I hadn’t had much time to read while abroad in Spain, so after settling in back in the US I bought The Hating Game by Sally Thorne since it had been on my TBR (to be read) pile for a while. (Also it’s going to be a movie soon! Yay for the trend of adapting lots of fiction recently, from To All The Boys I Loved Before to Me Before You and more).
All in all, I think I have a new favorite book. 5/5. 6/5. 10/5. I have never read a book and loved it so much that as soon as I reached the end I immediately went to the beginning and read it again. It’s that good.
Needless to say I’m very excited for the movie. Although I doubt it will be as good, the movie will be amazing if only partially as good as the book. Lucy Hale is cast as Lucy Hutton and Robbie Amell is cast as Joshua Templeton. Find out more here.
What’s it about?
Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.
Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
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.
What’s so great about it?
The characters and characterization are amazing. Each is three dimensional with a clear, and satisfying arc. The reader cares about them and what happens to them, but more than that, they’re just fun to spend time with. The dialogue is witty and realistic with a perfect blend of body language and words. Along that line, this book is just funny.
Any cliches that could have come up– workplace tension and romance, the under appreciated employee, family drama– was impressively unique enough to feel fresh but without being unbelievably crazy.
The subplots and plots are woven together beautifully into one story, fluctuating in tension enough to keep the reader engaged but satisfied.
Some of the typical cliches in romance were turned on their head, which I appreciated greatly. While I can’t say more without giving spoilers, the gender roles in terms of relationships were flipped in some satisfying ways.
All in all, in terms of romance novels, this portrayed a relatively healthy, realistic relationship. Something more books should do, especially if they are written as beautifully as this one.
What I didn’t like
I had to think about this a lot to come up with something. The one thing that I didn’t love was that occasionally the male romance figure (I won’t say who it is…) was borderline on consent. Not for anything serious but in terms of her trying to pull away or leave the room. This was portrayed as romantic, but came off not okay.
Where you can buy it
Barnes and Noble