The Unhoneymooners (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Author : Christina Lauren
Published by : Gallery Books
Year Published : May 14, 2019
Genre / Tags : Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Enemies-To-Lovers
Formats : Paperback, eBook, Audiobook
# of Pages : 416 Pages
For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.
Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.
Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.
Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.
With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a romance for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.
The Unhoneymooners is a contemporary enemies-to-lovers romance and the first I’ve read by Christina Lauren, who has a large archive of well-rated romances. I was very excited for this title and built up perhaps too much hype for it, waiting months in line on my library’s Overdrive. After five starring The Hating Game by Sally Throne earlier this year, it seemed like a no-brainer that this very similar-sounding title would be a winning choice. I also watched this glowing video mini-review (time stamp : 2:00) , I still recommend watching it to get an extra viewpoint on this title since a lot of people like it and I’m sort of in the minority by being underwhelmed.
The Unhoneymooners stars Olive, a heroine chronically down-on-her-luck to a comical degree. Her twin sister Ami has great luck, to the point of winning an all expenses paid honeymoon vacation following her marriage to Dane- Dane has a brother (Ethan) who Olive can’t stand. As further expounded upon in the main summary, circumstances land Olive and Ethan on that vacation instead of Ami and Dane, pretending to be lovers. What follows is enemies-to-lovers and fake relationship hijinks.
I wanted to love this one and kind of do, kind of don’t. The earlier scenarios are funny and set the stage for a lighthearted romp that is down-to-earth and very contemporary. There are many lines that are funny but some fall flat. We really get into Olive’s head as she journeys from hating Ethan to being attracted to him and eventually warming up to him. There is just one issue, I wasn’t feeling this vibe reciprocated evenly. Ethan’s little verbal swipes here and there do little to mask that he’s not on the same page as Olive. It’s hard to illustrate this very important point without spoiling a little bit so tread carefully from this point of the review-
Semi-spoilers ahead! Mainly just talking about the romance, extent of adult content, behavior of the characters, etc. Feel free to start reading again at the next bolded text.
This criticism might seem ridiculous as I’m basically complaining about a love interest not being enough of a jerk. But Ethan obviously adores Olive and it’s very noticeable. In this situation, Olive ends up seeming melodramatic and needlessly combative by comparison. Ethan’s behavior toward Olive is almost conciliatory, just echoing her resentment. Getting that perfect enemies-to-lovers vibe is a hard line to straddle though, which makes it all the more amazing to see it done right. The Unhoneymooners isn’t a loss, it’s just not a total win in my book.
This next bit is a bit embarrassing to tackle, but I’m going to talk about the erotic content or lack thereof. There are some almost R-rated moments but not all-the-way explicit. I’m totally fine with that but found it odd given the large number of crude jokes within the text. The characters don’t blink an eye at dirty talk so it was just odd to see the sex scene end in an almost chaste manner.
And that’s it! End of semi-spoilers.
I really liked the setting in theory but wasn’t completely involved in the atmosphere. The focus is chiefly on characterization, which isn’t a bad thing. As individuals, Olive and Ethan are well developed. Ami and Dane feel fully formed as side characters. There is a plot line with an ex that I thought was handled in a somewhat unique way. Also liked how even though there is a heavy dose of humor with the romance here, there are multiple moments that show characters facing blowback to their actions. That definitely ups the realism factor.
Overall, this is a cute romance with ups and downs. But it’s well worth a try if you find its main ideas to be alluring.
Overall Rating – 7/10
Why You Should Try It – Enemies-to-lovers and fake lovers trope merged into a lovely vacation setting package. Love the concept. Many humorous moments. A lot of enemies-to-lovers goodness and vivid character development. Side characters also play surprisingly involved roles. Easy and inviting writing style, reads fast.
Why You Might Not Like It – Little things about the main pair bugged me. Some of the humor fell flat at times. The final thing, but this is so subjective, I stopped reading midway through to get to some other titles this month. I wasn’t strongly needing to return. I did return and finish it in about a sitting. But in summary, The Unhoneymooners was enjoyable yet not persistently engrossing.
The Unhoneymooners (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Thanks for reading my review of The Unhoneymooners! Even though my feelings toward it were tepid in the end, I would totally watch a movie based on this idea. Have you read The Unhoneymooners or anything else by Christina Lauren? I’m curious to try Roomies by her, though I’m not sure if her writing style clicks with me. Thanks again, as always, for checking out my reviews. Your views and likes and/or comments are always appreciated. ~ Kitty