A queer horror book, sign me up!
When I got an email from RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut announced they were having a discussion and book signing with Ryan La Sala for his queer-horror book “The Honeys”, I was all over it. The book blurb described The Honeys themselves as a beautiful and terrifying group of girls named for the beehives they maintained behind a summer-camp cabin where the book is set. I thought The Craft meets Heathers, except with bees, which are super terrifying in my book…pun intended.
The queer part comes in when gender-fluid Mars returns to a summer camp that did them wrong years ago in order to unearth the mystery behind their sister’s death. Mars is torn between the boys camp that they’re assigned to due to they’re presenting gender and the girls camp with The Honeys that they’re instinctually drawn to. Mars has to survive in these two very different worlds and survive what lurks in the surrounding woods in order to get the answers they seek.
“The Honeys” is technically a Young Adult book (which I’m a sucker for and wish there had been queer books like this when I was a young adult) with a budding romance, amusing PG humor, and suspense that has a chilling sting. The book is a bit heavy handed when it comes to gender roles and Mars’ queerness but overall I couldn’t wait to see how the story would unravel and it doesn’t disappoint with some gasp-worthy reveals.
In my gay opinion, if you read or have read “The Honeys” and enjoyed it, you should check out “Darkening Sturgeons” and it’s sequel “Haunting Sturgeons” by John L. Harmon. This book and blog serial have similar haunting qualities and are unapologetically queer.