Hi everyone, Happy Monday!
Today's review isn't an ARC for once but a book that came out this past June. The book is Between You, Me and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs. I read this book when it first came out but kept forgetting to post this review, so here it is now. It's a super sweet romance with some mental health rep tied in to make it a wonderful YA contemporary Romance. Not to mention how cute the cover is.
I absolutely adored this book! It’s modern day Romeo and Juliet - without the tragic ending. The book follows Josie and her love for beekeeping as she spends her summer after graduating high school helping with the family business Hazeldine Honey. There’s just the little problem of the fact that she hasn’t yet told her mom that she declined her acceptance to college and wants to stay with the business in the fall. When her mom goes away for a bit to take care of Josie’s grandmother Josie is left in charge and is determined to show her mom just how well she can run the business. The one thing she didn’t count on, the grandson of the Hazledine’s sworn enemies, Ezra who just got to town. The two grab each other’s attention from the moment they meet but realizing the families feud they keep their budding relationship a secret. Things start to go sideways when Hazel’s mom comes back to town and the annual honey show being just around the corner, and everything has to get a little sticky before it can become sweet again (yes the pun was intended.)
Josie is so dedicated to her family’s business and I loved that. She really put in so much effort to proving to her mom where she wanted to be. I think meeting Ezra just made her have a little more fun alongside all of her work. I loved Josie and Ezra’s romance. The two had a connection right from the first moment they met and it was very obvious when neither wanted to leave the restaurant after they met. I enjoyed seeing the bit of friendship that was formed first before a true romance which I thought was a really good stepping stone. Having a mutual interest in beekeeping also gave them opportunities to spend a bit more time together which was sweet. Hazel being able to ask Ezra to help her with some of the jobs she got called to and having extra bits of fun together while out on the jobs - like going down to the river while they needed to kill so extra time.
I liked that Ezra and Josie didn’t care as much about their family feud and started to see that maybe it was a bit silly to have it be going on for too long. I also enjoyed seeing Ezra’s mom help Hazel and her mom when things went sideways with their bees. Ezra’s mom truly didn’t care for the feud that had been going on for centuries and Haze’s mom was willing to put aside and eventually be done with the feud as well. Putting issues from past generations aside really made the future for both of their businesses better.
Aside from the adorable romance and families coming together there was also some great anxiety rep throughout the book. It’s always nice to get to read about characters who are honest about their mental health and there’s actual talk about it in the book. I find it’s a way the character can be a bit more relatable. Josie deals with anxiety and has been on medication to help her with it. I was a bit surprised that she wasn’t really anxious when meeting Ezra, since I know meeting and talking to new people can often be hard if you have social anxiety. On the topic of mental health I thought the outcome of Josie’s friendship with her long time friend was important to see. Not all “friends” in high school are people you’re going to remain close to forever. It seemed that their friendship was bordering on being toxic and I’m glad that in the end things weren’t just pushed to the side and they didn’t just stay friends. The ending between those two seemed more realistic which I appreciated.
This is definitely a book I'll be reading again. It's a perfect book for when I just want to sit down and spend an entire day reading. It makes a great summer read but can honestly be great for any time of year. And of course it's already available in physical and ebook copies so go check it out!