cover image The Honeys

The Honeys

Ryan La Sala. Push, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-338-7453-1-3

Tantalizing and memorable, La Sala’s (Be Dazzled) elite summer camp–set horror novel is a tribute to the healing and revolutionary power of solidarity. Seventeen-year-old white-cued, gender-fluid Mars Matthias has always been “eccentric” compared to their accomplished twin sister Caroline, especially in the eyes of their politically connected parents. To keep up appearances after Caroline’s sudden death following a harrowing incident in which she seemingly tried to harm Mars, Mars’s parents allege that she died from cancer, citing a sudden health decline preceding her death. But Mars suspects foul play. Taking Caroline’s place at Aspen Summer Academy, a prestigious Catskills summer camp, Mars is determined to investigate. At Aspen, they’re drawn to Caroline’s beekeeping cabinmates, the Honeys: pale Mimi, “tall, tan” Sierra, and brown-skinned lesbian Bria. The Honeys provide Mars with a community, accepting them for who they are, despite Aspen’s binary pressures. But the more secrets Mars uncovers, the more convinced they become that something at Aspen is responsible for Caroline’s death. La Sala’s slow plot reveal is gripping, and the narrative’s lush prose crafts both deliciously creepy horror scenes and a nuanced, self-assured protagonist consumed by grief and longing for acceptance. Ages 14–up. Agent: Veronica Park, Fuse Literary. (Aug.)