites back in 2018, but it became one of my favourite books ever – more than deserving, I felt, to be in my ‘forever in my heart’ shelf in Goodreads. Front Desk may be a middle-grade novel, but don’t be fooled – it has a light and compassionate narrative but also delves into tough topics that children and adults alike can learn from.

Read More »

The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu – A Flawless Mystery/Thriller Debut about Toxic Friendships, Trauma, and Flawed Teens

Text: The Best Lies, Sarah Lyu. Image: A blue and pink lollipop, smeared against a pink surface.

Blurb:

Remy Tsai used to know how her story would turn out. But now, she doesn’t even know what tomorrow will look like.

She was happy once. Remy had her boyfriend Jack, and Elise, her best friend—her soulmate—who understood her better than anyone else in the world.

But now Jack is dead, shot through the chest—

And it was Elise who pulled the trigger.

Was it self-defense? Or something deeper, darker than anything Remy could have imagined? As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her.

CW’s Review:

Quite frankly, The Best Lies came for me. And by that, I mean that when I picked up this book, I did not know what to expect. What I did not expect, however, was for this book to blow my mind, become one of my favourite reads of 2019, and make me think about it at almost every waking hour.

Read More »