Title: The Unhoneymooners
Author: Christina Lauren
Rating: 4/5 stars
Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.
I honestly don’t remember when I last picked up an Adult Romance novel. Normally I would go for a college setting with characters around that age, but I was particularly drawn to this one because it had the word “enemy” in the blurb, and if you know me, I am literally obsessed with the enemies to lovers trope :’)
Overall I was very pleasantly surprised! Christina Lauren’s writing is just stunning. The way they capture emotions and the relatability of all the situations they described always makes my heart flutter a little. I saw myself in all these situations, so it was nice to be able to put to words the complexity of all the emotional turmoil! I was overall genuinely impressed by the author’s impactful emotional writing. Everything was so accurately portrayed, especially the scenes that had lots of tension and frustration.. which leads me to the minor bits of the book that SERIOUSLY irked me (and caused me to dock a whole star).
I won’t spoil anything, but a lot of disagreements that happened in the book felt so frustratingly unfair. I can normally empathise with both sides of the argument pretty well, but in this book, it was so painfully clear how childish and ignorant one side was being, which had me FUMING. The reason behind this side’s behavior was not even very well justified either. There were attempts to “brush off” the behavior, but the reasons weren’t convincing enough. Reading about how the characters are just spewing nasty things for something that they’re supposed to be taking responsibility for was unbelievable. Weirdly though, these terrible character development emphasised on Olive’s strong personality traits, which made me appreciate her so much more. I’m unsure if this is the author’s intended usage of the terrible character portrayals that would in a way “cushion” the MC’s development, but it worked REALLY well for me. Olive was the only character I adored, and everyone else is end up being such huge disappointments. There’s this connection that I have with Olive in that she takes every blow given to her and remains standing strong. I just love this part of her. The author did a fantastic job framing this cool, collected and headstrong female character that is still soft in every way and loves fiercely.
Overall though, I enjoyed the book. I literally flew through the second half of the story in a few hours. I stayed up REALLY late to finish it and by the time I was done, I was literally fuming in my sleep :’) Nonetheless, I did have a lot of fun reading this book. It was sweet, mature, super fun, and emotionally draining all at the same time. I’ve come to really admire Christina Lauren’s effortless (yet effective) writing style though. There’s something so satisfying about it, and I can’t wait to explore more of their works in the future! If you’re in the market for a super quick and (albeit slightly frustrating) book that you can finish in 1-2 sittings, this is it! I highly recommend picking it up!