Review: Between You, Me and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs … In BUZZWORDS 🐝

Between You, Me and the Honeybees

This novel follows a teen girl during her California summer of beekeeping, secrets, and stolen kisses.

Published: June 22nd 2021 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

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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.


CW’s: Panic Attacks, Toxic Friendship, Family member with Parkinson




Anxiety & Post-Graduation Plans 🌸

I loved the anxiety rep and that the book focused on unconventional future plans. ➽ Josie loves Hazeldine Honey and wants to take over her mother’s business. I loved how close she was to her mother, yet Josie cannot help but keep a big secret from her. She lied about getting accepted at college and has no plans to go into academia. I understood why Josie’s mother wanted her to go to college – she never got to go and was afraid that her daughter would miss out. However, I also liked that Josie was determined to take over the family business. It’s nice to have the focus on a character not wanting to go to college and showing that there are different plans for the future! I really liked Josie’s love for beekeeping and found her anxiety really relatable!


Letting go of toxic friendships 💔

I really appreciated how this book tackled unhealthy friendships! ➽ Josie doesn’t have many friends, but throughout high school, Nan has always been by her side. With college on the horizon, Nan has already planned out their perfect college experience … only Josie hasn’t yet told her she isn’t going. Unlike her, Nan is used to deciding everything for both of them and Josie hasn’t tried to change that, as it was sometimes easier to go along with it. However, now she’s finally veering off plan and isn’t agreeing with her friend on how their future should look. Their friendship was really well-written and handled with nuance. It turns increasingly unhealthy until Josie doesn’t feel comfortable with Nan’s dominance in their relationship. Their roles aren’t as clear as they used to be and Nan doesn’t seem to understand her anxiety or that they are slowly growing apart. The ending for them felt fitting [as Josie lets go of Nan and despite her invitation, decides to not rekindle their friendship.]


Forbidden Romance ❤️👀

I love a romance between rival families! ➽ Josie’s family is in direct competition with the Blumstein’s and there is a lot of bad blood between them. Falling for their grandson, who is new in town, definitely wasn’t the plan 👀 Ezra is unlike his grandparents and actually very sweet! His mother is back in town, so he’s also visiting and immediately connecting with Josie. Both of them grow closer together, but they have to hide their involvements as their families have no interest in letting go of their rivalry. With her mother gone on an important trip concerning her grandmother, Josie has the freedom for her sweet summer romance. Yet her guilt of lying to her mother is still in the back of my mind. The romance was super cute and I was really rooting for Josie & Ezra!

Recommended If You Liked …

  • It Sounded Better in my Head by Nina Kenwood
  • You Say It First by Katie Cotugno
  • Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney

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Did you read Between You, Me and the Honeybees? What is your favorite book with family rivalries? 🐝


4 thoughts on “Review: Between You, Me and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs … In BUZZWORDS 🐝

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