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Honey Girl

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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 PhD 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 get 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 PhD 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.


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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 PhD 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 get 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 PhD 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.

30 review for Honey Girl

  1. 4 out of 5

    _ngallagher

    I C R I E D ! God! What a beautiful book! It is definitely not the fluffy, silly romance I was expecting but lord was it rewarding in all the right ways. The representation of mental health, privilege, higher education, rigid expectations and learning how to ask for help + allowing yourself to love yourself......what a beautiful book

  2. 4 out of 5

    mina reads™️

    Fuck me this was absolutely exquisite and I need everyone to read it immediately This book is for every twenty-something who feels lost in a sea of expectation, for every person dealing with the existential dread that comes with the end of formal education and the start of your life in the real world. This book is for every lonely creature shouting into the dark and hoping that someone is listening. This book is brillant in so many ways but to step away from the overdramatic poetics let me tell y Fuck me this was absolutely exquisite and I need everyone to read it immediately This book is for every twenty-something who feels lost in a sea of expectation, for every person dealing with the existential dread that comes with the end of formal education and the start of your life in the real world. This book is for every lonely creature shouting into the dark and hoping that someone is listening. This book is brillant in so many ways but to step away from the overdramatic poetics let me tell you what this story is about. In Honey Girl we follow Grace Porter, a 28 year old astronomer who has just finished her doctorate and who is struggling to find a job due to a number of systemic barriers in place as her womanhood, her blackness, and her queerness alienate her from her peers in the field. On a trip to Las Vegas, Grace wakes up hungover, with a ring on her finger and champagne soaked memories of a girl that smelled of flowers and sea salt. From here we follow Grace on her delayed odyssey of self discovery as she attempts to naviagate her intense burnout and existential angst. Grace was so relatable to me and I adored her in all her complexities. This book is full to the brim with love and tenderness, not just romantic love but familial and platonic love so profound that I wanted to cry literally on every page. Grace's found family, her new wife, her new friends and the love they shared together made me so overwhelmed with emotion and any lover of the found family trope will enjoy this immensely. My favorite aspect of this is the fact that Grace has so many people who love her and care about her but this can't prevent her from feeling her lonely, burnt out, overwhelmed feelings. Loneliness is a feeling, not a state of being. That felt so real to me and I just loved being a witness to Grace's internal battles, I loved seeing Grace be loved and loving her friends so much it hurt. I just...I'm truly undone by this book, I'm tearing up just typing this shitty little review. Please read this stunning debut. It made me swoon, it made me cry, the writing is so stunningly beautiful and I've absolutely found my new favorite book. Please read it. Just Read It. Pre-release thoughts: F/F romance??? Married in Vegas trope??? Black women in love!?? Own voices???? GIMME GIMME GIMME

  3. 4 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    5*you have my heart*stars to this!❤️ Sending all the love I have to Morgan Rogers ❤️ Right now I am anything but calm plus I have been crying for an hour thinking about this book, the lonely creatures and what happens when you work too hard and don't know when to stop. This book hit a bit too close to me , like if I say it's probably going to be one of my favourite books of 2021 it's going to be a bit of understatement . "Lonely creatures, what makes us so different from the stories we tell in 5*you have my heart*stars to this!❤️ Sending all the love I have to Morgan Rogers ❤️ Right now I am anything but calm plus I have been crying for an hour thinking about this book, the lonely creatures and what happens when you work too hard and don't know when to stop. This book hit a bit too close to me , like if I say it's probably going to be one of my favourite books of 2021 it's going to be a bit of understatement . "Lonely creatures, what makes us so different from the stories we tell in the dark?" The book follows up a story of a black, lesbian, astronomer Grace Porter who like worked too hard her entire life to be what she is now and after everything is done she don't know what to do and then she meet a girl and get married to her and now she is like confused , scared , terrified that nothing is going according to her plans.  this is not a romance genre book; instead, it’s a coming-of-age novel with a romance.  The book explores the theme of academic burnout, what happens when you want to stop but can't , lonely creatures who lurk in dark, what is loneliness?? , LOVE, friendship , importance of friendship, layers of friendship, mental health, LGBTQIAP+ representation of POC. We will get back to each one of them. Now moving on to characters but before that lets all thank the author for creating such likeable and realistic characters! ✒ Grace Porter :- black, lesbian, PhD student, astronomer, Grace has lived a non-stop life because she’s never allowed herself to take a break. Eventually she gets exhausted and explodes. Now speaking of Grace ( sunkissed girl ) , I can marry her , like literally she is a total waifu material plus she makes good coffee what else I need?? But personally her character hit a bit too close , like what happens when you are working nonstop towards something and you want to take a break but you can't because the entire world is gonna go ahead of you. It's this feeling that keeps me awake nights and how Morgan Rogers touched that small niche of my heart that I safe guarded for years. And now I can't stop crying everytime I think about it. "Who else, Grace wonders, can understand loneliness if not someone who sits in solitude all their own?" ✒Yuki :- Japanese - American ,lesbian, waitress , radioshow host and monster hunter Now Yuki is my bestfriend, I can go to lengths to protect her, dare say anything about her and her stories and I will break you. She is the most beautiful lonely girl I have ever read about and I just wanna make her mine , like I wanna spend nights with her listening to Japanese mythical folktales and getting drunk and talking anything but life. "Maybe Plato knew something we didn’t. Or maybe the gods did, when they split us in half and left us to reclaim our missing fragments." ✒ Ximena (bisexual) Agnes ( bi/lesbian?) :- Grace's bestfriend + a couple Now if I get a chance I will make them my bestfriends too , like they are so cool and awesome , Ximena would be like our mom friend and Agnes would be like "dare say anything about my girls, it will be the last words you ever uttered from your goddamn mouth." ✒ Meera + Raj :- Indian- American , siblings duo, Grace's long time friends + extended family Raj would be my dad friend , like you know the one who advises you over life and shit , the wise and mature friend! Meera would be like "it's 2am wanna run off to somewhere". I love them soo much. ✒ Sani(trans character, black), Fletcher(Afro-Dominican-American, gay), Dorian(gay?) :- Yuki's roommates aka chaotic queer squad I loved how they were all chaotic and mature at the same time. All these biracial and LGBTQIAP+ representation fills my heart with so much joy. WLW " The words for wanting things to be as simple as they were on a desert night with just two girls and a locked promise." I was pulled in because of the romance plotline: Grace gets married in Vegas to someone she doesn’t know, and after that, they start talking on the phone, getting to know each other and actually falling in love. But Again, this isn’t a romance genre book so it’s not super heavy on the romance after a certain part. That being said, I did love how Yuki helps Grace grow. They have such a soft love and I couldn’t help but smile at their scenes. "Lonely creatures, she has learned, will always find each other." The book also acknowledge how parents play a really really important role in shaping kids and what it means to actually fullfill there expectations and what happens when you try hard. In short :- Honey Girl is a story of burnout: when you realize that you’re not happy and that you haven’t been happy in a long time and the journey to healing and finding happiness again. "How long she can burn before there’s nothing left. How long a thing can be buried before it combusts." And I think I have said enough and given you enough reasons to read this book. JUST READ IT!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    ARC provided by the publisher the layers of this book? everything. this is such an important (and such a swoon-worthy, lyrical, beautiful) read. rtc! <3 Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch ARC provided by the publisher the layers of this book? everything. this is such an important (and such a swoon-worthy, lyrical, beautiful) read. rtc! <3 Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

