Mad Honey

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan Book Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Alternatingly heart-pounding and heartbreaking. This collaboration between two best-selling authors seamlessly weaves together Olivia and Lily’s journeys, creating a provocative exploration of the strength that love and acceptance require.”—The Washington Post


Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising their beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined that 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 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 Ash, 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.

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan Book Reviews

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I was enthralled, a beautiful story about love……and revealing truths

I didn’t expect this book to be so bomb. Bro buy it.

I devoured this story over the course of 2 days. Great characters, engaging plot! One of the best books I read this year.

It was ok. Kinda dragged a bit and too many topics in one book. Jumped all over the place. I dragged to finish it.

Really made you think about what people will do to survive. Enjoyed the compelling storyline.

Kind of boring, and you’ll learn more about honey bees than you ever wanted to know. I started skipping over the bee tending parts.

If you want to read about a trans love affair go for it . But the timeline is confusing and ineffective, and the ending is predictable. As a side note, the authors clearly wanted to normalize being trans, but instead made a great case as to why it is dangerous medically to tamper with young adolescent hormones.

I read this a few weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it. Well done.

This book jumped all OVER the place. The timeline went from place to place to place all while writing from 2 different characters perspectives. The “who dunnit” aspect was highly predictable and overall a huge let down. Most importantly, this book is really just a push to touch on every hot topic possible. While informative, it surely wasn’t believable or convincing.

Way to woke for my taste

I’m going to break this down into a few parts. 1. Writing 2. Plot/Storyline 3. Character Development 4. Ending. TLDR: Good writing, good storyline, a little worldly with some convoluted stories. It took longer than needed, but good level. Somewhat good ending, some may say predictable. 1. Novelist is a generally good writer. This isn’t literary artwork, but it is well-written enough that it is easy to read. Some parts were longer than needed, and flipping to the past so frequently aided to frustration at times others, a good concept. 2. Plot/Storyline: If you have polarising views and abstract books you don’t enjoy, You won’t want this. This book required a certain level of empathy: TW Domestic violence, Transgender issues. The author did a good job creating an exciting story while educating the reader about women’s problems and intersectionality. 3. Character Development: Decent. The author wanted you to make assumptions through the book only to change and challenge them later. Interesting strategy. 4. Ending: Good story with good themes. Ergo the 4-star rating.

Wow what a ride! This book was not at all what I expected & I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t want to give away too much in my review, as I feel going into it blind makes the thrill of the reading that much better. The interweaving of the beekeeping into the plot of the story was an exceptionally creative way to tie up everything in a nice bow, right down to the title. As stated above, I want to be vague, as that will make reading “Mad Honey” all the more sweeter for the reader. Make this a must read on your list this winter!

Too predictable and too wordy. Had to “fast forward” several times because I just got bored. Also, FACT CHECK PLEASE! I know it’s a small thing but there was a mention of a kid getting a full ride as a hockey goalie at “UC-Boulder”. First, we refer to our school as CU-Boulder and second, we don’t have a hockey team!!!

I appreciate the voice given to the main characters here, but found the anecdotal parts not especially compelling, and the bee / honey metaphors - while perhaps educational - forced and tiresome.

Very well written. Loved the story, the different perspectives and the honey history! All around well done!

Very disappointed in this book. As a senior I am not interested in a trans love affair. I believe there should have been a content warning about trans subject matter. I wish I could get a refund to my account - I spent 14.99 out of my fixed income. I will not be buying anymore of her books…she has lost a fan.

Good story line and characters. A+

One of the most beautiful books I have ever read. If you cannot find it in your heart to find compassion after reading this you will have to dig deeper to find your soul.

Loved Lily and getting an insight into a trans girl’s character and the love affair with Asher. The timeline jumping all around was distracting and irritating but overall this was a great story, well told.

Stunning book, love the way the two authors knit together the story and the two women whose stories are told will be hard to forget. Especially loved Lily.

This story was truly an educational and a mind opening journey. Thank you to both authors!

Chilling and progressive, this story is so well written. She covers the inner conflict of an abused mother so well, and really draws you in with her timeline. Somehow she manages to tie in amazing bee keeping and relate it to murder. The only reason it didn’t get a 5 star rating is because it was obvious to me who was at fault the entire time…. And the ending consequences seemed unrealistic. However, worth reading every page.

Not as good as her other books. Too obvious how it would finish. Disappointed. Love her books.

What a wonderful experience it was to read this book. Be prepared to learn some things not only about beekeeping but also about human beings (including yourself) Don’t miss the authors’ notes at the end. It makes the story that much more amazing!

