Are you in the mood for the cutest book ever?
Then pick up The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne.
This book was lovely and cute and well-written and full of tension and I just could not put it down.
The summary, from Goodreads:
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.
Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.
Why did I love this book so?
1. The Writing Don’t let the debut author or the seeming trivialness of the subject matter fool you. The writing here is stellar. It sucked me in immediately.
I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.
Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are shredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with a dangerous kind of adrenaline, and you’re on the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you.
2. The Characters Lucy could have easily verged on the annoying with the amount of time she spends ranting about Joshua. But she’s not. She’s funny and downright charming when describing everything around her, from her office to her obnoxiously fastidious coworker. Spending time in her head was nothing short of extremely enjoyable. And Joshua, from her perspective, is just perfect. A++ for our protagonists.
3. THE TENSION This is the thing this book does best. The sexual tension was just off the charts. I read this book so fast, at the same time wanting to savor every scene these two were in together because it was just so, so great. Seriously, if you need a book to get sucked into, this is the one.
4. The Levity I’ve been reading some super serious/depressing/violent stuff lately. This book is none of those things. Hooray for the occasional happy ending!
The Less Good
1. The Side Characters There really wasn’t much to anyone besides Lucy and Josh, which is fine, for the most part, since it was about them, but I would have liked a little more character development from everyone else. Also I just don’t really buy that Lucy’s been here for however many years and has not a single friend.
2. The Setting Because it didn’t really have one! I knew they worked in a city, and could drive out of said city to get to a waterfront, and that Lucy lived a plane’s distance away from her childhood home of strawberry fields, but I have no idea what country this was even in. Australia? England? The US? What state? It made it a little harder to picture everything when I had no clue where this took place.
… and that’s about it! Despite my tiny criticisms, this was one of the better books I’d read this year, and I recommend anyone else looking for a fun, sweet, well-written rom-com to pick it up right away. 9/10 stars.