Book Review: In the Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen



Title: In the Unlikely Event
L.J. Shen
Ebook, 366 pages
Goodreads page

I received an arc copy of this from the author via Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review

Buckle up kids… I have a lot of thoughts.


Rory and Mal met and spent one amazing night together in Ireland. They made a promise that if they ever saw each other again, they would drop everything to be together.

But 8 years later, when they finally met again, things have changed between them. Mal is angry and callous and Rory has moved on. But they’re stuck together for 2 months in the same town they first met. What promise is Rory going to keep – the one she made 8 years ago or the one she made to current boyfriend?


➸ POV – This is told is 1st person in alternating chapters from Mal and Rory’s POVs. This also flashes between 8 years ago and present day.

Content Warnings: Rape, Abuse, Cheating, Death

My Thoughts

This is a ranting review. I did not enjoy this at all and go into spoiler-y details of exactly why. Read at your own risk.

I’m going to start this off by saying this is one of my least favorite romances I’ve ever read. I found nothing about this romantic, funny, sexy, or heart-wrenching. This was just a collection of bad tropes executed poorly with lots of problematic content sprinkled in.

The entire foundation of this book is insta-love. The characters meet at 18 and 21 in Ireland and “fall in love”. Personally, I cannot buy into a relationship that is based purely on instant attraction and sex. That’s not love. And using that insta-love as the basis for a “second-chance romance” just didn’t work for me. I never cared about the character’s relationship or history because honestly there was none. They met, they slept together, they went their separate ways. That’s not enough for me to latch onto in the way of romance and connection.

On top of that, all the resulting drama was based on miscommunication or a complete lack of communication. Rory’s mom: lied. Rory’s best friend: lied. Boyfriend: lied. Rory: lied. Mal: lied. Priest: lied. Literally everyone just lied their way through this whole story. It was so frustrating to wade through as a reader.

I am over reading about women hating on each other. Rory hated on her mother, Rory and her sister hated on each other, Rory and her “best friend” treated each other like garbage. I probably would have dropped dead of shock if one female in this story said something considerate to another woman.

I’m not opposed to reading about cheating in my romance – in fact some of my favorite romance’s of all time contain cheating. But this cheating arc was so unnecessary. Rory spends the entire book not wanting to be with her boyfriend, Callum, but stays with him anyways. She berates herself when she eventually cheats after putting herself into the situation. In reality she was a bad girlfriend for stringing him along for 3 years, not just cheating. And then to turn around and villainize Callum simply to justify the female MC’s bad behavior was so frustrating. Breaking up with someone simply because you don’t feel the same way is 100% valid!

This one is going to hurt… These were some of the worst sex scenes I’ve ever read. That scene with the chocolate… I’m sorry but that is how you get an infection. And there nothing about that is sexy about that.

All those little quips from inanimate objects or side characters brought literally nothing to the story. They weren’t funny or informative. They simply felt like a way to info dump.

The final reveal about why everyone knows and hates Rory was.. not good. The fact that an entire town literally ran out a mother and infant because they sided with an abusive, alcoholic father is BS. And the fact that they still hated her years later is absurd.

But my number 1 grip with this book was the way it handled rape. If something this serious is going to be tackled, it needs to be addressed in a respectful way. Not simply brushed under the rug because “at least he got a child out of it”. I could not move past this and honestly began skim reading after the reveal because I was so upset by how it was handled and promptly ignored.

Overall this was massive miss for me…


8 thoughts on “Book Review: In the Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen

  1. Thank you!! I read so many reviews about how wonderful this book was and while I did like a few things I was completely grossed by the chocolate scene and baffled by reading the napkin’s point of view. The. F.cking. Napkin. Why, just why?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s