Monday, October 22, 2018

Roomies by Christina Lauren

Narrated by K.C. Sheridan
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?
“I catch a flash of bare ass and find religion.”
I've really loved this author duo in the past, but I was a little disappointed with this one. However, I am really happy I chose the audio version for this book, because the Irish accent was fantastic!

I started Roomies with high expectations, but grew increasingly frustrated with the story. Among other things, the twist at the end felt unnecessary and made me dislike both Holland and Calvin. Initially, I really liked Calvin. I thought he was wonderful the majority of the time, but his choices at the end were unexpected and inexcusable. He never should have asked Holland to do that. She should have meant more to him, and their relationship should have been more important. I can understand why some of the lies were necessary, but there were a few that weren't, and Holland's lack of confidence at the end was irksome.

Also, Lulu was obnoxious and Holland should have confronted her a lot sooner than she did. Her best friend was all over her husband and made a mockery of their marriage, and no one said a thing. Yes, Lulu knew the circumstances, but she was cruel and merciless. Holland's "best friend" tossed her under the bus often and without remorse. Even after a fight, I thought Holland was too forgiving. 

Holland wasn't very good at standing up for herself, or saying what she was thinking. If she had been more honest from the beginning, a few of the issues wouldn't have been issues. Lulu wouldn't have been able to use her secrets against her, and Calvin wouldn't have been so caught off guard. Honestly, everyone could have been more forthcoming with their thoughts and feelings. Even at work, Holland allows her boss to treat her like garbage, and refuses to call him on his bullshit. Calvin called him a "twat" and I have to agree.

Additionally, I thought Holland was entirely too selfless and way too cynical. She would see things that weren't there, and have thoughts that made zero rational sense. Her mind would be all over the place before she had all the facts, or gave someone a chance to explain themselves. I hated how she could be in love with Calvin one minute, and then questioning everything he's ever done or said the next. She gave me mental whiplash. Why couldn't she just trust what he said and enjoy the moment? She was easily her worst enemy.

However, I did love that Holland wanted to do something nice for Calvin and her uncle, even though it was something she secretly wanted for herself, too. I wish she had thought a little more about herself and her future, but I think Calvin was the right risk for her to take. He truly cared about her despite their circumstances, and I enjoyed them together. He helped her find clarity in her life, and I think him being around brought certain things into perspective for her.

Holland's uncles were two of my favorite characters! I really loved them and their relationship.

Roomies ranks somewhere in the middle for me. I wish Holland had been more assertive, and that everyone had been more honest. Instead, we get a lot of unnecessary drama. I did like that they were married first and friends second, because it gave the story an interesting perspective. It was fun watching them grow individually and as a couple. Although I found them to be incredibly frustrating at times, their relationship felt authentic and showed their imperfections and vulnerabilities. People are flawed and occasionally make bad decisions for what they think are the right reasons. Sometimes you just have to trust another person and believe everything will work out in the end. 

22 comments:

  1. I've loved what I've read from Christina Lauren so far but I've seen some really mixed reviews for Roomies. In particular, your comments about the twist at the end has me pretty hesitant. Holland's "friend" sounds like an absolute shrew (with friend like that... !) and even Holland sounds a little frustrating at times. I'm sure I'll pick this one up at some point, but it's not exactly at the top of my TBR. I enjoyed your review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've really loved their other books, too! Josh and Hazel was hilarious, and Autoboyography left a permanent smile on my face. The twist at the end felt out of character for Calvin, especially after their conversation about honesty and secrets. Holland drove me insane with her thoughts. Calvin could kiss her on the cheek and she would debate whether or not he was acting. Every small action he did, even when it was clear he cared about her, was questioned and evaluated. This lasted until the very end, and I thought she should have known him better by that point. Sometimes her thoughts and assumptions were so off-the-wall, that even Calvin had a hard time following. I wish she had taken him at face value and stopped worrying over the authenticity of his feelings.

      Lulu was absolutely horrible. I wish there had been some sort of explanation for her actions, but I think she was just a miserable person. Holland did a lot for her, and she was still petty and vindictive.

