Hi everybody! I hope you’re all taking care of yourselves! I finally got round to reading my most anticipated release of 2021 – Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers – and oh boy, I knew that it was going to be good, but I would never have guessed how hard it would hit me!
Title: Honey Girl
Author: Morgan Rogers
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBT, Adult
Synopsis: 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.
I’m going to preface this review by telling you all that I cried the whole time I was reading this book – not just a few tears streaming down my face every so often, but heavy sobs that made me have to read with my glasses off so that I could see the pages! Honey Girl follows Grace who has recently graduated with a PhD in astronomy, is dealing with having to live up to her parents’ expectations of her, and struggling in a job market that just doesn’t seem to want her. And then she gets married in Vegas one night, to the beautiful and wild Yuki who hosts a late night radio show for lonely people. Grace decides that she needs a break and so takes off to New York to be with Yuki, and learns some heavy truths while doing so.
I knew months ago, when I first saw the synopsis of this book, that this was definitely going to strike a chord with me. I am the first child (and first grandchild) and have had to deal with all of my family’s expectations for years (the first time I got a C I cried!) while practically begging for them to say that they were proud of me. I am also a highly qualified interpreter and translator who speaks several languages and yet I have graduated into a job market that has turned around and said, actually, despite your years of training for a career in a field that needs highly skilled professionals yet doesn’t pay you all that much anyway, we don’t want you. Also, having gone from working my ass off in a both very practical and very theoretical degree for years, sacrificing my mental health the whole time, to being stuck in my parents’ house applying to several jobs every day to not even receive a rejection email, I can really relate to Grace as a main character. And yet, I could never have foreseen myself crying as much as I did!
Starting off, Morgan Roger’s writing is absolutely phenomenal. It’s lyrical, heartfelt and deep, and of course, oh-so-quotable! My copy of the book is already filled to the brim with underlines and annotations, and I just know that it will be gaining even more every time I re-read it! The characters she has created are so wonderful and this book contains one of the few found families I have ever read in a contemporary novel, and it is by far one of my favourites! The family and friends that Grace surrounds herself with really are the most special group of people and the love they have for each other is unmatched! The book is also jam packed full of queer characters and characters of colour and it was delightful! There is also a great deal of discussion on mental health and self harm, which was another area in which I just felt so, so seen.
I loved Grace and Yuki, both individually and in their relationships. I found myself relating to Grace so so heavily, although I’ve already talked about that enough, but Yuki, her wife, was just so wonderful! She was honest and wild and angry and passionate and I loved her! The snippets of her radio show never failed to make me sob even harder – the concept alone of a late night radio show for lonely people to listen to and connect with, to feel heard, made me ache, and Yuki’s exploration of monsters and the human psyche just really hit home!
This book is about hope, about doing what’s best for you, about taking a break, and about letting people in, and it really means the world to me. I’m sure you’ve already seen countless people telling you to read this book, but I’m going to add my voice to theirs. This book made me feel seen in ways I’ve never felt seen before and I cannot recommend this book enough. I already know that it’s not only going to be a favourite read of 2021, but of all time, and fingers crossed that when I have the guts to pick it up again, that I cry a little less next time!