book review

Book Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

I’ve been on a romance binge guys and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. The Unhoneymooners kept coming up on my Insta feed and I caved to the need for a nice rom-com and broke the book buying ban (again – yes I have no self-control, how do you think I ended up here?)

Olive is chronically unlucky. She’s out of a job, in a tiny apartment, and wearing a green bridesmaid dress to her twins wedding. Her identical twin is very lucky – so lucky that she’s won essentially her entire wedding. However, a nasty food poisoning means that she and her new husband can’t go on the honeymoon they won. Olive takes her place and with her is the grooms best-man/older brother Ethan – Olive’s nemesis. An unexpected encounter with her new boss and his ex-girlfriend leads to Olive and Ethan pretending they’re married and maybe Ethan isn’t quite so bad as Olive thought…

This was another of those ones that I read in one sitting and it was so fucking late on Thursday night. I swear it’s a miracle I made it through Friday.

This book was so funny. I was laughing so much at their banter, and at Olive’s quick lines. I read out a few parts to my partner because I was enjoying it sooooo much.

Olive was confident in her body, and a little cynical. Ethan was charming. I really loved them together. I just had to keep reading until they kissed and then until they slept together and then…

Yeah, I just couldn’t stop reading. It was light-hearted and enjoyable. I loved the situations they got themselves in and you guys should probably know by now, but I live for enemies to lovers. I really thought it was going to be a 5* read.

In the end it wasn’t and I’m going to break down why below in more detail but non-spoilery first. I’d definitely recommend this book if you like things like The Hating Game. It was great, I would have liked a little more smut, but I can deal without, if I really have to. I think this book wasn’t quite aimed at me. The characters are in their thirties which, as someone in their early twenties, I think my perceptions of what my thirties will be like are a little different to what was portrayed in this book. I think that’s more my personal issue though and I definitely wouldn’t rule out other books because of that. Also, before I offend anyone, its related to a few things for me e.g. the fact I’m getting married in my early twenties, the people that I know in their thirties being a lot more settled in their life (career wise), and the fact I just thought these characters acted a lot less mature than I would expect, made decisions that I don’t think you would with all the life experience you would have by that age (specifically why Olive’s sister settles for someone like her husband when she’s clearly such a larger than life person and you feel like she could have had her pick of anyone). This is largely related to the fact that I don’t think anyone I know in my early twenties would act that way.

Now I’m gonna get spoilery so skip to the last paragraph if you don’t want them.

What really brought this book down for me was the way that Ethan reacted when his brother hit on Olive. After everything they had talked through it seemed pretty clear that at least his brother wasn’t been a 100% truthful, I just don’t see why you would trust him so implicitly, especially after he’d kept the two of them apart for so long. Ethan breaks up with her because of this, like Olive just wants them to be okay, but he breaks up with her. He only wants he back when her sister proves that his brother has been cheating and lying all this time.

The five stars probably would have held for me if he’d been cut up about breaking up with her, confronted his brother, or checked it out himself. Perhaps proved it to the sister to make amends and then tried to get back with her. As it was, I didn’t find it all that romantic the way he got back with her, didn’t quite see why she should forgive him so easily.

My last problem was with the epilogue. I liked where they were at, but Olive just didn’t quite seem like Olive. I liked her more cynical perspective, if anything it was more realist. It made sense given her experiences. I think a character changing over time is great – so long as it’s shown in the book. They made a big deal about her being so brave at the end but I didn’t see how she’s ever not being up for things and it felt like they were trying to say ‘Olive has had her life completely change in these two years, you haven’t read it but take my word she’s a much better person than the character you’ve grown to love over the book’.

I originally went for 4.5* – think I’ll have to down to 4*. I don’t know, ratings are a struggle. Perhaps the 4.5* would have stayed if there had been a little more smut.

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