      I would to love to hear your thoughts when you read this one! I would recommend the audiobook for the accent. ;)

      Delete
  2. I've love everything I've read by this duo so far but I haven't read this one yet. Sorry it wasn't exactly what you wanted or were expecting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought the New York setting was lovely, and I enjoyed the musical aspects of the story. I could feel the music through the words, and I wish there had been a way to actually listen to Calvin play. Regardless, there was a melody in my head throughout this book, and it was beautiful. The characters were a little less likable, but not every book is for everyone! I've really enjoyed the author's other books and can't wait to read their newest. <3

      Delete
  3. I loved this one but totally understand 'll the things you had issues with. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were a lot of things that I loved about this book, but there were also a few things that rubbed me the wrong way. When she thought Calvin's phone was buzzing, and he didn't know what to say... I laughed so hard! I really enjoyed them together and wish Holland had trusted that his feelings were real. She missed out on so much because she was constantly questioning his actions and what he said. I still love this author duo!

      Delete
  4. Everyone is talking about this one lately. I’ve never read anything by either author so I should try it. Sometimes when books capture more realistic relationships it’s a good thing. Annoying but good. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've really enjoyed some of their other books, so I decided to give this one a try when I saw the audio was available at my library. Their circumstances were weird, but the process felt authentic. I could understand their reasons even if I didn't agree with them.

      Delete
  5. It's too bad that it wasn't as good as you thought it would be there. I did read a few books by the author but not this one I confess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It happens! I'm not going to love everything I read, you know? I thought the story was interesting and I was invested in the lives of the characters, but I wish they had been more honest and less doubtful.

      Delete
  6. Holland does sound like a frustrating character - I'm always a bit annoyed when characters keep changing their mind every other page! But, I do need to try Christina Lauren out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I loved Autoboyography and Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating. I still need to read their other books! Roomies just wasn't my cup of tea. I hated that it felt like Holland and Calvin were on two separate pages. They both cared about the other, but Holland was never sure what was real for him. He didn't give her a reason to think he was pretending, and I hate that she questioned his feelings and motives. She could have just asked!

      Delete
  7. Sorry the drama put a damper on this one for you. I bought this, so I will probably be giving it a read (eventually), but I am ok with the drama, since I expect it in most romances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The drama wasn't my biggest issue, but the characters themselves. Holland looked for problems that didn't exist, and wanted to question every single detail. They both lied about stuff and then expected the other person to just be okay with it. I wish they had been honest and communicated with each other. I really hope you like this one when you have a chance to read it! I'm still looking forward to their other books. :)

      Delete
  8. I love audiobooks that have accents

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?! They really make the story pop! :)

      Delete
  9. Note to self: Don't start with this book. LOL I'm sorry this wasn't a favorite, and that the twist kind of made you dislike the MC's in the end. Not fun!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would suggest starting with Autoboyography or Josh and Hazen's Guide to Not Dating! I really enjoyed them both! I still need to read some of their other books, and their newest looks like it'll be a lot of fun. <3

      Delete
  10. This was my first book by the pair and I had some problems about the general premise (I used to work in the international Visa world). I'm really happy I picked up Josh and Hazel because that's my favorite so far!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry your first Christina Lauren book wasn't Josh and Hazel! I really loved their story. You should also try Autoboyography! I can see how the premise would bother you if you're intimately familiar with the process they were going through. You'd be able to spot the inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Roomies just didn't click for me like some of their other books.

      Delete
  11. This was the first book by them that I read. I loved it, but don't remember what he did at the end. I recently read the latest, the Guide to Dating one and adored it to pieces!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh -- I'm really looking forward to that one! I've only heard wonderful things so far. In regards to Roomies... it's when the stuff comes out about Amanda and Calvin's family. I didn't like what he asked Holland to do, and I hated how she dealt with her problems. I wish she had been more direct and just asked him about what was bothering her.

      Delete

Click the "Notify me" box if you want to be notified when someone responds!

“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless