Olive and her twin sister, Ami, couldn’t be less alike. Ami is organized and structured, frugal and methodical. She’s hit every single expected life milestone at exactly the “right” time. Olive, on the other hand, seems to have a knack for getting it all wrong. She’s scattered and a little crazy, always meaning well but somehow constantly finding herself in less-than-ideal situations. Ami may be ready to settle down with the love of her life, Dane, but Olive is still just trying to get by and figure out what she wants out of her job, her relationships, and, most importantly, herself.
So it’s a cruel twist of fate when Ami’s perfectly planned wedding goes incredibly, horribly wrong. Only two guests are left standing after the seafood buffet unleashes its wrath: Olive…and Ethan, Dane’s insufferable older brother. Despite their deeply felt mutual irritation with each other, Olive and Ethan finally agree to go on Ami and Dane’s (non-refundable) dream honeymoon, while everyone else hugs porcelain back at the hotel. The two may not get along, but they figure they can handle two weeks in paradise, sharing a hotel room at night and going on their own separate adventures during the day. Inevitably, things don’t go according to plan, and, by the end of the trip, they begin to see each other in a new light.
When I say that I love books by (the writing duo that is) Christina Lauren, I mean I LOVE their books. They are fun and light—fluffy, yes, but still refreshingly creative and unpredictable. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating and My Favorite Half-Night Stand are two of my favorite books from 2018.
I was really expecting to adore The Unhoneymooners, but, sadly, this one fell flat for me. I was intrigued by the Olive-Ethan non-honeymoon set-up, but the execution of the story, especially after the pair return from Maui, is clunky and disjointed. I felt like I was reading a bunch of different novels shoved into one. For example, I had a hard time understanding and believing Ethan’s relationship with Dane. Olive’s job situation jumps all over the place and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I also didn’t like how extended family is basically non-existent in the first half, but then plays a huge role in the second half of the book. Don’t even get me started on that ridiculous ending, yikes.
I’m just so sad to say that this book had no flow. It still made me smile at parts, and it wasn’t a horrible way to pass a few hours. But ugh, I expected so much more. I’m still ride or die Christina Lauren, but I hope the next book is more solid.
Big thank you to Christina Lauren, Gallery Books, and Net Galley for the ARC!