  5. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    "My question to all the lonely creatures out there is who is your siren? Who is your fellow lonely creature who sees into the very core of you and knows which song to sing? What song do they sing for you, and do you follow? What would happen if you did?" this book. THIS BOOK! i went in hoping for a great sapphic romance and i came out with a new favorite book. this is a call to all the lost and lonely people stumbling to find their way in the world. to honey girls touched by the sun and girls "My question to all the lonely creatures out there is who is your siren? Who is your fellow lonely creature who sees into the very core of you and knows which song to sing? What song do they sing for you, and do you follow? What would happen if you did?" this book. THIS BOOK! i went in hoping for a great sapphic romance and i came out with a new favorite book. this is a call to all the lost and lonely people stumbling to find their way in the world. to honey girls touched by the sun and girls who bloomed roses. it is so sapphic and wonderful and i loved every word. its a coming of age story for everyone in their twenties who have been following one path for so long they don’t know where to go when they reach the end. with queer found families, sapphic love, monster hunting and discussions of mental health, this book is truly special.

  6. 5 out of 5

    may ➹

    ur telling me this has queer found family, a Black lesbian protagonist, and a comp to Red, White, & Royal Blue??? (also irrelevant but... my power for coming on to Goodreads specifically to add this to my TBR only to see that it was already on there ❤) ur telling me this has queer found family, a Black lesbian protagonist, and a comp to Red, White, & Royal Blue??? (also irrelevant but... my power for coming on to Goodreads specifically to add this to my TBR only to see that it was already on there ❤)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    4.50 Stars. This book! Honey Girl was on my list for most anticipated books of 2021. When I found out I was accepted for a review copy, I could not have been happier. I went into this book with a lot of high expectations and I’m happy to say that this book was excellent. Grace is a hard worker and planner. She wants to be the best and needs to be the best, but everything starts to change after a drunken night in Vegas. A night that leaves her married to a women she doesn’t even know and who live 4.50 Stars. This book! Honey Girl was on my list for most anticipated books of 2021. When I found out I was accepted for a review copy, I could not have been happier. I went into this book with a lot of high expectations and I’m happy to say that this book was excellent. Grace is a hard worker and planner. She wants to be the best and needs to be the best, but everything starts to change after a drunken night in Vegas. A night that leaves her married to a women she doesn’t even know and who lives on the opposite side of the country. Can Grace pick up the pieces to get right back on track, or will Grace realize there is more to life than just what she planned? I want to first start off by mentioning that this book is really more contemporary fiction, and coming of age, then it is a romance. It does have a romance, I just figured it would be more romance focused then it actually was. I ended up still loving the book so it wasn’t an issue for me, but if you go into this expecting more of a heavy romance you might be disappointed. My biggest recommendation would be to have a box of tissues next to you while reading this. This book made me a blubbering mess and I stopped counting after I went through twelve tissues. This is not a depressing book, but it is a very emotional book. It’s about being lonely even when you are surrounded by people, it’s about needing to be accomplished and to prove to others that you made it in your life, and finally it’s about dealing with sexism and systematic racism. While there were some things I could personally relate to, there was plenty that I could not relate to. And in those cases, not relating didn’t matter one bit. It’s like I felt every emotional part deep down in my soul and the book just kept wrecking me. It’s such a testament to the fantastic writing that you feel so completely invested in the main character of Grace. Trust me and bring the tissues, you will need them. While this book could be a little more cerebral at times, I still found it very easy to be just completely absorbed by it. I read this in one sitting and I could not put the book down until I was done. I only paused to get more tissues and that was it. I loved the mix of diverse characters and found all of the secondary characters to be almost as well written as Grace. I thought the book talked about mental health in an honest way and everything just seemed well done. Really, the only baby complaint is that I wished for a little bit more. I could have used a tad more time on the romance, say maybe another chapter. And I wished the ending was just a hair longer. Actually, what would have been perfect would have been an epilogue. I know this is not a story that needed to have everything tied up in a big fat bow, but I still wanted a little more. I wanted one peek at future Grace and I think an epilogue would have made this book just about perfect for me. This is one of the better books I have read this year and I would easily recommend it. Just be aware, this book is a bit more on the cerebral contemporary fiction side than the romance side. It was wonderfully written and really got to me emotionally. Morgan Rogers is a name I won’t soon forget and I can’t wait to read more by her. An ARC was given to me for a honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    This story was beautiful. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but it’s a great coming of age story and I really related to a lot of what Grace was going through. I adored the romance in this book, and I love that Grace has a phd in astronomy, and that most of this book takes place in New York 😍 Here’s a reading vlog where I read this book and explain more of my thoughts on it: https://youtu.be/p06Cutmiyco This story was beautiful. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but it’s a great coming of age story and I really related to a lot of what Grace was going through. I adored the romance in this book, and I love that Grace has a phd in astronomy, and that most of this book takes place in New York 😍 Here’s a reading vlog where I read this book and explain more of my thoughts on it: https://youtu.be/p06Cutmiyco

