All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Layover by Lacie Waldon

on November 26, 2021

The Layover
Lacie Waldon
Putnam
2021, 320p
Personal purchased copy

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}: After ten years as a flight attendant, Ava Greene is poised to hang up her wings and finally put down roots. She’s got one trip left before she bids her old life farewell, and she plans to enjoy every second of it. But then she discovers that former pilot Jack Stone — the absurdly gorgeous, ridiculously cocky man she’s held a secret grudge against for years — is on her flight. And he has the nerve to flirt with her, as if he doesn’t remember the role he played in the most humiliating night of her life. Good thing she never has to see him again after they land….

But when their plane encounters mechanical problems, what should have been a quick stop at the Belize airport suddenly becomes a weekend layover. Getting stuck on a three-hour flight with her nemesis was bad enough. Being stranded with him at a luxury resort in paradise? Even with the sultry breeze and white sand to distract her, it will take all the rum punch in the country to drown out his larger-than-life presence.

Yet the more time Ava spends with him under the hot Caribbean sun, the more she begins to second-guess everything she thought she knew about him… and everything she thought she wanted from her life. And all too soon, she might have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds….

An unexpected tropical layover with her nemesis turns a flight attendant’s life upside down in this witty, breezy debut romantic comedy about life — and love — 30,000 feet above the ground.

This was a bit of a mixed bag.

Firstly, I did really enjoy the setting, which is a mixture of planes and Belize. Although I’ve read some reviews from people who have been to Belize who seem to think that the author played fast and loose with the geography in Belize but I haven’t been there so that’s not something I’d notice. But I really enjoyed experiencing Ava’s perspective as a flight attendant, her routines, the things she does, etc. That was really fun and I liked their layover too. Seemed like a really nice perk of the job, to occasionally be granted things like 24hrs in a tropical paradise. Also I think the author did a great job showcasing how Ava’s unusual upbringing had impacted on her as an adult, how it had shaped what she wanted in life (or what she thought she wanted) and how a job like the one she had, even though it took her to different places all over the US and other destinations, might’ve been a comfort to her with routine and certain things being the same.

What I didn’t like? Honestly, pretty much everything else.

It was at times, difficult to be in Ava’s head. She keeps complaining about how her two friends away from work seem to find her so incredibly unreliable because of her job which means she’s often on call for a flight. Girl, you need new adult friends. You’re in your late 20s (I think?) and no one is in college anymore. People have jobs and commitments and occasionally can’t make it to drinks or dinner or catch ups. And it’s not like her job is a surprise, her friends know she is a flight attendant who is often on call. Surely even though she often has scheduled off-time, it must be known that occasionally, she would be called into work to cover a flight. And if that she missed a dinner or catch up, this would not be the end of the world and make it next week or whatever. Also, for some reason, Ava keeps her personal and professional life strictly separate and doesn’t make friends with her flight attendant colleagues or tell them about what she has going on in her personal life. Or that this is supposed to be her last flight. Which is super weird.

And then there’s Jack. The love interest of this story who is incredibly annoying but also, so is Ava. The scene where they “race” each other to deliver the drinks/snacks is super cringeworthy and was probably worthy of both of them being written up. They bicker and fight like little kids. Ava believes Jack did something to her a couple years ago, so that’s why she strongly resents him, plus she’s listened to some rumours about him. But just 24hrs later or something, she’s basically ready to spend her whole life with him, despite the added complications of what is actually going on Ava’s personal life because Ava conveniently forgets to tell Jack that actually, until very recently, as in like, hours ago, she was engaged. And that’s kind of spoilers I guess because the blurb doesn’t mention it but you find out on the first page or so anyway.

A lot of this is unfortunately, just lazy writing. Everything is so rushed – Ava starts off the book admiring her perfect life and how it’s about to be her last flight and she’ll “settle down” with her wonderful lawyer fiancé but then the book just dribbles out information about how actually it’s not that perfect and she’s having thoughts and he doesn’t want to listen to change anything and Ava, why didn’t you wait until you were back home to sit down and discuss this like adults? Instead you’re like that meme of the guy with his girlfriend whose attention is caught by the girl walking the other way. Although I don’t technically think what happened here is cheating, it skates close enough to the line for things to be messy about just how free and clear Ava really is, plus the fact that she kept her status from Jack is a bit dodgy I think. Also Jack’s backstory is not what I expected but it felt like it was written purely to make the reader like him more and for Ava to realise how wrong she was to believe rumours and it honestly didn’t actually feel like something that a real person would put up with.

There’s also so much left unresolved at the end – Ava’s feelings about her parents and upbringing are not adequately addressed, nor are her friendships. I did like Gen and Pilot Paul as well as Captain Ballinger. Much more than Ava and Jack actually.

5/10

Book #195 of 2021


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