Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, 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.
I thought about calling in sick to work to stay home and finish this book. Yes, it’s that good. Also, this book has ALL THE TROPES – enemies to lovers, fake relationship, forced proximity… The Unhoneymooners is told in the first person present tense entirely from Olive’s POV, and I got major The Hating Game vibes reading it right from the get go – and like THG I get WHY having the book told from just Olive’s POV is so powerful (as opposed to a dual POV of both leads, which is my preferred format for romances), but it didn’t stop me from wishing we got Ethan’s POV all along the way. (Though the epilogue is told from Ethan’s POV, and it’s DELIGHTFUL!)
I really like Olive, and appreciate the amount of self-realization and growth that happens for her in the second half of this book. And I love that the reader gets to slowly learn about Ethan (and fall crazy in love with him) right along with her. I found myself grinning like an idiot through most of the first part of this book, and likewise making some pretty severe anguished frowny-face in some parts. (My husband actually asked me “What’s wrong?” at once point while I was reading this book!) At one point where Olive is really at her lowest point, I realized I was actually pressing a hand to my chest over my heart to try to make it stop hurting. That, friends, is an excellent book. Also, GO OLIVE for still getting her life in order and staying so strong despite being in tremendous amounts of pain. (I really can’t say more than that because I don’t want to spoil anything, which is so haaaaarrrrrd!)
The Unhoneymooners definitely requires a certain willingness to suspend disbelief, because the entire situation is bizarre, and Olive gets herself into some pretty unbelievable (but hilarious) scrapes. I am of the opinion that all the best rom-coms require some suspension of disbelief – it lends greatly to the humor! – and this book doesn’t take it too far to completely break that ability to suspend disbelief. Christina Lauren really hits the sweet spot between humor and believably.
An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.