Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola
Honey and Spice is lyrical, witty, and maintains all the genre trappings that we love in romcoms, while doing something completely new
Kikiola 'Kiki' Banjo, host of student radio show Brown Sugar, is determined to keep the Black women in her college from falling for men who will waste their time, take their energy, and ruin their friendships. Apart from her best friend Aminah – the kind of best friend everyone should have – she prefers to stay separate from the college’s cliques and social hierarchies and eschews romantic entanglements to keep herself safe from potential rejection and hurt. Her careful plans are thrown into disarray with the arrival of Malakai, a new student who Kiki labels “the Wasteman of Whitewell”, who turns out to be more considerate, charming, and handsome than she cares to admit.
Babalola’s debut novel is lyrical, witty, and maintains all the genre trappings that we love in romcoms, while doing something completely new. Kiki is a memorable protagonist – seemingly aloof but soft hearted, confident and funny, and a self-proclaimed nerd, with a heart that she is afraid to risk – and her bond with Aminah is beautiful, with its unwavering support and affection. The romance between Kiki and Malakai is full of moments that feel on par with every iconic scene in your favourite romcoms, from public arguments to big romantic gestures, humour paired with sizzling attraction, and two characters who truly see into the core of each other. Essential reading for any romance enthusiast.
Headline Books, 5 Jul