The Pond Book News #64 – Upcoming Bubbly Romances, Heartfelt Contemporaries, & a Story on the Titanic!

Welcome to Issue #64!

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 [November 8th – November 14th]

The Ever Cruel Kingdom by Rin Chupeco

After a treacherous journey and a life-shattering meeting with a twin neither knew they had, Haidee and Odessa expected to emerge from the Great Abyss to a world set right. But though the planet is turning once again, the creatures of the abyss will not rest until they have tasted another goddess’s sacrifice.

To break the cycle, Haidee and Odessa need answers that lie beyond the seven gates of the underworld, within the Cruel Kingdom itself. The shadows of the underworld may hunger to tear them apart, but these two sisters are determined to heal their world—together.

The long-awaited sequel to The Never Tilting World is finally here! I’ve heard endless good things about this fantasy series following two royal sisters set in a world where each half is stuck in either day or night, and I’m so eager to discover more of Rin Chupeco’s incredible writing!

Releases on November 10. Add this book to Goodreads!

Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins, translated by Larissa Helena

What would you do if you had to spend the next 15 days with your lifelong crush?

Felipe gets it — he’s fat. Not chubby. Not big-boned. Fat. And he doesn’t need anyone to remind him, which is, of course, what everyone does. That’s why he’s been waiting for this moment ever since the school year began: school break. Finally, he’ll be able to spend some time far away from school and the classmates who tease him incessantly. His plans include catching up on his favorite TV shows, finishing his to-be-read pile, and watching YouTube tutorials on skills he’ll never actually put into practice.

But things get a little out of hand when Felipe’s mom informs him that Caio, the neighbor kid from apartment 57, will be spending the next 15 days with them while his parents are on vacation. Felipe is distraught because A) he’s had a crush on Caio since, well, forever, and B) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he’s going to entertain his neighbor for two full weeks.

Suddenly, the days ahead of him that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) end up bringing a whirlwind of feelings, forcing Felipe to dive head-first into every unresolved issue he has had with himself — but maybe, just maybe, he’ll manage to win over Caio, too.

This contemporary looks so heartfelt and moving—I struggled a lot with body insecurities myself growing up too, so I have such a soft spot in my heart for this premise. I hope this book is just as tender and healing as I hope it will be for the readers who need it. I’m also loving that this is translated Brazilian fiction too!

Releases on November 10. Add this book to Goodreads!

Odessa by Jonathan Hill

Eight years ago an earthquake—the Big One—hit along the Cascadia fault line, toppling cities and changing landscapes all up and down the west coast of the United States. Life as we know it changed forever. But for Vietnamese-American Virginia Crane, life changed shortly after the earthquake, when her mother left and never came back.

Ginny has gotten used to a life without her mother, helping her father take care of her two younger brothers, Wes and Harry. But when a mysterious package arrives for her eighteenth birthday, her life is shaken up yet again. For the first time, Ginny wants something more than to survive. And it might be a selfish desire, but she’s determined to find out what happened to her mother—even if it means leaving her family behind.

Between this and Trung Le Nguyen’s The Magic Fish last month, Viet comics are on fire recently! This post-apocalyptic graphic novel looks exactly up my alley, and I’m so curious about the mysterious package that shows up already! Queer diaspora Southeast Asians will always have a spot on my bookshelf.

Releases on November 10. Add this book to Goodreads!

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila… until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind. 

Friends, how cute does this romance look? A relationship between a teashop clerk and a bakery worker sounds adorable as hell, and I’ve already heard good things from people who have read this book early! If you’re missing some sweet fluffy romance on your shelves featuring Latinx characters, friends, this is definitely not one to be missed.

Releases on November 10. Add this book to Goodreads!

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents.

Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him.

When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community.

But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything?

I’ve heard so many lovely things about this fake-dating romance revolving around Asian families already, especially from this review over at Love Yo Shelf by our good friend Lauren! I love that we’re getting books that explore the fraught dynamics that can exist East Asian families surrounding love and marriage, and this book looks perfect for a cozy afternoon curled up with a hot cup of tea.

Releases on November 10. Add this book to Goodreads!

Master of One by Jaida Jones

Rags is a thief—an excellent one. He’s stolen into noble’s coffers, picked soldier’s pockets, and even liberated a ring or two off the fingers of passersby. Until he’s caught by the Queensguard and forced to find an ancient fae relic for a sadistic royal sorcerer.

But Rags could never have guessed this “relic” would actually be a fae himself—a distractingly handsome, annoyingly perfect, ancient fae prince called Shining Talon. Good thing Rags can think on his toes, because things just get stranger from there…

This queer fantasy featuring a romance between an ancient fae prince and a street thief looks fantastic already, and I love that we’re getting more casual queer rep in high fantasy settings! Definitely curious to pick this one up soon myself.

Releases on November 10. Add this book to Goodreads!

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.

Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy… a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle’s new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because… awkward.

When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family over the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship.

But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?

This sapphic fake-dating romance is a loose retelling of the character archetypes from Pride and Prejudice, and it looks so good already, especially since one of the girls is an astrologer! And the “uptight, sensible person falls for a free-spirited, lively foil” is *chef’s kisses* perfect already.

Releases on November 10. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee

Stacey Lee is back with another show-stopping YA historical featuring Chinese girls who have slipped through the margins of history! I’ve heard so many, many good things about The Downstairs Girl, and I’m already looking forward to this release—especially one with a cover as glamorous as this one!

Design: Samira Iravani

Cover Reveal: Sugar Town Queens by Malla Nunn

What a wonderfully diverse cover! And what a mysterious premise too—a girl whose mother sees “visions” of her father who’s been missing in action since she was born, who then finds a mysterious address at the bottom of her mother’s handbag with a large amount of cash? I’m so very intrigued already, and can’t wait to find out more!

Illustration: Laci Jordan | Design: Kristin Smith-Boyle

Cover Reveal: Girls at the Edge of the World by Laura Brooke Robson

This book cover feels so intimate and close that it’s positively electrifying, and the premise seems to suggest a sapphic romance??? 👀 This stellar pre-apocalyptic premise is so eye-catching already, and I can’t wait to read it come release day!

Design: Samira Iravani

Cover Reveal: Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan

I am positively infatuated with the color palette of this cover—the twilit hues and the overall cool tones of the illustration contrasted with the beautiful, blushing evening sky. This is going to look so good on a shelf next to Hot Dog Girl too!

Illustration: Jeff Östberg | Design: Kelley Brady

Book Announcement: Rebecca Barrow’s upcoming YA mystery about death and loss on a beautiful island

You had me at “unsolved deaths of young women” set in a beautiful island. Friends, I am so excited for this book! I’ve heard so many good things about This is What It Feels Like, and this next story looks right up my alley—I’m so excited to see where the author goes next!

Book Announcement: Three Black Muslim teens start a blog in Laila Sabreen’s forthcoming YA contemporary

Hurray for more blogging teenagers! This premise hits so close to home, since the Pond is also, surprise surprise, made up of three people who live in different parts of the world. I’m already so invested in these characters. This looks like it’s going to be a very important novel in the community already, and I’m already counting down the days until release date!

Book Announcement: A forthcoming YA about a girl with social anxiety and an unexpected whirlwind romance by Kara McDowell

What a premise! I’m very glad that we’re getting more books about neurodivergent teens, and I’m thrilled that kids with social anxiety have more books to turn to for representation. This romance looks like a heck of a time, and I’m so curious to see where it goes!

One thought on “The Pond Book News #64 – Upcoming Bubbly Romances, Heartfelt Contemporaries, & a Story on the Titanic!

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