Book Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
"Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them."
Y’all. This book is delightful. I am always up for a good love story, and boy, does this one deliver. Sally Thorne’s debut novel, The Hating Game, is about Lucy Hutton and Josh Templeman, two executive assistants to co-CEOs at a publishing company. They are enemies and antagonize each other constantly. After their two publishing companies, Gamin & Bexley, respectively, merged, Lucy and Josh are forced to work together. Lucy has been dreaming of working in publishing since she was little and believes in the books themselves, while Josh is a numbers guy and focuses more on the selling of books.
Lucy and Josh spend their workdays playing games against each other, and it is well known in their office that they hate each other; HR even gets involved on occasion. As I despise confrontation and avoid it all at costs, I appreciate Lucy being able to stand up to Josh and fight back. Lucy and Josh banter back and forth, trying to make each other crack into a smile or laugh. But the banter turns into blatant flirting after they kiss. It is like their very own sitcom.
Fairly early on in the story, Lucy decides to dress up in a rather provocative outfit and tease Josh. To prove to Josh that she does in fact have a date, she then has to ask Danny in the design department on a date. But Josh happens to be going to the same bar and drives Lucy there. In the elevator, Josh kisses Lucy. And. What. A. Kiss. This kiss completely screws with Lucy’s mind. The rest of the story, Lucy tries to figure out how she really feels about Josh.
I cannot really tell you why I loved The Hating Game so much. Thorne incorporated so many tried and true romantic comedy tropes (like the other guy Danny and the office romance), but she also added so much depth to the actual characters. At first glance, Josh seems like just a corporate jerk and even seems kind of misogynistic. And while the book is told through Lucy’s eyes, we still see her at first as a people-pleaser and a little bit of a pushover (to anyone other than Josh), who lives and breathes her job. But as we get to know them, we find out how much Josh cares for Lucy, especially when she gets sick and he nurses her back to health. We also find out that Lucy is scared of commitment, even though she keeps wanting to find friends, she still somewhat resists Josh taking up so much of her life.
I am a sucker for any good romantic comedy and a good love story. And while this was not the greatest love story of our time, The Hating Game is a fun read if you want to be immersed in an entertaining story for a few hours. Josh is ridiculously sweet to Lucy, and Lucy stands up to Josh’s awkward family situation. Overall, it was a perfect light read to escape the real world for a little bit. I adored it; 5 stars!
Let me know your recommendations for good romantic comedies, books, or movies.