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The Hating Game

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2016)
Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game. ​​

387 pages, ebook

First published August 9, 2016

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About the author

Sally Thorne

6 books20k followers
Sally Thorne is the USA Today bestselling author of the office rom-com The Hating Game (2016). It is her debut novel that has sold in over twenty-five countries and is being made into a major motion picture, directed by Peter Hutchings and starring Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell. Filming wrapped in December 2020. It was named in the top 20 romance novels of 2016 by the Washington Post and was a top ten finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards romance category. The Hating Game has been cited as a book that has reinvigorated the romantic comedy genre.

Sally’s much anticipated second novel, 99 Percent Mine, was released on 29 January 2019 by William Morrow Books and debuted at #37 on the USA Today Bestseller List.

Sally’s third novel Second First Impressions is released AU/NZ 31 March 2021, and US/CAN 13 April 2021.

Sally lives in Canberra, Australia, with her husband- plus a pug called Delia and a horse called Louie.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 66,771 reviews
Profile Image for elena ❀ .
301 reviews3,156 followers
November 6, 2021
This is another one of those books I've owned since it (almost) came out but I never got around reading it. Funny story: I almost bought another copy of this because I thought I lost my copy of it. I'm embarrassed to admit that I almost cried. Books are expensive. I'm so glad I found my copy and didn't buy a new one though, or I would have been crying but they wouldn't be happy tears.

The elevator scene. I don't get it. When you say two characters truly hate each other, I expect hate, but this wasn't it. It was nineteen percent in and they were already throwing lustful eyes at each other.

I will be honest though and say that even if a romance has that, there is still potential for the story to pick up and be enjoyable. But, in this case, it wasn't. There wasn't one moment where I enjoyed reading this. I was bored the entire time. It's a wonder I finished it.

This is just one of the worst romance novels I've read. Office rom-com my ass. I found nothing funny about this. Where was the comedy? There are also hardly office scenes besides the two staring at each other the entire time. There is really no humor in this whatsoever. Josh and Lucy's banter was not in any way funny. I don't get it man.

I'm not going to write a full review for this but I'll mention some things I quicky wrote on my notes as I was reading:

3% in: Apparently Josh’s blue Post-its make his desk the male version of hers. Also because he has mints instead of lipstick, whatever that means.

14% in: Lucy has her first wet dream with and of Josh. She then spends every waking moment thinking of him, his muscles, his body against hers, and, well, you get the point.

19% in: Josh kisses Lucy in the elevator even though he didn’t ask her because he’s been trying to prove a theory he’s had for a while. Before he kissed her, she put her arms in defense and thought he was going to kill her. After kissing her, she's clearly weak, meaning she enjoyed it, of course. When she asked him why he kissed her, he just said “I had to prove a theory” and ignores her wonder because he really didn’t answer her question.

24% in: The office gang has a paintball match. Danny, a designer who used to work with Josh and Lucy, is clearly interested in Lucy, and in that moment, she is as well. Danny tries getting close to Lucy but Josh snaps at Danny when he talks to her. He also shot him with his paintball gun when Danny waved to Lucy. Like, seriously?? You’re that jealous???

32% in: Josh takes care of Lucy. He lowkey shows signs of jealousy when Lucy calls his brother cute (keep in mind that his brother, Patrick, is getting married. I don’t know what Josh’s deal is).

47% in: “But . . .” My voice is plaintive. “I thought . . .”
His eyebrows pinch together in a fake display of incomprehension.
“You know . . .”
“It’s rather hurtful to only be wanted for my body. I didn’t even get the date beforehand.” He looks down at our hands again.

This scene just made me laugh. Here’s how this went:

Lucy tells Josh she wants to be friends with him, or something.
Josh asks Lucy what she means by “something.”
Lucy says to be friends or to be people that don’t hate each other.
Josh asks Lucy if Danny is her boyfriend, which she answers to no but not directly.

The two have a moment where they’re all lovey again.

Lucy then tells Josh she’s gonna try and play the “Or Something Game” with him.

The two then get sexually tensed.

Josh then tells Lucy he wants her to have her date with Danny and kiss him and that he wants to know if it was good. He says the Or Something Game cannot proceed until she tells him. He then says if the kiss isn’t as good as his (Josh), she can’t kiss him (Danny) again.

Did I mention they were in a janitors room? Well they are so after this Josh pushes Lucy out. Lucy makes an excuse for him after his boss looks for him. Josh returns 20 minutes later. Moving on.

Lucy then tells her that if the Or Something Game involves sex, it will be a one time deal. Once. The two agree. He then writers his address on a blue sticky Post-it note and hands it to her.

And now, Josh, you’re telling me you didn’t get a proper date when you could have denied the sex and maybe, I don’t know, asked for a date instead, Or Something???????? Did I miss something??

Lucy's date with Danny clearly didn't go well. Danny kissed her, but she didn't like it, so Josh won. She's now at his apartment, telling him this, admitting it, yada yada. As Lucy is about to leave, this is their conversation:

“You’re not going to miss me, are you? You can manage one little Tuesday on your own.” He touches the little toy car in my hand and spins the wheels a little. I try to be nonchalant, but he probably sees through it.
“Miss you? I’ll miss looking at your pretty face, but that’s about it.”

The relationship was just pathetically sad for me at this point.

51% in: It’s the next day.

Lucy sends Josh a note saying “I want you for more than your body.” Josh replies with “Glad to hear it.” Lucy then calls Josh and tells him she’s bored (implying she wants to come over), and he says “Better come over then.”

And you know, personally, I don’t like sweat. It’s quite . . . gross. It’s normal, of course, but gross. Josh was working out, so Lucy says “I want to see you all sweaty.” She gets to his apartment and sees him, then she runs up to him and smells him, describing his sweat as “[rainwater and cedar], leaving a faint rosemary-pine tingle in my nostrils.”

What it is about books and their sniffing???

Yeah I was really over it.

93% in: “What are the marks in your planner?” It pops into my head. He didn’t answer last time; I doubt he will now.
He smiles and looks at his plate. “It’s a bit juvenile.”
“I’d expect nothing less of you.”
“I record whether you’re wearing a dress or skirt. D, or S. I make a mark when we argue, and I make a mark when I see you smile at someone else. Also, when I wish I could kiss you. The dots are just my lunch break.”

I get the lunch break dots, but, marking when she smiles at someone? It was probably when she smiled at other guys, considering everything else that’s happened and been said. I mean, he even kept the Post-it note she kissed and plastered it on his refrigerator . . . And also, making a mark for when she wore a dress or skirt? He's quite the observer, if you ask me.

95% in: “What’s my favorite color?”
“Easy. Blue.”
“What kind of blue?”
“Bedroom blue!” I point at the wall. “The walls. Your shirt. My dress. Pale Tiffany blue.”
He tugs me to sit, then goes to the end of the bed. He opens his wardrobe door, and I see all of the shirts hanging in color sequence.
“Josh, you dork.” I start to laugh and point, but he grabs my ankles and drags me to the end of the bed. There’s a full-length mirror, and I see myself, at long last sitting on the bed in his robin’s-egg bedroom. His walls are the blue of my eyes. I’ve been a bit slow.

