This book review contains spoilers.
Last week I read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, a romantic comedy that has recently been turned into a motion picture currently available on Amazon Prime. The plot is simple. After their rival companies merge to create the global book publishing empire that is Bexley & Gamin, Josh and Lucy are forced to work side-by-side in a shared office. Lucy is a petite, Smurf collecting, people-pleaser who dresses like a librarian and is passionate about literature. Joshua is her intimidating, devastating handsome (obviously), efficient and predictable rival. They hate everything that the other represents.
They are both at war. I say war, what I really mean is that they play childish mind games and basically pull each other’s pigtails all day until HR is forced to intervene. The tension only escalates when it’s announced that they are both in line for the same promotion.
Yes, the enemies to lovers trope is cliche but, I must admit, I rather enjoy a predictable romance as long as the characters are relatable and well developed, the plot is interesting and the chemistry is sizzling. I loved the build-up of sexual tension between Josh and Lucy, however, I don’t think there was nearly enough ‘hating’. Within just a few chapters they were literally throwing themselves at each other. At one point poor Lucy was practically on her knees begging Josh to sleep with her, which I found a little cringy and demeaning. Also, randomly turning up at his apartment in the middle of the night? I’m not sure that would have been as cute and endearing if it was the other way around.
While we’re at it, I’m so incredibly tired of female characters relying on being quirky and minute instead of having an actual personality. We get it – she’s tiny! Honestly, her measurements must have been mentioned at least 30 or 40 times. I’d love to read a book where the female protagonist’s defining characteristic isn’t that she’s an endearing wisp of a woman ready to be thrown over her love interest’s shoulder at a moment’s notice.
I enjoyed The Hating Game. It was cute, funny and a really easy read. However, I honestly think I’ll forget everything about it in a couple of weeks. It’s been a few days and I already had to Google poor Lucy’s name. I absolutely loved the initial premise and was all on board for some office warfare, sexual tension, and a sizzling, slow-burning romance, however, after the infamous elevator scene, the plot didn’t seem to go anywhere until the wedding. It was just chapter after chapter of poor Lucy desperately needing to take a cold shower. The Hating Game started off really funny and biting and I particularly like the paintball scene and how Joshua looked after Lucy after she became sick… but then the plot didn’t seem to really go anywhere. It got really monotonous at times and the ending, although sweet, felt flat and wholly unsatisfying.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is available HERE. (Affiliate Link)2