The Pond Book News #73 – Vibrant Cover Reveals, Vicious Heroines, & Vietnamese Stories

Welcome to Issue #73!

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 [February 7th – February 13th]

The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa

You may have heard of me…

Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Prankster, joker, raven, fool… King Oberon’s right-hand jester from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The legends are many, but the truth will now be known as never before, as Puck finally tells his own story and faces a threat to the lands of Faery and the human world unlike any before.

With the Iron Queen Meghan Chase and her prince consort, Puck’s longtime rival Ash, and allies old and new by his side, Puck begins a fantastical and dangerous adventure not to be missed or forgotten.

Releases on February 9. Add this book to Goodreads!

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

Releases on February 9. Add this book to Goodreads!

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and spark and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring phở restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao together despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

Releases on February 9. Add this book to Goodreads!

Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard

Fire burns bright and has a long memory….

Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.

Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.

Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate—and her own?

Releases on February 9. Add this book to Goodreads!

We are the Ashes, We are the Fire by Joy McCullough

Em Morales’s older sister was raped by another student after a frat party. A jury eventually found the rapist guilty on all counts–a remarkable verdict that Em felt more than a little responsible for, since she was her sister’s strongest advocate on social media during the trial. Her passion and outspokenness helped dissuade the DA from settling for a plea deal. Em’s family would have real justice.

But the victory is short lived. In a matter of minutes, justice vanishes as the judge turns the Morales family’s world upside down again by sentencing the rapist to no prison time. While her family is stunned, Em is literally sick with rage and guilt. To make matters worse, a news clip of her saying that the sentence “makes me want to use a fucking sword” goes viral.

From this low point, Em must find a new reason to go on and help her family heal, and she finds it in the unlikely form of the story of a 15th-century French noblewoman, Marguerite de Bressieux, who is legendary as an avenging knight for rape victims.

Releases on February 9. Add this book to Goodreads!

As Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper

Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he’s excited to start his new life–where he’s no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents’ disapproval.

From the outside, Marty’s life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he’s made new friends, he’s getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he’s even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can’t keep up the facade. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since he arrived, he’s tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn’t even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home?

Releases on February 9. Add this book to Goodreads!

The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future.

Releases on February 9. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Jade Fire Gold by June C.L. Tan

Illustration: Guweiz | Design: Catherine Lee, Jenna Stempel-Lobell | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

Illustration: Sasha Vinogradova | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero by Saadia Faruqi

Illustration: Hazem Asif | Design: David Curtis | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

Illustration: Katt Phatt | Design: Greg Stadnyk | Add the book to Goodreads!

Paperback Cover Reveal: Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Illustration: Steffi Walthall | Design: Kelley Brady | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Our Way Back to Always by Nina Moreno

Illustration: Erick Dávila | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: We are Not Broken by George M. Johnson

Art & Design: TBA | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Idol Gossip by Alexandra Leigh Young

Illustration: Angelica Alzona | Design: Maya Tatsukawa | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa

Illustration: Jay Bendt | Design: TBA | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Art & Design: TBA | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Along the Saltwise Sea by Seanan McGuire

Art: David Curtis | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed edited by Saraciea Fennell

Illustration & Design: Nneka Bennett | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Big Boned by Jo Watson

Illustration & Design: TBA | Add the book to Goodreads!

UK Cover Reveal: Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Illustration: Afterblossom | Design: TBA | Add the book to Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: A Touch of Ruckus by Ash Van Otterloo

Illustration: Steffi Walthall | Design: Baily Crawford | Add the book to Goodreads!

Book Announcement: Rebecca Mix’s thrilling debut YA fantasy about sapphic witches, abuse, and a plague!

🌱 Note from Sprout: I was an early reader for this book, and friends, this is definitely a debut you do not want to miss. It’s unbelievably well-written, and features some of the best on-page representation of complicated family relationships, abuse, and healing I’ve ever read. I’m overjoyed that Rebecca’s little masterpiece is finally going to be out in the world!

Book Announcement: An MG debut about ghosts, curses, and a Filipino American family by Tracy Badua

Book Announcement: A YA debut by Ann Liang about elite boarding schools, scandalous secrets, and newfound invisibility powers

Book Announcement: An MG graphic novel about twins and turtles by Saadia Faruqi and Shazleen Khan

Book Announcement: An MG graphic novel about Chinese-American siblings, grief, and animal spirits by Alexander Lu and Tara Kurtzhals

Book Announcement: A queer YA thriller about true crime and monsters by Erica Waters

Book Announcement: A queer spy MG mystery about bullies and figuring yourself out by Katryn Bury!

Book Announcement: A YA horror debut from Ryan La Sala set in an overnight camp

Book Announcement: Natalie Caña’s forthcoming Latinx enemies-to-lovers romcom!

From Page to Screen: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley and Exit West by Mohsin Hamid are getting adaptations!

2 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #73 – Vibrant Cover Reveals, Vicious Heroines, & Vietnamese Stories

  1. Oh my gosh I love reading the Pond Book News every week!
    Unfortunately, I cannot see any of the new cover releases because I’m on my school email account which doesn’t let me view anything from twitter darnit but I will check them out later when I’m able to switch accounts.
    Also–if any of you have read A Pho Love Story, would you say it’s kind of sort of like a Romeo and Juliet retelling? See, I really really really disliked Romeo and Juliet when I read it but I also did love These Violent Delights and I’m thinking I might like to read more R&J retelling-esque stories that are way better than what a white man in the 1500s wrote. Would love to hear your opinion on this!


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