Updated: Feb 26, 2019
The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne
Happy Valentine's Day! In honour of the ultimate day of romance, I am reviewing one of the most current popular romantic comedy books - The Hating Game.
Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.
My initial response to this book, which held up the entire way through, is that I love it so hard. Cue soft sigh of satisfaction after putting this book aside. They say that the rom-com is going extinct, but that is certainly a fallacy. It's not that there isn't demand for romantic comedies, it's the fact that what we want is GOOD romantic comedies. And The Hating Game hits all the buttons.
First, let's be clear that this book is all fantasy. This is more fantasy than Game of Thrones. Joshua Templeton is the perfect man, full-stop. Beautiful, built, ambitious, intelligent, fiercely masculine and yet tender and sensitive underneath it all.
...he's electric with the animal instinct to protect me, his heavy muscle braced over my body. He absorbs each impact and it is his privilege. He's injected sharp and hard with nature's superdrug, testosterone.
He's also completely devoted, head over heels in love in a way that turns anyone with estrogen into mush. He is fictional. In fact, I think he might be a unicorn. And yet, the whole book is written in a way that makes it accessible, that it just might be possible to find a romance like this. In a word, perfect. Exactly as a rom-com should be.
The office flirtation aspect is real enough, and the way Josh and Lucy flirt is adorable. I wish I could go back in time and have a good office flirtation just like this one. Lucy herself threatens to be almost too overwhelmingly sweet, with her teeniness and the strawberry connection, and yet her neuroses are real and they make her endearing, not cloying.
The book is also very, very sexy.
"When I'm your boss, I'm going to work you so fucking hard," Joshua's voice is dirty and rough.
Seriously, I never thought that discussions of financial sheets would get my pulse pounding, and yet these two do it for me.
I spent a large part of the book wondering where it was set, not that it affected the plot in any way. Since they work in a publishing company, I immediately thought New York, but there's a lot of talk about driving around and parking, which made me think definitely not New York. It did not have a London vibe to it, but when I got to the end and read that Sally Thorne is Australian, I thought Sydney right away and somehow having it set in Australia made me like the book even more. There has been much online discussion as to where the book is actually set, and the answer is nowhere, it's a fictional place for a fictional book, and yet now in my head everyone has Aussie accents and I'm a happy woman.
If I had a critique about the book, I almost thought the height difference thing was a bit much. A foot and a half of difference between too people is a whole lot of difference. And I have several tall girlfriends who are rolling their eyes at the whole idea, because little people should stick together. However, if that's my one little critique of the book, we're doing pretty good.
Sometimes you just want to read something uncomplicated, pleasing and overall joyous, and that is how I would describe The Hating Game - it was a joy to read. Perfect for Valentine's Day. It's like indulging in a box of chocolates or an extra glass of red wine - an indulgence that makes you feel just a teensy bit sinful but really rather good. Worth it. Recommend to anyone who loves romance, or looking for a super beach read.