Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Paperback, 384 Pages
Published August 2016

Summary: 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.

OMG, you guys. OMG. I usually try to write really professional, calm, collected reviews here, but I am so close to losing my cool that it isn't even funny. It may only be the first month of 2019, but I can confidently say that The Hating Game is one of the best books that I have read in a long, long time. So please bear with me through this totally fangirl-y review as I try to keep it together and put together a coherent review for you all...but GAH, GUYS, THIS BOOK.

Okay, okay, let's get into it. As the summary explains, Lucy and Josh both work at a publishing house, assistants to the co-CEOs. The only problem? They absolutely cannot STAND each other, under any circumstances whatsoever. Lucy spends her days making petty jabs at Josh and trying to one-up him from across the room, always determined to be the better assistant. So when the company announces a massive promotion -- and the fact that both Josh and Lucy are up for it -- things get even more lethal than before. The only problem? They start to realize that their spat isn't entirely fueled by hate...some of it is fueled by lust -- and maybe something even more than that -- which makes things very, very tricky.

You guys, oh my god. This book. THIS BOOK. I seriously haven't been addicted to a book like this in a long time. This book was literally the perfect recipe for me. A contemporary romance? Check. Slow-burn? Ooooh, that's a definite check. Enemies to lovers? Yep, another check! This book was a perfect storm that kept me turning the pages so quickly that I covered almost 200 pages in a single day. I stayed up until all hours of the night, always reading the next chapter and wanting to know what would happen next. Our good friend Dana from DanaSquare recommended this book to me, and I'm so glad that she did, because we have such similar reading tastes that I knew if Dana loved this book, I would too -- and she was, as usual, completely right!

I really loved both Josh and Lucy's character's, and how they paralleled each other. First you have Lucy, who is bright and bubbly and adorable and wants everyone to love her. And then you have Josh, who is dark and brooding and all hard lines and sharp angles. In a lot of ways, they were completely different -- but in others, they were exactly the same! As they started to warm up with each other and joke (and flirt) more, I fell more and more in love with their relationship. All I'm saying is that I definitely wouldn't mind me some of Josh, LOL! (Jk. If my boyfriend is reading this, that was a joke. You're still the greatest man I could ever have the privilege of knowing♥.)

The slow-burn aspect of this story was also really amazing, even if it was slowly torturing me inside. The way Josh played with Lucy's emotions and dragged out their relationship had me basically drooling by the time that things finally came together. Sally Thorne has definitely mastered the art of a slow-burn romance, that's for sure -- it felt like it dragged enough to torture me, but the pace was also fast enough that the story didn't feel like it was lagging too much and starting to lose me! 

(Major spoilers in this paragraph, so please skip to the next paragraph to avoid them!) OH MY GOD, I have to talk about that ending for a second. As soon as Josh finally admitted that he loved Lucy, I actually started to tear up. It was so dang adorable. And the thing about the job? Oh my gosh. The entire thing just made my heart all fluttery and happy inside. My heart absolutely couldn't take it and I had to text Dana and swoon to her immediately upon finishing this book.

Overall, I absolutely loved The Hating Game, and I know you will too as soon as you add it to your TBR. (Yes, this means you!) This book hooked me from the beginning up until the very end, and I never wanted it to end. Sally Thorne is excellent at spinning a dramatic, swoon-worthy web with tantalizing characters and shocking plot points that will make you laugh, cry, gasp, swoon, and definitely -- DEFINITELY -- blush. If you're looking for a rom-com like no other that you'll absolutely fall in love with, then look no further than The Hating Game. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go order Thorne's next book, 99 Percent Mine!

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