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael David

    A refreshingly original take on coming to terms with one’s direction in life. Grace Porter has always been in control. At 28 years old, she has a PhD in astronomy, and she’s worked damn hard for it. To celebrate, Grace and her two best friends decide to let loose and have some fun in Las Vegas. The last thing Grace expects to do on their last night there is meet a woman, drink too much, and marry her... That is exactly what happens. Grace can’t remember all of the details the next morning, and the A refreshingly original take on coming to terms with one’s direction in life. Grace Porter has always been in control. At 28 years old, she has a PhD in astronomy, and she’s worked damn hard for it. To celebrate, Grace and her two best friends decide to let loose and have some fun in Las Vegas. The last thing Grace expects to do on their last night there is meet a woman, drink too much, and marry her... That is exactly what happens. Grace can’t remember all of the details the next morning, and the woman is gone, but there is proof the wedding occurred. As Grace tries to wrap her head around that, she also reflects on how hard she’s worked over the years, and how hard it is for her to get a job she loves. She’s highly qualified, but companies aren’t welcoming her with open arms. After all, she’s a woman, she’s Black, and she’s a lesbian. She reaches a point where she’s all of a sudden not sure what she wants out of life. After tracking down her wife, Grace decides to spend the summer in New York with her and her roommates. As they get to know each other properly and fall in love, Grace is aware that her escape to NY is temporary, and that she needs to face the obstacles and unhappiness in her life if she ever wants to heal. This is the #ownvoices debut novel from Morgan Rogers, and she does a phenomenal job of making Grace a fully fleshed out character. I felt as if I knew her and could feel the struggles she was going through. The book is at its best when painting a realistic portrait of what happens to a person when they do something unexpected that shakes them to their core. Grace feels her life went off the rails, which simultaneously reveals other struggles and hardships that she has gone through over the years...some of those with her own mother and father. She has a wonderful and eclectic group of friends around her who are always there for her. I also appreciate the handling of heavy topics like depression and anxiety. The aspect that I found less compelling was, oddly enough, the romance. I didn’t find Grace’s new wife, Yuki, to be likable. Yuki has an odd sense of humor and uses odd metaphors when speaking, some of them repeatedly. I didn’t feel the chemistry between the two women, and while I understand why it was essential to the story (as it’s the first time Grace has lost control and it sets things in motion), I much preferred when the story focused on Grace, her personal struggles, and her friends and family. All in all, an enjoyable debut that many in the book world will undoubtedly love. I’m looking forward to reading more from the author. Thank you to Park Row Books for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for this book, and providing a widget through NetGalley. The novel will be published on 2/23/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    "Everyone's just pretending they have it together, because they don't realize everyone else is pretending to have it together. None of our dumbasses actually have it together." 🙋 If this book is getting adapted, contact me for the role of Meera. This Indian family made the book so awesome! "... and you know as an Aquarius I can't deal with that like a regular human being." Yuki, hi!!! I love them so much! I love the crazy side characters as well. I mean I wouldn't have loved this story as much as I am "Everyone's just pretending they have it together, because they don't realize everyone else is pretending to have it together. None of our dumbasses actually have it together." 🙋 If this book is getting adapted, contact me for the role of Meera. This Indian family made the book so awesome! "... and you know as an Aquarius I can't deal with that like a regular human being." Yuki, hi!!! I love them so much! I love the crazy side characters as well. I mean I wouldn't have loved this story as much as I am doing now. Because a whining main character (because adulting is tiring and it's relatable to the core), a drunken night insta marriage (sounds much, much, much worse than insta love), and found family adults treating another adult like she's damn fragile and might lose her breath anytime. But it all worked for me. And I would love the same beings in my life! I need them actually 😩 I would say read this book and take your time with it. It almost feels magical. I love how the dialogues have been written. They so damn fit so well my reader soul cracks. And these characters. Where do I find such people in real life? I want to meet these nerds and weirdos (my life severely lacks them and I need them asap!) I find the writing so comforting. It hugged me from the very beginning. I really didn't want to love a book this much when it deals with such issues but well, I couldn't help it. Dear author, you're awesome! Character development is slow in the first half. Plot is there and good yet I still feel it lacked progression. *I just wish there were more parts of Agnes, Xemina, Raj, Meera (I want to know her Monsta-X song list!) and Baba. And Yuki's friends as well. I want to know more of these characters. They are so different and unique. *Do not expect a fast-paced story even though it started that way *Pick up this book when you feel like you need a good, big bear hug. It delivers just that 💖 But this book is almost perfect still! The best part is that it's so comforting throughout. The ending.... I cried.... like ugly cry..... The parent-never proud of you things.... The therapy.. the way she was still feeling guilty of everything she did. Damn.... We need to communicate more with our family members. I can relate so well with the anxiety and MDD. It's handled well and yes, dear book, it's not only the black women who are struggling like that. Most of us are in the same boat.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elle (ellexamines)

    what if we got married in Vegas... and then we moved in together... and we were both girls?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    THIS COVER! THIS CONCEPT! the sapphics s t a y w i n n i n g

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    I'm starting this one with a disclaimer: I fully intend to come back to this review in the future once I've had more time to sit with this book. I'm still unpacking it. But what I can say off the bat is that I think there's going to be some confusion with readers going into Morgan Rogers' Honey Girl thinking it's a romance based on the synopsis and then being thrown off when it's not. So let me be clear: The romance in this novel, while a key element in protagonist Grace Porter's life, definitely I'm starting this one with a disclaimer: I fully intend to come back to this review in the future once I've had more time to sit with this book. I'm still unpacking it. But what I can say off the bat is that I think there's going to be some confusion with readers going into Morgan Rogers' Honey Girl thinking it's a romance based on the synopsis and then being thrown off when it's not. So let me be clear: The romance in this novel, while a key element in protagonist Grace Porter's life, definitely isn't at the center of her story; it's about a woman's internal transformation and the feeling that she's coming-of-age a bit late. I'm not saying this is a bad thing; I'm saying it because I can already tell that people are going to go into this book with the wrong mindset and then write about their disappointment. I haven't read anything quite like Honey Girl before. It definitely has a much more cerebral and ethereal quality to it than a lot of commercial fiction/romance crossovers, which was sometimes really exquisite when reading and sometimes a tad disorienting. At this book's core is Grace's Millennial angst as she realizes that the professional path she thought she'd be on isn't working out the way she was told it would. In turn, she's neglected many other parts of her life—including her friends and mental health—in the process. Honey Girl is a debut novel, so there are a few execution issues (like a lot of side characters to keep up with and some transitions that needed to be smoothed out more), but I'm incredibly intrigued by Rogers' writing and can't wait to pick up whatever she publishes next. She's doing something different, and it's incredibly refreshing. Also, while we're here, can we talk about how stunningly GORGEOUS this cover is???? Content warning: Mental illness, racism, homophobia, self-harm

