Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola | Book Review

Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola | Book Review

Sharp-tongued (and secretly soft-hearted) Kiki Banjo has just made a huge mistake. As an expert in relationship-evasion and the host of the popular student radio show Brown Sugar, she’s made it her mission to make sure the women of the African-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University do not fall into the mess of “situationships”, players, and heartbreak. But when the Queen of the Unbothered kisses Malakai Korede, the guy she just publicly denounced as “The Wastemen of Whitewell,” in front of every Blackwellian on campus, she finds her show on the brink.

They’re soon embroiled in a fake relationship to try and salvage their reputations and save their futures. Kiki has never surrendered her heart before, and a player like Malakai won’t be the one to change that, no matter how charming he is or how electric their connection feels. But surprisingly entertaining study sessions and intimate, late-night talks at old-fashioned diners force Kiki to look beyond her own presumptions. Is she ready to open herself up to something deeper?

This book was a lot of fun right from the start. The writing style took a bit to get used to–it’s very dense and there’s a lot going on at all times. Despite the adjustment, I think the style really suited Kiki well and helped to show her personality better.

The most important elements to me when reading a romance are how well the characters and their chemistry are brought to life through the writing. Babalola definitely succeeded in carrying that chemistry across. Kiki was so easy to relate to with the fact that she was not trying to get attached to any of the men on campus. I also just love the premise of a college radio show. It’s such a common practice, but I don’t really see it used as a plot device. The use of the show as a crutch to Kiki worked so well. And Malakai. What a sweetheart. The way the two characters come together just felt very realistic to a college romance.

It took me a while to finish this book, however, which is something that really isn’t great for a romance. Along with the dense writing, I felt that there were a lot of different storylines going on at once. It made it a little hard to focus on the romance. Some of the side plots could have been edited down for a more easily consumed story, but I really did think this was a fun romance. And I’ll always support college romance (we do NOT have enough of those!)

Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow Publishing for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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