The Honeys (Hardcover)
La Sala’s third novel is a haunting page-turner that will keep you up at night. His horror is fantastical but believable enough to rattle your bones with the buzz of imaginary bees. Aspen is a place where the modern sterility of the wealthy meets the raw power of nature and the horrific wonder it entails. At the center of it all, Mars navigates life as a young queer person whose existence is barely tolerated by their peers, parents, and even their friends. Psychological horror gives way to real, visceral terror. This summer-themed YA thriller is perfect for fans of surrealism, with a refreshing dose of queer representation.— Nik
From Ryan La Sala, the wildly popular author of Reverie, comes a twisted and tantalizing horror novel set amidst the bucolic splendor of a secluded summer retreat.
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.
About the Author
Ryan La Sala writes about surreal things happening to queer people. He is the author of Reverie and Be Dazzled and lives in New York City. Visit him online at ryanlasala.com.
Praise for The Honeys
★"La Sala gives real-life fears a supernatural twist, cleverly using folk horror and psychological-thriller elements to heighten Mars' understandable tension and infuse this idyllic location with dread.... The eerily ambivalent conclusion is pure horror gold." --Booklist(starred review)
★ "La Sala's slow plot reveal is gripping, and the narrative's lush prose crafts both deliciously creepy horror scenes and a nuanced, self-assured protagonist consumed by grief and longing for acceptance." --Publishers Weekly(starred review)
★ "This layered, complex, and at times truly disturbing novel creates an ever-heightening level of suspense, ratcheting up to an explosive conclusion that readers will not see coming but will find imminently believable and completely unforgettable. A sparkling and powerful exploration of grief, gender roles, and escaping the strong grip of expectations..." --School Library Journal(starred review)
"La Sala delivers a sharply observed, imaginative tale of grief, destruction, and the transcendent nature of the reinvention that follows the aftermath of death.... As rich and complex as dark amber honey." --Kirkus Reviews
"A dark and redolent tale of familial bonds, grief, and a secretive summer camp tucked away in the heart of forests vast and dizzyingly wild. The Honeys creeped me out and I loved every moment of it." --Erin A. Craig, New York Timesbestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrow
"Novel after novel, La Sala proves himself to be a powerhouse in the YA space worthy of all the flowers that come his way. With crisp prose, a hauntingly stellar cast, and a main character we can't help but root for, The Honeys is a perfect successor for fans of Midsommar and Hereditary chomping at the bit for their next great obsession. Just, watch out for the bees." --Kosoko Jackson, author of Yesterday Is History
"The queer horror hive has a new queen! In The Honeys, La Sala pulls readers into a darkly poetic, razor-sharp satire of gender binaries -- and the binary of good and evil. A grim, beautiful exploration of the human body, its horrific surprises as well as its transcendent power."
--Adam Sass, award-winning author of Surrender Your Sons and The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers
Praise for Beholder
★ "La Sala balances inventive gruesomeness with thematic depth in this bewitching horror novel, a tale laced with spine-chilling gore.... The result is a top-notch horror novel and a tearjerker." ----Publishers Weekly(starred review)
"New York City, with all its grime and shine, is a fitting backdrop for this novel, which also weaves in elements of folklore and urban fantasy, giving the story a uniquely ominous and epic feel.... Gritty and imaginative: modern noir that’ll leave you wary of your reflection." --Kirkus Reviews
"This book is a wild ride..." --USA Today
"Unnerving, intricate, and glittering with La Sala's trademark wit. You'll be scared of your own reflection after this one." --Rory Power, New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls and Burn Our Bodies Down
"Beholder takes readers through a glass darkly, and into a spellbinding, spine-tingling world no one but Ryan la Sala could have dreamed up."--Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving and The Fell of Dark
"If it's unhinged horror of the mind, you know it's a La Sala. This berserk beauty is a joy to behold, and when you're done reading, you'll be avoiding mirrors for weeks!" --Adam Sass, award-winning author of Surrender Your Sons and Your Lonely Nights Are Over