After putting it off for ages, I finally read a book that plenty of bloggers and bookstagrammers can’t stop talking about, that is The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.
Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, 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 is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky
As a twin, I can confirm that there isn’t a lucky one and an unlucky one (sometimes we’re just as unlucky as each other!) but I loved this idea that they played with in this book, as it was this idea that got the story going.
In this book, we have Olive. Jobless, single, down on her luck. She’s stubborn, a bit sassy but – when you take her character in completely – you realise she has a sensitive side as well. Although there were moments where she annoyed me (see: the misunderstanding regarding Ethan), she felt relatable and — potentially in spite of myself – I found myself rooting for her. At first I thought she was the annoying, jealous twin but — as you delve deeper and the plot gets more interesting — I think my opinion on her changed. She’s just like a lot of us, trying to make her way in the world.
Olive thinks the worst thing is the (annoyingly long) list of tasks her sister Ami has for her to do but, as you read on, you realise things can — and do —- get worse. Due to an unfortunate buffet incident, Olive finds herself (and sworn nemesis/best man, Ethan) on a free honeymoon which might just be her worst nightmare…or not.
They’re determined to avoid each other at all costs but, when they run into people they never expected to see, they find themselves — much to their annoyance — not only pretending to tolerate each other but to be loving newlyweds! Enemies to lovers is a trope that’s been done and done and done time and time again, yet I can’t get enough, and this book was no exception. Whilst the characters on their own were a little bit one-dimensional, I loved the cheeky banter between them and — even though it’s only a short trip, so not that realistic — there was no denying the chemistry between them.
I’ve never been to Hawaii but Lauren paints such a vivid picture of the location, the food, the locals and the activities that it didn’t matter. I couldn’t help but feel, on the rather muggy couple of days in Liverpool I spent reading this, that I’d somehow been transported there myself. After Dial A For Aunties , I just wanted to keep the fun, easy-reads going and this one was another great, though quite different, example of escapism.
Of course, even enemies-to-lovers stories (which is my favourite trope) aren’t without problems. There were a few views around sexuality in the book that just didn’t gel with me. I get that it was an older generation or culture or something else that made them say it but, really, it wasn’t about anyone that significant so I reckon it could’ve been left out. Also, I just wasn’t bothered about the subplot involving Olive’s sister. I had a feeling it was coming so what was probably supposed to be shocking…wasn’t and the hopeless romantic (despite my cynicism) in me just wanted the love story.
It might’ve been a bit cheesy, and a bit unrealistic, but The Unhoneymooners was a fun, steamy bit of escapism I needed.
You can buy this book here.
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