Ah yes, the moment Lucy finds out his walls are the color of Lucy’s eyes and loves it. Just, lovely.

98% in: “I’ve been trying to drag you down with me. In the worst, most ill-conceived and socially retarded way possible.”

We love the r-word being used in the context of Josh telling Lucy he’s loved her since the moment he saw her. So romantic.

Profile Image for sil ♡ the book voyagers.
1,119 reviews2,803 followers
March 20, 2017
Warning: This review will have lots of quotes and (?) maybe spoilers, I guess.

The Hating Game gets all the praise in the world. I wanted to see what's up, why is this book so popular, why does everyone love it so much. I found out it had a hate/love relationship plus an enemies to lovers trope as well. I loved those ones so so much.

But The Hating Game became The Problematic Game.

First of all: Since the very first start, our main protagonist, Lucy, comes off as very fatphobic. And she is, you find out after you keep reading. She constantly calls their boss, Mr. Bexley, "Fat Little Dick". What I got from this is that she thinks "fat" is insulting and she calls him that. And even if he was fat, she uses it in a way that she thinks she is doing him harm. I'm gonna tell you something: The word "fat" is not something bad. Being fat is not something bad. I don't know why Lucy is using it that way, and it only tells me that she is fatphobic. Because example #2: Lucy wishes, at one point, that Joshua wasn't perfect as she always calls him. She wishes "he would be a short, fat troll." And again we see she uses "fat" to insult.

Page 15. Lucy is describing hers and Joshua's desk. She says her desk has pink Post-Its. And then she begins to describe Joshua's and she says he has blue Post-Its and that his desk is the very male version of hers. This keeps coming back in the book, every time Lucy tries to assign gender to random things? Stuff like "this desk is very manly, leather is very masculine and manly, this is very male, your bedroom is so feminine." I was tired to keep reading this. First of all: things have no gender, even less COLORS HAVE NO GENDER COME ON. If you like pink that doesn't mean anything and if you like blue that doesn't mean ANYTHING AT ALL EITHER. Gosh. People need to stop thinking like that, it's just hurtful and not at all good.

"The dark brown headboard, plushly upholstered in leather, saves the room from femininity."

I just don't even know what this means, why was this written, why do you want to keep saying this in your novel.

Page 27. This next thing is the worst thing for me about the whole book because it has no excuse. Lucy uses the g* slur. No one should ever use the g* slur. And Lucy is white, privilege and I bet 1000% she doesn't even know what the meaning around it. She just uses it as an adjetive, of course, it is always used like that. Here is the complete quote:

Monday to Friday, he turns me into a scary-looking woman. I look like a g* fortune-teller screaming about your imminent death. A crazed lunatic in an asylum, seconds from clawing her own eyes out.

Also if you noticed, Lucy is ableist as well. She constantly uses the words "psycho" "mental" "crazy", etc. And in this passage she compares "scary-looking woman" with the fortune teller, so that clearly depicts how Lucy sees them. And then she uses ableist terms. What's new about these white romance novels tbh. I truly expected something else when I started this book, not all of these problematic quotes and words. I did expect it to be this white because there is not one POC in this book which it's weird because the worls IS NOT WHITE, PEOPLE. THE WORLD IS DIVERSE, IT HAS PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT CULTURES. But white people like to think they are the only ones in the world to be honest. So in Lucy's work place there are only white people. They even describe the white skin of one of the coworkers like he has "silver-blond skin." That's such a weird term and it just shows me the heights people want to go to describe white people. Ok.

Page 66. Lucy says this: "The investigators will see my fishnets and heavy eye makeup and assume I'm a hooker." First, she thinks the investigators will "assume" she is a stripper because of things she's wearing. LUCY, PEOPLE WEAR FISHNETS AND HEAVY EYESHADOWS FOR THEIR DAILY LIFE SOMETIMES. That doesn't mean anything. Plus she says it in a way that also disrespects sex workers, like it's bad they will assume she is a hooker??? What's wrong with being a hooker? Gosh.

Something that keeps bothering me but that's just me. I get it. I GET THAT JOSHUA TEMPLESOMETHING HAS BLUE EYES. You don't have to repeat it to me, Lucy, every single sentence. "He has blue eyes but now they're navy because he's angry and now they're serial killer black because he's horny and now they're Tiffany blue and bluer than the Atlantic ocean wow" Stop. I hate it. AND/// Lucy also has blue eyes???? Come on. And in another passage Josh says his ex-gf has brown eyes and that she's boring. Thanks a lot.

Joshua Templesomething is a very abusive hero. He is also very controlling to the point to click CALL END to a phone call Lucy is having with Danny, this other guy. HE LITERALLY TOOK LUCY'S PHONE FROM HER AND ENDED THE CALL. !!!!! Signs should be up and red lights should be turning on. This is seriously so wrong. He gets 1000% jealous and angry when Lucy talks to other guys and it's just so gross. He calls himself a "jealous psycho" yikes Joshua, why. I expected Joshua to be this cool ice king type of character but I got this?? I got a guy who definitely uses his big body to an advantage towards Lucy's small body. He's always "caging" in and you can see that he definitely overpowers her.

More bizarre quotes: "His sweat smells like rainwater and cedar, leaving a faint rosemary-pine tingle in my nostrils." Wow I didn't know sweat smelled like rainwater and apples and rainbows and flowers and Lucy is always smelling Josh 24/7. This reminded to SJM books *cough* you all know how she loves to say how male someone is or how male this situations is lmao and include scents to every single male character that appears in those books. So I believe The Hating Game has that kind of writing in mind.

"I think about what kind of girls he probably dates. Tall, cool blondes. I feel it in my tiny undersized brunette bones." This just screams the "I'm not like other girls he has dated" trope which I hate. And very girl vs girl personality she has. She doesn't hate women, Lucy I mean, but she is always thinking like the girls Joshua would have dated or dated before her and they were always "blonde and tall and beautiful and nothing like her." This bothers me so much. So what the hell does it matter if they were blonde? Being blonde doesn't mean anything and you are just stereotyping people, Lucy. Come on, be better.

So tell me, why is this book so popular? When there are better books with this same kind of trope and relationship without the abusive hero and racist phrases and -phobic and ableist remarks. I can't believe this book is popular ~ I guess I can if you all love CH books lmao you would love this but ??? It has some serious issues and problems and problematic things that even if you loved it you definitely should talk about them because it's not good to just put them under the rug, to forget them just because you loved a character or a relationship. If this keeps happening, publishers and authors will see this sells and abusive heroes sell and heroine being fatphobic sell and IT'S NOT OKAY.
Profile Image for ✦❋Arianna✦❋.
790 reviews2,527 followers
September 8, 2016
5 Stars!!


