Honey Girl

Finished Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

A refreshingly timely and relatable debut novel about a young woman whose life plans fall apart when she meets her wife.

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 on a really good reading streak lately, books that have been excellent and exactly what I needed to read.

Honey Girl is not the book I expected. We’ve all seen the rom-coms of the strangers who get married in Vegas because they were drunk and they ended up falling in love, right? And it’s perfect and sweet and probably incredibly sappy and unrealistic? This is not that story.

Yes, Grace and Yuki are drunk in Vegas and yes they get married. But that’s not really the point of the story. They have issues and they need help working through them. They are broken in some ways and incredibly strong in others. (In short, they’re like basically everyone on the planet, right?)

But while many aspects of this story are universal, one is very specific. Grace is repeatedly challenged by people in her field. She’s accused of getting uncredited help on research projects and forced to leave a conference early because of it and, while trying to get a job after earning her doctorate, she’s told that she may not fit in with a company’s “culture.” It’s absolutely infuriating, and it’s also incredibly valuable to the story. Grace is an astronomer and a perfectionist but there are things like this that are far outside her control. How she will move forward from here is an integral piece of the story.

And this is not a love story, except for the fact that it really is. It’s incredibly sweet and romantic in parts, but it’s a love story for familial relationships, too, and the special bond you have with your friends, the people who know you best. And most of all, it’s about loving yourself enough to stop making the same mistakes and falling into the same patterns. I love this book so much and I hope that Morgan Rogers releases a new one soon. (And I hope it’s centered around these friends because I already really miss them.)

Highly recommended.

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