Review of Honey Girl // Why It’s Not a Rom-Com and Why You Need to Read It


Book:
 Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

Source: I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Park Row Books

Release Date: February 23rd, 2021

Pages: 352


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I want to start this review by making the disclaimer that as much as I am going to gush about this book, I will never be able to do it justice. I adored this book with every fiber of my being, but I simply lack the ability to properly put into words how much this book meant to me. But I’ll try my best!

So how you’ve probably heard this book pitched as a straitlaced woman named Grace Porter goes to Vegas to celebrate getting her PhD in astronomy, and ends up married to a random woman she met in Vegas. You either heard or assumed that it’s a rom-com, but it decidedly is not. I mean, in a way it is, but that is not the focus of the book.

schitts creek lol GIF by CBC

In reality, this book focuses on Grace and her exploration of what she wants to do with her life now. She just finished 11 years of school, and the path she thought she’d take after is closed to her. And Grace Porter has been trained to stick to the plan. So without a plan, how does she manage? Well, the answer to that question is complex, but she decides to get some space from her current surroundings and move to New York to spend some time and develop her relationship with her wife, Yuki.

This book had so many themes that were so real and raw and powerful. What stuck out to me the most was Grace’s loneliness. She has a support system, she has friends, family, mentors, and yet, she feels so alone in her quest to find her path. She struggles in a variety of ways with that loneliness, and in fact, was drawn to Yuki, because of the fact that she is a lonely creature.

Lonely Cu GIF by Creative Unicorn

I have read about other lonely people before. I have read about other people trying to find their path in life, yet this book just did it best. The writing was absolutely superb. It starts out in a hazy, dreamy sort of way, and evolves as Grace’s feelings evolve. There was this very calming, comforting quality to the words that made me feel like everything was going to be okay, while the words themselves carried such intense emotions. I don’t tend to notice writing styles much, with the exception being cases like this, where the prose feels more like poetry.

Another thing I noticed was how diverse the cast of characters were. Grace is a Black lesbian, and all of her friends were diverse in all sorts of ways including racially, culturally, mentally, and of course in terms of their sexualities. What I think made all these different identifies feel so seamlessly woven into the story was that it never felt like a character had no purpose besides their diverse background. Each character was fully fleshed out, so while their identities were a part of them and informed their worldview, they were always three-dimensional and had complex relationships with various other characters.

Comforting Big Hero 6 GIF by Sky

This is representative of me giving all the characters in this book a hug

Once we’re already on the topic of complex relationships, let me gush about how much I adored all the relationships in this book. There are Grace’s friends and family in Portland, there’s Grace’s mother in Florida, and her wife Yuki and all of Yuki’s friends in New York. And yet, despite the many relationships that Grace had, each one was developed throughout the book in a nuanced way, and it was absolutely wonderful to read about. Even for characters that didn’t have a lot of page time, you could feel the depth of their relationship with various characters through the smallest of things.

I also quite appreciated how flawed everyone was. This book felt so very realistic because of that. Grace’s parents were flawed, but not vilified. She had a family, but also made her own family through her closest friends. Every character in this book messed up at some point, but always in very relatable, understandable ways.

Im Flawed Greys Anatomy GIF

Another aspect I specifically want to mention is how much I love how therapy is dealt with in this book. Eventually Grace realizes that she needs help to work through some of her ingrained unhealthy behaviors and thoughts, and so she tries out therapy. I really appreciated that Grace went through several therapists that weren’t the right fit until she found one that was right for her. I find that in many other books the main character either easily finds the perfect therapist, or tries out a therapist they hate and so they never try again, and I appreciated the balance in this book with regards to finding the right mental health provider for you.

Lastly, I want to say what a big fan I was of the ending. I obviously am not going to spoil anything, but I think that the amount of resolution that we got was perfect. Not every detail was wrapped up in a bow, because that’s not how life works. We got a snapshot of Grace’s life, and that’s it. I think it was the perfect ending for the book and it just fit so well, even if it does have me wondering about how certain things turned out!

From the big picture to the small details, this book just felt perfectly crafted and so the rating should come as no surprise.

5 STARS

I started this review by saying how much I love this book, and I’ll end my review the same way. This book got 5 stars from me and it deserved each and every one. I highly recommend this book to other people who feel lost or alone, or who are struggling to find their path. I think this book was written about such a character, for readers who can relate. I felt very seen by this book, and I look forward to having this book about loneliness on hand to remind me whenever I feel overwhelmed, that I am not alone.

Is Honey Girl on your TBR? What other books had beautiful writing that you loved to read? What was the last book you gave 5 stars to?

22 thoughts on “Review of Honey Girl // Why It’s Not a Rom-Com and Why You Need to Read It

  1. When I heard of this book, I was immediately drawn to it because one (that cover!) and two, I LOVE learning about astronomy! Based on your review, it seems like a book I’d like cause I like thematic books ones that are relatable! And a strong family/friend bond…give to meeee 😂

    I found your website through Olivia! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I went through the same process! I saw the cover, and immediately knew I needed to read this book. Then I heard the premise and was excited because of the fact that it featured a WOC in STEM and had the fun trope of married to a stranger in Vegas. But honestly, the themes were really what sold this book for me. It was just such a well crafted, immersive story! I really hope you pick it up and that you end up loving it as much as I did!

      Oh, yay! Olivia is great! And I’m so glad you decided to stick around after finding our blog! 💕

      Like

  2. Honey Girl was already firmly on my TBR, but you’ve sold me on it so much more! I love the “married in Vegas” trope not only because of the cute romantic implications but because of the way it uproots characters and forces them to totally reexamine their life and what they want from it. I used to read a lot of fanfic with this trope but I’d kind of forgotten about that element until you articulated it so well (my brain kind of slipped past that part in favour of going ooooh romance 😂).

    I’m really excited for the self-discovery plot, as who actually knows what they want to do with their life anyway?? Certainly not me *nervous laughter* 😅 Ahhh I’m so excited to read this now!! Thank you so much for this wonderful review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesss! This comment made me so happy! And the uprooting and re-examination is exactly the result of the married in Vegas trope in this book, so hopefully it will be everything you love wrapped up in one book! (Also thank you for saying I’m articulate! I feel like a babbling, rambling mess most of the time!)

      There is so much self-discovery and post schooling angst about what to do now, that is just so very relatable! I’m so happy that you’re so excited to read it! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!

      Thank you! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. honey girl is one of my most anticipated 2021 releases and i’m so glad to see that you enjoyed it!! this review was so well written, and hearing your praise for it makes me even more excited to read it. i love beautiful writing and powerful themes, so i’m sure i’m going to love this!! 🥺 great post 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was one of my most anticipated releases as well, and it still blew me away!

      Awww, thank you! I really wanted to express how much I resonated with this book and just how wonderful was, and I’m so happy that I managed to succeed! And if beautiful writing and powerful themes are your thing, you’re DEFINITELY going to love this book! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! (Especially if you’ve already read it, since I’m responding over a month later 🙈)

      Thank you! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

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