The Hating Game
Published by Hachette Australia
Thank you to Hachette for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is one my favourite reads of 2016. It’s a witty, hilarious, entertaining, sexy and enjoyable adult romance novel set in a publishing house (although very little publishing actually happens). The main characters, Lucy and Joshua, hate each other. They’re constantly competing against each other and making fun of the other and finding ways to frustrate and compete against the other. And then it’s announced that a senior position is opening up in the company, and Joshua and Lucinda are both applying for it.
Lucy is a great protagonist. She’s charming and polite and respectful, but she’s also quick-witted and bold. And Joshua is the complete opposite. He’s coldly efficient, physically intimidating and a really awful person. Lucy and Joshua are both trapped in an office together every day and 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. And when this opportunity for a promotion comes up, and so begins The Hating Game.
Lucy and Joshua have come to an agreement. If Lucy wins the promotion, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign.
Their story takes a sharp twist when Lucy starts to see Josh as something different. He’s all of a sudden complimenting her and watching her, and kissing her. And Lucy is starting to wonder if she’s got Joshua all wrong. Maybe they’re not meant to hate each other?
Sally Thorne has done a fabulous job of creating two characters who are completely unique. I found myself laughing out aloud at numerous parts of the novel. And there are no cliché moments or plot points in the novel. One chapter, Lucy is on a date with some guy from the design team, and the next, she’s vomiting from food poisoning at a company paintball tournament. I loved this book and I read it in one sitting.
The Hating Game takes a cliché story arc and turns it into an original tale. The whole ‘boy and girl hate each other but secretly they don’t and they end up falling in love’ has been done many times, and very rarely has it been done well. And then Sally Thorne came along and wrote a book so fantastic that my doubts were gone and I went along for the (hilarious) ride.
This is one of the best romance books I’ve read in a long time. The two main characters were both flawed in their own way, but they blended well together and I found myself cheering for them both. I fell in love with both of the characters and their scenes together were the highlight of the book. Lucy’s strawberry farm childhood and Joshua’s business shirt schedule were just two of the quirks about these characters that were unique and therefore refreshing. I felt like I was reading about two characters so different to characters from any other book I’d ever read.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. If you’re looking for something easy to read, then pick this up. If you’re looking for a romance novel, pick this up. In all honesty, if you’re looking for any book to read, you should buy this. It’s wonderful and hilarious and I’ll definitely be re-reading it again soon.