Title: The Unhoneymooners
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 14 May 2019
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
Wow I honestly don’t know where to start, the warm and fuzzies are still coursing through my body with this one.
The Unhoneymooners not only takes a look at luck and how we consider ourselves lucky or unlucky but also how the way in which people view us can have an effect, whether positive or negative, on our identities. A little like a self-fulfilling prophecy but via external influences as opposed to internal.
The Unhoneymooners could be used as a cautionary tale to not believe what others tell you about a person but to judge them solely on your own interactions with them. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really work for Olive and Ethan; because of some subtle suggestions via someone close to each of them, Olive and Ethan’s behaviour to each other only serves to re-enforce the outside information they have been supplied.
That is until they are the only two people left standing at their sibling’s wedding. Top tip, do not read about the wedding when you are eating, LOL. Leading to Ethan and Olivia taking the place of their siblings on a dream destination wedding.
Pretending to be a married couple makes some so very hilarious situations for Olive and Ethan especially taking into account Olive’s lack of lying finesse and some unexpected companions.
I adored everything about Olive and Ethan even when they were pretending to hate each other their snarky banter was so much fun to follow.
Their transition into a relationship was seamless and natural; unfortunately there are issues outside of their control that interfere with the foundation they have been building.
The Unhoneymooners also has a strong focus on identity within the narrative, and Olive’s character growth via self-reflection alongside all the revelations that take place was inspirational. I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, the good, the bad and the ugly – all allowing the person to become self-aware enough to find their path to happiness.