Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Bully by Penelope Douglas and Wallbanger by Alice Clayton are just some of the reasons why I adore the enemies-to-lovers romance trope. With that in mind, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne has become my favorite book ever. OK, my family and friends tease that I express the same sentiment after each book I’ve read, but I am dead serious that this beautiful novel will forever hold a special and unique place in my heart. Just released in August, the hype surrounding the book has been off the charts, and reviews are positively glowing over Thorne’s debut novel. So far it has been named one of the best romance books of 2016, and nominated for Best Romance in the annual Goodreads Choice Awards. With incredible dialogue, and outrageously laugh-out-loud moments, The Hating Game is the perfect rom-com read that’ll sweep any reader off their feet.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman have been rivals from the moment they met. On opposite sides of a recently merged company, the tension escalates to an all-time high when they compete for a once-in-a-lifetime promotion. Told in Lucy’s point-of-view, her perspective is downright hilarious. Add in Lucy’s tiny 5-foot stature to Josh’s towering over 6-foot frame and you have a recipe for antics just waiting to happen. Lucy makes her hatred of Josh no secret, and the two engage in little “games”—both inside and outside the office—that only they understand. From the Staring Game to the How You Doing Game, each showdown not only provides insight into how the rivals interact with one another, but also builds on the tension that threatens to turn into something else entirely at any moment.
Let me make it clear that Lucy Hutton is basically everything I aspire to be one day. She’s lovable, determined and ambitious. Ever since she was little, she’s worked hard to make her dreams of working in a publishing house in New York City come true. And now that she’s finally arrived, she certainly isn’t going to let “Big Josh” ruin her chance at earning the job she’s worked for her entire life.
Whereas everyone loves Lucy, almost everyone in the office is terrified of Josh. He’s scarily blunt, demanding, and with his “Serial Killer” eyes, he is Lucy’s polar-opposite in every way. What makes them so striking in their differences only further demonstrates the inevitability of their love story. Through a series of events involving paintballs, jealous coworkers, and some family drama, Lucy and Josh learn how to navigate their tumultuous feelings for one another. What I really loved was that Thorne seamlessly weaves the little details in their relationship that pop up time and again throughout the entire arc of the story. Once you get to the end of their love story, the details that evoked such anger and fury out of Lucy have an entirely new (and such swoon-worthy) meanings by the end.
With all of the components that make enemies-to-lovers romance so memorable, The Hating Game sucks readers in from the very beginning, and refuses to let you go until you’re left reeling from all the emotions, and just dying for even more Lucy and Josh. I kept putting reading this book off because I thought, “Save the best for last, right?” And I was not proven wrong. Easily my favorite read of the entire year, it’s a beautiful, light fluffy read sure to make you smile and laugh as you cheer for Lucy and Josh’s happily-ever-after.
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