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    3.5 stars Grace Porter is not as strong as she thought she was, and instead is the lonely, terrified creature she has yet to embrace. I was immediately drawn to this beautiful cover and the blurb to go along with it. I love Vegas wedding stories and as much as I enjoyed a lot about this book, it was nothing like I expected. The writing was stunning. Absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t believe this was a debut novel. I was expecting a romance, but I personally wouldn’t classify this as a 3.5 stars Grace Porter is not as strong as she thought she was, and instead is the lonely, terrified creature she has yet to embrace. I was immediately drawn to this beautiful cover and the blurb to go along with it. I love Vegas wedding stories and as much as I enjoyed a lot about this book, it was nothing like I expected. The writing was stunning. Absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t believe this was a debut novel. I was expecting a romance, but I personally wouldn’t classify this as a romance. It has romance in it, but it’s much more a coming-of-age contemporary. Grace Porter holds herself to extremely high standards. She doesn’t let herself make mistakes and a lot of that has to do with her upbringing. Her father, also known as Colonel, expects great things from her. Grace is almost thirty and has officially completed her doctorate. Eleven years of her life was dedicated to this achievement and she’s not so sure where to go from here… Getting away from Portland and heading to NYC to meet up with her wife that she doesn’t know is very out of character for Grace, but she does it anyway. Grace goes on quite the journey in this book. She finds herself and learns that it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to change your mind and do things that make you happy. She also learns that a lot of the expectations she felt were placed on her shoulders by herself. Grace went through so much in this story and there was some heavy subject matter. This wasn’t a light story by any means. I truly loved Grace’s found family. Her older brother Raj, her friends that were like sisters to her. This book had some amazing secondary characters. I also liked how it explored the relationships she had with both of her parents. Though the writing was fantastic, I found it hard to get into at first. I think I personally would have liked it more had it been in first person. Also, I wanted so much more romance! I do think readers that don’t care so much about the romance in a book would love this. I would recommend this one and would be more than willing to check out more form this author in the future.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    Morgan Rogers' Honey Girl is as much a love story as it is a story of both blood and chosen family and finding the courage to follow your own path. Grace Porter has always been expected to be the best. Raised by a military father who tried to pressure her into studying medicine, she chose astronomy instead, and worked tirelessly to get her PhD. Now she’s expected to find the perfect job so she can change the world, but the world isn't quite ready for a Black lesbian astronomer. On a celebrator Morgan Rogers' Honey Girl is as much a love story as it is a story of both blood and chosen family and finding the courage to follow your own path. Grace Porter has always been expected to be the best. Raised by a military father who tried to pressure her into studying medicine, she chose astronomy instead, and worked tirelessly to get her PhD. Now she’s expected to find the perfect job so she can change the world, but the world isn't quite ready for a Black lesbian astronomer. On a celebratory trip to Vegas with her best friends, things go a bit awry. Grace gets extremely drunk and apparently marries a beautiful woman she doesn’t know. The woman leaves Grace before she wakes, and Grace can barely believe the events of the night before, yet there she is with a wedding ring and a picture of the ceremony. Returning to her Portland home, struggling with the job market and feeling burnt out after all of the academic work she put in for years, Grace is at a loss. All she can think of is her wife, Yuki, a waitress and radio host in NYC. Their conversations provide an anchor for Grace but also more confusion and anxiety. Unsure of what to do and chafing under parental pressure, Grace decides to go to NYC to spend the summer with Yuki. The more she gets to know her the more she falls for her. But they both know that this escape is simply a temporary respite from confronting all of the issues they face as a couple and that Grace faces individually. And at some point it all becomes too much for Grace to bear. I’ve seen some mixed reviews of this book but I absolutely loved it. Rogers’ prose was romantic, emotional, and lush, and her imagery was just so vivid. I found so many of the characters to be so appealing, people I’d love to know. I was completely hooked on this story. Park Row Books invited me to participate on the tour for Honey Girl and provided me a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available! Honey Girl publishes 2/23! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. Check out my list of the best books of the last decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    So there's a whale that calls at a 52-hertz frequency, and it's called the world's loneliest whale because no other whale uses that frequency to communicate. That's how I feel about this book: it has a specific frequency and it will resonate deeply with readers who are also on that frequency. Specific individuals will find a home in this book. Honey Girl is a novel about love. It's much more than the 'got married to a girl in Vegas' pitch, though that pitch is very effective at reeling people in So there's a whale that calls at a 52-hertz frequency, and it's called the world's loneliest whale because no other whale uses that frequency to communicate. That's how I feel about this book: it has a specific frequency and it will resonate deeply with readers who are also on that frequency. Specific individuals will find a home in this book. Honey Girl is a novel about love. It's much more than the 'got married to a girl in Vegas' pitch, though that pitch is very effective at reeling people in. I expected a rom-com and it's actually a story about discovery. It's about the love your friends provide you with, the love you can get from a found family, the love you receive from your significant other, and most importantly: the love you show to yourself. It's about how plans can be derailed, and how happiness isn't always in the form of the best-paying job at the most esteemed company, despite what society would have you believe. Grace Porter is an incredibly human character. Many readers have related to her feelings of loss and confusion and her unsurety of where she belongs (furthered because of the fact she's a Black academic in the highly-white field of astronomy). The feeling of being at a crossroads is extremely common in many individuals currently because of the entire pandemic, but you can experience that confusion of 'where do I belong' at any stage of your life. I've been experiencing over the last few months, trying to decide where I want from life, looking over two paths that lead in different directions. As a reader, I appreciated Honey Girl for letting me see my own problems from a different perspective and I think many others who are grappling with the same thing will too. Yet interestingly enough, it wasn't Grace I related to the most but her love interest Yuki Yamamoto. Mainly it's because Yuki is desperately trying to support someone she loves, but she also knows that person needs to look inward before they can look outward. It's a tough situation to be in, and it's a long and arduous process where there is nothing you can do but be patient and kind and wait for the other person. But Yuki, with her effusive optimism and her late-night radio shows beamed into the darkness of the night . . . she's such a slice of solace, a girl with the most infinite patience. (I will also admit I think there could've been a good opportunity for her to be called 'Hoshi' or have it has a middle name - hoshi meaning star - but yuki, meaning snow, also works in a different way. Also, not as catchy without that alliteration.) Morgan Rogers is an incredibly talented writer of character and prose. For sure, some people won't like their writing style. In the acknowledgements, Roger's literary agent Holly Root puts it along the lines of it being like a blue house that others will want to inhabit and others won't. And there were points where I thought to myself surely no one talks like this when reading Yuki and Grace's extremely literary and beautifully-written texts and thoughts. But you know what, it's a style choice and it's extremely beautiful writing that serves the book's overall theme well. Also, I have written some extremely dramatic and purple-prose-y messages in my time. I think many readers will find comfort in Honey Girl. There's so much I could write about this book that I've barely touched on here - the wonderful side characters, the wonderful range of rep, the use of late-night radio stations and orange farms as background settings to emphasise themes like loneliness and happiness. It's a good book to muse over, and captures the feelings of discontent and unsurety so many people struggle with but never know how to handle, because society has taught us all to just keep pushing on. Honey Girl shows that it's okay to step back and breathe - and that we should prioritise ourselves more, before we burn ourselves out to a husk. Morgan Rogers is incredibly talented, and I cannot wait to see what they write next. > 4.5 stars

