And then, when I was sixteen, I got a job at a bookstore, and I didn’t read another book until I was twenty-one. I’m not including books I read for school, by the way, because I definitely had to read things like 1984, The Great Gatsby, Lord of the Flies, classics like that. But what I mean is I didn’t read for fun. I didn’t enjoy reading books for school, they weren’t what I liked and I had to do assignments over them, so I kind of resent them, even if they aren’t necessarily bad books.
I didn’t enjoy reading for a very long time. Even if I found a book that I thought I’d like, I couldn’t bring myself to read it, because high school and college kind of killed reading for me. And working at a bookstore killed my love for them. Where once I found joy, now I only think of work and straightening shelves. Not that it was a bad job, because it definitely wasn’t, but walking around a bookstore just stresses me out now.
It wasn’t until I went on a trip to New Mexico for my 21st birthday (January 2020), and my mom suggested I bring a book, that I ended up reading a novel again. We were in the airport, passing by the bookstore, when I decided I should take her advice and look for something to entertain me on the plane.
The egregiously limited selection had a few familiar titles, and one familiar author. Joe Hill. The book, The Fireman, was huge, and I thought it was a bit risky to try and jumpstart my reading career with something so hefty. But I ended up loving it, and managed to read half of it on the way there and the way back. Then, when I returned home, I put it down and didn’t finish the other half until three months later.
It took me just a couple days to get through half of it, months to convince myself to finish it, and then another couple days to finish it. And it wasn’t that I had to convince myself to finish it because it was bad or I didn’t like it, in fact quite the opposite. It was amazing, and when I did actually sit down and read it, I tore through it. But the convincing was more about bringing myself to do something I was sure I didn’t like anymore.
The idea that I was actually having a good time doing something I’d grown to resent was weird to me. So I started to think, maybe with The Fireman would come my renewed love of reading, and I could finally get back to the thing I loved most as a kid.
Alas, my streak of not reading continued after the exception that was The Fireman.
Until last week!
My friend sent me a Tik Tok of a girl recommending a book called The Unhoneymooners, and her review made me want to read it. So I decided, “Dammit! I’m gonna read this book!” So I ordered it (from the bookstore I used to work at), picked it up, and I READ IT!
And when I say I read it, I mean I devoured it. I flew through it, and I loved it, and I loved reading it! This feeling, it’s so familiar, and so nice. The feeling of having completed a book, the feeling of having read a good, enjoyable story, the feeling of experiencing the highs and the lows and having real emotions over these fictional characters. I remember why I found it so addicting in the past.
The Unhoneymooners was so good, and originally this post was just going to be me recommending it. But I felt that this recommendation needed context, and I wanted to share my struggles with reading with you all.
I really feel like I’m ready to get back into reading. It’s something I want to do, now that it’s no longer something I have to do. Ever since I left school, I haven’t been forced to read anything, and ever so slowly that long lost desire has come back to me.
Finding The Unhoneymooners was total chance, and it’s not my usual genre. It’s a romantic comedy type, a realistic fiction/romance, and I’m totally shocked I’ve never read one before, considering it’s like my favorite type of movie. Turns out, it’s a great kind of book, too!
The Unhoneymooners is about a woman named Olive whose twin sister, Ami, is getting married and has won a free 10-day honeymoon to Hawaii. However, the bride and groom fall ill, and the nonrefundable trip to paradise is gifted by Ami to Olive. Unfortunately for Olive, the groom gifted the trip to his brother (and Olive’s nemesis), Ethan. The two agree to call a truce in order to snag the free trip, and slowly but surely the inability to tolerate each other melts away underneath the Hawaiian sun.
It’s a classic enemies-to-lovers, and I’m nothing if not a sucker for romance. It was fun and light-hearted, flirty and frisky, and maybe a little cheesy, but enjoyable! Olive is a great main character, and super relatable, which is something I never found to be the case in practically all the YA I read.
Overall, it was a fun and easy read, totally gives off “reading by the poolside” vibes. I highly recommend it if you like romantic comedies, witty banter, and one or two clichés. This book gave me all the feels, and I hope it does the same for you if you decide to give it a chance.
If you’re interested, you can check it out here!
Have you read it? Are there other romantic comedy books you think I should check out? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!