Honey Girl Nani is a Funny Kine girl, recently transplanted from Hawaii to Santa Monica, California and trying to find a place among the locals. She relies on rules for fitting in given to her by her Honolulu mentor Annie Iopa. The rules are a cross between the anthropological, the military, and BH 90210.
After Nani's Hawaiian dad dies suddenly, Nani's white mom decides she had enough of island life, and moves them to the mainland. 15-year-old Nani has the summer to get in with the surf crowd or...it's not clear what. Making it to the lineup--the it girls on the beach--is all Nani is thinking about as she mourns her dad, misses her home, hates her mom, and sometimes grapples with her attraction to bikini-wearers.
Now, on to my dogeared pages, starting with the verso.
Sky Pony Press books may be purchased in bulk at special discounts for sales promotion, corporate gifts, fund-raising, or educational purposes.
How I love a weird copyright note--corporate gifts? But maybe that's a thing for Hawaiian companies or luau-themed office parties, since "A portion of the proceeds from this novel go to Hawaii Community Foundation to help Hawaiian artists achieve their dreams."
You know how men like to describe women as food? Well, lesbians do it, too, but possibly better.
The only way I could keep walking was to imagine the lineup as cookies cooling on a rack. Some were baked brown with crispy edges. Others were topped with a crystallized glaze.They were all enticing, but in the middle of the lineup were two beastly beautiful creatures. The ultra-blonde looked like a lemon verbena cookie, bittersweet with a marshmallow center. The brunette with sun-soaked highlights next to her had huge buttercream breasts. Her hair was the color of macadamia nuts mixed with brown sugar and orange peels. She looked smooth and easy to roll, the kind of cookie that spreads out when you bake it.
Right? Both cookie descriptions foreshadow the heads of the lineups' roles in Nani's future life at State Beach. Later on the page the girls are staring back at Nani, which makes her worry that her tampon string isn't tucked. So real! And that's not the only tampon reference. Later in the book Nani makes a pipe out of a tampon inserter.
The book takes place in the summer of 1972, when people would ask each other upon meeting, "What's your sign?" Iris, a Virgo, has lots of theories about sun signs, and astrology is a thread throughout. She observes "[Scorpio] is the most danger one in the zodiac. It always has its tail curved up, ready to strike." #truestory
In case it's not clear by page 55 that Iris likes ladies, she shares this torrid childhood memory:
When I was younger, instead of sucking my thumb, I used to stick my tongue in her cowry shells and lick the pink tinges with deep folds. The thick, solid shells had wavy notches that opened into rippled panels. Sometimes I would lick them until my mouth went raw.
That passage might be over the top, but on the whole I found HG a compelling and original read.