Review: TWICE IN A BLUE MOON by Christina Lauren
Also by this author: My Favorite Half-Night Stand, The Unhoneymooners
Published by Gallery Books on October 22, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
TWICE IN A BLUE MOON Review
Tate Jones has a secret. Her name is not actually Tate Jones; it’s Tate Butler and she is the long-lost daughter of legendary actor, Ian Butler. After she got tired of Ian’s cheating ways, Tate’s mother filed for divorce, changed hers and Tate’s last names, and relocated to a remote community. From those moments up until her eighteenth birthday, Tate has lived a completely sheltered life and, for her mother’s sake, has done her best to keep her true identity hidden. When her Nana takes her on a two-week trip to London, it’s a much-needed taste of freedom for Tate and she decides to make the most of it. She meets a handsome young man named Sam Brandis and over the course of those two weeks, she falls hard for him, so hard in fact that she confesses to Sam who she really is. Imagine her surprise when Sam and his family abruptly checks out of the hotel without saying goodbye. Then imagine her even bigger surprise when the paparazzi unexpectedly descends on her. Tate unfortunately learns the hard way that her trust in Sam was misplaced. Her world is irrevocably turned upside down.
Fast forward nearly fifteen years and Tate has followed in her father’s footsteps, becoming a successful actress in her own right. She has signed on to play the lead role in a film that is so incredible on paper that she’s sure it will land her an Oscar nomination if she does her best work. When she arrives on set, however, who does she come face to face with? Sam Brandis, the young man who broke her heart and her trust all those years ago. And even worse, he’s the writer who penned the script for her movie. How does Tate confront Sam after all of these years? Can she forgive him? Does he even deserve to be forgiven? And how is all of this awkwardness going to impact her work on this potentially career-making film?
Christina Lauren’s latest novel Twice in a Blue Moon is a slight departure from the other books I’ve read from this amazing writing duo. My prior experiences have been of the lively rom-com variety, filled with laugh-out-loud funny moments, while Twice in a Blue Moon comes across as a much more serious story.
While it wasn’t the light and funny story that I was expecting going in, Twice was still an entertaining and engaging read that features one of my favorite romantic tropes, the second chance romance. After reading about Tate and Sam’s adventures in London as young adults and watching Tate fall in love for the first time only to have her heart broken, I was fully invested in seeing what happened when Tate and Sam met again and whether or not Sam could do anything to redeem himself and get Tate to forgive his betrayal.
I also just really liked Tate and felt tremendous sympathy for her. I can’t even imagine living a childhood where I had to hide who I was from everyone. And then to finally confess your secret to someone, only to have them sell you out to the highest bidder? All of that has got to take a psychological and emotional toll on a person and I thought Christina Lauren did a fantastic job of letting us into Tate’s headspace to experience all of her conflicting emotions, both of the moment of Sam’s initial betrayal and then again when they come face to face after so many years. Sam was a great character too and so complex. I loved that he was so genuinely likeable in those early London scenes that his betrayal came out of left field and had me anxiously flipping pages waiting for him to turn back up and give me a darn good reason for why he did what he did.
The one area of the book that didn’t work quite as well for me as I would have hoped was the filming of the movie. Acting doesn’t really interest me so I got a little bored reading those scenes and the pages of script that were included. The high point of the movie scenes were actually the secondary characters who were working on the film. They were a lot of fun and I would have loved more time with them. I’m sure the issue with the acting scenes is just a me thing though and even with that issue, I still really enjoyed the story overall.
While not my favorite book from Christina Lauren (that honor still goes to Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating), Twice in a Blue Moon is still a lovely read that fans of second chance romance are sure to enjoy.
Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.
During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.
Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.
With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment Weekly) My Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…
That sure sounds like a rough situation, then to run into that person years later, would be uncomfortable. I would have been curious how that played out too. Thank goodness it worked out. Hugs,RO
Thanks for stopping by!
