Book Review: The Hating Game

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This book was completely ridiculous and I gobbled it up like a pint of my favorite ice cream.

Book CWs

  • Bullying
  • Abuse (emotional)
  • Sexual Assault/Harassment
  • Profanity
  • Sexually Explicit Scenes

Premise

After two companies merge to save their businesses, Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman have no choice but to work side by side at Bexley & Gamin as assistants to the co-CEOs.

Lucy is the classic nice girl. She is personable, friendly, and is always willing to help a fellow coworker out–even it means more work for her. Joshua, on the other hand, is harsh, dry, and uncompromising. Their hatred-filled feud is infamous around the office.

Everyday they play a new game as a means of getting under the other’s skin; there’s the Staring Game, the How You Doing Game, the HR Game, and countless others. When it is announced that the two will have to compete for an upcoming promotion, an entirely new game is set underway and in this one, Lucy’s career hinges on Joshua’s failure.

Unfortunately for Lucy, the new promotion seems to have sparked something else. Something..hot between the two of them. Are these feelings real? Or is this just another game?

Review (No Spoilers)

This book was so freaking on brand for me. I think I have discovered a new favorite genre and it can only be described as “absurd hate-to-love plots with unnecessarily high levels of cheesiness”.

The entire time that I was reading this book I was either laughing, clutching my heart, or both. I don’t know how else to say it: this book charmed the pants out of me. I didn’t even care that Lucy was one of those hopefully oblivious protagonists (a thing that I hate in most books). Instead of being upset by her ignorance, I was giggling over it.

I think the reason I enjoy reading hate-to-love so much is because the characters are such dicks to each other that when there is a tender moment, it’s like I’ve been punched as hard as possible in the gut (in the best way!). I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if my heart had literally burst through my chest while I was reading the last two chapters.

And I know that this sounds like me raving a 5 star review, but there were some major downfalls. I actually considered giving this a 4 star rating at one point because of them, but I couldn’t deny how much I loved the rest of this book enough to drop it a whole star.

For one, Lucy consistently fat-shames one of her bosses, to the point where she actually refers to him as “fat little dick” anytime she mentions him. Secondly, the romance is jump started during a certain kissing scene, and the entire time that I read it, my brain was screaming “UM THIS IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?!?!?!?!” The narration tries to play it off as okay since they secretly had feelings for each other, but I was majorly creeped out by it.

Honestly, after reading that scene I was legitimately terrified the rest of the book was going to be a frustrating collage of boundaries being crossed in the name of “hate-love” but it thankfully was not that at all. The more I read, the more I found myself falling in love with Lucy and Josh’s romance.

Warning: this is a little into spoiler territory so you don’t have to read the next paragraph if you don’t want to.

There’s this thing that romance novels do that I absolute hate, and it’s when the plot reaches a conflict that forces the two love interests to “break up” and be completely miserable for a few chapters. The Hating Game didn’t do that and I am so thankful that it didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, the book did have its drama, but miscommunications were resolved fairly quickly so I never felt the anxiety that I am made to feel when book romances so often fall apart.

After the book ends, there is a a preview of another one of Sally Thorne’s books. I haven’t read it yet but considering how much I loved this story, I’ll probably be taking a trip to a bookstore sometime soon.

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