Title: Honey Girl
Author: Morgan Rogers
Publisher: Park Row Books
Age Category: Adult
Content Warnings: Self-harm, discussion of suicide, racism and homophobia in the work place, discussion of racism
Rep: Black queer poc mc, Asian queer poc li, multiple poc and/or queer sc, disabled sc
Am I going to exclusively review my favorite books of the year? Hard to say but yes.
In case you couldn’t tell, I really loved this book. I picked this book up because it was what I felt I needed at the moment. If you saw my March tbr, you know that I predicted that this would be a five star read (and spoiler, but I was right.) Usually, I don’t like romance books, but I also don’t really think this a romance. I am going to shut that down right now. This is not a romance. There is a romance, but the plot focuses more on Grace’s relationship with herself. This is a coming of age story for adults.
I one hundred percent believe that we need to start normalizing discussing post-grad depression. This was something I didn’t realize until I experienced it myself. I graduated from undergrad back in December, and I’ve been feeling very empty ever since then. I think that we as a society romanticize graduation and don’t talk about what happens afterwards. There are a lot of expectations about what happens after college, and they are never the reality. And we need to talk about that.
A little thing that I really liked to see is that Grace scratches her arm when she’s nervous. I haven’t talked about this, but I have a really nasty habit of picking at my cuticles until they bleed when I’m nervous. Reading about a character who does something similar was really reassuring for me because I am extremely self-conscious about my hands for that reason.
I also really liked how frequent mental health was discussed in this book. There are some therapy scenes, and I really liked that. There is a side character who is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and I liked the conversation that came out of that. I feel like as a society we don’t talk about misdiagnosis and the effect of finding out you have a mental illness so I really liked seeing that.
I loved all the characters and think that they were extremely well-developed. In general, I’m just blown away by the fact that this is a debut. I am a sucker for the found family trope, and that is definitely the case in this. Both Yuki, the love interest, and Grace have their one found family groups. All the characters supported each other so much, and you could just feel how much the characters care about each other.
I also really loved the romance between Yuki and Grace. I love when books talk about loneliness, which was frequently discussed in scenes focusing on their romance. There is something about a character or two that feels alone and is seeking out other people to heal their loneliness that I really enjoy. (It’s because I relate). I really loved Yuki’s radio show and seeing how the stories she told reflected her relationship with Grace at the moment. I also love how the two got married and were so willing to make it work.
I loved the relationship between Grace and her parents, and I love the comparison of it compared to her friendships. I feel like found family groups are formed exclusively out of not having active parents. Grace didn’t have a solid relationship with her parents, but they were still a part of her life even though their relationship might not have been the best. But it was clear that the relationships weren’t something that couldn’t improve.
Overall, I really loved this book. The conversations in this book are extremely important to have, and there should be more books like this. It felt so real because the author was talking about topics that aren’t usually mentioned at all in both life and books but are a super prevalent part of life. This book is proof that you don’t stop growing once you’re an adult. I’m excited to read more books from the author.