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    It has to mean something that I started off the year with what is bound to become a new favourite. A few days ago, I was preordering some books and I was thinking about how badly I wanted to read Honey Girl and how much I wished I had it already. Shortly after that, I got approved for it on Netgalley, so naturally, I dove in right away. This is exactly my kind of book. It's going to be your kind of book too if you crave new adult about millennials. The thing is, our reality is so different from It has to mean something that I started off the year with what is bound to become a new favourite. A few days ago, I was preordering some books and I was thinking about how badly I wanted to read Honey Girl and how much I wished I had it already. Shortly after that, I got approved for it on Netgalley, so naturally, I dove in right away. This is exactly my kind of book. It's going to be your kind of book too if you crave new adult about millennials. The thing is, our reality is so different from previous generations, and it's strange that there's so little books reflecting that. But this one absolutely does. I was pulled in because of the romance plotline: Grace gets married in Vegas to someone she doesn't know, and after that, they start talking on the phone, getting to know each other and actually falling in love. But the romance isn't the main plotline and I stayed for Grace trying to figure out her life. Because it was so fucking relatable, and I felt her struggle so deeply. Grace and I are the same age, and we're both in a similar phase in life: you're done with uni, or you're almost done, and suddenly The Rest Of Your Life is looming over you, and you have Big Decisions to make, and you feel like you have to have everything figured out. But you don't, and you feel like you're failing somehow, and it's the most stressful thing you've ever felt. Full disclosure: this put me into such a spiral that I had to drop out of my master's because of depression. It felt therapeutic to be able to read about this struggle after I've had some time to heal. In Grace's case, she's also Black and that adds extra difficulties for her, because academia is very white and she needs to work twice as hard as everyone else and even then her merit keeps being questioned. To be clear, though, this was not a depressing book to me. I actually found it very uplifting and hopeful overall. The writing was both profound and romantic and really pulled me into the book from the start, and I loved the relationships in the book: the romance, the friends, the found families.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maëlys

    ☆ 5 / 5 ☆ “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 ☆ 5 / 5 ☆ “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. Youtube ☆ Twitter Buddy read with Melanie ♡

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christina Lauren

    With imagery that leaps from the pages, Honey Girl is a brilliant debut. A story about finding your place in the world, about finding love—and accepting it by learning to love yourself. Prepare for this one to vault its way to the top of your TBR pile. ***Edited to add our Book of the Month review!*** When you crack open Morgan Roger’s Honey Girl, the first thing you’ll notice is the power of her voice. Evocative, playful, inventive—this debut novel sings. And while Honey Girl lured us in with the With imagery that leaps from the pages, Honey Girl is a brilliant debut. A story about finding your place in the world, about finding love—and accepting it by learning to love yourself. Prepare for this one to vault its way to the top of your TBR pile. ***Edited to add our Book of the Month review!*** When you crack open Morgan Roger’s Honey Girl, the first thing you’ll notice is the power of her voice. Evocative, playful, inventive—this debut novel sings. And while Honey Girl lured us in with the powerhouse writing and an addictive married-in-Vegas trope, it was the story of Grace Porter tumbling into adulthood and learning to find herself that kept us turning the page. Queer and Black in a world that expects her to be twice as good as everyone else just to get by, Grace has never had a lazy day in her life. With her PhD finally in hand, it’s time for all that hard work to pay off—just like she’d planned. But when Grace gets drunk, marries a girl she just met, and doesn’t get the job for which she’d been recommended, she registers that she needs to take space to breathe and pick herself back up. It’s these moments of stark self-awareness, combined with Roger’s visual and emotive storytelling, that provide the oomph in this story, and its most heartfelt throughline: that life doesn’t always go to plan, and that’s okay. Honey Girl is about the journey of growing up, the importance of prioritizing mental health, and the beauty of found family. This debut speaks to the girl inside all of us who wants to be perfect, and—through bare-knuckled grit and hard-won perspective—realizes that, flaws and all, she is.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Fadwa (Word Wonders)