My Review: Loved!!!!! It definitely lived up to all the hype. It was hands down my top read of the year. Maybe even ever!!!!! I don’t know how any author is going to top this one. So, I want to start off by saying that Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite writers of all time. I just love her books so much. I have read many of her books and they all have been such a joy to read. Whenever I pick up one of her books I get so lost in them. I lose all track of my surroundings and time. Like a tornado could hit and I wouldn’t even notice. I also have to make sure I have everything done beforehand otherwise nothing will get done until I’m finished with the book. Let’s talk about this book for a minute. What a brilliant story. The characters were all phenomenal and they blended so well together to make this a fantastic and beautiful read. Jodi Picoult took a hard topic and wrote it with such a gentle touch. I was in tears and very emotional during most of this book. Tissues were by my side during most of this read. This book was part mystery, part love story, and part learning who you are all wrapped up in one. This book had it all. Once again Jodi Picoult writes a gripping and compelling read that I would totally recommend. In conclusion, the plot, the characters and all the twists in this book made this book an enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend it and happily give it 5 Hearts❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Very disappointed in this book. Read for entertainment and instead felt that someone was pushing their agenda on me. Not interested in transsexuals and recipes for honey.

This is a very thought provoking book. Without giving anything away it opened my eyes to the journey many people face regarding their true self. However, the ending felt very unjust and I felt angry about the final lack of accountability for one character. She destroyed so many lives and basically faced no consequences while the lives of others were permanently changed in a heartbreaking and permanent manner.


This book is about Olivia, who has divorced Asher's father due to domestic violence. Olivia is worried that Asher could have inherited his father's tendencies. This book is about Asher who falls in love with Lily, who is found dead from a traumatic fall. This book is about Lily and her mother, Ava. Ava, who only wants her child to have a meaningful life and relocates the both of them to get away from Lily's father. This book is about a murder trial with Asher facing a lifetime in prison and the secret that Lily and her mother have kept from the community. This book dropped me in my tracks, completely surprised me and I barely caught my jaw before it hit the floor. Using a mix of past and present, the events that lead up to Lily's death is parceled out to the reader, resulting in a very suspenseful read. Not only is it suspenseful but it is also a book that educates. Once again, the author tackles a volatile issue that is prominent in the United States today. I give kudos to the authors for opening my eyes and "hearing" what needs to be said in regards to our world today. I have written an honest review in exchange for the DARC I received from Penguin Random House and NetGalley.

Disappointing ending. Usually the endings of Picoult’s books leave you thinking—this one was flat. But after Chapter 4, how much more plot excitement could there be?

This is a must-read book. I am amazed at the nuance with which both authors discuss these topics. I was in tears reading about these complex, beautiful characters. 5/5 from me. Everyone should read this.

Definitely better than her last 2 books, but it’s still not on the same level as a lot of her older books. Maybe it has to do with this one having a coauthor. Gerald a decent read, just not my favorite.

Olivia and Asher move back to her family’s farm in New Hampshire after her father died of a heart attack. She has to take over the bee hives as no one else in her family has the knowledge. When Asher is a senior in high school, he dates Lily. Asher as a Christmas present for Lily surprises her with her estranged dad. Lily is upset, is offended, and can’t believe he has done that. After that meetup, Lily is out of school because she is sick and refuses to respond to Asher’s text. When Asher goes to check on her, he finds her dead at the bottom of the stairs. But is it what it appears? Did he really kill her or was he the one who just found her? Will he be accused of murder? A deeply emotional story that will have you turning pages to find out Asher’s fate. Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan take heavy hitting/controversial topics and weave them into a powerful story. It’s not an easy read and very emotional. Not a book that everyone would enjoy, but would make for a great book club pick!

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Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan - Mad Honey Comments

About Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan Wiki

Jennifer Finney Boylan (born June 22, 1958) is a bestselling author, transgender activist, professor at Barnard College, and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. Early life and education Boylan was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and graduated from The Haverford School, a private prep school in Haverford, Pennsylvania, in 1976. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1980, then completed graduate work in English at Johns Hopkins University. Career Boylan was on the faculty of Colby College from 1988 to 2014. In 2000, she was named "Professor of the Year" at Colby College. She moved to Barnard in 2014, where she is both Professor of English and Anna Quindlen Writer-in-Residence.Boylan has written thirteen books, including novels, collections of short stories, and her memoir. Her 2003 memoir, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders was the first book published by an openly transgender American to become a bestseller and was described by The Advocate as "a semina....

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