Tuesday, January 21, 2020

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Rating: ★★+.5  | Gallery Books | Contemporary  | Release Date: 12/04/2018

I was browsing Overdrive and decided it was finally time to read my first Christina Lauren. I’ve always wanted to read them but I really wish I hadn’t started with this one because it did not work for me. I just couldn’t buy into this story.

29-year-old criminologist Millie Morris and her circle of friends decide they need dates for an upcoming event and join a dating app as a group. Tired of criticism of her profile, Millie creates a secret profile with a fake name and connects with one of her friends--neuroscientist Reid Campbell. To add more complications she and Reid have been sleeping together in secret. So, yeah this book is mostly the heroine Catfishing the hero.

The whole time I was reading the book I kept repeating this Vine in my head:

There was just no reason why any of what happened had to happen. Reid and Millie didn't  have a reason they couldn't just be together. Them already sleeping together is barely an issue in the book.

There was a point in this book where I thought to myself; oh, they’re all just a bunch of dumb dumbs. When Millie talks to Reid in the dating app she says stuff about herself that he already knows and Reid is just like “oh, wow Millie, this girl on the dating app likes the same movie you do, also lost her mom, also has a younger sister and also works at our university”. Also, they are using the dating app to find dates for an event. HOW DID SHE THINK THIS WAS GOING TO END ???

I know the heat levels in Christina Lauren books vary but for a book called My Favorite Half Night Stand the heat level was pretty low. I actually think that was a disservice to this book since Millie only notices her feelings for Reid after they start sleeping together.

Another reason I chose this book was for the audiobook narrating duo of Deacon Lee and Shayna Thibodeaux. I loved what Thibodeaux did in Nuts by Alice Clayton but in this book, her voice sounded a little too matronly and midwest-ish for a West coast professor. I thought Lee did a better job overall, particularly with the voices for the all-male friend group. I think he picked up on cues about the characters to add to the narration that Thibodeaux didn’t. There are some e-mail and IM sections but not so much that it makes the audiobook difficult.

But I’m not totally writing off Christina Lauren. While I didn’t get this story it didn’t make me so mad that I wanted to chuck the book in a fire. I liked their writing style, there were some interesting things about emotional availability and their books truly feel like rom-com movies in book form.


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