I’ve been a fan of Christina Lauren ever since I read Love and Other Words last year. However, it feels like ever since that book came out I’ve been expecting something similar from them. While I’ve loved their romantic comedies they put out every few months, I keep hoping the next one I’ll read from them will blow me away like Love and Other Words did. After reading Twice in a Blue Moon, I feel like I found something of substance with a ton of potential, but a few flaws I couldn’t overlook.
Twice in a Blue Moon follows Tate Butler aka Tate Jones aka the daughter of the famous movie actor, Ian Butler. While she’s lived away from the spotlight for ten years, she and her family don’t take any risks with being noticed by the paparazzi or someone else. But Tate is 18 now and she wants to explore the world, so she and her grandma set off to London on a two-week vacation filled with sightseeing and exploration. It’s Tate’s first time out of the country and she couldn’t be more excited especially after meeting Sam and his step-grandad, Luther.
While on their trip in London, Sam and Tate’s relationship evolves from a friendship to more as the couple travels across London together, spending their evenings staring up at the London sky, and falling asleep next to each other. Tate is so comfortable with Sam that she tells him the one secret she’s not supposed to tell anyone, who she really is. And while Sam appreciated Tate for telling him this huge secret, he doesn’t view her any different than the girl he originally met. That is, until one day when Sam and Luther inexplicably leave London early and the news broke out; Tate Butler’s been spotted in London.
From that point on, Tate’s life has soared to great professional heights. Her unexpected run in with the press has launched her acting career and 14 years later, she’s about to start filming what could possibly be the role that will win her an Oscar alongside her father who’s still grasping for late career fame. While she never saw Sam again, she hasn’t forgotten him or what he did to their family. But it isn’t until Tate sees Sam on set while filming that she realizes that Sam wrote the screenplay. Now she needs to manage the role of a lifetime, her fame-hungry dad, and her ex-first love who betrayed her in the worst way.
For what it’s worth, I thought the story was cute. I love books that go deeply into a world I know nothing about like being an actress and filming a movie. I loved the touches that made the story feel real including Tate’s best friend being the make up artist on set. However, there were a lot of flaws in this story that I couldn’t overlook that muddies it for me.
First off, I didn’t believe in Sam and Tate’s relationship. While Sam’s explanation for telling the press about Tate seems to be noble, I wouldn’t be able to get over the major trust violation. Forgive, but not forget is kind of my motto so I didn’t see how Sam and Tate were able to rekindle their relationship from when they were younger. It would take time and in this book, it was only a few short weeks before Tate and Sam were back together. Suspending belief here works for a little bit, but their insta-love and quick turnaround made it feel a little less real and a little more satirical.
The first half of this book takes place in London while the second half is the present day. While I get why Christina Lauren needed the space to give the reader backstory, I thought the London portion was way too long. Because it was nearly half the book, I thought the switch to present day made the book a little disjointed. The tones were different too. The first half felt a little more serious and then the second half felt like the rom-coms I’m used to reading from Christina Lauren. If the first half was a little shorter (or at least not half the book), then there might have been room for the ending which felt rushed.
I also felt like Ian’s presence in the book was close to nothing, but then he’s responsible for a big reveal all the way at the end. That kind of irked me, but also made sense for his character. I just wish he was a bigger annoying presence to Tate throughout the story.
But overall, it was a cute and quick read. Christina Lauren still know how to write a great story and while it isn’t the next Love and Other Words, I still stand hopeful that the next one will be.
- 3/5 Stars
- Publishing on October 22, 2019
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I received a copy of this book from Gallery Books for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.