I honestly think 'The Hating Game”' is that kind of book anyone would enjoy – wonderfully written is a very entertaining way, griping from the very beginning and perfect if you love enemies to lovers stories. I’ve read many books with this trope, so trust me when I say Sally Thorne’s debut novel was a great one. More than great actually. It was fabulous! It was fan, entertaining and so refreshing. Needless to say, I devoured this little gem from start to finish.

“I'm twenty-eight years old and it seems I've fallen through the cracks of heaven and hell and into purgatory. A kindergarten classroom."

Lucy Hutton met Josh Templeman when Gamin Publishing and Bexley Books merged to avoid financial ruin. They are the executive assistants to the two owners of “Bexley & Gamin” publishing house and they have been hating each other from the moment they met. Well...almost! Lucy and Josh are opposites in every way. While Lucy is sweet, fun and quirky, Josh is grumpy and cynical. From the very beginning, Lucy and Josh have been playing different games – games like ‘The Staring Game’, 'The Mirror Game’, ‘The HR Game’ and of course ‘The Hating Game’ - trying to frustrate and intimidate each other.

“I should mention that the ultimate aim of all our games is to make the other smile, or cry. It’s something like that. I’ll know when I win.”

Everything seems to get worse between Lucy and Josh when they find out one of them will be the other boss. But the dynamic between them changes again with an earth shattering kiss.

This was such an awesome read! I’m not exaggerating when I’m saying this was one of the most entertaining enemies to lovers story I’ve read so far. Lucy and Josh’s story was fun, sweet and so well done. Told entirely from Lucy’s POV, “The Hating Game” has one of the best slow burn relationship I’ve read in a while. I loved how the relationship between these two unfolded. The transition from enemies to lovers was perfection IMO, gradual, believable and gave me tons of butterflies.

“Watching you pretend to hate that nickname is the best part of my day.”

Lucy was an awesome narrator and a fantastic, endearing heroine. I loved her portrayal. She was sweet, kind, considerate and so much fun. She was a genuinely good person, a refreshing, relatable character I’m sure many readers will love from the very beginning. I think what I loved the most about her was the way she pushed Josh’s buttons. *grin* Pure entertainment! As for our male main character…Josh was so much more than I’ve initially thought he will be. He was arrogant and a little cruel, but not too much to be annoying and like Lucy he loved their “silly” games. Btw, I totally loved their games myself.

“…if I were your boss, I’d work you so fucking hard. So fucking hard.”

They were fun and enchanting and I couldn’t read fast enough to find out who will win a certain game or how their relationship will unfold. I loved Josh’s humor, his shirts...lol, his sweetness, his vulnerability and of course the fact he was a cuddler. The man was very swoon-worthy most of the time.

The witty banter between these two was fantastically done. They made me smile and grin so many times as the story progressed and I really had a great time watching them hate each other less and less and slowly falling in love. The sexual tension between these two at times was…combustible and all the sexy teasing…so good! LOVED IT!!

“All I want to do is kiss you until I fall asleep. I want to slide in between your sheets, and find out what goes on inside your head, and underneath your clothes. I want to make a fool of myself over you.”

I really enjoyed Lucy’ POV, but I have to admit I really missed Josh’s because there were many times when I wanted so badly to be in his head. Also, I wouldn’t have minded an epilogue...just saying!

All in all, 'The Hating Game' was a great debut novel. If you are looking for a fun, sweet enemies to lovers story, with two engaging, well developed main characters and delightful dialogue, don’t hesitate and pick this one up!
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
595 reviews3,584 followers
March 1, 2017
Things that Make Natalie want to Flip a Table:


Cliche A: the hate-to-love relationship

This is a trope that CAN be done well. If there's a fresh spin. And the characters were likable. Josh was *gasp* secretly in love with her all along, but instead of doing something radical like being nice, he embarks on a third-grader's idea of wooing women. He figuratively flicks boogers in her hair and breaks her crayons.

Cliche B: the sick scene from every shoujo manga

Our plucky heroine is dangerously ill yet still determinedly stumbling through her day because she's a trooper that way. Then a wave of dizziness hits. She slumps back against a firm chest and strong arms. It's our handsome love interest who has been nothing been awful to her since 45 pages ago. He feels her forehead while she feebly bats him away, muttering she's fine.

"Idiot," he gently reprimands her, concerned and frustrated at the same time.

He takes her home, letting her lean on him. Delirious, our heroine wonders how strange it is he's being so nice to her while he's so mean all the time. He smells nice, she absently notes.

They're in the house. He stays the weekend, cooking for her and feeding her medicine and changing her clothes. As a bonus, he cleans her house too. Still caught in the impossible state of feverish delirium, she starts telling him things she'd never tell him in real life.

Slowly, unbelievably, they begin to bond.

Yeah, I'm not writing anymore. You get the idea. FYI, I have never seen or heard of someone so sick (exempting very serious diseases) that they're incapable of functioning.

Cliche C: the scatterbrained, nice, perky heroine and the work-obsessed, uptight guy.

I'm so tired of this dynamic. And Lucy is cute in a way that I finally understand why people hate Zooey Deschanel's characters. It's overwhelming. Suffocating. Lucy is like Jess from New Girl on steroids. She says silly things that no one would say in real life because they have mental filters.

-Weird agenda against nice guys and short guys.

Lucy and Josh both agree Nice Guys are overrated. Um, no. We need more Nice Guys in fiction and real life because a healthy relationship is sexy. Plus, Lucy loves mentioning that Josh can lift her up and that somehow makes him so much better than her old boyfriends.

-Reminding me over and over again Lucy is 5 foot tall. I get it. My sister gets it. My cat fucking gets it.

I also know he's tall. Haha, cute contrast. Fucking shut up about it already.

-Telling me their bodies fit together for the 1,457,872th time

-Lucy objectifying Josh to the point that HE gets uncomfortable She keeps on doing it even after he voices this.

How would we react if this were in a guy's POV and he kept talking about how tight that ass is or how great her boobs are? A few times is great, welcome even. S/he thinks her partner is beautiful and sexy. But if you keep on mentioning it every time you're together, it raises eyebrows.

-the romance is the whole story

I know it's a romance book. I know, alright. But I like to think readers have gotten a little more sophisticated in their choice of romances. Side plots involving the protagonist's family and/or career are typically told alongside the main romance plotline now.

But in The Hating Game, the only plot thread that is tied up is her and Josh's relationship. We don't find out if Lucy gets promoted. We don't find out if she goes home to visit her parents. It's like those things don't matter, which seems dangerously regressive.

Finally, a gif that sums up my entire reading experience:

Profile Image for Skyler Autumn.
229 reviews1,403 followers
January 30, 2020
1 Stars

Warning I'm about to swear a whole fucking lot!

I am so pissed at this book and at all the people who got this book a average 4.24 rating on Goodreads. How!?! Is the author bribing people? Has she held your loved ones hostage!?

