The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – eARC Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

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.

My Review

This is my fourth time reading a book by the author duo known as Christina Lauren and I’m rather pleased with it! It doesn’t quite scale the cute rom-com heights of the adorable ‘Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating’, nor does it have the emotional depth of ‘Love and Other Words’, but it is superior to the trainwreck that was the god awful ‘Roomies’. Basically The ‘Unhoneymooners’ has taken third position in my list of Christina Lauren reads but a very strong third position in comparison to what is in fourth place… god I hate Roomies so very much. SO very much.

The Unhoneymooners was a perfectly charming rom-com! It was super easy to read which is exactly what I want from my books during this awful pandemic that has me sooo stressed! So for me this was fabulously comforting as it contained a storyline filled with some of my fav tropes; hello enemies to lovers and fake relationship!

Because of *drama* Olive ends up going on her identical twin sister Ami’s luxury honeymoon with Ami’s brother-in-law Ethan to Maui. And obvs Olive and Ethan hate each other so sass and banter ensues as these two have to pretend to be a married couple with all sorts of comical high-jinx leading to the pair realising that all that hatred might actually be great romantic chemistry.

And okay, lots of daft things happen (exes and bosses showing up) that require you to suspend your belief but hey, it’s a rom-com. Rom-coms HAVE to be peppered with daft plotlines that throw the warring couple together so it was all a big shiny thumbs up for me. I utterly loved every single second that Olive and Ethan spent together on the island. It just felt so dreamlike and really helped me to escape current the real world crisis so major kudos for that.

And I think what I also really appreciated is that the book didn’t go overboard on the steamy scale. I find with a lot of contemporary romances they are filled with too much sex for my personal taste. I don’t like when there are crude descriptions of genitalia etc etc and this book just got the perfect balance with the sexiness. It was there but never too in your face which made this reader very happy.

Where the book lost a little bit of its charm was once Olive and Ethan returned to their regular lives after the holiday. There was a plotline about Olive trying to figure out what career she wanted / what job would make her happy and it just sort of felt a bit shoehorned in. She seemed to have this whole crisis of identity and resolution over the course of too short a time period in my opinion.

I also felt that this book would actually have benefitted from a dual perspective. The book is told from Olive’s PoV and I so wish that we had been treated to Ethan’s side of the story because it would have given greater insight into the complexities of the sibling relationship between Ethan and Dane. Dane is the guy who is married to Olive’s twin Ami and his relationship with both Ethan and Olive becomes really important in the latter parts of the book so to really get a clearer sense of the dynamics of the brotherly love between Ethan and Dane would have made for a much stronger climax to the book.

However, overall I did really enjoy this book. I giggled a whole lot and savoured the warm, fuzzy feelings it gave me. This is the perfect escapist read for anyone who likes a good old-fashioned romantic comedy but that is perfectly modern in tone.


*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This Paperback Edition Publishing 14 May 2020 (ISBN: 9780349417592)
Little, Brown Book Group / Piatkus

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24 thoughts on “The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – eARC Book Review

  1. Still haven’t read this one but I’ve heard very mixed reviews for it. Glad to hear that it’s made it to the Top 3 of your CLo list, although I think with Roomies on that list, nothing could ever be as bad 🤣 I’m kinda sad to hear that this only had one POV because for some reason I auto-assumed this would have dual POV. Glad to know before heading into it though! Great review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a perfectly nice read Dini. Nothing too frustrating or silly, and a nice dollop of cuteness so all in all a good book for when you need something very light and frothy….and omg don’t start me on Roomies. I HATED Roomies! 😬🙈😂💙💜💖

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  2. You definitely liked this more than I did but I listened to the audiobook and the reading of Ethan was so very dudebro. I also agree that it really needed a dual perspective – there’s a lot about Ethan that we don’t get the opportunity to know, including his real feelings for Olive because we don’t ever see things from his perspective, only the way Olive sees it and she’s got a lot of preconceived ideas.

    I hear this duo get a LOT of praise, so I may have to try them again. Josh and Hazel might be a good place to start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I totally would not have enjoyed this non audiobook. That’s one of my major issues with that particular format; I don’t like how the narrator has so much influence over the character be it through accent choice, rhythm of dialogue, emphasis points etc. So I could so see dudebro Ethan driving me completely batty!

      I certainly preferred Josh and Hazel over this. That had more warmth and didn’t suffer from unnecessary side storylines in the way that this is. Christina Lauren wouldn’t be my fav author but on average I think they write fairly enjoyable light hearted affair for when we need that frivolity in life 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really struggle with audiobooks, for a lot of reasons……mostly because they take so long and also cringeworthy scenes are so much more agonising listening to them as opposed to reading them! I find that I can generally only enjoy audiobooks of books I’ve already read and LOVED….and even then it depends very much on the narrator.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I’ve been diving in to rom-coms lately too. It’s been a great way to avoid everything that’s happening in the wide world. I didn’t really enjoy this book when I read it but I’m keen to try more of Laurens’ work. I think I’d have enjoyed it more if we’d been able to see Ethan’s viewpoint as well. Fab review Emer!

    Liked by 1 person

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