The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
The Hating Game is a Rom-Com through and through. And it’s an absolute gem. If you only choose to read one F/M feelgood lovestory this year, this should be it.
It’s about Lucy Hutton – smart, outgoing, super-charming CEO assistant – who just can’t stand her colleague, the rude and brooding Josh Templeman. If only Josh wasn’t so freaking gorgeous. And smart. And witty. But those characteristics doesn’t stop Lucy from hating him with a vengence and each workday when she is trapped in the same office with Josh, they both try to one-up the other. Then, when a huge promotion comes up for grabs, the rivalry escalates even further. But then Lucy starts to see different sides to Josh, and maybe he isn’t the unfeeling, charmless bastard she always pegged him for. Lucy’s preoccupation with Josh maybe isn’t hate but something else entirely?
This is a super funny and easy-going read. There are plenty of sarcastic exchanges and hilarious hating games. And apart from the obvious entertainment value of the book, the characters aren’t only likable and relatable, they’re suprisingly imperfect in a very real way which is quite unusual for this genre. Sure, all Rom-Coms feature flawed main characters, that’s what makes them human after all. But unfortunately, in this genre at least, those imperfections often border on silly or over the top for humor’s sake. In The Hating Game, Lucy and Josh suffers from the same insecurities occuring in all new relationships – romantic or otherwise. And most importantly, love is not the cure-all for said insecurities or unattractive personality traits.
There isn’t much more going on in this story apart from the love-hate relationship between Lucy and Josh. There are no side-stories or particularly interesting secondary characters. And generally, that would lower my overall impression of the read. However, the main story is so good that it doesn’t matter one bit. Which is a testament to Thorne’s excellent storytelling abilities.
So, The Hating Game is essentially the perfect read if you’re looking for romance, wit, snarky banter and also unexpectedly 3-dimensional characters. This is my first encounter with Sally Thorne’s writing, but if The Hating Game is anything to go by, I’ll definitely check out her latest 99 Percent Mine.