Honey Girl by Lisa Freeman [spoiler-free review]


 

Title: Honey Girl
Author: Lisa Freeman
Paperback: 288 pages
Publication Date: March 17th 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, LGBTQIA+
Rating: star icon star icon star iconstar icon

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I was sent this book from the publicist for an honest review. This does not change my opinions of the book in any way.

Set in the summer of 1972 in California, we follow 15 year old, Nani who is dealing with the loss of her father, discovering herself and trying to fit in with the honey girls on the beach. This story was very unique because it’s about a Hawaiian girl living in 1972 when girls were not allowed to surf and being gay wasn’t accepted. We see scenes of how you were treated if you were gay and it saddened me. There is a scene where a gay man is beat up and screamed at for being gay. It was fascinating to learn about how different it was then vs now.

Nani is a complex character who is dealing with her mother, now a widow and living somewhere that isn’t Hawaii, her home. Throughout the story, Nani is focused on following rules she was taught to abide by to become a honey girl herself. Nani grows a liking to the lead honey girl, Rox and discovers that she likes boys and girls. Nani also gets involved in typical teenage drama with the group of girls they consider their enemies.

However, the story was very slow for me and I didn’t feel that there was much emphasis on Nani having a crush on Rox. This story is full of emotion and grief while Nani is grieving the loss of her father and trying to figure out a way to dump his ashes into the ocean where he belongs. Honey Girl has a lot going on, having me confused at times but I did enjoy the read overall. The writing is easy to read and Lisa Freeman includes Hawaiian slang words which are explained in English plus there is a glossary of some of the words in the back of the book. It was fun to learn some Hawaiian words, it was very different!

Historical fiction is not a genre I normally read therefore I cannot comment on the way Freeman executed it. But, it did feel like I was in the time period and setting in California. Freeman also includes mentioning of Nani’s father’s routine of  planting marijuana before his passing.

I do believe that this is a great summer read for young readers because of Nani as a character and discovering her sexuality. I will be continuing on with the sequel, Riptide Summer. A link to my review will be posted here when it is live.

Biannual Bibliothon & Booktube-A-Thon TBR!


The two biggest read-a-thon’s on Booktube are overlapping each other. I like to participate in both, being in the Booktube community. So, I combined my TBR with the challenges from each readathon.

Booktubeathon is hosted by Ariel Bissett on YouTube, for other information there is a Twitter, Instagram and a YouTube channel announcing the readathon and challenges. There are also Instagram challenges you can take part in.

The Biannual Bibliothon is hosted by a group of Booktubers: Emmmabooks, Kelly’s Book Spill, Little Red Reader, Brittni’s Book Find, Little Book Owl, The Booktube Girl, and Meagan Precourt.  This readathon hosts Instagram challenges, and NEW! blog challenges that are being announced on the Instagram.

For more information there is a Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channel. 

For both readathons, I will only be completing the reading challenges & Instagram challenges not the video challenges.


Onto the TBR…..

BOOKTUBE-A-THON: 

A book with a person on the cover: Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here by Anna Breslaw 

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Read a HYPED book – I’m torn between two very popular and hyped books that I’ve seen on Booktube lately. My two options are I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson and Geekerella (which I’ve already read some of when I was sent the book for review, a few months ago). We’ll see what my heart desires!

Finish a book in one day – I chose a graphic novel for this because graphic novels are perfect for readathons. I’ve been enjoying them lately, and I’m sad this is the last one I own!

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Read a character that is very different from you – I recently bought What We Left Behind by Robin Talley while I visited one of my favorite small bookstores on vacation. The MC is genderqueer and I’m excited to read more about it.

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Finish a book outdoors – I have I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo for this challenge but it also fits the other challenges; person on the cover and character that is very different from you.

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Biannual Bibliothon: 

Host’s favorite genre: I chose Emma and her favorite genre is Diverse Books. I will be reading I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE by Maurene Goo for this challenge.

LGBTQIAP+ Character: I chose What We Left Behind by Robin Talley. The main character is genderqueer.

Throwback: Pick any challenge they have done in the past. Luckily, they had a graphic novel challenge which I’ll be reading Anya’s Ghost to complete this challenge.

Read a book you have seen outside of booktube (my suggestion!!) – I first saw I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE on book blogs and haven’t seen it much on Booktube.


 

So, that’s my ambitious TBR! If you’re joining these readathons, I wish you good luck and happy reading!!

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Currently…


I’ve been pretty inactive with blogging lately because of my full-time job that’s taken all of my time and energy. So, I figured I’d do this post for a change and update on what I’ve been currently liking.