    At one point in the next week or so I will put my thoughts about this book into words and lay my soul bare because of that. This is one of the most touching and beautiful books I've ever read. At one point in the next week or so I will put my thoughts about this book into words and lay my soul bare because of that. This is one of the most touching and beautiful books I've ever read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Do you ever connect with a book on such a personal level that it’s almost as if it’s an extension of yourself? It’s rare, but it can happen, and this book did exactly that for me in so many ways. Where do you even start a review of a book that is *this* good? I’m not sure, but I think I’ll start here. HONEY GIRL is the story of Dr. Grace Porter, who, after just completing her PhD in astronomy, goes on a trip to Vegas, where she ends up marrying a girl who smells like salt and herbs, and who leav Do you ever connect with a book on such a personal level that it’s almost as if it’s an extension of yourself? It’s rare, but it can happen, and this book did exactly that for me in so many ways. Where do you even start a review of a book that is *this* good? I’m not sure, but I think I’ll start here. HONEY GIRL is the story of Dr. Grace Porter, who, after just completing her PhD in astronomy, goes on a trip to Vegas, where she ends up marrying a girl who smells like salt and herbs, and who leaves her a note before disappearing the next morning. In many ways, this book is exactly as you’d expect, an adorable romance about two girls who get drunk married and then continue on with their lives before finally biting the bullet and reaching out to each other, and then, of course, falling in love. But really, this book is not a love story, it’s real, it’s raw, it’s emotional and it’s honest. We’ve got Dr. Grace Porter, who doesn’t know how to stop, she doesn’t take breaks, and she’s a Porter, so she always has to be the best. Grace, who works so hard, just to be seen by a largely white-coded industry, just so she can get a foot in the door as a queer Black woman; and then there’s Yuki, Yuki who is Asian, who has a podcast where she talks about creepy stories, who is a waitress at a restaurant and who lives with 3 queer boys in New York. These two are complete opposites, and yet, they end up getting married in a champagne-pink tinted dream. Grace and Yuki both go about their lives for a little while before Grace cracks and spills about her getting married to her two best friends Ximena and Agnes. THIS FRIENDSHIP!!!!! The three of them together totally melts my heart. Xi is very driven and very much the mother of the group, and her and Grace’s bond is so strong. I adore female friendships in books when they’re done right, and this book hits the nail on the head. There’s no petty falling-out over something stupid, these three girls are strong together, and they’re strong for each other. Another thing that ties in perfectly to this is the mental health representation in this book. Grace has anxiety and depression, and Agnes is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder as well as anxiety and depression in the book. While I can’t relate to the BPD rep in this book, I can say that the anxiety and depression representation made me feel so seen, and was done SO well, and the way it’s incorporated into the book seems effortless. “I’m hoping there’s someone out there that’s listening.” When Grace finally decides it’s time for a break and she gets to meet Yuki, everything doesn’t suddenly fall into place and her life is fixed. No, things are messy, and awkward and REAL!!! Grace is still struggling; she still doesn’t know where she belongs in the world or what she wants to be doing. But for a short while, Yuki is her anchor, Yuki gives her something to focus on and gives her time to just be happy for a while. Yuki and Grace learn about each other, and they cling onto one another like they’re each other’s best thing. And just for a little while, Grace’s usual life of routines, plans and over-working herself is forgotten, and instead, she is surrounded by new people who she gets to know, new people who become her friends, new people who she grows to love. Grace gets to meet Yuki’s flatmates, all of which are adorable, may I add. And together, they go on some crazy adventures and just enjoy spending time together. One thing I especially love about this book is just how well we get to know every character; even the side characters who it may feel like we don’t see that often. I still know exactly who they are and what their background is, yet it’s not done in a way that seems info-dumpy or unnecessary. “Yuki Yamamoto, my battery is low, and it’s getting so dark” Grace’s time back at the orange groves where she grew up is incredibly bittersweet. We get to explore in-depth more of Grace’s relationship with her mother, as well as some more background on her father, Colonel, and this part of the book is a big turning point for her. Yet another thing I adored, the positive outlook on therapy displayed in this book, which, to some people, may sound odd; but it’s far too often that I read a book where a character goes to therapy and it’s either seen as bad or portrayed in a negative light. I also loved (take a shot every time I’ve said this*) that Grace went through multiple different therapists before finding the one that worked with her, because this is the reality!! Almost never do you click with the first therapist that you try, which brings me back to how realistic this book really is. The exploration of parental relationships in this book HURTS!!! Grace and her parents don’t have a ‘normal’ or ‘ideal’ relationship by any means, but the love between them all is still there and obvious in many ways. Colonel is Grace’s father and he has always pushed her to be the best and to work harder than anyone else, so when Grace inevitably breaks down and needs to rest for a bit, their relationship becomes strained, yet it’s still incredibly interesting to read about. I really can’t write a review of this book without talking about Yuki’s stories. Yuki’s podcast brings a completely unique and fresh twist to Honey Girl, and it just wouldn’t be the same without them. She spins these gorgeously dark tales about all sorts of myths and legends, my particular favourites were when she spoke about the Sirens and the Akashita. It feels so real when Yuki talks about these stories, and they’re so interesting to learn about. I cannot wait until the audiobook comes out and I can actually listen to it as if Yuki herself is telling me them <3 Morgan Rogers’ writing style is, well, it’s beautiful really. I really struggle to remember that this is a debut because it reads like someone who has been writing forever. The writing is so lyrical and there are already at least 10 different quotes from this book I’m debating getting tattooed. Every single page drips with emotion and passion, I can just tell how much anguish and heart was put into writing this book, and it really jumps off the page. Not only that, but the author is incredibly sweet and I want to be her best friend :)))) The representation packed into this book makes me SO HAPPY!!!! We characters who are trans, bi, lesbian (who actually call themselves lesbian!!), Black, Asian, gay and most likely more that I’ve forgotten to list. This book made me feel so seen, and every time I’ve read it, it feels like coming home. It’s become a comfort book for me and I truly cannot wait until I can get a physical copy to annotate the hell out of. As I said on twitter ‘ honey girl is the kind of book that you simply cannot only read once; each time, it just gets better and better, you notice new little bits of information, and it feels like coming home.’ There are many, many parts of this book that have impacted and changed my life, and as cheesy as it may sound, this book has imprinted itself in my heart forever. Another quick thing that I have to mention before wrapping this review up is how much I loved (shh) and appreciated the underlying message throughout this book that was ‘it’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to not know your place in the world, and it’s okay to need a break from real life every now and then. And of course, it’s okay to ask for help’ This is one of the very few reviews where I actually had to restrain myself, because I could easily have made this 4X longer, and spoken about each character and their relationships for a whole page, and screamed about how much this book means to me for another 3 pages. But really, this is as short as it’s going to get, and if you take anything away from this review, please let it be that this book is SO incredibly, indescribably perfect. There truly are not enough words or pages for me to be able to articulate my love for this book, but here’s just a tiny glimpse of it <3 Trigger/content warnings can be found here *THIS IS A JOKE PLEASE DON’T I CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALCOHOL POISONING 5th read: 2nd March 2021 Nobody touch me, I'm in so much pain. All the little changes from the arc to the final copy have me so emotional 😭 4th read: 7th February 2021 This book officially releases in just over 2 weeks and I cannot wait for the world to meet and fall in love with these characters and this story the way I did. This book is truly something special and I just /know/ it's going to be big and achieve amazing things!! 3rd read: 19th September 2020 yes, i finally got around to writing a full review after 3 reads of this book hehehe 2nd read: 22nd August 2020 God, this book really just unlocks a new level of ugly crying. 1st read: 9th August 2020

