Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Amelia Diane Coombs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: June 22nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Sarah Dessen, this swoon-worthy novel follows a teen girl during her California summer of beekeeping, secrets, and stolen kisses.
Josie Hazeldine has just graduated from high school, and she’s ready for a summer full of sunshine, beekeeping, and…lying to her mom.
Josie’s mom couldn’t be more proud of her daughter going to college, something she never got to do. But Josie wants to stay in her California hometown and take over the family business, Hazeldine Honey. So that college acceptance her mom is thrilled about? Yeah, Josie turned it down. But she’s going to come clean—just not yet.
The neighbor’s artsy, adorable grandson who’s in town for the summer makes Josie’s web of lies even more tangled. He’s into Josie and the feeling is very mutual, but he’s a Blumstein—the sworn enemy of the Hazeldines and their number one competition in the annual Honey Show at the end of July. As their secret fling goes on, Josie knows she’s getting in way too deep to leave him behind when summer’s over.
Can Josie keep the boy she can’t stop thinking about without the secrets she’s juggling crashing down around her?
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.
IT WAS CUTE.
I feel like what I got most out of this was a lot of honeybee knowledge. Which I’m not complaining about at all because I really loved that aspect. I love when contemporaries have a new to me vibe and this one did with all of the apiary facts I learned.
Onto the romance side of things, it’s a quick/insta-ish romance. I didn’t find myself upset with that though (and usually I am). It was rooted in a summer style relationship and I liked how things flowed between Ezra and Joie. They were pretty dang cute and all of the honest and meaningful conversations between them was a really nice point.
Josie working through and with her anxiety hit home a lot for me. I loved this mental health rep and how it was portrayed. The addition of complex friendship was great too. While it made me irrationally angry, it went down exactly like I hoped. A lot of growth for Josie and committing to her passion and owning her truth by finally telling others. I love that she left people go and found her niche.
The story moved well. At times faster than I loved, and at times, slower than I loved. Yet I didn’t have a hard time picking this up to continue. I wanted to see where these characters were going and am grateful that they did indeed, go places! I love the pursuit of dreams with a long lasting summer romance to boot.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Contemporary Romance
- Language: some
- Romance: kisses and brief open door scenes
- Trigger/Content Warnings: anxiety, panic attacks, a loved one with Parkinson’s disease