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Currently reading: Honey Girl by Lisa Freeman & I’m almost done!

Currently next on my TBR: Lucky in Love by Kasie West. My pre-order arrived early!!

Currently listening to: I’ve still been listening to After Laughter by Paramore because it’s on my iPhone and the most accessible. Also, at the moment Shape of You by Ed Sheeran is stuck in my head.

Currently watching on YouTube:  I rarely watch TV, so I watch a lot of YouTube. Lately, I’ve just been catching up on my sub feed but I’m really into vlogs. I like watching Monica Church and Jill Cimorelli (ExtraJill)

Currently eating: Chobani flip. I’ve been eating them recently for work, some of my faves: Cinnamon Bun Fun, Strawberry Summer Crisp & S’mores.

Currently drinking: While writing this post, I’m drinking my brewed coffee with cream and sugar. Lately, I’ve just been drinking water.

Currently craving: I crave random things because I’m always thinking about food. I’m craving a pretzel with cheese from Wawa, which is a store near me. They make some good pretzels with cheese.

Currently wearing: I’m going on vacation starting tomorrow, so I bought some new clothes. At the moment, I’m wearing a tie dye Vans shirt that I got from Poshmark & shorts because it’s going to be in the high 80’s today.

Currently anticipating this book release: What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Currently recommending: The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle, recently read it and it was amazing!

Currently editing: Reacting to Booktuber’s First Videos

Currently uploaded: Signed books and Author stories

Currently waiting for: VACATION!! I can’t wait to be on the beach and read the books I brought.


I might be doing these more frequently, let me know if you enjoy these! 🙂 Have a great weekend.

 

LGBTQIAP+ Book Recommendations


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Better late than never, June was Pride Month for the LGBTQPIA+ community. I love reading about characters in this community to better my knowledge. In June, I read LGBTQIAP+ characters and I found some new favorites. In this post, I will be recommending some of my favorites that I’ve read! I have this same post from last year, if you want more recommendations!


 

TRANSGENDER MC:

Coffee Boy by Austin Chant #ownvoices — This is a short story about a transgender man and how he is treated in the workplace. There also includes a bisexual man and a work romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the rep!

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo #ownvoices — Amanda is moving in with her father after a series of events that occurred at her old school. This story shows a lighter version of a teenage transgender girl. Amanda gains a great friend group, and a romance ensues with a football player. However, we do see how Amanda is treated for being transgender and it’s not pretty.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson —  This story follows two boys, David and Leo. David is not open about being transgender and has yet to tell his parents. However, his friends are the only ones who know. When another boy, Leo moves to David’s school, David tries to befriend him and the story evolves from there. I absolutely loved this book!! For more, read my spoiler free review. 

M/M ROMANCE:

True Letters From a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan — This book is SO underrated. James is discovering his sexuality through his drunken talks with his best friend. He soon realizes that he has feelings for his best friend. James has a lot on his plate especially trying to make ends meet with his girlfriend. James writes fictional letters as if he was out to his family and friends, one day they disappear and he has to figure out who has them. This is a great story about a teen in Vermont coming to terms with his sexuality. Also, a cute m/m romance & hockey references!!

Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall — Kyle and Gideon have been best friends since they were young. Kyle has been out to his family and to Gideon about his bisexuality, he’s finally ready to come out to his girlfriend Ruby. As for Gideon, he’s realizing he has feelings for Kyle. This book is a cute romance with some serious topics such as life after college & a parent losing their job. This story was inspired by the Taylor Swift fan made music video following two boys. Watch it here. 

Bisexual MC:

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How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake #ownvoices — I recently read this book and I will be recommending it to everyone. Grace comes back from her trip to Boston to discover that yet again, her mother is moving in with another new guy. Grace’s mother is very toxic and struggles with an alcohol problem. But, to Grace she doesn’t know anything other than this life. Grace meets Eva, a girl who is living with Grace’s best friend Luca and his mother, Emmy after Eva’s mother, a friend of Emmy’s dies. Eva is a lesbian and Grace is bisexual, they develop a beautiful romance that includes eating peanut butter in a lighthouse. I loved this book and the representation is very accurate. Eva is also a biracial character and emphasizes on her struggle.

This book does include alcoholism {trigger warning}.


 

These are just a few of my favorites! I hope you’ll pick them up.

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My Favorite Bookish Shops That Make GREAT Gifts!


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I’ve been wanting to do a post dedicated to some of my favorite online bookish shops that I’ve purchased from! If you have a birthday coming up for a book lover in your life or you want to treat yo’ self.  I hope this list can help you! Feel free to share your favorite shops with me, too!