The novel follows the relationship of Lucy and Josh rivals in life and the "workplace." I put workplace in brackets because the two leads rarely do anything but stare at each other and play immature games in the same vain as 2 year old boy pulling the hair of a girl he has a crush on. YET, they some how are up for a major promotion. Can I work here? Seems like there is a lot of drinking on the job. One day during a team building paintball day Lucy feels ill and Josh show his "sensitivity" by taking care of her. I put sensitivity in brackets because I'm tired of women giving men a fucking award for showing basic human decency.

Other then the annoying cliche story there is a odd amount of nice guy bashing in this book. What a weird bloody stance to take Sally Thorne. Lucy is used as the barometer of why nice is a bad thing to be since her people pleasing tendencies cause people to walk all over her. I'm sorry Sally Thorne you are mistaking insecure weakness for kindness. At one point Josh tries to gain the readers sympathy by mentioning how upset he gets when people comment on how handsome he is because he's always used for his looks and then left because he has a bad personality? You mean you won the genetic lottery and the one thing you are capable of changing is what turns people away. NOBODY FEELS SORRY FOR YOU, YOU LUNATIC!

Being an asshole needs to stop being the male leads characteristics in romances. Do you know what? Kindness is hella hot. Nice is the new sexy. Give me Peeta and Ron Weasley over moody vampires and sadistic lovers any day!!

And WHY is everyone so fucking stunning all the time. He is basically inhumanly gorgeous and she's looks like a disney princess. Then disney princess gets all, no one will ever love me all my friends are books. It's like fuck off. You'll be fine. Also, if you didn't know this yet from reading this horrendous book. Apparently Lucy is so tiny. I don't know if the author has a concussion but I as reader don't so please stop mentioning her fucking height to me every two paragraphs. I'm not a moron.

Also, so much sex and making out in this book!!! Such filler for the lack of story. It reads like an instruction manual. My hand pulls his hair, he thrusts... so on. It's like ya ya I know how sex works. Skip ahead.

The good news is this book pulls itself together in the end and makes your girl heart swoon.... I'm fuck kidding the ending wraps this shit up so quickly you almost think you missed a chapter. In the end love is declared, jobs are saved and you find out that the handsome guy is actually a stalker hoarding your garbage and painting his room the colour of your eyes. I thought then the novel was going to take a cool twist and become like You by Caroline Kepnes and Josh was going to murder Lucy but no she lived and he lived and the world is now a darker place for that.

This book likes to play with the notion that there is a thin line between love and hate and the two can easily be misconstrued. I'll have to disagree with you there because there's no confusion here I absolutely hate this fucking book.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,205 reviews19.7k followers
August 24, 2023
5th reread and I’m still, and will probably never, be bored by this book. Had me losing my mind all over again. Obsessed is not enough of a word.

Joshua Templeman will forever remain the main blueprint.

And now for some peak! romance quotes. That hurt my feelings, quite frankly. Well, this whole book did. 🥲

“He makes words like intimacy seem inadequate.”

“I’d have to be a thousand years old to forget the way he kisses me. It’s the fresh new bud of something that could one day be something remarkable…”

“I love the energy we create between us when we banter like this. It’s the most intense sensation of pleasure, knowing he’ll always have the perfect response ready. I’ve never known anyone like him; as addictive to talk to as he is to kiss.”

*sobs in single*


Reread x4. My feelings for this are still as intense as the first time I read it. It’ll always be one of the best stories I’ve read.

I’m so emotional. 😪


I'm currently at work and I cannot, for the life of me, stop thinking about this book. It's only been a day, but I thought about it constantly before I went to bed, whilst in bed. I thought about it on my way to work and now, whilst I'm at work.

It is safe to say that this book will be going on my all-time favourites list. I feel like it's been a while since I loved a book so ferociously, where I thought each page of it was pretty much perfect.

And it's the author's debut novel. What?!

Going into this, I wasn't expecting much other than a cute, love story. But the story has become absolutely ingrained in me, heart and soul. I got what I wanted and much more.
I don't know whether there's even much point in telling you the premise of the book itself. Or reviewing it. My feelings towards it are intense and irrational, if you haven’t gathered that already. I think it's one of the best love stories that I've had the pleasure of reading. It's hilarious, heart-warming and the development of it all is spot-on. So well done! I cannot recommend it enough.

Initial review/reaction!

I feel like I can die happy right now. Actually, scratch that. Once I've experienced me some Josh Templeman myself, then I can die happy, because goddamn that man!

Books like these are exactly why I have stupidly high expectations in men. In relationships in general. I’m doomed!

And books like these are exactly why I ADORE reading.
Profile Image for emma.
1,866 reviews54.3k followers
October 28, 2021
Is there, like, a German word for “the experience of when something is not extremely disappointing, but it is the eleven millionth small disappointment in a year of disappointments of varying sizes and thus threatens to topple your well-being entirely”?

Sound off in the comments below.

Because, in the scheme of things, this book going from a 4.5 star read rounded up to a 3 star read is not all that consequential.

And yet it may be the end of everything, for me, personally, on a personal level.


My original review of this is from 2016, and contains many Disney GIFs and mentions of myself grinning and also open yearning.

If you know anything about me as I exist in 2020, you can determine for yourself that the version of me who can spiritedly and unironically include golden-age Saturday Night Live GIFs in a five star review of a romance novel is long dead.

This is still a cute-adjacent book. We follow Lucy, who is tiny and has a lot of hair, and Josh, who is very large and very handsome.

(In 2016, I was more able to overlook the fact that these physical attributes are their defining descriptive characteristics than I am today, in this economy.)

The vehemence with which I hate tiny spritely Tinker Bell-esque romantic leads who ~just don’t know they’re beautiful~ has only grown in the last four years, as I have continued to be a tall girl who can only uphold a manic pixie dream façade for a few dates max.

And while I feel roughly the same degree of hatred for male characters who are accidental assholes now as then, I find the ultimate explanation less charming / believable. See above: four years of exposure to dating.

The smut in this book is unparalleled in terms of me being able to read it without blushing and skipping to when it’s over (and I’m no prude - I just truly hate reading words including but not limited to girth / member / length / etc.). And I do have gushy heart-swell-y moments while reading it.

But mostly I think this was a letdown. And these characters are mean to each other. And I think just are really really really into the idea of boning each other, more than they are in love.

There is not a scrap of evidence to disprove this point in the whole book.

Bottom line: Can someone lend me a megaphone? I want to emit a piercing shriek and I want everyone to hear it.

Read my original cheery review here.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.4k followers
October 11, 2021
Re-read 10/8/21: I have nothing to add that I haven't already said lol. Lucy + Josh + me forever

Re-read 3/17/20: This book never fails to ease my anxieties and I love it with all of my heart. Forever indebted to this book for making me smile through the roughest times. Also, Lucy and Josh can both, like, get it

Re-read 5/25/19: Realized I hadn't re-read this in 2019 and obvs had to remedy that. I love this book so damn much that I could probably recite it in my sleep. Swooney swoon swoon.

