Mad Honey – ARC Book Review

Title:- Mad Honey

Authors:- Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

Date published:- will be published in 15th November 2022

Publisher:- Hodder and Stoughton

No. of pages:- 464 pages

Genre:- Thriller/YA/Women’s


Plot:- 5/5

Writing:- 5/5

Overall rating:- 5/5

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.

Jodi Piccoult’s books have always interested and fascinated, each of her story is based on a pivotal and controversial topic. Mad Honey is one of her new books, which she co authored with Jennifer Finney Boylan.

The book mainly deals about transgender issues and domestic abuse issues. Olivia McAfee seemingly had a good life in Boston, married to a cardiothoracic surgeon until Braden started abusing her. Olivia returned back to sleepy town in New Hampshire and is running her father’s successful beekeeping business. Lily and her mother moved to this small town and Olivia’s son, Asher and Lily started dating each other. But one day, Lily was found dead and Asher who found the body becomes the main suspect. Olivia then hires her brother, Jordan McAfee to defend Asher and she realizes that Asher had been keeping secrets from her. Can Asher be like his father Braden?

First of all, the writing was engaging and I simply couldn’t put the book down. The story divides between the present day, said in Olivia’s POV and past said by Lily’s POV. I do like the part where Olivia had named all her bees after the singers–Adele, Celine, Whitney etc. and the process of extracting honey from the bees sounds interesting. I have read books previously before featuring Jordan McAfee as the defense attorney (Nineteen minutes and The Pact) so it was interesting to see him back as this was the third book I have read with him as the character. I do like the court scenes and as usual like all her books, made me hate the prosecutor more. I also liked Lily’s relationship with Asher and both their friendship with Maya. There are some senstive topics discussed in this book like domestic and sexual abuse as well as transgender issues. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and this book worth five stars!

The end of the book contains the recipes that can be made with bee honey so I can’t wait to try them out.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-eight novels, including Wish You Were Here, Small Great Things, Leaving Time, and My Sister’s Keeper, and, with daughter Samantha van Leer, two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire.

MAD HONEY, her new novel co-authored with Jennifer Finney Boylan, is available in hardcover, ebook, and audio on October 4, 2022.

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