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REVIEW: The Unhoneymooners

Title: The Unhoneymooners
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre(s):  Romance, New Adult
Release: May 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭✭,5/5

"A curl falls over his eye just after he's said this, 
turning the moment into a Hollywood shot that completely mocks me. 
A small set of fireworks - only a sparkler, I swear - goes off beneath my breastbone, because he is so damn pretty. 
And seeing him vulnerable, even for a second, 
is so disorienting it make me imagine a time 
when I can look at his face and not hate it."

I read a lot of romantic books. Some of less, some of more quality, but I can definitely say I love me a good romance. The first time I've ever picked up a Christina Lauren book was one of their earlier series, I didn't love the Beautiful Bastard series, but their most recent books have been on the top of my list when it comes to must-read romances. While not having read My Favorite Half-Night stand yet, their other books (think of Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating, Roomies, Love and Other Words and, of course Autoboyography) have really struck a chord with me. 

What is this book about?
The Unhoneymooners focuses on Olive, who has a lifetime of bad luck, or so she believes. Olive's identical twin-sister Ami is getting married to her fiancé Dane, an eternal frat boy. Which brings Olive to one major problem: she hates Ethan, the best man and Dane's brother. When nearly all of the wedding guests, including the bride and groom themselves, suffer from acute food-poisoning, there are only two people who can go on their non-refundable honeymoon for them. Olive and Ethan are ready to start a cease-fire in order to cash in their free vacation, but what if this cease-fire ends up turning into something more? 

"I can pretend to like you." I pause, adding out of the self-preservation instinct, "Probably."
Something softens in his demeanor. 
His hand moves closer, curling around mine, warm and encompassing. 
My reflex is to jerk away, but he holds me steady, gently, and says, 
"Good. Because we're going to have to be a lot more convincing on that boat."

What did I think of The Unhoneymooners?
The premise for this book is what initially pulled me in. I've slowly been coming around to the hate-to-love trope, and I'm gradually enjoying more of them (if written well). I've said numerous times that this trope isn't for me a lot of the time, but I've been branching out and trying more of them recently (The Risk, Dream, We Hunt The Flame, we get it Julia, there's a pattern). This, and the fact that Christina Lauren's recent books hold a special place in my heart is why I felt a pull towards this book and couldn't wait to pick it up!

I'm gonna start off by saying that I the apprehension for the execution of this trope was completely unnecessary. I loved everything about this book. The banter between Ethan and Olive was funny and had me laugh out loud numerous times. Their dynamic, while hostile at first, turned comical and love-y pretty quickly, which I really liked, but it didn't turn into an insta-love type situation. The pacing of the story was pretty perfect, with equal amounts of time for relationship moments and build-up.

I really like the author's writing style. The ability to seamlessly switch between genres (Autoboyography is one of the best YA's I've read in a while, and Josh and Hazel is one of my favorite romances ever!) is admirable. The comedic undertone in their writing makes it so that their books are never boring or slow-paced. Also a quick shoutout to their new cute cover designs. I really like the aesthetic they have going on when it comes to their newer books.

Back to the plot; I liked that the strictly hating-fase didn't take up the majority of the book and that there was a big amount of story reserved to actually see them in a relationship and see them dating. Also have I mentioned this book contains a FAKE DATING trope? NO? Well, I loved it! The vacation portion was definitely my favorite of the book!

Which brings me to my next part of the review: the characters. I LOVED Olive's character. She was funny and I loved her take-no-shit attitude. She was also terribly relatable at times. Her insistence of her perpetual bad luck and pessimism, while in danger of getting annoying, actually wasn't. The authors found a good balance when it came to her character.  Ethan, too, was a likeable love-interest, but I did have a few problems with his behavior sometimes. The biggest problem I had with the book (which didn't terribly bother me but since this is a review it is worth mentioning nonetheless) was the conflict at the end. I do understand why the authors felt the need to create some kind of escalation, but I thought the issue at hand felt a little contrived? The issue itself felt a little forced and had me frustrated at times, also had me like him a little less for a while I understand his reasoning, but it had me annoyed for a little while

However,  I loved this book as a whole. The epilogue at the end had me DYING of cuteness, and the Unhoneymooners gave me a definite Hating Game vibe (in a good way!) which is my favorite romance of all time (no, apparently I can't go one review without saying how much I like THG, sorry!). I adored the relationship between Olive and Ethan, and the comedic undertone in Christina Lauren's writing made this a very, cute, quick, and enjoyable read!

I'll for sure be adding this to my ever-growing list Christina Lauren favorites. This is a solid 4,5 star read for me and I can't wait for their next novel! The Unhoneymooners releases May 14th, 2019.

[Thank you to Netgalley for providing a Review Copy of The Unhoneymooners!]

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