Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Review: The Hating Game

Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Genre: New Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Source: Library
Format: Physical

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 (goodreads).

The Hating Game was equal parts sexy and fun!
Plot: I tried to read the Hating Game as an audiobook and I just did not mesh with the narrator. Months later, I picked up the physical copy from the library and it was such a quick, fun summer read! As the synopsis stated, Lucy and Joshua hated each other and have caused nothing but headache for HR personnel. I was surprised by how quickly the romance progressed, but I liked the overall pace of this novel. There were a lot of light-hearted moments as well as "stop it, I'm not crying" scenes. The ending was sweet with a lot of loose threads for potential follow-up and I think a novella would be a great addition to the Hating Game. 

Characters: In such a small fast-paced book, Thorne did a fantastic job of giving her characters the appropriate amount of backstory and time to shine. Since this novel was told from Lucy's perspective, we got a lot of her wacky thoughts. Admittedly, I thought a lot of her interactions with Joshua were a bit unusual from what we gleaned from Lucy's personality, but it did make for some great chemistry. We only got a one-sided look at Joshua and I think it would be fun to revisit this novel from Josh's perspective. He was a very complex character and I'm sure we only scratched the surface in the Hating Game. 

Worldbuilding: It took me forever to realize that the setting was in Australia, which I'm not sure was on purpose. It was a generic big city with very few references to actual places. The author also didn't provide a lot of descriptions of the characters themselves outside of height, eye color, and hair color. Based on those very few descriptions, I gleaned that everyone was white. Whomp whomp. 

Short N Sweet: Sally Thorne's debut was nothing short of impressive; this is the perfect beach read.


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