CultureReviews

“Honey Girl” Review: A highly praised debut novel is not worth the read

Photo by McKenzie Heileman
*Spoilers ahead*

Though highly anticipated and now highly praised, “Honey Girl” by Morgan Rogers, published in 2021, is not worth the read, lacking value, substance and relatability. 

Grace Porter, a highly accomplished and hard working individual, travels to Las Vegas with a group of friends to celebrate receiving her Ph.D. in astronomy. While in Las Vegas, Grace drunkenly marries a girl she barely knows, but feels highly drawn to. 

After returning home, Grace is struggling with feeling satisfied with her life accomplishments, especially knowing her father disapproves of her choice in astronomy. With this weighing on her, she decides to spend the summer in New York with the girl she married in Las Vegas. 

Though Grace is avoiding her problems during the summer, she must face reality and figure out what she’s truly been running from  —  the fear of being human. 

[Photo of the book “Honey Girl” by Morgan Rogers]
Photo by McKenzie Heileman | The Arbiter

From the summary alone, “Honey Girl” sounds like a story of self-discovery and self-love. This novel does have positives, such as gay and POC representation, but for the most part, this novel is amateurly written, lacking substance, truth and any real value.

For example, readers should not take Grace for an example as someone trying to find themselves, as many 20-somethings are trying to do. She makes rash decisions based on what others think, not what she feels she should do for herself. 

The first and primary problem I have with this novel is that Grace and her wife, Yuki, are irreversibly in love after spending one drunken night together in Las Vegas. Though they do spend a summer together in New York, that doesn’t seem to be enough time to justify staying married.

At the end of the novel, after experiencing some problems in their relationship, the two declare their undying love for one another. It is unrealistic. 

The second problem I have with this story is that Grace cannot be an independent woman, completely relying upon other people to make and influence her decisions. 

Grace depends on her father’s expectations to guide her through her education and ultimately chooses her field based on her father’s negative influence. She did not choose astronomy because she truly loved it, but because she knew her father would not approve of it. 

At the end of the story, when Grace must make a decision for her career, she chooses the career based on where Yuki lives. She does not choose the career because that is what she wants, but because it is where Yuki resides. 

These two decisions are major life choices and Grace makes them based on other people. Throughout the novel, these choices end up disappointing her, but she does not seem to realize that her disappointment stems from her making these decisions based on what other people think she should do. 

These two problems ruined the entire story for me, as well as the amaeteur writing, which lacked any sort of lyrical prose and often included unnecessary added elements, like text messages. 

Despite this story’s overall comforting and sweet story, its lack of value, substance and truth makes the novel an unrealistic and unpleasant read.

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