Review | The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

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“Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game — and you have to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.”

The Hating Game was one of my more anticipated reads for the year. I love books set in office settings (Attachments, anyone?) and hate-to-love romances so this sounded like the perfect Erin read.

From the first chapter, I found myself completely charmed by the snark and banter between Lucy and Josh. Their initial hatred of one another was convincing enough (although shorter than I’d have liked) that the payoff was made even sweeter, to the point that even the simple act of holding hands was transformed into an incredibly heartwarming scene.

I saw so much of myself in Lucy: she’s driven and ambitious, spending so much time at the office that dating and friendships have fallen by the wayside. She’s also quite tiny; as someone who’s 5’2″ on a good day, I certainly sympathized with her struggle to be seen as someone more than just “the cute, nice one.” I appreciated the realistic examination of someone who’s struggling with loneliness and feelings of failure while pursuing their childhood dreams – too often, the personal sacrifices that individuals (especially women) have to make to further their careers are glamourized.

Overall, The Hating Game had everything I love in a romance. I can’t wait to read Sally Thorne’s next one.

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