D.G.’s Rating: 4.5 stars = A-
Why aren’t more people talking The Hating Game? It’s simply fabulous!
This book is a hilarious mix of romance and chick-lit. And you’ll ask…what’s the difference? Isn’t there always some sort of love interest in chick-lit? Well, yes, but I feel that in chick-lit, everything is about the female character. In The Hating Game, the story is really about both of them, even though it’s told in first person from Lucy’s POV. And then there’s the sexy love scene, who puts it squarely in the romance category (there’s just one but it’s a SCORCHER!) *fans self*
Ahem…anyway, as you can see from the description, Lucy and Joshua hate each others guts. At least, that’s what Lucy thinks. They share an office and spend most of the day either working very hard or looking at the other, “playing” one of a dozen private games they have going with each other. (Because that’s exactly what you do with an enemy…looking at their eyes all day long.)
I don’t know why it took Lucy so long to realize that she really had the hots for Joshua. I mean, right from the beginning, she shares her theory that:
Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them…Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are shredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you.
I enjoyed many things about The Hating Game: the trope, the funny situations, Lucy’s quirks, the romance but at the top is Joshua’s characterization. He’s a difficult guy but that isn’t lauded as a good quality in the usual “he’s so darkly sexy!” sort of way. A lot of people can’t deal with him and his moods (ex-girlfriend, his family, coworkers) and that showed. It made a great contrast with Lucy’s bubbly personality and made you realize why they were so good for each other: they were so different that they provided each other a lot of needed balance.
The setting is never mentioned which bothered me a lot for some reason. Throughout the book, I kept considering and (rejecting) various US cities and finally settled in Canada. Then I discovered the author is Australian, which made me wonder why the author didn’t just set it in a city there. Did she think the book wouldn’t have as big an audience? Or was it on purpose so the story would be more focused on Lucy and Joshua without the setting as a distraction?
The Hating Game is “enemies to lovers” done right. If you love the trope, I’ll guarantee you’ll love this book.
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