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bri

    *1.5 stars* Y'all... what is this? What. Is. It. Now, I knew pretty much 30 or so pages in that this book would not be for me, but since this was one of my most anticipated reads for the first quarter, I pushed through. Unfortunately, it only went downhill. My first impression of this book is that the whole "plot" was covered within the first 20 pages and kind of rinse-repeats throughout the book. Grace Porter (ugh, never wanna see that name again, Rogers repeats it SO MUCH) has just finished her *1.5 stars* Y'all... what is this? What. Is. It. Now, I knew pretty much 30 or so pages in that this book would not be for me, but since this was one of my most anticipated reads for the first quarter, I pushed through. Unfortunately, it only went downhill. My first impression of this book is that the whole "plot" was covered within the first 20 pages and kind of rinse-repeats throughout the book. Grace Porter (ugh, never wanna see that name again, Rogers repeats it SO MUCH) has just finished her PhD in astronomy and isn't sure what she wants to do next, but she feels immense pressure from her emotionally distant father to make something of herself. She goes to Vegas with her best friends and wakes up married to a Manic Pixie Japanese Girl from Brooklyn. That's really about it. This would be an intriguing story if it was written with any depth. My biggest issue with Honey Girl is that it doesn't feel authentic AT ALL. Rogers relies far too heavily on corny imagery and dreamy diversity aesthetics in her writing rather than exploring relationships and conflict between the characters. None of these characters were believable to me. And I didn't care about Grace at all and I found her to be immature for someone who is supposed to be 28 years old. Even though I too am a queer Black millennial with burnout, I didn't identify with Grace's existential dread simply because I wasn't convinced she had any problems!!!! After spending soo many years getting her PhD (in astronomy, which I'm 100% Rogers chose b/c she's into astrology and wanted to make a million universe/star metaphors), she had a job lined up in her advisor's lab but didn't want it. Cool. She bombed an interview. Ok. Then she acted like the world was ending and she would be homeless and her life would be over. Which was absolutely not the case. She had the opportunity to take a break and do something else, working on an orange grove in Florida with her mother, but she cared way too much about her strict military father's approval, which she didn't have anyway because she didn't become a medical doctor like he expected her to. I can't even say that I understood their relationship dynamics because none of the dialogue was realistic! There's one part where she's about to go on this trip to Vegas and her dad is like "Don't let this trip ruin your chances of having a career" or something to that effect. Who says that to their 28 year old daughter??? No one. I just didn't buy the characters in this book. No one had any depth, especially Grace's friends, and that made her relationships seem very cringe and forced. She allegedly loves her 2 friends "so much it hurts" but there was maybe one page of context for how they came to be so close, and they often just tell her not to cry and don't really provide meaningful support other than physical contact. I pretty much didn't care for anyone in this book because they all seemed like distorted facsimiles of what "diversity" is supposed to look like. I didn't like that Grace is biracial--the author is a fat monoracial Black woman and that would've made a more compelling character TO ME--and she honestly read as a white girl. I didn't relate to her and the rare cultural conflicts/moments seemed half-baked and thrown in to remind the reader that you're supposed to be reading about a woman of color. Most of her friends were multi-ethnic and queer but it all felt so fake and more of what someone imagines cool Portland/New York gays are like rather than how they actually could be if they were actual people with depth. The best line in this book actually is when one of Yuki's friends in Brooklyn is like "fuck white people!" and ironically that's the line that earned most of the 1 star reviews lmao Even the romance part rang hollow to me. I didn't feel any connection to Grace and Yuki's relationship because it was based on cloudy images from a barely remembered drunken night in Vegas. I honestly would've just preferred if Rogers spent the book focusing on Grace's struggle to figure out her path in life and breaking free from her father's overbearing expectations. But alas, I had to read over and over her stilted entanglement with this Japanese waitress with a radio show who, for unclear reasons, is convinced Grace "was chosen by the sun" and her "honey gold hair" and "sea salt and crushed herbs" and "star girl" so many times I wanted to vom. NEXT! _______________________________________ Hate to say it but this book was a huge disappointment. Full, ranty review to come.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    4.5/5 Stars This novel wasn't what I was expecting, it surprised me, but it did so in the best way possible. I loved the characters it portrayed, they feel real, well-rounded and they are well characterized. It's such a good group of people that truly care for each other, their bonds were tangible. I'm glad these "lonely creatures" got the chance to find each other when they needed it most. Love means truly showing yourself to others, all of you, no parts hidden and this book conveys this message 4.5/5 Stars This novel wasn't what I was expecting, it surprised me, but it did so in the best way possible. I loved the characters it portrayed, they feel real, well-rounded and they are well characterized. It's such a good group of people that truly care for each other, their bonds were tangible. I'm glad these "lonely creatures" got the chance to find each other when they needed it most. Love means truly showing yourself to others, all of you, no parts hidden and this book conveys this message so beautifully. I also really appreciated how this novel tackled themes such as mental health, expectations we put on ourselves, and family dynamics. You can see a lot of work went into these aspects. The only thing I wanted more of was the romance, I liked how the concept of the drunk wedding in Vegas was approached, it was definitely new and interesting. Grace and Yuki's relationship was so delicate and precious, I just would have loved to read more of it. If this was Morgan Rogers' debut novel, I'm so looking forward to seeing what comes next!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    it’s midnight and i’m still blinking away a couple stray tears, but i’ll still attempt to get out a couple coherent thoughts about this book, because it was damn near perfect, imo. this is a book for any twenty-something who has ever felt lost and alone and crushed under the weight of other people’s expectations that you absorb over time until you trick yourself into thinking they’re your own. for anyone who has finished their education and has had to reckon with that “oh, shit, what comes next? it’s midnight and i’m still blinking away a couple stray tears, but i’ll still attempt to get out a couple coherent thoughts about this book, because it was damn near perfect, imo. this is a book for any twenty-something who has ever felt lost and alone and crushed under the weight of other people’s expectations that you absorb over time until you trick yourself into thinking they’re your own. for anyone who has finished their education and has had to reckon with that “oh, shit, what comes next?” feeling. it’s about a queer Black girl with a doctorate in astronomy finding herself in a world that too often doesn’t make space for any single part of her, let alone all of her. and most importantly, it’s about holding onto the people you meet along the way who will help you gather the pieces of yourself off the floor until you can figure out how to fit them into something vaguely resembling a person again.

  25. 4 out of 5

    cossette

    honey girl is one of the most exquisite books i've ever read; it's a tale spun out of stars; a million warm hugs and tough-love conversations wrapped in tales of lonely monsters and folklore. i will be thinking about honey girl for a long, long time. about grace, and yuki and being a people pleaser & living up to expectations & what it means to be the best. words that so deeply resonated with me + were things i needed to hear so badly. i'm so glad i got to read it ahead of its release & i cannot honey girl is one of the most exquisite books i've ever read; it's a tale spun out of stars; a million warm hugs and tough-love conversations wrapped in tales of lonely monsters and folklore. i will be thinking about honey girl for a long, long time. about grace, and yuki and being a people pleaser & living up to expectations & what it means to be the best. words that so deeply resonated with me + were things i needed to hear so badly. i'm so glad i got to read it ahead of its release & i cannot wait to reread it again and again when it’s out. full review to come + will be posted on my blog closer to publication date ! 🤍

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dahlia

    What a special book. I’m glad I happened to see the author tweet that it’s not really a romance before I read it so my expectations were in a more accurate place, but really, nothing prepared me for how moving this was, how well it encapsulated what people want when they beg for New Adult fiction, despite the MC being 28-29. The romance is cute as hell, but it’s so much more about dealing with expectations from your family and yourself and of society (especially and particularly as a queer Black What a special book. I’m glad I happened to see the author tweet that it’s not really a romance before I read it so my expectations were in a more accurate place, but really, nothing prepared me for how moving this was, how well it encapsulated what people want when they beg for New Adult fiction, despite the MC being 28-29. The romance is cute as hell, but it’s so much more about dealing with expectations from your family and yourself and of society (especially and particularly as a queer Black woman) and I just wanted to hand this out to so many people I know would probably find it an incredibly cathartic and insightful read. There’s so much found family in here, and it’s not nearly as tropey a book as it sounds but I hope everyone reads it and loves it anyway. (CW: self-harm)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Landice (Manic Femme)

    OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD! Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers was basically flawless. It was everything I could have wanted in a book and just. I have no words. I know I’m supposed to write a review so I’ll come back and do that soon but for now: this is the book of my heart, I have never felt so seen as an anxious lesbian Millennial perfectionist, and I need everyone to go pre-order it IMMEDIATELY. Update (12.14.20): I've been struggling to put all the feelings I have about Honey Girl by Morgan Roge OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD! Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers was basically flawless. It was everything I could have wanted in a book and just. I have no words. I know I’m supposed to write a review so I’ll come back and do that soon but for now: this is the book of my heart, I have never felt so seen as an anxious lesbian Millennial perfectionist, and I need everyone to go pre-order it IMMEDIATELY. Update (12.14.20): I've been struggling to put all the feelings I have about Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers into words for weeks now. Sometimes, when you love a book so wholly, so completely, it's hard to explain why because nothing you say feels adequate. That was my experience with this book. ⠀ ⠀ Full disclosure: I've never understood the trend of people who give books bad ratings because they "can't relate" to the characters. That's not why I read books. If I do happen to relate to the characters in a book, it's just an added bonus for me. That being said, I've been tangled up in how to discuss the intricacies of this novel. Yes, as an anxious millenial lesbian perfectionist, I am partially an #OwnVoices reviewer for this title, but I'm also a white. I haven't experienced racism or colorism, like Grace, the main character of Honey Girl does, and I never will. But I know what it's like to feel as though I'm not enough. I know what it's like to try so, so hard to be perfect that it leads to burnout. And I know how fucking hard it is to live your whole life this way, crash & burn, then undertake the long, difficult journey of healing and recovery. I fully mean it when I say this is the book of my heart. ⠀ ⠀ I was having a conversation with a friend last night and she made a comment about how, to her, she doesn't look to 'relate' to a book. She aims for reflection. For seeing aspects of herself in other humans, regardless of how different she is from the characters. I'd never heard it put that way, but it perfectly encapsulates what Honey Girl was for me. ⠀ ⠀ I don't think anything I can say about this book will ever be enough, but I will absolutely continuing yelling about Honey Girl to anyone who will listen. Synopsis in comments! Please read this book! You won't regret it ❤️ Thank you so, so much to Park Row Books/HTB for the advance copy to review. All opinions and flailing are my own. Love sapphic books, too? Let's be friends! Bookstagram | Booktube | Book Blog | Twitter

  28. 4 out of 5

    literarylesbian

    This book is a work of art. The depiction of mental health really resonated to me and was really relatable to my own experience. The complexities of each of the characters was so refreshing. Each character had flaws, which really relates to the motif of perfectionism in the book. I also loved that while the main character struggled due to their queer identity, the whole “coming-out” thing wasn’t the main conflict. I will recommend Honey Girl with my last dying breath. I’m completely, and utterly This book is a work of art. The depiction of mental health really resonated to me and was really relatable to my own experience. The complexities of each of the characters was so refreshing. Each character had flaws, which really relates to the motif of perfectionism in the book. I also loved that while the main character struggled due to their queer identity, the whole “coming-out” thing wasn’t the main conflict. I will recommend Honey Girl with my last dying breath. I’m completely, and utterly enamored with this book. I look forward to seeing what Morgan Rogers does next!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    A beautiful, charming, must-read lesbian romance For most of her life, Grace Porter has done everything right. She's followed her father's (aka the Colonel) orders, living life according to the rigid "Porter way." Now she's twenty-eight, with a newly acquired PhD in astronomy. On a girl's trip to Vegas, Grace strays from her workaholic, straitlaced ways, gets drunk and marries a girl she's just met. Upon returning home, Grace feels burned out and less fulfilled about finally attaining her degree A beautiful, charming, must-read lesbian romance For most of her life, Grace Porter has done everything right. She's followed her father's (aka the Colonel) orders, living life according to the rigid "Porter way." Now she's twenty-eight, with a newly acquired PhD in astronomy. On a girl's trip to Vegas, Grace strays from her workaholic, straitlaced ways, gets drunk and marries a girl she's just met. Upon returning home, Grace feels burned out and less fulfilled about finally attaining her degree than expected. So she leaves home (and her father's expectations) to spend time in New York with a wife she doesn't remember and certainly doesn't know. In New York with Yuki, Grace feels something real for her new wife. But acknowledging her feelings for Yuki will also mean confronting what made her flee home in the first place. "I got married last night, Grace thinks. To a girl with rosebuds on her cheeks. To a girl whose name I don't even know. I should be screaming." I loved this book so much I could cry. (I did cry.) Oh Grace, my sweet, emotional girl, and oh this book. This beautiful book. Do not go into HONEY GIRL thinking it is a gimmicky read because of the Vegas marriage premise. It's a real, heart-wrenching book that will rip and tear at your soul. But don't worry, this is a good thing. Because this is a ridiculously romantic and adorable story, as well as a nuanced coming-of-age/finding yourself (hey, it can happen at twenty-eight) story. "Have you ever gone to bed thinking of someone you only knew for a night? Have you ever stared up at the sky and wondered where it was you saw yourself, all those years ago? Which star it was you followed here?" Rogers writes with a lyrical beauty. She gives us Grace and Yuki, two sweet, lovely, flawed, real characters whom I adored. As for Grace, I wanted nothing but good for her. I identified so much with an anxious workaholic crippled by the expectations of her parents. ("Being angry at his unattainable expectations is so much easier than accepting that the only ones I have to meet are my own." -- I think I may need to have this bronzed, as it sums up my life.) Grace struggles with the pressures placed on her by her ex-military father, by intense racism that makes it difficult to succeed in a field where she's extremely qualified, and with mental health/anxiety issues. Rogers handles all of these excellently, covering them so well in her story, along with Grace and Yuri's burgeoning relationship. It seems like it should be too much for one book, but everything fits perfectly together. Honestly, no review of mine can do this book justice. I love the characters of Grace and Yuri and the supporting cast is excellent (and the book is diverse). It's hilarious and funny yet deftly and kindly covers mental health issues. It also takes an insightful look at racism--especially in academia--and how difficult it makes life for Grace. There's romance, friendship, family, and so much more. I loved it all, and I highly highly recommend HONEY GIRL. I cannot wait to read what Morgan Rogers writes next. 4.5+ stars. Thanks to Netgalley and Park Row Books for my copy in return for an unbiased review. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb

  30. 5 out of 5

    Meryl Wilsner

    My most anticipated 2021 book didn't let me down at all. This book emotionally devastated me. Reading it was like therapy. I am blown away by Morgan Rogers's writing. After I finished, I kept carrying the book around with me anyway because I couldn't bear to put it down. Just absolutely fantastic. FYI: it is more women's fiction than romance--the focus is on the main character rather than the relationship. My most anticipated 2021 book didn't let me down at all. This book emotionally devastated me. Reading it was like therapy. I am blown away by Morgan Rogers's writing. After I finished, I kept carrying the book around with me anyway because I couldn't bear to put it down. Just absolutely fantastic. FYI: it is more women's fiction than romance--the focus is on the main character rather than the relationship.

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