Re-read 12/30/18: I had a mighty need to re-read this so it would be my last read of the year and I clearly have no regrets. I've read this book so many times now I could probably recite all the swooniest bits from memory lmao. I still love Lucy & Josh 4ev@

Re-read 9/27/18: Welp arcs of 99 Percent Mine dropped on Edelweiss so I HAD to re-read this and hi hello I still love these two jerks so damn much wow. I’m a puddle.

Re-read 3/27/18: Do you ever just love a book so much you read it SIX TIMES? Bc same. I love Lucy 4 ev@.

Re-read 12/30/17: Had to re-read this one last time in 2017 because I love it so damn much. Every time I re-read it I expect to like it less, but I just like it more and more and more every time. This book is my life, y’all.

Re-read 10/31/17: Was feeling a little gloomy so I decided to re-read this book for the 4th time this year and, again, it did NOT disappoint. This book is my everything. I can’t.

Re-read 7/16/17: Yep, I did just read this for the third time this year. That's how much I fucking love this story. Lucinda and Josh are just the cutest and this book slays me every time. Sa-woon.

Re-read 1/28/17: Yes, my re-read of this book happened only a few weeks after completing my original read because I JUST COULDN'T HELP MYSELF. This book is adorable and phenomenal. I will say however, this re-read was done mostly via audiobook and I will say I didn't enjoy it as much that way as I did by just reading the physical book. I feel like some of the tones and inflections that narrator uses don't quite match up with the Josh/Lucinda in my head. But other than that FLAWLESS AND ADORABLE. I adore this little book.

Original read 1/10/17: Fucking CUTE. OH MY GOD. Editing to add that while I do read a lot of romance, I rarely take any chick lit/romance seriously. THIS ONE, however, got right under my skin. I adored it. I love it in a similar way to how I love Attachments. So stinking cute.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
January 15, 2022
reread to renew my vows because it has been way too long.

if i could marry a book and spend the rest of my life with it, it would be this one. this makes me happy on so many levels.

i promise to have and hold this book (often taking it off the bookshelf and flipping through it pages), from this day forward, for better or worse (when other books may tempt me or try to lead me astray), for richer or poorer (when i can afford new books, i will reread this first), i promise to love and cherish (it will always have a 5 stars rating), till death do us part.

gosh, this book makes me so cheesy and i dont even care. im in an insanely good mood and nothing could tear the silly smile this story gave me off my face. this is romance at it finest and im putting it up on a pedestal, where it belongs.

5 stars
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.4k followers
April 27, 2022
If I read one more book with a mini petite and so tiny tiny woman falling for such a big big man that makes her feel even more petite... I will need an industrial amount of bleach for my eyes.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,912 reviews33k followers
December 6, 2021
5 stars!!!

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What did I love about The Hating Game? Everything. I loved everything about this book. There is nothing better than finishing a book by an author you’ve never read and having this flying high feeling. I feel freaking giddy right now. I listened to the audio and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I got asked why I was in such a good mood more than once over the few days I listened to it. That, my friends, is an epic book!

What do you do when you’re the nice girl at the office who has an evil nemesis? I guess you just deal with it, and Lucy Hutton has had to deal with this for far too long. Joshua Templeman is the bane of her existence. They share an office together and it’s torture for her- but what would she do without Josh and their hating game?
I should mention that the ultimate aim of all our games is to make the other smile, or cry. It’s something like that. I’ll know when I win.

I type my password: IHATEJOSHUA4EV@. My previous passwords have all been variations on how much I hate Joshua. For ever.

We each keep a log on the other. I can only assume he does; he seems to remember all of my transgressions. Mine is a password-protected document hidden on my personal drive and it journals all the shit that has ever gone down between Joshua Templeman and me. We have each complained to HR four times over this past year. He’s received a verbal and written warning about the nickname he has for me. I’ve received two warnings; one for verbal abuse and for a juvenile prank that got out of hand. I’m not proud.

You see what I mean? There is not much I love more than an epic hate-love romance/office romance. And this one is on the top of the favorites list. It’s FUN and ENTERTAINING and HILARIOUS! Joshua and Lucy are quite the pair. When they find out that they are both gunning for the same job promotion, things get even worse between them. The tension between them is at an all time high. The emotions are running like crazy and it leaves Lucy more confused than ever.

Lucy was pretty dang perfect. She narrated the story (I listened to the audio) and it was fantastic. She is wonderful. Such an entertaining heroine. And don’t even get me started on Joshua. I hated him at the start, but that didn’t come close to comparing with how much I loved him by the end!
“Stop calling me Shortcake.”

“Watching you pretend to hate that nickname is the best part of my day.”

I was shocked that this was a debut novel. It didn’t read like a debut at all. I will be jumping to read anything else this author writes. I’m sorry that this review is a little excitable and all over the place with lots of quotes and such, but I’m so excited about this book and just gushing all over the place! If you’re a fan of love/hate troupes, love a good asshole hero and strong/fun heroine, READ THIS BOOK! Highly recommended!

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Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,631 reviews34k followers
August 24, 2022
This is somehow a magical blend of adult Sarra Manning + Sarah Mayberry + Jennifer Crusie. It's funny and sharp and serious, with seething workplace rivalry and career drama coupled with crazy great chemistry and delicious banter. It also has unbelievably sweet and tender moments , though you'll easily laugh a minute after that! It captures that weird obsessive behavior you can't help when you first fall in love, and also convinces you that after a hard-won relationship, these two won't ever stop being endearingly, ridiculously fussy over each other. Hate-to-love relationships are so fun when they're done well, and this is the best one I've read, in no small part because the "hate" part is pretty convincing in the beginning. It hits all the tropes and scenarios you've read before, but the way they're done here is just irresistible.

Katy's review also talks a lot about the heroine's feelings of loneliness and failure, as well as the way a big argument between them is resolved: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... I feel so much affection for them both--it's one of those things where you come out so pleased that they found each other.

In short, it's basically everything you could possibly want out of a romance, with the added benefit of having so many cute and quirky details in it. I felt giddy with happiness reading this book, and I kept trying to prolong the experience because I know it's the author's only book...so far! I can't wait until the next one. <3 Hurry up, Thorne #2.

Update, 2022:

I reread this (again) during a particularly stressful period, because I wanted to soothe myself. And I had finally watched the movie and wanted to envelope myself in the Lucy and Joshness again.

One of the tragic things about being so out of the loop with the book world is I DID NOT KNOW THERE WAS AN EPILOGUE. And not only an epilogue, but probably the best epilogue ever written, anywhere, anytime!

You can read it in the back of 99 PERCENT MINE, or online here: https://readyouagain.tumblr.com/post/...

It’s the most perfect ending, to the most lovely story. I loved this book when I read it years ago, but I couldn’t have predicted how often I’d return to it—swooning, laughing, touched, and comforted every time. Thank you, Sally Thorne.
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.7k followers
February 16, 2022
I feel so conflicted about The Hating Game. It was like I was playing out my own version of the love/hate game with the book while reading it.

