What Is Your Damage, Mars?: The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

Release Date: August 16, 2022
Publisher: PUSH
Genre: Horror, Young Adult


Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline’s radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who’d grown tragically distant.

Mars’s genderfluidity means he’s often excluded from the traditions — and expectations — of his politically-connected family. This includes attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. But with his grief still fresh, he insists on attending in her place.

What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor. Mars seeks out his sister’s old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys, named for the beehives they maintain behind their cabin. They are beautiful and terrifying — and Mars is certain they’re connected to Caroline’s death.

But the longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay. Mars’s memories begin to falter, bleached beneath the relentless summer sun. Something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can’t find it soon, it will eat him alive.

It was the middle of the night when Mars’ twin sister Caroline snuck home from the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy and tried to kill him. Although her death certificate gives their family cover from public scrutiny, Mars knows something else was going on. And it all goes back to the Honeys, a group of girls who used the privileges of Aspen to claw their way up and are now at the top of the Aspen social hierarchy. They live at the far edge of the property in their own luxurious cabin where they tend to a sprawling apiary. Years before, Mars fled camp after the bullying he suffered due to being genderfluid hit a breaking point. Now, to solve the mystery of what happened to Caroline, he must return to Aspen and play the part of a boy.

Read the rest of this review at Tor.com.

Buy this book at Bookshop.org (affiliate link).

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