Book reviews

My Favorite Half-night Stand by Christina Lauren

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Here we go again with another Christina Lauren read.

Okay… Let me first clarify that this is the first time I am writing a book review for a read I have just only finished (like, not even 5 hours ago). Usually before I write down these reviews, I would give myself a day or two. You know, to organize my thoughts and assess what I really thought about the book. So yeah, I guess it’s fair warning that everything I write at this moment would be raw, fresh, and not quite as filtered as usual–without having some time to regroup and think.

Well, last night was like any other night. I was debating which book to start reading next–and this usually happens right before going to bed, which last night was around 1AM–and suddenly I thought about Christina Lauren’s My Favorite Half-night Stand which I recently uploaded in my ebook library. You see, I was organizing my online bookshelf before retiring to bed, googling book ratings and reviews, finding out what new novels I should watch out for. When it was finally time to decide, I simply thought: “I could never go wrong with a CLo novel.” And damn, I chose right!

Those first few pages were hilarious as hell–I mean, I was laughing my ass off at 1AM! I just knew I would not sleep a wink without learning what the novel has in store. So right off the first chapter, we are introduced to a highly intellectual and diverse group of friends — Millie (a criminology professor fascinated with female serial killers–she is perfect, giving my obsession with true crime shows a sense of normalcy), Reid (mister hot and sexy neuroscientist), Chris (boy-next-door African American chemist), Alex (outdoor-loving, ever-confident ladies’ man and biochemist), and Ed (sweet and charming postdoc neuroscientist). Millie, being the only female in the group, would refer to the guys as her strictly platonic bestfriends. Well… that is, until a night of drinking and celebration where she and her closest bestfriend (you got it), Reid, had what is a half-night stand (for the sake of clarity, it’s a hookup without spending the night, without the awkward morning-after encounter).

The story then becomes more complicated when all five are plunged into a situation where they are compelled to find dates to accompany them to an upcoming university commencement banquet. As professionals with successful careers in the academe, work always comes first. And with the prospect of meeting someone and knowing them enough to bring them to the much-anticipated event becoming more and more difficult, they’ve decided to give online dating websites a try. And, this is where the fun begins.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to give away any more plot detail. The previous paragraphs would be all I have to say it terms of the storyline. It is, in true Christina Lauren fashion, a well-written, relatable, entertaining, fun read, and I sincerely hope I’ve roused your interest to consider reading it.

If you are still with me in this book review, allow me to at least give my personal thoughts about the novel. Of course, without spoiling the plot. I already mentioned Millie is perfect. She has earned her spot in my favorite female leads. Though that is not to say she does not have her share of shortcomings. Her emotional reserve is, in my opinion, strongly justifiable given what she’s been through. She is not only smart, beautiful, pleasantly eccentric, and genuine, but what I love most about her is her strength of character and resolve to become an even better version of herself (for herself and for the people she loves).

Then there is Reid. Oh, so swoony, Reid. Despite being known in their circle of friends as mister-with-feelings (sensitive and a people person through and through), I have to say he was quite slow in recognizing his own feelings. Not only that, yes, honesty is expected in relationships, no matter the kind, but this expectation encompasses all parties involved. I guess what I’m saying is I hoped Reid would have lead with honesty (the honest questioning and the honest expression of feelings–the one he so explicitly craved), and not only waited for it. That would have spared this relationship their bad days. But yeah, it’s all part of the story, I get it.

Relationships comprise of both the good and the bad. Whether it be family, a friendship, or a romantic relationship, we can only make it work and truly connect with other people if we are open to accepting who they really are. This does not always happen easily and might require some effort to establish, but the feeling of being connected and loved all and truly makes it worthwhile.

I give this book 4.5 stars. I have no regrets choosing to finish it in one seating, losing sleep in the process. It gave me a general sense of happiness finally knowing that Millie and Reid (and the gang included) survived the tides. And I would just like to leave this short, important phrase, echoing to what I was writing about relationships.

May you keep this in mind every time you find yourself at odds with any of your relationships. Choose to understand, to forgive, and to accept with an open heart.

“…no one comes into a relationship fully grounded.”

Christina Lauren, My Favorite Half-night Stand
  • Title: My Favorite Half-night Stand
  • Author: Christina Lauren
  • Year published: 2018
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Total number of pages: 384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-501-19740-6

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