Between You, Me, and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Romance
Josie Hazeldine has just graduated from high school and is ready for a summer working at her family’s apiary, Hazeldine Honey. There’s only one problem: her mom and best friend think she’s headed to college in Southern California in the fall when in reality she turned down her spot. Her life becomes infinitely more complicated when she meets Ezra. The two immediately hit things off, but unfortunately, Ezra is the grandson of her family’s enemy, rival beekeepers, The Blumsteins. Faced with juggling multiple secrets, Josie must figure out how to come clean before it’s too late.
Set in fictional Volana County (based on Sonoma, California), Between You, Me, and the Honeybees is told from eighteen-year-old Josie’s perspective. Josie is a tenacious and passionate beekeeper. She has secretly turned down college to stay in Volana and work in her family’s apiary, Hazeldine Honey. I love that she’s so passionate about beekeeping. I also love how her anxiety issues were portrayed so realistically.
I loved Josie’s love interest, Ezra! It’s clear he really cares about her and wants her to be happy. They initially bond over their mutual love of graphic novels and beekeeping. The ins and outs of beekeeping are some of the best parts of this book! Beekeeping is a huge part of the story, and it was explained so clearly by someone passionate about bees and beekeeping.
I definitely got major Gilmore Girls vibes from this book. It follows a mother-daughter duo who are relatively close in age. They eat lots of take out and watch lots of movies, and they are best friends. It’s even complete with a more toxic Paris Geller, Josie’s close friend, Nan.
Speaking of Nan, their toxic friendship is handled brilliantly in this story. Nan has been taking so much more from Josie than she’s been giving for far too long. Over the course of the book, Josie comes to realize this and addresses it healthily.
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a classic YA summer romance! It’s perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson, and Jenny Han!
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for the gifted copy! All opinions are my own.
Synopsis from Goodreads
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?
About the Author
Amelia Diane Coombs writes books for young adults. Back in the day, she majored in English and went on to receive her MFA in Creative Writing. Now Amelia writes unlikable female protagonists, positive mental health representation, and swoony romances with soft boys. She’s a Northern California transplant living in Seattle, Washington, with her partner and their Siberian cat. When she isn’t writing or reading, Amelia happily fills her days beekeeping, playing card and tabletop games, hiking, and volunteering with cats.
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