These are all my photos that I’ve taken. 

Disclaimer: This are all my recommendations, I’m not a rep or anything! I just want to recommend these small businesses! 

**These are only shops that I have purchased from!**


The MacBath 

They make literary soaps and other bath items made from goats milk. I found out about this shop from my Book Boyfriend Box in December when I received a Pride & Prejudice soap and I loved it so much that I bought the Hamilton soap just a few months ago!

These come in many literary themes such as Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and more classics! These are definitely something I would give as a gift because they’re useful and anyone who is a fan of literature like these, will appreciate these!


Wick and Fable

Soy candles and organic tea inspired by your favorite books and fandoms. These include Gilmore Girls, Outlander, Six of Crows and Harry Potter plus much more. I’ve only gotten this candle from them but I will highly recommend it. But, I’ve gotten the tea in subscription boxes and it’s just loose tea.

I’m a huge fan of Gilmore Girls and I love the smell of this candle. It smells just like it’s described: Roasted coffee, mocha and brown sugar.

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NerdyGrlDesigns

If you’re looking for a bookmark, I highly recommend NerdyGrlDesign. They have regular bookmarks, magnetic bookmarks and stickers! Mostly their design is watercolor and that’s what makes it stand out. The magnetic bookmarks are very sturdy and they don’t bend the paper. I’ve gotten two bookmarks from this business and I’ll keep buying more!

Bookworm Boutique

This shop contains bookish and fandom designs for all things! I especially love my mug from this company, I got it through RedBubble but now BB is only on Society6. I love their designs, they’re very cute and the sayings are very #relatable! I highly recommend this shop for any gift such as a tote bag, mug, throw pillow,  or even a phone case!

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 These are just a few shops that I’ve ordered from that I wanted to shout out, in case you’re in need of a new bookish/fandom related shop! Let me know what your favorite shop is that I didn’t mention!

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READ O RAMA Round 7 Wrap Up


Read O Rama was successful again!! Thank you to everyone who participated in reading with us, and the Twitter sprints! I had a blast and got some reading done myself. Unfortuantely, I was going to update throughout the week and my computer decided to start having issues and it had to be fixed. Never fear, I’m back and I’m going to show you what I read.

+ click the titles to go to my Goodreads review.

1. Coffee Boy by Alex Chant (89 pages)

#ownvoices, less than 150 pages

2. How To Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (328 pages) five stars

#ownvoices challenge, book with water on the cover

3. This One Summer by Markio Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki (319 pages) five stars 

graphic novel, water on the cover

4. The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle ( 200 pages read, finished Sunday *after the readathon)

RAMA in the Title.

TOTAL PAGES: 936 pages


Overall, I would say I had a successful week of reading!! Now, I continue on to my reading for Emojiathon.

READ O RAMA Days 1 & 2 Updates


Better late than never, the first day of read-o-rama is almost over! I’ve plugged this readathon my channel but I wanted to promote it here too! This year, I’ve been hosting Read O Rama, a readathon created by Chloe @ Brunette Bibliophile, co-hosted by Elizabeth @ The Owlery along with myself and April Sarah. 

This readathon is running from June 11th to the 17th. You can still join us, if you’d like! But, we’ll be back before the year is over, too.

Follow us on Twitter for sprints.  We also have a giveaway running until the end of the readathon.

DAY 1:

80 % read of Coffee Boy by Austin Chant

Books read: 0

DAY 2:

Finished Coffee Boy by Austin Chant (89 pages)

Started How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (37 pages read)

Books read: 1

TOTAL PAGES: 126


Coffee Boy by Austin Chant – a short review 

This is a short story following a transgender boy, Kieran starting an internship in politics that he was recommended for by a professor of his, Marcus. Coffee Boy explores Kieran’s sexuality and how he is perceived by others and it does not sugar coat the struggles those who are transgender deal with on a daily basis such as being misgendered. Coffee Boy ALSO includes a bisexual character and includes bisexuality in general. I would’ve rated this 5 stars, however I had to skim the last few pages because the sex scenes were in depth and graphic, which I was not expecting! :O Just personally, I couldn’t read those scenes. Coffee Boy has great rep and I loved seeing a story of a transgender boy in the workplace and going into adulthood (he’s 23 y.o.) versus Young Adult, which I’m used to.

I can’t express enough how great the LGBTQIA+ representation was and I LOOOVED the mention of pins to indicate sexuality or that Kieran wears a pronoun pin. I loved how real this story was and I highly recommend.