I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
Published by PUSH on August 16, 2022
Genres: YA Horror, YA LGBTQ, YA Paranormal, YA Thriller
From Ryan La Sala, the wildly popular author of Reverie, comes a twisted and tantalizing horror novel set amidst the bucolic splendor of a secluded summer retreat.
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.
“Pure horror gold.” – Booklist STARRED review
“Tantalizing and memorable.” – Publisher’s Weekly STARRED review
“As rich and complex as dark amber honey.” – Kirkus
Ryan talks about THE HONEYS:
Wow, this was a very interesting and unique book! And honestly, I’m not even sure quite how to review it. It definitely had a lot of suspense and kept me wondering what in the world was going on with the bees and the girls called the Honeys. It had great representation for the LGBTQ+ since the main character, Mars, was gender fluid. Only at camp, Mars had to fit in as a guy because that is part of the reason he’d left the camp in the first place even when his sister Caroline continued going. It’s hard to write this because I know I am supposed to use they/their probably for Mars’s pronouns. Not that I have a problem with that, just have to make sure I’m remembering to do it correctly! So forgive my use of he/his above.
The whole camp set up was interesting. I have never been to a summer camp in any form, so while I’ve read about them and watched tv shows about them, I have nothing to compare any of what I read here. But I found it interesting that they had the campers wear all white uniforms. That seems like an issue with a summer camp and doing things in the outdoors. I did love how the campers had majors and electives. That was really cool sounding!
The cast of characters was quite extensive and varied, and all of them fit into the plot in a unique way. I also loved getting to know the Honeys. Not knowing if they were really sweet and welcoming to Mars, or if they were actually being two-faced and we couldn’t trust them. There was also Wyatt, I wasn’t sure if he was really being a good friend to Mars, or if he was really a spy for the people who ran the camp since it was his family.
While at times I felt the book might have been a little long, the ending is so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, and I loved it!
About the Author
Ryan La Sala writes about surreal things happening to queer people.
Ryan resides in New York City, but only physically. Escapist to the core, he spends most of his time in the astral planes and only takes up corporeal form for special occasions, like brunch and to watch anime (which is banned on the astral planes).
Ryan is the author behind the riotously imaginative Reverie, and the brilliantly constructed Be Dazzled, and the highly anticipated The Honeys. He has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Tor.com, and one time Shangela from RuPaul’s Drag Race called him cute. Right in the middle of the road downtown! So. Pretty big deal all around, yes?
His next book, The Honeys, will be publish with Scholastic on August 16, 2022.
1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE HONEYS, US Only.
Ends August 23rd, Midnight EST.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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