Kim’s Land of Unread Stories: ‘The Unhoneymooners’

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Photo by Kim Cook (kimberly.cook@marquette.edu)

Christina Lauren published “The Unhoneymooners” in 2019.

Editor’s Note: This review contains minor spoilers essential to the plot of “The Unhoneymooners.”

Olive Torres has always been the opposite of her twin sister, Ami. While Ami is lucky in love, has a stable job and is somehow able to pay for her entire wedding with contest and sweepstakes wins, Olive has more embarrassing stories than she can count, was recently laid off from her job and lives a pessimistic lifestyle in which she considers herself eternally “unlucky.”

And having to spend her sister’s wedding day with the groom’s best man and older brother, Ethan, who also happens to be the person she loathes most in the world, is probably the most unlucky and unfortunate thing that she can think of.

So when a bad batch of shellfish leaves her sister’s entire wedding party doubled over with food poisoning, Olive’s luck seems to be taking a turn for the better as she is one of the only two people unaffected. Even better, Ami offers Olive her her all-expenses-paid honeymoon to Maui.

Then, when Olive finds out that Ethan was also offered the trip by his brother, all bets are off. Too stubborn to let the other have the trip to themselves, the two call a truce. They decide that they can both go on the trip and never have to see each other.

There’s only one catch: In order to attend the trip, they have to pose as newlyweds. Not a simple task for two people who can’t stand each one another.

But as Olive gets more comfortable playing her role, she realizes that her nemesis isn’t quite the “Satan’s errand boy” she once thought him to be, and maybe, just maybe, Ethan may not hate her quite as much as she thought he did.

My Rating and Review:

This book is such a fun, light read. I haven’t read nearly 400 pages in a day in a long time, and “The Unhoneymooners” was just the page-turner that I needed this week. Author Christina Lauren’s characters were clever and have a stubborn humor to them that makes for a story that doesn’t feel as long as it is thick, and left me wanting more.

Every scene made me picture what the story would look like as a romantic-comedy film and the chuckles that would come from the audience at every clever joke or comment. Ethan’s charm prove him always great for a laugh, especially when he experiences flight anxiety or when he decides to take on a group of mouthy teenagers in paintball.

While I would hate to give too much away, the book does function almost exactly like the type of rom-com that you see on the Hallmark Channel at Christmastime. It’s not that the plot was predictable, it just wasn’t as thought out as I thought it could have been.

Olive and Ethan as enemies-to-lovers in this novel was probably the best thing to happen to this story. The back and forth bickering made them sound like an old married couple, but as time progressed and the more I paid attention, the more I noticed their love and lust for each other was more reminiscent of season 2 of Netflix’s “Bridgerton.”

While I do love them as a couple, overall, Ethan does a lot of the heavy lifting for the relationship with his quips and quirky romantic gestures. Olive is a decent character, but her pessimistic lifestyle and habit of jumping to conclusions for the majority of the book made it hard for me to enjoy her character and her contributions to the plot. Her character didn’t find much growth until her life had completely fallen apart and she had to build it back up again, and even then, I don’t think I got to see enough of that growth in the last few pages before the book came to an end.

“The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren has to be one of my favorite books that I have read this year. I couldn’t have asked for a better time to read it. This book is perfect for beach read, a day of relaxation, or for anyone who might think they are unlucky in love. I promise, this book with have you laughing, crying and feeling all of the feels.

I rate Christina Lauren’s “The Unhoneymooners” four out of five stars.

This story was written by Kim Cook. She can be reached at kimberly.cook@marquette.edu.