Book Review: The Honeys

THE HONEYS | Ryan La Sala
08.16.2022 | PUSH
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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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 sister. Mars’s gender fluidity 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. 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.

THE HONEYS was my first novel from Ryan La Sala and I think I might officially be obsessed! 

I’ve said it a million times before, but just to remind the world, I’m a sucker for a summer camp setting. Aspen Conservancy is filled with old-fashioned traditions that clash blaringly with Mars, causing him to immediately feel isolated during a time of intense grieving. There’s something much more sinister lurking that the reader gets to discover along with Mars. It’s hard to describe what is truly happening at Aspen without giving away too much of the plot, but I’ll just say it’s weird, disturbing, and most definitely a little gross! I loved every moment of it! 

La Sala manages to pack so much into this story with all sorts of twists along the way and even a little bit of romance that tugs at the heartstrings. Beneath all of the wonderful YA horror elements of this story are a series of important topics being discussed. La Sala treats all of these topics with a level of grace and kindness that feels like the most welcoming hug possible. It’s so easy to feel alone, which we see with Mars, but La Sala is there to remind us all that whatever we’re experiencing, we don’t need to face it by ourselves and that there are people out there that care. 

I absolutely recommend this book to everyone!

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