Book Review: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

Book Details

BOOK NAMEHoney Girl
AUTHORMorgan Rogers
CATEGORYRomance
LANGUAGEEnglish
NUMBER OF PAGES293 pages
PUBLISHERPark Row
PUBLISHING DATE23 February 2021
EDITION
ISBN-100778311023
ISBN-13978-0778311027
DIMENSIONS13.49 x 1.93 x 20.29 cm
READING AGE
PRICE
EBOOK

Honey Girl Review

“I think the sun saw something in you, something bright all on its own, and it picked you.”

At its core Honey Girl is about the loneliness of the human experience. Grace is never alone, she has supportive friends who are like family to her, people who truly and deeply love her, but it doesn’t stop her from feeling isolated and crushed under the weight of her father’s and her own expectations. For the last 11 years she’s had a plan and she’s followed it to the letter, but now the job she’s been groomed for doesn’t pan out and she starts to question the path she’s been on all this time. It all comes to a head when she drunkenly gets married to the elusive Yuki in Las Vegas one night but that might be the best thing happening to her in a while.

Grace is not a person who gives up or runs away but she feels like she’s reached her breaking point and the only thing left for her to do is to stop for a moment and breathe. She’s done everything perfect up until now knowing how hard it would be for her as a Black woman to thrive in a white academic environment but it gets hard to stay on track and optimistic when being a Black queer woman and being loud about it is seen as devise and disruptive in an environment intent on maintaining the status quo.

“You may have to make a lot of noise, and the universe’s silence can be oppressive and thick. But you want them to hear you, and they will. So do not, not even for one second, stop making noise.”

This book explores the difficulties of thriving in that environment in many different layers. We see Grace’s mentor, a white woman, have her own setbacks and hurdles but acknowledging they are not an equal measure to Grace’s as an openly Black lesbian involved in queer and Black groups. She also ends up applying to a company promoting and supporting non-Black women of colour and shows the disparity and privilege within POC groups. Grace knows that as a Black woman she has to work so much harder to prove herself but even then she keeps being questioned, her work being broken down to the most minute detail, as if to catch a single mistake to let her know she doesn’t belong.

Not only does Grace have to live up to this pressure but she also always wants to meet her father’s expectations and make him proud, which seems more and more impossible as time goes by. He’s taught her to never stop and to always keep going, to never show vulnerability and keep grinding until you break. He taught her to not be soft because there never was space for him to be so and this is how he decided to raise her. This brings Grace’s perspective to be in a grey area of understanding him but still resenting him and his behaviour.

Throughout this whole book the need for Grace to stop and take a break is validated times and times again. Therapy is brought up by several characters and always shown in a positive light even when the author takes the time to show it’s not a one size fits all and that it can take time to find the right person, diagnosis or medication.

“There is a siren singing Grace a song. It must have looked into the very core of her to know which song to sing. It is a sad song, because sometimes the world is sad. It is a hopeful song, because sometimes the world is hopeful.”

The romance between Grace and Yuki was important to the plot and the story, but it does not sweep away or take away Grace’s struggles and self-questioning. Their relationship was truly everything to me and made my heart so happy. There’s definitely a little bit of yearning with both of them living on different coasts and the whole being strangers thing but I will say the angst is pretty minimal. Don’t get me wrong, I love angst and yearning like there is no tomorrow, but it was such a breath of fresh air to see a sapphic relationship that was just good and easy. There was never any doubt that they liked each other and they weren’t trying to hide it from each other either. The book did a great job of showcasing an immediate attraction and connection between the two of them, of them both knowing they want to get to know each other better, and that this is something that feels natural and comfortable. I loved their time apart and the time they finally get to spend together in New York, you could just feel the chemistry between the two of them and I just wanted to bury my face in a pillow and scream into it with all the love in the world.

Yuki was such an amazing love interest and every story she told on her radio show was breathtaking and so impactful. That was truly one of my favourite parts of the book, of having these stories about monsters reflect our own humanity and the loneliness and doubts that come with it. It was a beautiful way for Grace and Yuki to connect as well, and to really see and come to a deeper understanding of each other. It also obviously came with some stunning and beautiful lines which I’m always partial to.

“She thought, the universe has everything mapped out for me. I cannot go wrong, because I am it, and it is me.”

Another wonderful and important part of this story were the found families Grace and Yuki built for themselves. The White Pearl, the tea shop where Grace works, is basically her second home, she calls Meera and Rajesh her brother and sister, their dad also considers her one of his own, and even writing this down makes me want to tear up a little. She’s also found Ximena, warm and nurturing, on her daily visits to her father at the hospital and she in turn found Agnes, full of sharp edges. They all live together in Portland and they love each other so much it hurts. These are the people she has supporting her throughout her life, unconditionally. Yuki has also made herself a home in New York with three roommates who are nothing but charming and personable in their own different ways. All these relationships and dynamics were so heartwarming, raw but full of love and they felt so real. There’s inside jokes, banter, disagreements, but the deep-rooted knowledge that these people will never leave.

This book was such a gem and so wonderfully crafted into a vessel reaching out to all the lonely and struggling souls out there and saying “Are you there?” and that things will be okay.

By Melanie

Honey Girl Summary

A refreshingly timely and relatable debut novel about a young woman whose life plans fall apart when she meets her wife.

With her newly completed Ph.D. in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight-A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.

This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market, and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.

In New York, she’s able to ignore all the annoying questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal, and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood. 

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers | Book Review [CC]

About Author Morgan Rogers

Morgan Rogers is a queer millennial from Baltimore writing about queer millennials. She has a dog and a cat and dreams about one day owning a farm with horses and goats and chickens. Music is her biggest creative inspiration. Honey Girl is her first novel.

Honey Girl

At its core Honey Girl is about the loneliness of the human experience. Grace is never alone, she has supportive friends who are like family to her, people who truly and deeply love her, but it doesn’t stop her from feeling isolated and crushed under the weight of her father’s and her own expectations. For the last 11 years she’s had a plan and she’s followed it to the letter, but now the job she’s been groomed for doesn’t pan out and she starts to question the path she’s been on all this time. It all comes to a head when she drunkenly gets married to the elusive Yuki in Las Vegas one night but that might be the best thing happening to her in a while.

URL: https://amzn.to/3avjgAU

Author: Morgan Rogers

Editor's Rating:
3.9

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