TITLE: The Honeys
AUTHOR: Ryan La Sala
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
RELEASE DATE: August 2, 2022
GENRES: Horror Young Adult LGBT Contemporary,
Mystery Queer Thriller Fiction Mystery Thriller Boarding School
BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Honeys-Ryan-Sala/dp/133874531X
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 gender fluidity 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.
Thoughts and Themes: When I first heard about this book I really wanted to read it because I love YA horror. I rarely read it because I am always worried that I won’t understand the book or get a different ending than others do. I was so glad that I gave this book a try because it was so hard for me to put down once I got into the story.
There was so much that I really enjoyed throughout this book and the main portion that I liked about this book was how often I had to put it aside because I was scared. I really liked the camp setting for this book because I felt it lent itself well to the horror genre. I loved the portion where scary stories are being told and trying to figure out if these stories would play into the plot at some times. I also had to hide the book at this point because of how scared I was and how it made me think about the dark.
Characters: In this book, you are introduced to several characters through their interactions with our main character, Mars. Throughout the book, you get to meet Wyatt, the Honeys, some other campers, and other staff members at camp.
I really liked the relationship that we see developed between Mars and Wyatt. I loved how they have a friendship that isn’t typical but also how we see that they have feelings for each other that aren’t said upfront. I like how while this story has a romance piece involved this isn’t what the center of the book is about.
I also really liked reading about the relationship that Mars develops with each of the honeys. This portion of the book isn’t seen too much and the relationships feel very superficial but they are important to Mars’ development. I really liked seeing how they added to the mystery of who Caroline was and how she got to be in the state she was when she died. I also like how hanging out with the Honeys changes the way that Mars feels about themselves and how we get to see a shift in how Wyatt views them when they are around the Honeys.
Writing Style: This story is told in first person through the perspective of our main character, Mars. I really liked that this story was told through their perspective because we only know as much as he knows. We don’t know much more than the things that Mars is figuring out throughout the story therefore we are just as surprised as they are while reading.
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. 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?