Lucy and Josh work in the same office, but cannot stand the sight of each other. They trade daily barbs and insults, fueled by their mutual hate and dislike. Or, could it be the hate is a mask for something else?

There is so much I enjoyed about this book. I blew through the first two-thirds in the blink of an eye. Josh is adorable, brooding and silent on the outside, but sweet and squishy on the inside. The hate-banter between Josh and Lucy is filled with clever and witty barbs that had me chuckling to myself page after page. And the tension between the two characters is so visceral and delicious, pretending to hate each other when really they want each other bad. Yep, I can get on board with all that.

But... Lucy is so weird and she gets weirder as the book progresses. She's hyper, easily freaked out, a people-pleaser, and lacks self-confidence. She takes things the wrong way, so she'll perceive slights when there are none and refuse to believe otherwise. She's always searching for signs that Josh hates her, even with plenty of evidence to the contrary. This happens more as she and Josh get closer to each other, not less, which makes no sense. And she's constantly anxious over what others think of her, as if they have nothing better to do than waste their brain cycles on her. Eesh!

I found the last third of the book to really drag on. Everything I had previously disliked only intensifies. Josh is endlessly reassuring Lucy that she is valued and liked, while she has one freak out after another. It's exhausting to read and think about. And instead of their usual banter, their dialogue switches to the most mushy saccharine language, leaving even me (a hopeless romantic) cringing with discomfort.

In the end, I'm glad I picked up this book for the first two thirds. The last third of the book was so disappointing that I'm just going to pretend it didn't exist.

See also, my thoughts on:
99 Percent Mine
Second First Impressions

Profile Image for Anne.
4,058 reviews69.5k followers
June 4, 2021
Normally I hate chick-lity romance, but this is one of those fantastic exceptions that makes me want to reconsider my usual reluctance to read this genre.
In fact, I loved it so much I started to wonder:


Apparently, I'm really late to The Hating Game party.
Did my friends just not tell me about this one, or did this come out while I was undergoing all that laser hair removal? Dark times, dark times...
At any rate, I ran across this in my ongoing quest to find funny romances that make my heart go pitty-pat.
And nothing, nothing, makes my heart pitty-pat as hard as a couple who start out with a mutual disgust for each other.


Well, these two definitely had the loathing thing down pat.
It. Was. Hysterical.
The lengths that they went to just to make sure that they managed to get under the other's skin and crawl around on a daily basis? Perfection! By the end, there was no real reason for it other than stubborn pride, but did they let that stop them?
No. No, they did not.


But the thing that made this one special (to me) was that the story and the characters felt complete. They had families, hobbies, and issues that were separate from this thing that was growing between them. And this may sound odd, but my favorite thing about this book was the fact that Joshua was obsessive about diet and exercise. He was ripped because *gasp* he worked really hard at it on a daily basis. So many books/movies make it seem like the guy just has magical washboard abs that ripple in the sunlight, while he chows down on a fatty steak and washes it down with a milkshake.
Men don't wake up looking sexy, they've gotta work at it as much as we ladies do.
Maybe more...?


Anyway, I'm not sure what to say about this that hasn't already been said. If you're looking for a fantastic romance novel that will keep you smiling throughout, this is the book for you.

Audiobook re-read 2021
Ok, so this is the second time I've been disappointed by a contemporary romance audiobook that I loved when I read it.
The book was read by Katie Schorr and it's not that she did a bad job, it's just that I liked the voice in my head better.
This time around I will admit that the she doesn't realize he loves her stuff at the end seemed far more annoying. It was obvious that he cared about her and there was absolutely no reason for her to freak out. Like...none.
And while I realize there needs to be some sort of will-they-won't-they tension, I would appreciate it if the author put a little more thought into it than she did this time around.
This was still a really fun enemies-to-lovers story that I would recommend to any fan of contemporary romance.
Profile Image for  Teodora .
329 reviews1,778 followers
September 13, 2023
4.75/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

I’ve been debating so hard on rating this book because I am really not into chick-lit novels (like, almost at all) and I feel conflicted every time I have to rate one, even though I read the bloody book on my own free will.

But, Jesus, I’m busted now, so what’s the point in hiding behind a finger?
I enjoyed this so fucking much that I just can’t deny it.

I don’t know what’s gotten into me one day, I woke up normally, had an online course that I almost fell asleep to, then had some breakfast and as I was drinking my coffee I was like Hm, I think I might read something romance-y.

And guess what? The most romance-y novel I found agreeable was a book with the title The Hating Game.
So, yeah, you got me. I’m a hopeless romantic, what can I say…

But lemme tell you something. That cartoon-y cover with the crooked letters and funny colours hid behind it some very funny and also very sexy action that I just…enjoyed…much. As one part of my brain was asking WTF is wrong with you? the other part was like Read, read, read, I know you’re curious to see what are they gonna do next!

I was torn between the two, but this is indeed a pretty accurate explanation of what was ratting in my head during this book.
At this point, I might start to enjoy reading funny, sexy books, who knows?


It is ridiculously easy to read, actually.

I mean, I finished it in two days and a half so I think that’s my new personal record. It’s been that enjoyable.

I have this thing for hate-to-love relationships that I never seem to get over. Why is this my favourite kind of falling in love? No one knows, not even the divinities above us. The idea is that yes this was about to be good. And it actually was and it actually did not disappoint me.

It was obvious from the start that Lucy was going to be the goody-two-shoes, sunshine-y girl who does everything with energy and enthusiasm and is addicted to the fact that everyone must love her and Josh was the mean fancy-ass jerk that was going to mess with her constantly and she was going to catch on fire because he was the only person who seemed to not like her.

Honestly, after all that initial cliché, everything was bomb. The line exchange was always witty, the feelings were pretty accurate in their confusion and the falling in love was as delicious as a strawberry.

Everything that happened in this book was either extremely cute or extremely sexually tense and I loved that. I think this might be the first rom-com novel I consider re-reading one day. It was precious.


What I learned from this book though is that:
- First impressions will not always be as we expect them to be because not everyone is the same. First impressions are one-of-a-kind experiences that have different impacts on different persons;
- Don’t judge a book by its cover, no one knows for sure what exactly is going on between the pages;
- Even though love and hate are polar opposites, there is this excruciatingly thin line between them and they can be easily mistaking for each other;
- Learn how to fall in love with everything.

With all this being said, The Hating Game made me feel very happy while reading it so that is why I am going to reward it. I am glad I gave it a shot.
Profile Image for Antje ❦.
130 reviews265 followers
May 5, 2023
I'm still waiting for a handwritten apology from sally thorne for this atrocity
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
February 17, 2017
Heartwarming (adj.):
Causing pleasant feelings of happiness (and silly, stupid tears you can't stop).

