Title: The Unhoneymooners
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal, Adult
Published: 14 May 2019
My Rating 4/5
Olive’s sister is getting married and she can’t stand the brother of the groom, Ethan. On the day of the wedding everyone gets ciguatera except for the two people who did not touch the shellfish, that’s right, Olive and Ethan. Now there is an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii and Ethan and Olive will have to tolerate each other to not let the trip go to waste.
The plan was for them to avoid each other throughout the trip but once there, Olive bumps into her future boss and the small lie evolves into something bigger. Now they will have to pretend to be happy newlyweds!
Guys OMG this book! Listen, I am extremely picky with my romance books, annoyingly picky: The story cannot be too cheesy because, although I do love a good romance, I want it to feel realistic with just a tad of magic. Not too much! And the characters cannot be too whiny, at least not in a self-victimizing kind of way. I know I know… I am so picky! But I am explaining all of this so that when I tell you THIS BOOK IS REALLY GOOD you actually understand how much I liked it.
Before I explain all the things I enjoyed about it, I would like to first get a few thing that I didn’t like off my chest:
The first is a brief conversation about one of Olive’s cousin’s being gay which felt very random and just thrown out there without any context: “Because lesbians use those strap-on things”. This attempt at diversity felt forced to me and the conversation was meant to be… funny I guess? but it was poorly done.
The second thing I didn’t really appreciate was the Spanish: one of the family members uses a common expression and not only is it written completely incorrectly, but the tense used doesn’t make sense within the context. It’s not the first time I encounter this type mistake in a book and it bothers me because it shows laziness. No matter which language an author tries to include in their book, I am sure they know at least ONE person who speaks it, and if they don’t then they can look for someone who does. Hell, they can just tweet the phrase and over a thousand smart-asses will respond within seconds.
Lastly, Olive thinks a lot about her body size and how Ethan body shamed her. At first I thought Olive might be plus sized but then she is described as “curvy” which is very vague. It seems that she is only a bit curvy in comparison to her thin twin sister? So it’s not really clear what the author means by “curvy”. Once they get to Hawaii she seems to be very self-conscious of her body and what she eats, but the only description provided is that her breasts are big. Because of the different hints givent as to what she might look lack and lack of an actual description, I didn’t know how to imagine her. It seems as if the author wanted to make her a plus size without really going there, or maybe she was thinking of some Latin American body stereotype. Who knows. We all think of something different when we hear the word “curvy” and an actual description would’ve helped.
In short: the author tried to be inclusive of sexual orientation, ethnicity, and body type and she kinda failed… and I know these things sound really bad but if you can get past them the book is really good. It was my first Christina Lauren book and it most definitely won’t be my last – and hopefully in her future books she approaches this subjects a little better.
I would also like to add that the first and third “issues” I mentioned are not my lane, and I am very cuetios what other people will think about it.
But ok let’s get back to the things I liked about the book!
When I first read the plot I thought: ok, so like Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston. (I did just start my affair with Contemporary Romance so maybe it is a common trope and I’m simply not familiar with it yet). But it is nothing like it. NOTHING.
Olive and Ethan seriously can’t stand each other but their arguing and banter is really funny. I had a smile stamped across my face pretty much the entire time. I think I could have read the whole book in a day if I didn’t have to attend to my grown up duties. The enemies-to-lovers trope will forever be one of my favorites!
I really liked Olive’s character, she is the unluckiest person in the world and the weirdest things happen to her. Once upon a time I would not have believed these hilarious and unfortunate things couldn’t happen to anyone (no spoilers) but then I met my boss, so now I totally get it. Ethan is very organized and they are both extremely stubborn, which made their arguing a lot funnier. And although love plays a huge role in this book, for me it was more about Olive finding herself and being comfortable in her life. Her transformation from the beginning to the end is quite noticeable giving the story a lot more depth!
The story was pretty unpredictable and it is laugh-out-loud funny. If you have a summer reading list, you need to add this book to it right now!