Cover Image: Honey Girl

Honey Girl

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Member Reviews

This book was good! I really enjoyed the fact that the characters were LGTBQIA+ and you'll zip right through this book because the reader is invested in their happiness. This one focuses a lot on self love and improvement before committing to a relationship and I found that highly endearing.
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Absolutely sweet and enticing. I love that the main characters both had some things to work through before getting together fully. *chef's kiss*
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Enjoyable read, especially as someone who also struggles with "adulting" and how to move on from the educational life into the right position. How do we even know? Sometimes I felt like I should know more about the  fringe characters as well, because they were pretty interesting. Rogers could write about each one of these characters and get me to read it so that's always a plus. I loved the heart of it all.
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Enjoyed this debut novel by Morgan Rogers. The characters were well developed and the issues felt particularly real and raw.
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I don't even know how to describe how wonderful this Honey Girl is. I cried so many times while reading it, but I felt so full when I was done. Every sapphic person under 30 needs to read this book (at a minimum - I would also highly recommend it to people not in that category).
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<i>Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.</i>

<i>Honey Girl</i> was my most anticipated release for 2021. My favorite type of character is one who is awkward, overachieving, and trying to find their place in the world, and Grace Porter seemed to fit that description when I read the synopsis. Although I enjoyed the book, it was not exactly what I was expecting. There were definitely some clear strengths and weaknesses here. 

The Good:
If you're looking for a book with great mental health representation, this one is for you. I thought the portrayal of anxiety, depression, and overworking oneself in order to uphold the expectations of others was very relatable. I appreciated the conversations Grace had with her friends and family about her mental health, and thought it was great that she openly discussed having a therapist. The family relationship dynamics were also well done. Grace and her family have very different expectations for her life, which causes Grace to really struggle with her sense of self. I liked that Grace was able to allow herself to get angry over time, because it is not always easy to go against your parents' wishes. Furthermore, if you love fun, quirky side characters, there are plenty in this book. I loved that the cast of characters were diverse and real. I kind of wish we got to see more of them because they were all so lovely. 

The Not So Good:
With the way this book is marketed, I was expecting it to be a romance. I think the book itself was expecting it to be a romance too. But this is not a romance. Sure, there is a romantic relationship in it, but this book is about mental health and family--which is a good thing! But I do wish the romantic relationship was further explored. I don't mind books without romance, and actually tend to prefer books without romance, but I felt like the relationship kept getting referenced without it truly being explored. It was like it was supposed to be a big plot point...but wasn't. More glaringly though, this book struggled with writing style. I would point to this being the biggest flaw of the book, and the main reason why I didn't fall in love with it like I was expecting. The book was so boring and slow at the beginning, that it took me weeks to finish. After I got past the first half of the book, I finished it in a day, but the beginning part was almost enough to make me quit. Furthermore, the writing was incredibly repetitive. This was especially evident in the dialogue, which came off as unrealistic and forced. For example, the main character is almost exclusively referenced by her full name Grace Porter, or just by her last name. This came off as awkward and clunky, especially since the name was used so often. In real life, when two people are talking, they rarely use each other's names in conversation. It isn't necessary. The people know they are talking to each other. The repetitiveness of name usage might seem like a minor detail, but it was very distracting while actually reading the book. I was overly aware of it, and found myself focusing more on the writing style. 

A Little Note:
One thing that I wish was discussed more was Grace's self harm. This was briefly mentioned in the book, but I think it was a more serious issue than it was made out to be. 

Overall, <i>Honey Girl</i> is a great book if you're looking for an adult contemporary about mental health and family. You won't find too much romance here, but it is openly discussed that Grace is sapphic. Although I really struggled with the writing style, this is Morgan Rogers's debut, so I'm excited to see more in the future.
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Honey Girl is a lyrical, dreamy haze of love of all kinds: queer platonic, romantic, and self love. A realistic portrayal of new adult life and struggles, I really admired the way this book interrogated identity and emotional. My only hope is that it was a little longer. I think there were a few plot lines that I wish were a little more fleshed out and given more room to breathe and carry weight. However, overall I was really touched by this book and I think it deserves to be widely loved!
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First, this cover is stunning. It captures the essence of the book and character nicely. I enjoyed this read.
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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. 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...
 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. 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.
Grace Porter is not as strong as she thought she was, and instead is the lonely, terrified creature she has yet to embrace.
I love the way the author handles sensitive subjects such as depression, family expectations, lesbianism.
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Great characters, and story. The main character’s storyline was a little bit too buttoned up for how young she was, and I felt like she still had some living to do.
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Review // Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

❓ Coming-of-age Story, Romance, Black Lit, LGBTQ+ Lit

💗 Character-Driven, Emotional, Lyrical, #ownvoices

📖 Careful, cautious and tightly-wound Grace Porter just got married. In Vegas. To a total stranger. As she deals with the fallout from her out-of-character adventure, she also has to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life. Needless to say, things are complicated... and totally unexpected.

⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

"What happened in Vegas is tucked away in her suitcase. It is under her shirt in the shape of a key. It is hidden in her hair with the last little bits of dried petals. It hides in the gold ring wrapped around her finger like a brand."

Things to Know:
✨ I loved this book! From the universal themes to the poetic and truly beautiful writing, it was one of the best debuts I've read in a long time.

✨ Honey Girl is a story of identity. Grace is a Ph.D. candidate in astronomy, and the book dives deep into what it's like to be a Black, Queer woman in both STEM and higher education - the unfair roadblocks, the fight for equality, and the scrutiny from both faculty and family. If you're a woman in a field that's highly dominated by men, this one's for you.

✨ Honey Girl is also a love story. Rogers very much focused on Queer joy - Grace being gay was just a fact; it wasn't a point of contention in her life. She was loved and supported for who she was, and found solace in her new, unexpected relationship. The romance made me SWOON.

✨ I absolutely loved the focus on strong female friendships, found family, and the normalizing of mental health.

✨ Grace did read very young at times, and I had to remind myself that she wasn't a teenager but a married PhD candidate. The book teeters between YA and adult contemporary.

✨ Don't even get me started on the Hedwig and the Angry Inch references! 😍

"If you're out there, Honey Girl, I am singing you a song. It's a good song; it won't lure you to the depth of the ocean. It's a song that leads you just to me, I think, if you're listening."

Read If You Like:
📚 Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
🎶 Married in Vegas by The Vamps
📺 Jane the Virgin
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Title: Honey Girl	
Author: Morgan Rogers
Genre:  New Adult Contemporary
Pages: 241
Publication Date: 2/23/2021

Grace Porter goes to Las Vegas to celebrate her graduation with a PhD in astronomy. While she is there, she gets drunk and marries a woman whose name she does not know. Grace Porter does not do spontaneous things – she lives her life according to a plan. Marrying someone she didn’t know is a pretty big departure from her norm. Her new wife is gone when she wakes up the next morning. The novel focuses on how Grace sorts out her next steps in her career considering this very spontaneous event.  Grace slowly gets to know this mysterious woman, Yuki.  In this review, I am going to talk about the three main reasons why I loved this book. 

First, while you may not be able to relate to getting a PhD in astronomy, many of us can relate to the idea that we have a “master plan.” I have never seen a book tackle this topic with so much authenticity. I felt like I was reading about my own struggles of my late 20’s and 30’s. What does happiness look like – especially when you have been so focused on a singular goal like advanced education? What happens when happiness is not what you or your parents or society had planned for you? How do you reconcile those feelings?  

Second, this book tackles mental health in such a real, meaningful fashion. It shows Grace learning how to be vulnerable and show her weaknesses- and why those are critical to her happiness and emotional well-being. I also thought showing the therapist selection process was illuminating as it shows the work it takes to find a good fit with what you need. What I liked was the focus on healing and learning from the diagnoses instead of focusing on the disease itself.   

Third, the author does an excellent job showing the community that surrounds Grace. The queer community often talks about the concept of found family and the author just nailed it. The menagerie of roommates, friends, coworkers, bosses, parents just brought this world to life and are shown with such depth and substance. I also loved how the author showed the flaws and shortcomings of the parents in a subtle way.  In many books, we see extremes in parents – either the fantastic or terrible abusive parents and not much focus on the middle ground. Both Grace’s mother and father have deep flaws in this book but are doing what they believe is best for Grace.  We see their growth as well.      

I absolutely loved this book. I cannot praise this book enough. It is in the top five books I’ve read of all time.  If you are someone who has ever struggled with not “living” up to your “perceived potential,” or the “plan” that you set for yourself, you will see yourself in this book.  Please go and read this book. 

#HoneyGirl #NetGalley
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First let me say that I chose to read this book knowing it was way out of my comfort zone. I wanted to get a feel for a different style of book. Next, I will admit it was not my favorite, but not for the reasons one might assume. 

