Honeybee by Craig Silvey. (2020).
**4.5 out of 5 stars**
Late in the night, 14 year old Sam steps onto a quiet overpass to end his life. At the other end of the same bridge, an old man named Vic is there to do the same. The two see each other across the void, a fateful connection is made and an unlikely friendship blooms. Slowly we learn what led Sam and Vic to the bridge that night. Bonded by their suffering, each privately commits to the impossible task of saving the other.
Sam is a solitary, resilient young person battling to navigate the world as their true self; ensnared by loyalty to a troubled mother, scarred by the volatility of a domineering stepfather, and confounded by the kindness of new alliances.
I honestly believe this book will become one of those stories that retains cult like status in the future because of the importance of the concepts it involves. I read this entire book in a day because of how engaging and well-written it was. It was heart-breaking at times; we start off with 14 year old Sam intending on suicide because Sam feels like a mistake/wrong person. That in itself was a distressing and sad thought. Thankfully Vic is there to do the same thing and manages to make a connection with Sam. Sam and Vic had what I would call a pure and beautiful relationship and I was so glad Sam had finally experienced a non-judgemental and caring person. Special shoutout to one of Vic’s neighbours, teenager Aggie, who later becomes Sam’s friend; what a cracker of a teenage girl, I adored her.
Overall, this was an intense read full of emotional moments. I very much highly recommend it.
This review is already much longer than I normally write but I’d like to end with the following:
I hope this book goes into high schools and is taught in English classes. I hope book clubs pick it up and discuss it. I hope it shines a light on those people in our society who feel they need to be invisible, and need kindness. Most of all I hope it is an eye opener to some readers, that we have people like Sam everywhere and those people often need support that can take place in various shapes and forms.