4 of 5 original stars
I’ve blogged about my love for books by Christina Lauren in the past. I try to read their new ones as soon as they come out. I was able to snag this book pretty quickly at my library and dove into it right away. It’s an Enemies-to-Lovers story, with a bit of Vacation Fling thrown in for good measure. Enemies-to-Lovers is not my favorite trope, but since it was a CL book, I knew that I would enjoy it. And I was right.
The story begins at the wedding of Olive’s twin sister and Ethan’s brother, where suddenly the entire wedding party comes down with food poisoning, save Olive and Ethan. Since the bride and groom can’t go on their honeymoon to Maui, they insist that Olive and Ethan go instead. The problem is, they can’t stand each other, but how can they pass up a free trip to Hawaii? (It is free for Olive and Ethan, but was also free for Olive’s sister, Ami, who won it in a contest. But that’s a whole different part of the story!) They go on the trip, and are determined to keep to themselves and avoid each other at all costs, but of course, that’s not the way things end up.
If you’ve never read a CL book, I’m here to tell you that these two ladies write funny, funny stuff. I read most of this book on a bus full of middle school choir students on the way to/from an amusement park, and I kept chuckling and snorting loudly, and I do not apologize for that! My favorite ongoing joke is that at the beginning, Ethan pretends he doesn’t know Olive’s name, even though they’ve known each other for years, and calls her “Olivia” every time he sees her. But once they have gotten to know each other a little better, and like each other a little more, the two of them start calling each other by different names as more of a term of endearment than a show of disrespect. It made me laugh out loud every time. Olive and Ami’s huge, all-up-in-their-business family adds lots of hilarity, as well.
I’ve stated before that I often have an issue with the conflict a couple goes through in romance novels. A lot of the time, it arises over a stupid misunderstanding, or something that one person overhears, then proceeds to make an incorrect assumption. The conflict that Olive and Ethan go through is not only completely understandable, it’s also entirely unique to this story. (That’s the thing about a CL book: even if the trope is familiar, their treatment of it is one of a kind.) You can empathize with both characters, and see why each of them feels the way they do, and can’t figure out how the situation is going to be resolved. Again, being a CL book, I would be very surprised if ANYONE was able to guess their path to resolution!
If I’d been reading the kindle version, I would have been highlighting the crap of out this book. That’s how I know it’s an excellent story. If it were written by any other author/s, this book would have deserved 5 stars. But CL has ruined me for other books, and even their own work, as far as ratings go. It has to be a book like Roomies or Love and Other Words to earn a 5-star rating from me. While this book was original and funny, it didn’t grab at my emotions like the two aforementioned books did, (although I did cry a couple of times at the end.)
Bekka and I each have gotten an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Christina Lauren’s next book, Twice in a Blue Moon, which isn’t out until October. She’s read it already, and after I’ve read my copy, we will do a dual review. Looking forward to that!
Purchase The Unhoneymooners