Have you ever done something spontaneous that changed your life forever? Have you ever wanted to? Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers is the story of a woman who, against her better judgement and everything she’s been taught, gets drunk and marries a beautiful girl in Las Vegas. She’d just gotten her PhD in Astronomy, and in a celebratory weekend in Vegas finds a woman who sparks a carefree joy in her she’d forgotten how to feel.
28-year-old Grace Porter had a Plan. It was the plan of every middle-class Millennial: graduate high school, go to college, get a job, be the best. When she wakes up one morning in Vegas with a wedding ring on her finger and a note from her new wife, she’s lost. Her Plan is in jeopardy, and the more she thinks about it, the more she wonders whether this is such a bad thing. Grace is terrifyingly close to burning out, and her new wife, across the country in New York, seems to offer her an escape from the pressure to succeed.
This story really hit home with me; Grace, on her journey, learns what it means to love yourself, and just how powerful that love can be. She’s faced with the dilemma we’re all faced when going out into the world: play it safe and do what you think will make your parents proud, or find your own way and learn to be happy on your terms?
Honey Girl had me in tears from start to finish. Learning to love yourself is hard, and letting go of your parents’ expectations is just as difficult. Grace learning to trust herself, her friends, and her family even when she’s prioritizing herself and her health was a really touching journey, and one I think a lot of people our age can relate to. Her struggles with discrimination, mental health, and trauma feel real, and you can’t help but empathize. You’re rewarded for that empathy by being allowed to see her growth.
I will offer a trigger warning for this novel for self-harm and abuse. Neither are depicted in a romanticized way, nor are they unnecessarily graphic. Both are depicted as obstacles Grace has to overcome on her path of growth.
If you’ve been feeling a little lost, overwhelmed, or anxious about the future, this story is a great one. It’s real, honest, and hopeful, and might help you remember that your best is good enough, and being successful means being happy.