The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
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.
Genres: Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, New Adult, Office Romance
Since it’d been announced a few months ago that they would be making a movie based on this book, it’s been particularly popular in Romancelandia–two years after it’s publication. I’d kind of been putting off reading it, mostly because I’ve had so many other titles on my TBR list and not enough time. I finally had a little bit of time to read it and decided I wanted to see what all the fuss was about–especially before the movie comes out 🙂
Wellllll. I definitely get the appeal! This book had everything that I love: romance, humor, an awkward but lovable heroine, an asinine but secretly hilarious and sweet hero, heat, and lots of heart. There was honestly nothing I disliked from this book–well, except for the fact that Josh/ua is my ex’s name and that threw me off for a bit, ha. However, I like this Josh WAY more, so I got over it fast. 😛
The premise of this book is one of my favorites. Enemies to lovers + office romance; I read the blurb and knew I needed to read this book. The snark and sexual tension are definitely the driving forces in this novel. They kept me glued to the pages, even during the “slow” parts. Lucy and Josh are hilarious but often quite brutal with each other–helloooo, you two, it’s obvious you’re in love–and it’s an interesting journey to witness. From their beginning of mutual distrust and antagonism to falling in love, it’s a hilarious, beautiful story.
Lucy is an awkward, sassy, witty, sweet woman with a lot of ambition and the unwillingness to let anything get in the way of her dreams–especially the attractive but extremely irritating man who sits across from her at work. She’s been underestimated a time or two and she’s certainly not going to let this man or their bosses make the mistake of underestimating her now; especially not with her drive and her work ethic. I have to say, despite being quick to jump to the wrong conclusion and a huge amount of defensiveness, Lucy is one of my favorite female characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Her narration is just perfect and I loved being inside her head–especially once she started easing up on Josh a bit.
Josh is sexy but irritating and just plain mean most of the time. He’s surly and keeps to himself, refusing to even offer a smile to our lovely little heroine. Every so often, though, she gets glimpses of who he is capable of being–the melodious, contagious laugh; the grins he tries so hard to hide from her; the soft expression that sometimes graces his eyes when he looks at her. I had a major crush on Josh before they were even nice to each other (seriously; what is it about the assholes in books?).
They keep up their hostility by making snide remarks and exchanging scathing glances until they finally admit to themselves that they have feelings for the other. After that, new problems are introduced. The transition from enemies to lovers is interesting; Josh sucks at communication and Lucy is completely guarded and insecure, and a lot of that has to do with how she and Josh have treated each other for so long. While this book did make me laugh out loud, there was quite a bit of heart and angst that made my chest ache. Of course, there’s a HEA and it’s so freaking sweet and I couldn’t be happier with the way things end up for these two.
I absolutely adored this book and I can see it quickly becoming one of my perpetual re-reads. I can’t believe it took me so long to read it! It’s definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. Highly, highly recommend–especially if you love romantic comedies that make you feel <3 And if you do read it, make sure you come back and comment to let me know what you think of it!
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