By all means, it was not a sad book. On the contrary, The Hating Game was a funny, sweet, adorable, intoxicating office romance about two sworn enemies that fell in love. And I'm crying because it filled me with so much joy, and hope and love my body can barely contain!

“Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game-and you have to win. Why? Your heart and your ego.”

Josh is Lucy's nemesis. They work together while they plot each other's murder. They play juvenile games, they keep filing complaints to Human Resources, and they make each other miserable. Their competition is tough, and with a promotion on the horizon things escalate quickly. But after one mind-blowing elevator kiss, and some unexpected kindness from Josh, Lucy starts to wonder whether beneath his cold and cruel behavior exists a Nice Guy after all, with the potential to break her heart.
The line between love and hate was never so blurry.
“No one can kiss me like you do.”

Dear Sally Thorne, I'm yours.
I can't get rid of this ridiculously wide grin on my face, I'm one step from looking like Joker. And then I remember all those moving and sweet moments and I start crying, and people wonder who murdered my cat. I don't have a cat.
Josh and Lucy's story tugged at my heartstrings in an unexpected way. They were two characters beautifully crafted, with their flaws and insecurities. Lucy was always sociable and charming, she wanted people to like her but in the end, she was lonely. Josh was a clinical asshole that made everyone tremble, and tiny Lucy was the only one that stood up to him. Little did she know how shy and caring he was.
“Stop calling me Shortcake.”
“Watching you pretend to hate that nickname is the best part of my day.”

Hilarious banters, crackling tension, tenderness and passion, The Hating Game has everything you could ask for from a romance novel. Every single touch spoke straight to my heart, and made my blood warm and my head dizzy! There were times I forgot how to breathe, and times I couldn't help but sigh. Josh is such a dreamy guy, yummilicious and sexy and so, so swoonworthy!

While I would have liked a few chapters from Josh's POV, I enjoyed Lucy's narrative so much! She was such a sweet and funny and adorable person, and you could understand her reservations and her fears!
I'm so in love.
“What are you imagining? Your expression is filthy.”
“Strangling you. Bare hands.”
“So that’s your kink.”
“Only where you’re concerned.”

If this sappy review didn't convince you to read this little gem, please do check Arianna's review! ❤︎
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 11 books7,634 followers
February 17, 2021

"I wish I could use my thumbs to pull his mouth into a huge deranged grin. As the police drag me out in handcuffs I'll be screeching, Smile, goddamn you."

Imagine being so riled by someone that you end up thinking things like the above on a near-hourly basis. That is the kind of relationship the male and female lead in this book have with each other. They're the executive assistants to the joint heads of their company, and are forced to share cubicle space right outside their offices.

Which would be fine, if they got along.

Yeah, no. These two have antagonism down to a fine art. They're so competitive that they've created little games that they play with each other. The Staring Game - where they lock eyes and have whole silent conversations filled with insults. The Mirror Game - where the male lead subtly mimics every move the female lead makes, only on a slight time delay. The HR Game - where they threaten to report each other to the poor, frazzled woman who runs the HR department for even the slightest perceived infraction. The Spying Game - where each of them rummages through the other's desk whenever the opportunity arises.

It's childish and immature and a ridiculous way to spend your work day. I thought it frigging was hysterical.

I do, however, see where some readers might take issue with Josh, the male lead, as a romantic interest. He's pretty terrible to Lucy, the female lead, at times, especially in the beginning. And yet, for me, he never crossed the line into alpha-douche territory. Because, in his defense, Lucy is equally provocative. What he dishes out, he thinks she can take, and also give back to him in turn. Which she does, with relish. Most of the time. The only issue is that at one point she cracks, hard, breaking down into tears. It's clear when this happens that this was not Josh's intention, and that he feels genuine remorse for causing her this level of frustration.

Because, you see, throughout all these little games they play with each other, you're given the sense that some twisted part of them both enjoy it. Lucy actively looks for ways to one-up Josh. Or to surprise a grin out of him. Josh, for his part, is obviously trying to get a different reaction from Lucy, and it's not really clear until things begin to change between them what this reaction is.

This is a romance. It's no spoiler that things DO change between them. Love and hate are a fine line, after all. Both invoke a lot of similar mental and physiological responses. So when the line blurs between these two and all that pent up aggression between them becomes filled with the promise of a non-destructive outlet, whoa.

"I'd participate. So well you wouldn't walk straight the next day."


This book was so much fun to read. I devoured it in a single session, and by the time I closed it, my face hurt from smiling. The chemistry between these two is palpable from the beginning. Lucy has a completely open, self-deprecating, hilarious inner monologue. Josh, who starts out sort of broody and mysterious, only becomes more and more attractive as you peel back his tough outer layers.

And the two of them together? Gah.

I can easily see myself re-reading this over and over again. And I cannot wait for more releases from this author. I think she'll become quite a heavy-hitter in the romance genre if she keeps up this level of work.

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Profile Image for Gabby.
1,295 reviews27.9k followers
January 24, 2021
I just reread this book for a third time, it's still an all time favorite. See my reaction here: https://youtu.be/2OknqgHLvIE

I just finished reading this book for the second time and aklsjdlakjsa. It was SO GOOD. Lucy and Josh are literally the cutest and I listened to the audiobook this time (which was absolutely fantastic by the way) and ALKSJDLKAJS. THIS STORY IS SO CUTE. I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading and I love their witty banter and the fact that they work in publishing together and just EVERYTHING about this book makes me happy. I think I'm going to plan to reread this every couple of years, it's just so great!

Original Review:
This book is so cute. It's the perfect combination of sexy and cute and fun. This book is like a sexier version of Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, which is one of my all time favorite books. THANK YOU to Stephanie for recommending this book to me, I freaking loved it. This book is light and fluffy and it's the perfect romantic comedy! I kept picturing Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as the leads in this for some reason (probably because I love their chemistry and I could see them playing these characters in a movie version of this.)

This book follows Lucy and Josh, two people working for a book publishing company who share an office and can't stand each other. They hate each other, and every time they are in a room together they bicker and pick fights and it's extremely entertaining. One of them is going to get promoted to become the boss of the other, which only motivates them to compete and hate each other more. But the sexual tension between these characters is off the charts, and I loved watching their romance develop and grow over time. I thought the office romance might be cheesy, but it was the cutest fucking thing ever. I loved all the scenes that took place in the office, and how Lucy had mesmerized the colors of all of Josh's work shirts. The office decides to go paint-balling in an effort for all the employees to get to know each other better and it's so entertaining and fun to read about.

Of course, this book did have a few cheesy moments, but I didn't even care because I adored these two characters so much. I love that Lucy is short and tiny and nice to everyone (maybe too nice sometimes, I can relate to this) and Josh is tall and huge and he's a dick most of the time. Josh isn't the kind of asshole that I can't stand though, he's more playful about it and I absolutely adore him. The second half of this book had some predictable moments but that didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book. I especially loved those scenes towards the end when I love the way this author described Josh, I was completely head over heels for him. "The rounded caps of muscle on his shoulders balance on smoothly curving biceps. His skin glows with health: honey gold, flawless. The deep lines of his collarbones and hips are an impressive frame. In between a series of individual muscles, each representing a goal set and box ticked. Flat, square pectorals with rounded edges. The skin of his stomach pulls tight across the kind of muscles I usually stare at during Olympics swimming finals. His hips have ridges that point toward his groin, obscured in suit pants." Like DAMN. I was swooning.

