The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Publishing Date: 14th May 2020
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 432
For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime . . .
Olive is always unlucky; her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. About to marry her dream man, her entire wedding has been fully paid for by winning a series of competitions. Meanwhile, Olive is forced to play nice with her sworn enemy: the best man, Ethan.
But Olive’s luck may be on the turn . . . When the entire wedding party – except for Olive and Ethan – gets food poisoning, there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs. Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free holiday, 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 threatens to spiral out of control.
Forced to play loving newlyweds, she and Ethan find themselves in much closer proximity than they ever expected . . . The problem is that soon, Olive finds that maybe she doesn’t mind pretending. In fact, she’s beginning to feel kind of . . . lucky.
The Unhoneymooners is a heartwarming and hilarious romance perfect for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.
Olive Torres is accident prone – if something is going to happen, it’s going to happen to her. So imagine her surprise when, at her twin sister’s wedding, it’s not her who gets food poisoning but all the other guests! Well, except for the groom’s brother Ethan. But every single other person has been affected – in hindsight, a free seafood buffet was not the best idea. Ethan and Olive have never seen eye to eye, they actually hate each other. However, right now, they have to put their antipathy aside because Ami – that’s Olive’s sister – is sending them on her honeymoon! In Maui! This trip simply can’t go to waste. They decide to give it a go – well, there are so many things to do in Maui, they don’t have to see each other, right? Wrong – they meet Olive’s new boss and then Ethan’s ex – fiancé and so they’re forced to play a happy newly – wed couple which results in misencounters, misunderstandings and misadventures. And growing chemistry between the two of them… But not everything runs smoothly in paradise…
Olive, after my initial confusion, because I have to admit that the beginning was somewhat hard for me, what with the negative dynamics between her and her sister Ami, I wasn’t sure what to think about their sisterly relationship where one sister clearly uses the other one and the other one allows this meekly, turned out to be a very colourful and entertaining character, and a very accident – prone one. Sometimes she didn’t know when to stop talking, and it was a bit surprising for me, because at first she truly looked like a sheep without her own voice and opinions, however as soon as she was alone, without her huge family around her, she always turned into a chatty and sharp young woman.
The love – to – hate relationship doesn’t evoke such extreme emotions in me as in many other readers, so it seems, but of course my like and dislike depends on the way it is written. Here it worked. It was sharp, genuine and with the right dose of chemistry between the characters.
I think that adding Ethan’s perspective would be a great and refreshing idea, as we hear only Olivia’s point of view. Yes, they talk to each other, of course, and they are relatively open with each other but reading Ethan’s real feelings would be so much fun, don’t you think?
The story was brilliant and funny until it wasn’t, to be honest. I absolutely enjoyed the plot, and trip to Maui, the banter between the characters, the growing interest between them, it was truly hooking and funny for the most part. But then it started to feel too old and too utilised and repetitive and I thought that if I read the “I hated you/you hated me/do I hate you now/do you hate me now” conversation, I’m going to start to cry. It. Was. too. Much. And it stopped being funny. Also, the end is very, very rushed and I was screaming for more plot development, not only going around in circles, taking us and the characters where they needed to be at the end. The book was also full of stereotypes and things that didn’t sit so well with me, like body – shaming and with the characters turning out to be very slim, but it’s not deep enough to go into this – I’ve just noticed those things on a side note and I’m truly not in a mood to tear the book apart because of them, but they could be for sure better done, with more sensibility. Things happen very conveniently but this is why I’ve reached for this book. I’d say that the pace was rather on the slow side – it takes about half of the novel before things start to move forward and it’s not only the banter.
Altogether, “The Unhoneymooners” is a light, easy and entertaining read with some great one – liners. The banter between the characters is smart and witty and pushes the plot forward. Ultimate beach read for this summer. The humour was absolutely my kind of humour which made the book one of the funniest – just what the doctor ordered.