Christina Lauren comes to the blog today with a story about growth, family and redefining your life in
Olive has always found that things don’t work out for her. Her twin sister Ami is just the opposite – fab guy, wedding paid for through a series of Internet contests, and a honeymoon in Maui that promises to be all things romantic and memorable. And all of that makes Olive want to scream. She’d never get that stuff, she doesn’t want it, it’s too much and then, she realizes that the wedding day is coming and she’s got to spend it with the best man, Ethan, her soon-to-be brother in law’s brother. And they don’t like each other. At all. For his part, Ethan is happy to bicker and/or ignore Olive in equal measure – he’s got other things to think about.
And here’s where the premise of the story falls into a bit of the ‘I’ve been here before’ area. I like Lauren’s writing and the way they have characters that feel familiar to our lives, yet have a bit of snark and unique-ness that make them stand out. But here, I wanted something different to what I’ve read already, the last book I read of theirs, JJosh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, brought a bit of that uniqueness with the explorations of insecurities, a weird and quirky heroine, a beleaguered hero – it worked in ways that this, quite frankly, felt fresh and unique. Here we have Olive who is pessimistic and rather cavalier in her choices (many bad) because it just doesn’t matter. And Ethan, who is dismissive and more than a bit aloof with an ability to hide behind words. And the set-up and their initial presentation (complete with Olive’s tagging Ethan as “her nemesis’ as she claims to dislike him, sure she’ll hate every moment of the wedding day.
Then things change: a bout of food poisoning lays the happy couple low, and they decide that Olive and Ethan should take their places in Maui – who wouldn’t want that. And here is where the ‘secrets’ of Olive and Ethan come to the forefront. They are ALWAYS bickering – like an old married couple – and frankly, if you don’t enjoy that interaction on some level, you’d not be heading for Maui. They do have some clever moments, and both are most certainly aware of the other – and it’s not quite hitting the levels of Enemies to Lovers for me…. It’s more like a slow realization of the feelings that are there, completely backed up by the continual bickering that is, often, quite clever. What saves these two for me is their ability to hold onto themselves and not apologize for who they are, while they are both aware of the fact that words can hurt, and they don’t tread over that line. They are fun to watch, and with Olive’s growth and recognition that much of her bad luck is due to poor (or unconsidered) decisions and her struggles with making better, if not easier, choices that lead her to new possibilities. Easy to read, fun, and surprising reveals in the growth of them both, the story is sure to please fans of this team’s writing, and while it gave me more than I initially expected, I’d have liked more differentiation for this couple from their last title.
Title: The Unhoneymooners
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Published by: Gallery Books
Published on: 14 May, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, 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.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.