Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers takes the classic rom-com “I married a stranger in Vegas” trope and turns into so much more than just a simple romance. When Grace finds herself hungover in Vegas with a mysterious (and attractive) woman in her bed, she has to figure out whether the chemistry she shared with the stranger can be permanent.
While Honey Girl is pitched to readers as a romance novel, it is so much more than that. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good romance novel and that’s why I picked up the book. That said, it was a lovely joy to discover that the novel has so much more hidden depth. Rogers describes it best in her discussion of how she submitted the novel to editors, “It’s first and foremost a coming-of-age [novel], even though those usually skew much younger in age. I’m younger than Grace. I’m 28, but it feels like a time where you can have this rebirth, grow, learn, and figure out who you want to be and where you want to go from here” (Bitch Media interview with the author). While the bildungsroman (a fancy German word for coming of age literature) typically focuses on teenagers and young adult characters, it was really refreshing to see someone in their late twenties also struggle with figuring out their place in the world.
For the last few months, many people, even the most avid readers, have been having trouble picking up a book and getting through more than a few pages before their minds start to wander. My colleague Kasey wrote about this recently and I can certainly relate.
One way that I have been coping with the anxiety of these uncertain times, besides my weekend stress baking, is reading more romance novels. Romance is often considered an escape. It tends to be about regular people living their lives, and you know there will be a happy ending, whether it’s happily ever after or happy for now. There’s something comforting about that, and even the predictability of the story lines can be reassuring – you know what’s likely to happen but you get invested in the characters and you continue the story to its satisfying conclusion. Continue reading
In these uncertain times, I find myself wanting to turn to happy books. While romance is often criticized for being shallow and idealistic (trust me, I’ve heard it all before), I think it’s the perfect escape. I will admit that some plot points are cheesy but I like the idea that there’s a guaranteed happily ever after. I also find that main characters, especially in more recent novels, tend to be feminist and recognize that love does not solve all of their problems. If you’re looking for a happy escape like I am, feel free to check out any of my suggestions below! They’re all available on Hoopla, free and without wait times. The only condition is that you’re limited to ten titles a month, so I would choose wisely.
Crazy Stupid Love by Amanda Heger: This rom-com has a fantasy twist in which the descendants of Greek gods live on earth. It’s been described as “Percy Jackson for romance fans” and it’s probably the best pitch I’ve ever heard.