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The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren is a feel-good romantic comedy. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, check out my review first.
Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.
Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.
Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.
Let’s get into the discussion questions
- Olive thinks she’s an unlucky person while her sister Ami seems enterally lucky. Do you think there’s an truth that some people seem more lucky than others?
- Why did Olive and Ethan seem to hate each other? Why do you think they agreed to go on the honeymoon? What would you have done if you were Olive?
- Olive panics when she sees her future boss at the resort in Maui and she says she’s married to Ethan. Why do you think she couldn’t tell him the truth?
- And once they think they’re in the clear when her boss and his wife leave; Ethan’s ex shows up with her new fiancé. What did you think about those scenes with the ex?
- When did Olive start to fall for Ethan? Do you think they’re a good match?
- So the first meeting between Olive and Ethan was bad. Olive thought Ethan judged her for eating an unhealthy snack while Ethan thought Olive was rude. It turned out to be a huge misunderstanding. What did you think about those revelations?
- While the two get closer in Hawaii, Olive learns that Ethan’s brother, Dane, who just married her sister Ami, cheated on her early in their relationship. Ethan tries to convince Olive that Ami must have known and despite being skeptical, Olive agrees to not say anything for the time being. Let’s discuss this. Did Ethan just not want to face the truth about his brother?
- Once they get back from Hawaii, Olive and Ethan remain close. But life becomes complicated when not on an island. Olive has to come clean to her boss that she’s not actually married to Ethan and he then fires her. First, would that happen in real life?
- And then, Dane makes a move on Olive while Ethan is away for a moment. Olive tells Ethan who refuses to believe it and tells Olive she only sees the negative and the bad. Despite Ethan’s harsh reaction, was there some truth in what he said about Olive always being pessimistic or was he completely out of line? It’s not a rom-com if there’s no misunderstanding, right?
- Eventually, Ami finds proof that Dane is cheating on her and divorces him. And Ethan begs Olive to forgive him and they get back together; and he proposes when they go back to Hawaii so it all ends up happily. Did you like the ending?
- Have you ever been to Hawaii?
If you’re looking for lighter books that are still full of depth, here are some more recommendations!
I Owe You One by Sophia Kinsella is about a woman finding her inner confidence.
Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?
It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?
But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?
I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagán is a look at the challenges for modern women.
Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.
Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.
What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?
Feel free to discuss The Unhoneymooners below!