The Hating Game by Sally Throne | Book Review [spoiler-free]

11/05/2019

This photo was kindly borrowed from a Bookstagram/Blogger account I've recently starting following: novelteafox. Be sure to go give the account a follow if you love beautifully taken photos of books. 

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman sit across from each other every work day. Once having worked separately for different publishing companies, their worlds collided after both houses were forced to come together in an effort to avoid bankruptcy.

Reflected in their personalities, Lucy's ex-company prided itself on having heart with their job. Her quirky outfits were welcomed at the office, a snippet of her smurf collection was proudly showcased at her desk, and her boss was a woman people went to for advice. Passion fuelled their work. Josh's company, however, was the exact opposite. They were fuelled by figures, professional attire, and a desire to win at everything. When both companies came together a good portion of their staff were let go. Lucy and Josh survived the merger, but that doesn't mean they'll survive each other.

Both not having much of a life outside of work they spend their days torturing each other with silly games to see who will 'come out on top'. Whether it be the staring game, the likeability game, or lately, a little harmless flirtation to see who will break first. After a cruel remark makes Lucy take things a little too far and comes to work dressed as though she'd be better suited on a street corner, their hateship makes an unexpected turn. Can you guess how..?

As mentioned above, this photo kindly borrowed from a Bookstagram/Blogger account I've recently starting following. Now it's time to push their blog link: novelteafox. Go have a look!

I went into this novel not expecting much, just a cheesy read with likeable characters, and that's exactly what I got. But that's a good thing. This book is what it says on the tin... or rather, cover. I really enjoyed the story and flew through it in two sittings. I desperately wanted to know the outcome of their romance and was rooting for them like they were from a CW show. However, I would not put this in the category of 'hate to love' romance. Their coupling happened not even halfway into the novel, which kind of veto's the synopsis of the story. The first half was a 5 star read and the last half was, at a stretch, a 3.5. Personally, with this kind of novel, I ache for that slow burn and this felt slow-slow-slow-full on romance. Which though not a deal breaker, was a little disappointing.

Lucy and Josh were a believable duo and each carried enough weight as characters to stand up alone without needing their counter half to create personality. I enjoyed the interactions with their families, though the overall stories with them were predictable and a little too familiar. As both didn't have friends, there weren't any friendship groups but I think that aided in the story as it truly built up the relationship between Lucy and Josh as they only really had each other for entertainment. I could relate with Lucy's isolated life and I imagine many could see themselves in Josh's story of being a disappointment to his family.

My biggest issue by a mile was the constant, and I mean constant, mentioning of Lucy's height. She's a short woman but good god, I swear the author put a reference to her height on every single page. We can't forget she's short! Activities in the book were made more difficult because of her height. Men found her cute because she was short. She had to wear heels because she's short. When she pulls her shoes off at home, she becomes shorter. She's short, you know? Josh is tall, but Lucy is short. When people meet her they always ask 'how tall are you?' within minutes. Because she's short. People manhandle her because she's short. Everyone notices she's short, even in heels. Gaaaahhhhhhhh. Stop. Just stop.

Alas, this is the definition of a guilty-pleasure read and despite my little problems with it, it was a really enjoyable story that kept me invested. If you're looking for a speedy novel with a cutesy romance, humour, and a little smut.. see if your library has this Sally Throne novel.

Rating: 4/5 stars.



The Hating Game is also being made into a movie next year starring Lucy Hale and Robbie Amell, so keep an eye out for that and if you're like me, be sure to pick up the book prior to watching!

Side-note: I had seen so many people online recommend this if you enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, but that suggestion is idiotic and do not listen to them. There are no ties that connect these two books other than an office setting, so you'll be thoroughly disappointed. If you enjoy a little chic-lit/rom-com style of book, then I'd recommend this. Or if you enjoyed The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang or, at a push, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

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