Review: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Title: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Paperback, 309 Pages
Published September 2018

Summary: Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun. Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air. Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right? 

"I am a rom-com junkie so I absolutely know that I'm going to love this one." -May 15th, 2020 @ 5:13PM EST.

^ By the time I have written this review, I have (obviously) finished reading the book, and I can confirm these sentiments exactly. I knew I wanted to read Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating after I finished The Unhoneymooners last May, and I was hooked. Christina Lauren has nailed that rom-com feel, particularly the "we aren't going to end up together EVER....or are we?" kind of way that I'm addicted to as a reader. So, to finish up this quick little story, I finished The Unhoneymooners and absolutely adored it, and then BookExpo 2019 came around, and Twice in a Blue Moon was being dropped, so of course I snagged a copy. During our week in New York City, Emily and I took a trip to Strand (as we always do), and I decide to pick up Josh & Hazel since I'd been in love with everything of CLo's that I'd read thus far. Fast forward to now, almost an ENTIRE YEAR later, when I've finally caught up on the ARCs I had to read and could dive into some pleasure books. Of course this one was at the top of my list.

And let me tell you guys -- I absolutely ADORED it. So onto my review!

As the summary explains, Josh and Hazel are not compatible. Having met in college, Hazel immediately became known as the girl who always got herself into embarrassing situations and said the wrong thing at the wrong time. Josh, on the other hand, is Hazel's blueprint for Perfect. He's smart, driven, popular, and always knows how to say and do the right thing. So when their paths cross years later, they know that they want to be friends, but nothing more. And to prove it, they set each other up on double-blind dates. But before they know it, they realize that they're having more fun on these dates with each other than they are with the people they were set up with. But it's pretty clear that Josh and Hazel aren't meant to be and would be a terrible match...or would they?

Like I've said a million times already, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!

There was something about Josh and Hazel's dynamic that just felt so hilarious and enjoyable to me. I tore through the book so quickly because, in typical Christina Lauren fashion, I found myself so hooked on this book that I didn't want to ever put it down and take a breath. Hazel's hilarious antics (and Josh's bemused reactions to them) fueled my fangirl heart from start to finish, through every laugh, gasp, and swoon (of which trust me...there were plenty!). I can certainly say that this book led me in directions that I wasn't expecting, in all the best ways. This is the PERFECT read to start your summer sitting outside (in a safe and socially-distant area, of course)!

****(MAJOR spoilers in this paragraph, so skip to the next paragraph to avoid them!)**** The only thing I wish we could've seen more of was what happened once Hazel found out about the pregnancy being okay, and how they told everyone and how they responded (particularly Josh's parents since he said they were so traditional!) and the whole nine yards. And that proposal...ugh. I would've loved to see that! From a craft standpoint I can definitely see the appeal in leaving it vague and jumping forward through that much time in the epilogue, but as a rom-com reader who fell in love with Josh and Hazel's story, I just wanted to soak it ALL up. But alas, I guess I'll have to keep coming up with those scenarios in my head! 

Overall, I absolutely adored Josh & Hazel and tore through the entire book -- clocking in nearly 200 pages in a single day -- SO quickly because the story was just that sweet and hilarious and I always had to know what would come next. Christina Lauren is an unstoppable duo that knows how to create a story with HOOKS. Just like all of their other books, I really, really enjoyed this one (and I think it's my new favorite!), and I can't wait for whatever comes next for them. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go whip out my credit card and order their entire backlist of titles from my local indie bookstore so I can fully stocked on Christina Lauren romances to get me through the rest of this sweltering summer! *fans self*


1 comment

  1. I KNEW you'd love this one! I still can't decide if I consider Josh & Hazel or The Unhoneymooners as my favortie CL book!


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