The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

Title: The Honeys
Author: Ryan La Sala (He/They/She)
Publisher: Scholastic Inc/I Read YA
Genre/s and Tags: Horror, Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, Queer/LGBTQIA+, Fiction, School Stories/Boarding School
Goodreads synopsis:

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.

But the longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay. Mars’s memories begin to falter, bleached beneath the relentless summer sun. Something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can’t find it soon, it will eat him alive. 

Mood Boards:

ID: A collage of nine photos on a dark background with a blue/purple black hole behind the photos. There are photos of: A rainbow over a beach, a knife on a tree stump, a cabin overlooking a mountain view, a rocky mountain view, four people laying interlocked eating lollipops and smiling, a close up of a bee in a plant, A person with a septum piercing, two beekeepers handling honeycomb, three people wearing pink sitting together. End ID.
ID: A collage of nine photos on a dark background with a blue/purple black hole behind the photos. There are photos of: a cabin in the mountains, a police line (yellow tape reading “crime scene do not cross”), a person standing on a rock within water, a misty forest in the mountains, three people with their arms around each other’s backs from the back, a flower with bees flying around it at sunset, a person wearing makeup and a hood, a gloved hand zipping a body bag, and a yellow sign on a wooden trellis that says “Bee Crossing” with a bee in between the words. End ID.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Book Shop | Blackwell’s

ID: My left white hand holds up a physical ARC of The Honeys in front of a blooming Rose of Sharon bush. The flowers are a pale purple color. End ID.

Check out my Instagram tour post here!

Full Review:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thank you to Colored Pages Blog Tours and the publisher for my review copy in exchange for an honest review and promo. All opinions are my own.

I feel like I have too many emotions after reading this, but like SOMEONE TELL ME THERE WILL BE A SEQUEL! This book is like dark academia, but summer camp cult version.

I have no idea how to summarize this book, but I think everyone needs to read it. This was so good. It was dark it certain aspects and I am so here for this bee cult!! I loved Mars and seeing them get close to the Honeys. There were so many interesting character relationships and I loved like every second of it. I also really loved how Mars describes his genderfluidity! While I am more in the complete agender side of things, the description just made so much sense and made me feel valid.

I basically marathon-ed this book because I was so invested and I had to know what happened immediately. So here am I no thoughts only vibes. But pick this book up when it comes out! You won’t regret it!

Rep: white achillean genderfluid MC, white female side character with terminal cancer (dies in the first chapter), BIPOC lesbian female side character, white gay male side character, white questioning male side character.

CWs: Blood, bullying (current and past mentions), death, gaslighting, grief, homophobia/homomisia, injury/injury detail, misogyny, murder/attempted murder, sexism, sexual harassment, transphobia/transmisia, violence. Moderate: abandonment, cancer, death of parent, kidnapping, terminal illness. Brief: fire.


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