I was lucky enough to be the first person at my local library to get my hands on the recently acquired copy of anticipated new release Honey Girl, and though I am by no means under any obligation to review this one, I’m going to, because it made me desperately happy.
Honey Girl is about Grace Porter, a woman with a whole slew of problems finally hitting her in the chest after she finished her pHd. She’s now Dr. Grace Porter, but she’s also in a field where there are very few, if any, women of color, and she is expected by her father and the world to be some kind of strong, invulnerable thing. She’s a Porter, and Porters survive. Our story begins when she gets wasted in Vegas and marries Yuki Yamamoto, a waitress with a radio show all about monsters and myths.
It’s a classic romance trope, but one used to tell one of the most beautiful stories of learning how to love yourself and be vulnerable that I’ve read in a long time. I think a lot of us readers who love to learn get in our academia-centered brain, all about being the best and doing the best and getting the best grades. Sometimes you feel like being the best is the only thing that can make you worth anything. Morgan Rogers uses this book to remind us that loving ourselves and finding out what makes us happy and content is what “best” should mean. Best doesn’t have to mean best in the world, it just has to mean best for you. Whatever that looks like.
The romance in this book is achingly beautiful. If you like romantic asides and infatuation and soulmates, you’ll like the romance. If you’re not one for soulmates, you may find it a bit cheesy- I think that this is a good thing. I’d suggest reading it even if you don’t love those types of tropes, because the characters still feel so real and human.
It’s got an extremely diverse cast, with diverse lives and issues. Side characters are treated as humans, and their problems don’t easily wrap up at the end of the book. My personal favorite thing about this book is that there is a character who is (sort of spoiler?) diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Having seen this disorder demonized and used solely in villains and antagonists has always been something that’s hard for me, being an individual with bipolar depression myself, but the character in this book is treated with love. She is a character who gives love and is loved in return. She is a flawed character, but one who loves fiercely and cares about the people in her life. She’s in therapy and struggling to keep her head above water, but she’s doing the best she can and surviving all the while. The depiction of this character being flawed, mentally ill, but also completely lovable, made my heart soar. I want to thank Morgan Rogers for this. I may not have any leg to stand on discussing any other representation in this book, but she put a lot of love and care into that one, and it showed. Thank you.
Read this book if you want to remember to love yourself. Read this book if you want to smile at beautifully written monster radio shows. Read this book if you love the power of friendship and of the hundreds of different kinds of love in the world. Read this book if you have a complicated relationship with your parents, but you love them all the same.
Read this book if you are flawed and achingly human. You will feel seen between its pages.