Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: The Hating Game by Sally ThorneThe Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Published by William Morrow
Pub Date: August 9th 2016
Pages: 384
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

I’m so glad I decided to buy The Hating Game after seeing friends talk about it online because I loved it SO MUCH! I haven’t stopped thinking about the book since I finished!! From the opening chapter, I was enchanted by Lucy’s voice- she was so hilarious but real and I was giggling out loud on the bus, which I rarely do.

The publishing house setting was great, as were the office dynamics and oh my gosh, from the get go you just fall in love with Lucy and Josh and their silly office games. They hate each other soooo muchhhh (wink wink), like genuinely seem to hate each other and get under each other’s skin, that you know it’s going to be great when they stop hating each other.

The secondary characters are fleshed out well enough (loved Helene!), and Lucy and Josh could have been total caricatures but they’re not. She has quirks but she’s not a “quirky girl”. She overthinks everything and collects Smurf figures and misses her family, but she’s intelligent and reaching for her dreams. Josh could have been the stereotypical macho guy with a tender heart but he was so much more than that. He hides his shyness and insecurities with bravado, but he’s such a good person underneath that asshole layer. He’ll really surprise you, in a good way.

I also loved that the drama was believable and not that over the top. Family drama, mild dating drama, office drama, etc. There was some miscommunication but it was always resolved quickly. It helped that Josh knew Lucy really well, including her tendency to freak out in a very I Love Lucy sort of way, so a scene that could have been frustrating (her deciding that stopping by was stupid and she’s going to leave) was turned into something humorous: “Stop. Sit down. I’m making you some tea.” I swear I died when he made Lucy a sandwich, wrapped her in a cozy blanket, and watched ER reruns on the couch with her. Just because. Before anything physical really happens.

One of the best quotes is Lucy monologuing how she realizes that Josh is dangling his upturned hand on the couch like seeds to a skittish chicken (her being the chicken); he knows she needs to go slow (even if she doesn’t want to) and it’s honestly adorable. I loved watching their relationship thaw from enemies to coworkers to friends to Or Something- you’ll get that when you read the book!

This is one of those books that is predictable but you love all the individual elements so much that you don’t care. It’s very well written, from the voice to the characterization to the romantic scenes. And I loooooove the taking care of someone when they’re sick trope, like in You’ve Got Mail! Eep! Delirious medicine talk is almost as good as drunk talk, as far as unfiltered thoughts go ;)

The Hating Game is a pure rom-com and such a delight to read. It reminded me of Sophie Kinsella books but I think I loved it even better. I can’t believe it’s a debut and I can’t wait to read whatever Sally Thorne writes next. It was absolutely hilarious, really really adorable and sweet, and so sexy. One of my favorite books of the year for sure. (I’ve already reread THG since I wrote my review. Take that for what you will!)

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

About Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Morgan lives in the Bay Area with her husband and her beagle. When she’s not snuggling or taking care of Andy, she is reading, watching Disney movies, or drinking tea. Sometimes all at once! Her twitter tends to be bookish by day, sporty by night, and active all. the. time. Her TBR pile is out of control, as I’m sure you can sympathize. She is a big fan of caps locks, OMGs, movies, Chris Hemsworth, and anything British. Tweet her!

17 Responses to “Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne”

  1. Rowena

    Ooh, I just finished reading this book the other day and really liked it too. Great review, I almost nodded my head right off my shoulders agreeing with everything you said.

    And great casting choices for Lucy and Josh. I could totally see those two playing them in a movie version of this story.

  2. Sara

    I just got this one on audio. I am pretty eager to listen to it. I think is my kind of book. I am particularly excited after seeing how much you enjoyed.

    Great review!

  3. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    This book sounds amazing! How have I not heard of it already? I am making grabby hands at it and trying to figure out if I can justify buying it. Great review, you’ve shown it is basically my ideal book.

    • Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      It kind of popped out of nowhere for me but I’m so glad it did! It’s pretty cheap on kindle or maybe your library can get it because it’s worth it. Oh awesome, I’m glad!! I think you’ll love it in that case.

  4. Kyle

    I loved THG so much!!! I’ve definitely reread it already too and sometimes go back and reread favorite parts:) I’m so glad the miscommunication bits weren’t drawn out too long (like when Lucy was going to leave the wedding)–that gets old real fast!

    • Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Wasn’t it so great!! I love doing that, rereading favorite parts is the best :) Oh gosh, me too. It’s one of my biggest book pet peeves so I think that’s another reason I liked it so much, misunderstandings weren’t dragged out like you said.

  5. Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense

    I haven’t heard of this one, but now it’s definitely on my radar. It does sound kind of predictable, but the kind of predictable that I just can’t resist. Contentious relationships that grow into something else get me right in the feels and I’m just left fluttering my lashes. I’m already swooning thanks to your review!

    • Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Honestly, that’s what I love about contemporary romance. I like the predictability as long as it’s done well. It’s sort of comforting and fun in its own way! Oh yessss me too! I think you’ll like this a lot then :D

  6. Jessie

    I love how word of mouth has built this book up! I had no idea about it before you were such a fan and it seems to have found such a wide audience. It’s like that Penryn book a few years ago. I love when bloggers get so excited about one book — did you see this was a write-in contender for a GR award? So cool.

    Anway. Back to this fab review. I agree with everything — loved the setting., how they naturally competed due to different personalities, that it was a REAL hate to love romance.. sigh sigh. Also the sex scenes in this were the best.

    I also loved that we could tell Josh knew how he felt before Lucy. It helps to believe in how they could end up together and why he could be such an arse. Ugh. I ship it way way too much.

    I know I keep telling you this but you HAVE to read Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. This is like it’s close cousin and it will make your contemporary romance heart happy with feels and ships and humor. Like this book. Which I have read 2.5 times in the weeks I’ve owned it (twice all the way through and .5 bc it was just the “good” bits”).

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