Suzanne recently posted…Weekly Recap #126: Week of 10/13 – 10/19
Glad you still enjoyed it despite finding some parts boring (I like acting so it may work for me). I can’t wait to listen to this one, too.
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) | Blue Mood Café recently posted…The Positivity Wave #20
Oh yeah, I think if you like acting, you’ll really enjoy those parts that weren’t for me.
Christina Lauren’s rom coms are some of my favorite books ever. This sounds more like Love and Other Words with its more serious tone. Love and Other Words was just such a beautiful book so I have high hopes for this one too!
I still need to read Love and Other Words. I’m glad to hear you loved that one.
I’ve been seeing mixed reviews for this one. Some feel the way you do and others are loving the switch up so to speak. I think I’ll have to read it before I see which side of the fence I fall on.
Alison Flores recently posted…Friday Finds ~ 10/18/19
I’ll be curious to hear what you think.
I’m glad to hear you liked this one, since it was a bit more serious than their others. It sounds like a good read!
ShootingStarsMag recently posted…This Is Not That Kind of Book by Christopher Healy
Yeah, it’s another solid read from CLo.
Hi Suzanne, thanks for your honest review of this one. It sounds quite intriguing. It does almost sound as though the author was going for getting this book made into a move LOL (maybe?). I finished reading the Unhoneymooners a few weeks ago, thanks to your recommendation. It was a fun and fast read. Very cute story.
lisa thomson recently posted…My Autumn
I actually think it would make for a great movie. Seeing the on set parts would probably be more interesting for me than reading about them.
I enjoyed this a little more than you did. That first part of the book, when they were first falling in love, was done so well. The authors did a wonderful job capturing that feeling of first love, and I found myself rooting for these two. I wouldn’t say I was that into the story within the story, but I did enjoy seeing these two reconnect, and I adored the very end of the book. It was like coming full circle.
I agree about the first part of the story. That was my favorite part.
This one sounds good and i have had my eye on it. I enjoy second chance romance. I wouldn’t have liked reading pages of script either. Great review.
bookworm recently posted…Sunday Post/Mailbox Monday 10/20/19: Book Updates and Sightseeing
It’s definitely a good second chance romance story so I hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it.
I’m just in awe by how quickly they churn out books. This does sound like a more serious read which is interesting. I’ll definitely see if my library has it and make sure my expectations are realistic!
Amber Elise @ Du Livre recently posted…Les Petites Revues [#33]
Yeah, it was definitely a lot more serious than the other books I’ve read from them so far. Still a good read though.
I finally read my first Christina Lauren books this year and I want to read more from them – although I did like the humor in their last books, I like that this one is more serious.
Yeah, I thought it was cool to see them switch gears and do something a little different. I still need to go back and read more from their backlist.
This book is getting some polarizing reviews. i’m glad you feel into the camp of liking it! I like the synopsis, but I have to agree. The pages of dialogue from the movie feels like it would hinder the pacing of the book.
Angie Elle recently posted…ARC Review | Hello, Cookie Dough: 110 Doughlicious Confections to Eat, Bake & Share by Kristen Tomlan
Yeah, that part wasn’t for me at all, but definitely still a solid read even with that. It would probably make a great movie though with those scenes in it. I think I’d enjoy seeing them more so than reading them.
As much as I want them to have their happy ending, I want Tate to smack Sam. Hard.
verushka recently posted…#5Books: Book recs
Yes, he seriously needed to be smacked in the head, lol.
I enjoyed your review, Suzanne. Like you, this wasn’t my favorite by Christina Lauren. I knew it wasn’t a rom-com so it’s not that I was surprised or disappointed by the shift in sub-genre/style. Mostly I felt like not a lot happened. I did really enjoy the “before” chapters when Tate and Sam were in London. But the adult section seemed so slow-moving and unproductive. This one was kind of middle of the road for me.
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…WWW Wednesday #66 | October 23, 2019
I completely agree about it feeling like not much happened.