Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Blog Tour: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

*Review Copy. 


Welcome to the first blog tour of 2021, for the much anticipated Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers.

Grace wakes up slow like molasses. The only difference is molasses is sweet, and this - the dry mouth and the pounding headache - is sour. She wakes up to the blinding desert sun, to heat that infiltrates the windows and warms her brown skin, even in late March.

Her alarm buzzes as the champagne-bubble dream pops.

Grace wakes in Las Vegas instead of her apartment in Portland, and she groans.

She's still in last night's clothes, ripped high-waisted jeans and a cropped, white BRIDE t-shirt she didn't pack. The bed is warm, which isn't surprising. But as Grace moves, shifts and tries to remember how to work her limbs, she notices it's a different kind of warm. The bed, the covers, the smooth cotton pillowcase beside her, is body-warm. Sleep-warm.

The hotel bed smells like sea-salt and spell herbs. The kind people cut up and put in tea, in bottles, soaking into oil and sealed with a little chant. It smells like kitchen magic.

She finds the will to roll over into the warm patch. Her memories begin to trickle in from the night before like a movie in rewind. There were bright lights and too-sweet drinks and one club after another. There was a girl with rose-pink cheeks and pitch-black hair and yes, sea-salt and sage behind her ears and over the soft, veiny parts of her wrists. Her name clings to the tip of Grace's tongue but does not pull free. 

The movie in Grace's head fast-forwards. The girl's hand stayed clutched in hers for the rest of the night. Her mouth was pretty pink. She clung to Grace's elbow and whispered, 'Stay with me,' when Agnes and Ximena decided to go back to the hotel.

Stay with me, she said, and Grace did. Follow me, she said, like Grace was used to doing. Follow your alarm. Follow your schedule. Follow your rubric. Follow your graduation plan. Follow a salt and sage girl through a city of lights and find yourself at the steps of a church.

Maybe it wasn't a church. It didn't seem like one. A place with fake flowers and red carpet and a man in a white suit. A fake priest. Two girls giggled through champagne bubbles and said yes. Grace covers her eyes and sees it play out.

'Jesus,' she mutters, sitting up suddenly and clutching the sheets to keep herself steady. 
Excerpt copyright Morgan Rogers ©

Grace Porter, newly graduated Doctor of Astronomy, has done something VERY un-Grace-Porter-like. She appears to have met a girl in Vegas and gotten married - but she has no idea who the girl is. Left only with a photo and a business card for a late night radio talkshow in Brooklyn, Grace needs to figure out what happened and work out if she has just made the biggest mistake of her well-planned life, or if her future really was written in the stars. 

I adored this book so much. It's beautiful. It's emotional, funny, relatable - the author does such a wonderful job portraying Grace's sheer exhaustion at wanting to stick to "THE PLAN", please her parents, but also find happiness for herself. By Grace's age (28), we're expected to have everything fiured out, but Grace is stuck. Racism and Sexism hinder her job prospects, and she's drowning under the weight of her father's expectations. This beautiful mystery woman may just be the push to the surface she needs - but Grace still has to learn to swim to shore. 

This is a beautiful story about finding your way even when you have a path, and about defining what "success" actually means for you. It's also a look at mental health, familial & societal pressures, and the extra expectations placed upon Black women entering the workplace. A stunning #ownvoices debut. 

This one may be a little harder to track down in Ireland or the UK - but please do, it's worth it. 

Honey Girl is published by Park Row books and was released on February 23, 2021. 

Thank you to Lia at Harper Collins for having me on this blog tour and for the ARC via Netgalley.

I have linked some of the others on the tour below so you can check out their reviews if you're interested in hearing more about this book (or just interested in finding more book blogs to read). 

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