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!
We have had the immense fortune of having some really great enemies/rivals-to-lovers books in the last year, so I thought to myself: why not write a book recommendation book collating all the wonderful books we have read that have these two satisfying tropes?
What a month May has been for the Pond! We hosted 16 Asian and Pasifika authors this month, and I am so proud and happy with the awesome stuff that my co-bloggers and I did to uplift and share Asian and Pasifika literature this month. And of course, thank you to everyone who visited, shared and supported our work, and joined in our celebrations for Asian Pasifika Heritage Month. (Here is a full list of all the features we did this month!)
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.
There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.
Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…
What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.
Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.
But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top.
Reading Made in Korea felt like a balm to the soul. There is something so satisfying about reading a romantic contemporary that just hits all the good spots: great storytelling, a rivals-to-lovers romance that I absolutely adored and rooted for, a cast of characters that were all flawed yet earnestly human, and nestled in between a tender story about ambition, identity, and acceptance from family.
We can feel it in our bones: 2021 is going to be an amazing reading year.
The beginning of the year feels like such an exciting time. There are so many books to look forward to this year, so many of which we are excited to read and whether we end up liking it or not – well, the anticipation feels so good.
When we scoured through our spreadsheet, looking for books releasing in 2021 to feature in our The Pond’s Most Anticipated Books list, we were stumped. We had a hard time featuring a list-sensible number of books (my own list included over 30 books!) – there were just so many exciting books to look forward to! (In saying that, this list was incredibly difficult list to put together, and we are looking forward to many books not included in this list as well!)