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.

LGTBQIA RECS! #PrideMonth


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June is #PrideMonth! So, in honor of Pride Month I am sharing with you some of my favorite LGBTQIA reads that you should read if you haven’t already! Or.. re-read? Fine by me!

  1. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – This is my favorite LGBT book, ever!  It follows the internet relationship of Simon Spier and Blue, they met through Tumblr and the book is written in some of their emails which are adorable! The friends, family & relationship in this book is so great, I can’t express enough how much I love this book.

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3af15-wgwg2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan & John Green – This is such a great book that features LGBTQ characters. The book starts off with Will Grayson (#1) and his online relationship which leads to him meeting another LGBT character. This book is hilarious, uplifting and you will love the characters. Also suggest the musical companion to this, Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper story by David Levithan

3. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley – This is one of my favorite books of the year, I highly recommend it. This book deals with Solomon Reed and his agoraphobia and severe panic attacks. He isn’t openly gay, but his family is supportive nonetheless.

4.24464110 Signs Point To Yes by Sandy Hall – Sandy Hall is one of my favorite contemporary authors and I just read this book last month. In terms of LGBTQ, there is Margot who is not openly bi-sexual. We see her in the stages of wanting to come out to her parents, who are very strict. This story is a great summer read, set in the summer with triple POV. Following Margot’s sister, Jane who picks up a summer babysitting job and becomes friendly with their brother. Great read with a bi-sexual character with a road trip involved! MY REVIEW.

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5. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – This is a book I will always recommend because it’s quirky and fun! In this story, Lola Nolan is the daughter of two fathers – Andy and Nathan. They’re so funny and great parents to Lola! We also see Lola’s love life!

43270666. Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – This book is a classic in my opinion, it’s so great and forever one of my favorite books. We follow Charlie, who is a freshman in high school through letters he is sending to a hypothetical “friend” throughout his first year of high school. In this book, LGBT is incorporated so nicely and I loved it.

 

7. 22692740Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin– Recently finished this last week and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I will be recommending this along with Simon forever. This is an excellent book about a gender fluid teen, Riley who has transferred to a new school due to severe bullying. Riley creates a blog that goes viral and Riley finds that as an outlet to the LGBTQIA community. I devoured this book and loved all of the LGBTQ aspects that are incorporated, it is definitely very educational and such a good read. Please, please go read this.

 


What are some of your favorite LGBTQIA books? I’m always looking forward to reading more, it’s one of my favorite genres! I love being educated on the LGBTQIA community!