Book Review: The Layover by Lacie Waldon

Book Review by Lacie Waldon title card with 3.5 star rating
The Layover by Lacie Waldon Book Review Features A Quick Synopsis, Plot Overview, Common Themes, Opinions, And Rating

Book Synopsis:

The Layover by Lacie Waldon follows Ava Greene’s story. As you may expect from the title, this book is traveling themed as Ava is a flight attendant for Northeast Air. The story focuses on how this is Ava’s “last trip” as a flight attendant given she is newly engaged to fiance Alexander, who wants her to quit her job. I don’t know about you, but that is one glaring red flag if I ever knew one. 
Mild spoilers up ahead!

Plot Points:

Ava tells us that Alexander wants her to quit her job for stability. It’s the running theme in the book as this is what Ava has been searching for her whole life; a sense of stability. She says yes to Alexander because he is offering her this with his wealth and very stable lawyer job. We learn that Alexander wants her to be somewhat of an at-home wife, fulfilling his need for a very specific routine. He expects her to be at home cooking the meals, cleaning, and readily available to him for any work events. 
At first, Ava thinks she wants this because it’s the “stability” she dreamed of as a child. We learn that Ava and her parents were “wanderers” and rarely ever stayed in one place. As you can imagine, for a child who moved around often, it’s not a surprise that she’s looking to stay put. As Alexander is promising her a stable home life, she decides to want to marry him but in agreeing to do so, she’d have to give up her job as a flight attendant. 

During this last trip, she ends up working it with Jack Stone, a hot flight attendant. She apparently hates him. And therein lies my problem with the “enemies to lovers” trope. Most of the time, stories that follow this trope are so mild with the reasoning as to why they’re enemies, and it’s almost always one sided. Like for me, to make “enemies to lovers” a legit thing, it needs to be something so awful that you end up hating them too. 

In this case – and spoiler ahead – Ava hates Jack because she thought he was conspiring with her ex, Rex, who ended up cheating on her. Though I wouldn’t be trusting of a dude named Rex but I digress. She thought that they were birds of a feather because she saw them once walking together in the airport and looked super friendly. She thought that since Rex cheated on her and was essentially an airline playboy, that if Jack was hanging out with him, then he was just as bad. 

Common Themes + My Opinion:

I’m not gonna lie, I was with her on this in that “birds of a feather” thought regarding Jack, but considering he didn’t really do anything to her specifically, was the hate justified? Sure, she thought he was in on Rex’s cheating on her, and I concede that to Ava but she didn’t really have a basis on that aside from rumors regarding Jack’s ex-girlfriend. So yeah, I wouldn’t like him but I wouldn’t go as far to say that he’s now her enemy considering he had nothing against her in the first place. 
Anyway, as implied by my tangent, Jack becomes the love interest for Ava, despite her apparent hatred of his guts. As the book progresses, Ava realizes that she doesn’t want to quit her job, and is starting to understand that the stability she’s looking for isn’t exactly how she imagined it would be. 

The common theme in Ava’s story is the sense of stability, but also settling. Ava was willing to settle with Alexander given that he was offering her a version of stability she wasn’t sure was for her. She realizes that in accepting Alexander’s stability, it’s at the sacrifice of her own self and who she is at her core. She’s made herself small to fit into Alexander’s world, who we learn didn’t sacrifice much to be with Ava despite her willingness to sacrifice herself. 

Ava accepts that she is a “wanderer” and that being a flight attendant allows her the freedom she desires. She thought the stability she was looking for meant being tethered somewhere, instead of within her. I was rooting for Ava once we realize what a shithead Alexander truly was – like no joke, he was giving major red flag vibes from the start and seemingly wanted a complacent trophy wife who was willing to stand in the shadows of his “greatness.” Barf. 

Final Thoughts + Rating:

Overall, “The Layover” was a cute read. It gave me a bit of wanderlust as we followed Ava’s adventures on her last trip. I love the airport and the hustle and bustle of traveling, despite not doing it often, and reading this book reminded me of that. It also reminded me that what you seek may not come in the way you think you want it, but the way you need it. That, and never settle for controlling and demanding men who want to subdue you in exchange for something (money, stability, etc). 

I give this one 3.5 stars and like 2 peppers because there was barely any spice in here outside of the burning sexual tension between Ava and Jack. 

Did you read “The Layover?” Let me know in the comments!

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