The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

The Honeys. 4.25/5 stars, YA novel, 344 pages, 2022

Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline’s radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who’d grown tragically distant.

Mars’s genderfluidity means he’s often excluded from the traditions — and expectations — of his politically-connected family. This includes attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. But with his grief still fresh, he insists on attending in her place.

What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor. Mars seeks out his sister’s old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys, named for the beehives they maintain behind their cabin. They are beautiful and terrifying — and Mars is certain they’re connected to Caroline’s death. from Goodreads

What did I just read? A seemingly recognizable story of a teen twin on the search for what happened after their other half died turns into…a dreamlike coming of age story, in a way. I really don’t want to say more. I went in blind and think it’s best you do too, but only if you are in the mood for something bizarrely different.

My favorite part of the book was the gender fluid, oft maligned, main character Mars. He is a character I’m not likely to forget. It really was his coming of age story, every sweet, honeyed drop of it.

I listened to the fantastic audio of this very mind bending book. The production was top notch and I would highly recommend experiencing the story this way. But only if you’re in an open state of mind 🙂

Love this thought…

“The way they talk about themselves—with such frankness—it feels like all people are wet clay, all the shapes that define us self-imposed. I realize this fits into the way I’ve always seen myself, which is: art, attempted, though often spoiled by the demands of another’s taste. It makes me wonder what shape I’d be if I’d never met another human being.”

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