Book Review – Mad Honey

Title: Mad Honey

Author: Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan

Genre: General Fiction

Goodreads Rating:4.31

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Source: ARC


A soul-stirring novel about what we choose to keep from our past, and what we choose to leave behind.

Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.

Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.

And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can she trust him completely . . .

Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in him, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.

Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.

My Review:

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for approving me for an ARC of this book. I am a huge Jodi Picoult fan and chose to read this for NetGalley November prompt – Most Anticipated. We all have those authors who we want to read everything they write but desperately hope it is as good as their last and this was something I was really hoping for in this book. I haven’t read too many books written by two authors so again I was curious to see if I could spot which parts Jodi Picoult had written.

Well, where do I even start? First of all the writing is beautiful, I honestly could not tell which parts were written by which author and it felt like I was reading one author. It flowed so smoothly and even when it changed to the different characters it felt very natural.

This story starts with a bang when Asher calls his mom Olivia to tell her he thinks his girlfriend, Lily, is dead. Before they know it Asher is being arrested for Lily’s murder and Olivia has to call on her brother, Jordan to represent Asher. I loved that Jordan has also been used in previous books like Nineteen Minutes and his presence brought back a little nostalgia for me.

The story flips between two POVs, Olivia and Lily. Through these two women we learn not just what happened in the events leading up to lily’s death, but some of their own histories too. Olivia’s dark past soon has her doubting Asher and hoping he hasn’t followed in his father’s footsteps and Lily is clearly keeping secrets, but what are they?

Jodi Picoult is well known for taking the subjects we struggle to talk about and putting them at the forefront of our minds. As I started this one I did wonder when the controversial topic would appear and when it did I was knocked sideways. It was a twist that I never would have seen coming and from there, I was hooked. I can’t say much more for fear of spoiling the book but lets just say JP and JFB have educated me and opened my eyes to so much in this story and whilst I could never fully understand what Lily and Elizabeth went through I do feel I’ve walked a little in their shoes through this dramatic story.

I also learnt a lot about being an apiarist and am even more fascinated with bees then I was before. The details of how bees work and they it was tied into the story, matching the event surrounding Asher and Olivia, worked perfectly. This was another fantastic read from JP and felt very much like we returned to some of her earlier works, which are some of my favourites. I would love to see these two authors work together again, the authors notes at the end of the story were very interesting and I shall be checking out some of those recipes!


6 thoughts on “Book Review – Mad Honey

Add yours

  1. Excellent review, Lucy. I am on a long list at the library for this one, so may give up and just buy a copy. I am curious to find out what the controversial topic is in this one. I also love Jodi Picoult’s books and am glad this one, with another author was still wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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