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The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren

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★★ TWO STARS

This was the most disappointing read I’ve had so far this year. It’s safe to say my excitement for reading this book was off-the-charts. I’m a huge Christina Lauren fan and I love how she writes flawed characters with unlikeable qualities, whom still find love in an honest, believable way. It’s what draws me to her books usually. This time though, I felt that she had missed the mark. Since I know I’ll be in the minority on this, perhaps it was just me. It could be that my over-excitement for her latest book had created unrealistic expectations but sadly Un-honeymooners was nothing but a disappointment for me.

The book began with the wedding of Olive’s twin sister Ami. As the maid of honour, Olive is forced to frequently interact with Ethan, the best man and her sworn enemy. In a haters-to-lover’s trope this book followed Olive and Ethan’s adventures while partaking in the honeymoon intended for the bride and groom. After a dramatic wedding mishap, Olive and Ethan are forced to spend ten days together in Maui with an all-expenses paid for trip. What begins as barely leashed hatred and constant arguing soon begins to mellow (somewhat) in to affection and love. While Olive and Ethan seemed never stop arguing, which was arguably (pun intended) meant to be their cute romantic quirk, the expected HEA was still pleasant for me.

Despite my dislike for this story there were still some likeable features that kept me reading until the end. The loyalty Olive and Ethan showed each other and their siblings, after having broken the ice with another argument, was quite endearing to read. Additionally, I enjoyed reading about their evaluation of their self-worth and the impact their family members and exes had on it. I’m a sucker for reading about characters who find inner growth from a relationship. Too often this isn’t covered enough for me in romances, so I commend Lauren for not being shy to delve in to some tougher issues in this book.

Now for the rant. There were a lot of things I disliked about this book. For starters, I am usually a fan of the hater-to-lover’s trope but this one felt like it was mostly all haters until they finally decided they loved each other in the end. While some readers may enjoy the constant bickering, I just didn’t connect with the characters because of it. I found myself frustrated during majority of the read. Additionally, the story had one-too-many unrealistic and dramatic run-ins with bosses and exes for me. What are the chances of seeing your new boss and an old ex at the same time while on a vacation on the other side of the world? It just felt like too far of a stretch.

When adding up the fact that I couldn’t seem to like either of the main characters or enjoy the unrealistic plot line, it was almost impossible for me to like this book. Which was disappointing because I really, really wanted to like it. Especially because of the cover…it’s BEAUTIFUL. As a big fan of Lauren’s I’m chalking this one up to a random miss and hoping that her next book is more like the others!

Jen

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