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  • Writer's pictureSofia Sawyer

Book Review: The Hating Game

I think I’ve found a new book that’s in my top five favorites of all time. I’m not the type of reader who holds on to books, nor do I usually reread books, but something about Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game made me want to climb into the story and live there. It’s one of those books where you want to read it as fast as you can but feel sad when it’s over. Had my parents not been visiting the weekend I started it, I’d have probably read it in a sitting. (Truthfully, I may have snuck off to read a chapter here or there because its siren song was that strong. Sorry, mom.)

About The Hating Game:

Pulled from Amazon’s description page:

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.

Why I Loved It

The Quirkiness

There were moments in this book when I tried to figure out how Sally had managed to put so much humor and creativity into her quirky characters. They were so fresh and fun. The little details added had Joshua and Lucy coming to life off the page, and I think I fell in love with both of them within the first couple of pages. The quirkiness was balanced, making it funny without being ridiculous. Very impressive.

The Games

I mean, the book is called The Hating Game, so the games better be freakin’ good. I loved all the interesting games they played together, which should be totally juvenile, but somehow it was sexy and fun. With each game they played, I felt a giddy rush and almost wished I had games like this with someone else. More importantly, it made the storyline unique. I don’t think I’ve read anything like this (that I can recall), so the quick-paced scenes had me flipping the page to find out what was next. 

The Vulnerability

Everything might be fun and games when they’re trying to one-up the other person, but there are a lot of moments throughout the story when their tough personas falter a bit and you see a glimpse of who they are underneath it all. The subtle moments, internal reflection, and quick banter all hint at it and gets you in the feels, twisting your heart up. I won’t say any spoilers, but as the story goes on and the games become something different, I found myself really loving Josh.

I could go on and on about this book but don’t want to give it away! All I know is that I can’t wait for the movie to come out. I love Lucy Hale and Robbie Amell. After reading this book, I could see why they were chosen as the leads. In the meantime, I’ll be ordering Sally Thorne’s other book 99 Percent Mine ASAP.


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