I liked this book; it was not my favorite, but it was also not the worst. I liked many of the characters, and the situation of "Now what do I do?" that Grace Porter faces feels very real and relatable to me. (Who among us hasn't prepared for something for a very long time, only to get a "no" or closed door for their troubles? Exactly my point.)

The relationships among the characters are complex. Grace has strained relationships with both of her parents, and they seem real. The working-through of those feelings was well done. That being said, the romance between Grace and Yuki does not feel real to me. It feels almost forced at times. I am not sure why, but that is my impression.

The last thing I'll say is that this book took me a very long time to get through. It was not enough to hold my sustained attention, and I attribute that to the pacing and long segments of conversation that happen in the book.

Overall, recommended for those readers who like long, intense, emotional relationship books.

Thank you to NetGalley and Park Row Books for a review copy.
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My Favorite Quote:   “You deserve better than some place that doesn’t’want you in all your glory.”

Honey Girl kicks off with a romantic story about Grave Porter – millennial, Black woman, astronomy PhD – who wakes up after a wild night in Vegas married to a woman she does not know. 

Rogers has written a great story with heart, humor and honesty tackling an issue many millennials deal with  life after college and for many –  lacking  job prospects for a black, lesbian astronomer.  Dr. Grace Porter has devoted over 10 years of her life earning her PhD in astronomy.  And she cannot find a job!!!!  She is feeling lost and displaced in her own life.  She decides to take off to New York City to meet the woman she married and hopefully find purpose.

Honey Girl is filled with great characters of friendships and support.  Grace’s friends Ximena, Agnes, and Raj seem like my close friends.  Each of them wants Grace to conquer the world and her field.  For Grace, she is learning to stop trying to live up to her father’s ridiculous standards. 

Honey Girl demonstrates a story of compassion and insight. It tells the story of a young black woman who learns to embrace herself just the way she is. It celebrates her challenges seeking the perfect job and the triumphs of finding love and acceptance.

Rogers’  debut novel surprises you with great dialogue and she tackles complicated issues with warmth, humor, and truth.  It is a celebration of women.  I am sure many readers will find it as important, enlightening, and entertaining.
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I tried. I really did. Over halfway through the book and I was BORED. The narrator rambles on and it was so boring. There was a hook in the very beginning and then was wasted. I felt like this needed more editing. DNF
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Honey Girl was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021. Knowing that Grace Porter is in her late 20s and struggling with her place and path in life was something that called to the shadowy parts I like to keep hidden in me, especially as I approach my late twenties myself. I was further drawn in by the promise of sapphic love between two women of color, which is something I crave more representation of. Morgan Rogers' debut novel surpassed my expectations, far and beyond the furthest reaches of the galaxy. It was almost bittersweet having to keep turning the pages and eventually come to the end of this book. 

While Honey Girl had less of a focus on the romance than I anticipated, the love depicted through friendships/found family in the story is absolutely radiant. Multiple times while reading, I found myself in or near tears simply because of how magnificent and tender yet fierce the love between Grace and her friends is. Not only is it a book beyond my dreams, but it is one overflowing with messages that I did not know I desperately needed to hear. Words that believe will cling to my bones, lift me, haunt me, and continue to sing in my heart for a long time to come. Thank you to Park Row and Netgalley for granting me this ARC.
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I read this book over a few days and enjoyed.  Since there are no half stars I gave it a 3 because it's not a 4 star book.  Grace Porter is a recent graduate from University, she's just completed her degree in Astronomy and is ready to start her career.  Except for one thing... her trip to Las Vegas.  On her trip to Las Vegas she gets drunk and get married to someone who she doesn't know.  She doesn't even know her name.. except for a few details for a note left behind...
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Honey Girl was not quite what I was expecting. This is not a light read, though it is charming and sweet. And Vegas marriage is quite the trope! But in reality, this is a book about figuring out who you are, maybe at the same time as admitting who you are not, and how the expectations of others aren't enough to live on. I'm not sure this was a book for me, but I do think it was beautifully written, and it does a wonderful job of depicting real challenges in a loving and accepting way. Bonus points for a great depiction of many characters with mental health issues on top of (despite?) their other idiosyncrasies. Four stars for me, but I can see how this might be just the right fit for many other readers.
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I know this book has been getting rave reviews all over.  But I ended up DNFing it at about 20%.  I couldn't get behind the main character.  Just in the small part that  read, she made so many ridiculous life choices.  I just had no desire to read any more about it..
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Honey Girl is a beautiful story, with a unique, memorable writing style. It's a lovely story. Definitely go in understanding it's not a romance novel to have the right expectations.
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