There were a lot of reasons I was really excited to read A Taste of Honey: the premise sounded awesome, POC and LGBTQ+ characters, and there’s a freaking cheetah on the front cover. With all that, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my excitement.
A Taste of Honey centers around Aqib bgm Sadiqi, who falls in love with a soldier from a visiting nation, Lucrio. Now, I should say right off the bat, I’m not a fan of insta love. There are very few cases where that doesn’t make me immediately cringe. So the fact that within the first two or three pages, Aquib and Lucrio are already pretty much in love with each other after having just met didn’t sit well with me. Of course, it might have helped if I actually liked Aquib or Lucrio. But they both annoyed me so much it was hard to feel any sort of investment in their lives.
Another issue I had was how disjointed the entire story felt. First off, there was very little world building. The synopsis of A Taste of Honey introduces this potentially amazing, rich world. But I hardly got the chance to see any of that world. Then there was the constant shift in time. The story jumped between when Aquib was a young man to when he’s older and settled down in life. There was so much back and forward that I ended up feeling so mixed up about what was actually happening.
This story had the potential to be so much more than it turned out to be. In fact, the only reason I didn’t stop reading halfway through was that I kept holding out for things to start getting better. But they just never did. I wanted to like this book so much-I tried so hard to like it. But ultimately, I just couldn’t get into the story no matter how much I tried.