This author balances comedy and romance so well, I CAN'T BELIEVE this is her debut novel. It's so fucking good. I will read anything she writes in the future. If you enjoy romance in general, PLEASE READ THIS BOOK. It's too cute to pass up.
September 15, 2021
”Watching you pretend to hate the nickname is the best part of my day”.

¡Por fin leí uno de los libros que más hype tiene en el mundo lector! ¡Y no me decepcionó! De hecho, amé The Hating Game. Fue ese romance de enemies to lovers gracioso y sin muchas pretensiones que necesitaba en mi vida.

En esta historia nos encontramos con Lucy y Josh. Ambos trabajan como asistentes ejecutivos de los CEOs de una gran editorial que surgió tras la fusión de dos más pequeñas. Como los dos vienen de editoriales diferentes y no podrían ser más opuestos, se odian. Mientras Lucy es una persona extrovertida, risueña y colorida, Josh es un tipo serio, súper enfocado en el trabajo y frío. La relación laboral que tienen es tan tensa, que Recursos Humanos ha tenido que intervenir varias veces. Ahora, todo empieza a escalar cuando los CEOs anuncian que van a crear un nuevo puesto, el de COO, y les dicen a Lucy y a Josh que ambos son candidatos para él. Todo se sale de control a partir de ese momento, pues los dos saben que si uno de ellos obtiene el puesto de COO, se volverá el jefe del otro y le hará la vida aún más imposible. Pero con estas tensiones del trabajo, también van a surgir otro tipo de dinámicas entre ellos que les van a hacer replantearse el odio que sienten mutuamente.

Les juro que desde hace muchísimo tiempo un libro no me divertía tanto. Leer todas las peleas, discusiones y comentarios sarcásticos de Lucy y Josh me daba vida. Y es que su relación era tan tormentosa que, evidentemente, en el fondo estaban loquísimos el uno por el otro. Adoré ver cómo fue cambiando la dinámica entre los dos, cómo al principio creían que lo que los movía era lujuria y poco más y cómo, eventualmente, empezaron a entender que el odio que sentían era solo la manera que tenían de enmascarar la certeza de que eran perfectos como pareja.

Si bien este no es el libro más hot and steamy que he leído en la vida, tuvo sus momentos espectaculares. Hola, ascensor. Y, más que eso, me fascinaron las escenas en las que se notaba cómo las defensas de los dos iban bajando y se acercaban más al otro. Todo lo que sucede cuando Lucy está enferma, los momentos en el campo de paintball y la debacle entera de la boda del hermano de Josh… ¡muy fan de todo eso!

Además, si me conocen, saben que yo me muero por los personajes como Josh que, en la superficie, parecen súper fríos y calculadores, pero que, en el fondo, son un unicornio de peluche muy abrazable. De verdad, necesito un Josh en mi vida, sobre todo porque también es obscenamente alto y eso me parece muy sexy, jajaja. Perdón por ser así.

En definitiva, si quieren un libro fresco, divertido, que los haga reír, que se lea súper rápido y que los haga creer en el amor así sea por cinco minutos, tienen que leer The Hating Game.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
546 reviews34.7k followers
August 7, 2018
"What are you imagining? Your expression is filthy."
"Strangling you. Bare hands." I can barely get the words out. I'm huskier than a phone-sex operator after a double shift.
"So that's your kink." His eyes are going dark.

Oh, boy did I love those two!! XD
I mean who wouldn’t enjoy reading banter like that? It was amazing and I couldn’t wait to read more about them! I swear their conversations were addicting and I loved the way Lucy narrated the story. I mean seriously! THAT GIRL!!! *lol*
“I’m huskier than a phone-sex operator after a double shift”!!!! Good grief!!! Haha! It were sentences like that which immediately caused me to love this book! XD Well, Lucinda’s narration AND the conversations between her and Josh!
They were like cat and mouse and I loved it!!! Actually I FREAKING LIVED FOR IT! !!! <333

Also can we take a second and acknowledge that they were equal in every possible way! They both didn’t give each other an inch and this was refreshing! XD Finally two people that could not only give but also take! *lol* And Lucy’s password!!! I’m still not over it! Haha! I loved that Josh gave her the nickname “Shortcake” and I can’t believe that she didn’t get it!!! I mean OMG!!! How blind can you be?! XD The way they were at each other’s throat it’s no wonder the HR section was afraid of them. *lol*

“Tell me where to go, then."
"Go to hell." I start laughing again.
"So that's where you came from."

when the story finally took off!
When they eventually succumbed to their mutual attraction!
Hell, did it get steamy! Steamy enough to fog my imaginary reading glasses, I can assure you. ;-P

”There’s a fragility in this kiss I would have never expected. It’s the same as the knowledge that one day this memory will fade. He’s trying to make me remember this. It’s so bittersweet my heart begins to hurt.

In short: JOSH AND LUCY WERE AMAZING and I even liked the sub-plot! XD I mean I couldn’t help but wonder why Josh was the way he was with his family but when I finally found out it all made sense! Poor Joshua! I wanted to hug and cuddle him! Okay, maybe I also wanted to touch his sexy muscles, but hey I’m just a girl! He sounded way too delicious to pass on such an opportunity. ;-P

If there was one thing I didn’t like about "The Hating Game”, then it was the fact that the ending was so abrupt. Well, at least for me it was. I really would have liked to have a little more closure, but that’s just the romantic in me, so I guess others might be fine with the way it is. XD
And because I don’t want to spoil anything I’ll write my thoughts about the ending in a spoiler tag. Believe me it’s best for you. ;-P At least if you still want to read the book. Well, anyway:

A funny and fluffy contemporary is what I asked for and a funny and fluffy contemporary is exactly what I got! *lol*

I can recommend “The Hating Game” to everyone who enjoys sassy banter with a hint of fluff and a dash of humour! If you want to dive into a sweet and short rom-com, this book certainly will be the right choice for you. ;-)
Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,763 followers
May 13, 2023

🎧 6th Read, November 2021 — 5 Stars
🎧 5th Read, October 2021 — 5 Stars
🎧 4th Read, July 2021 — 5 Stars
🎧 3rd Read, September 2020 — 5 Stars
🎧 2nd Read, February 2020 — 5 Stars
📚 1st Read, August 2017 — 5 Stars

My fangirling might make you cringe, but please don’t rain on my parade. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH I COULD CRY. And I’m shamelessly admitting that I literally did. The last chapter was so sweet I smiled so big my cheeks hurt. I didn’t mean to get all corny and mushy, but I JUST FEEL LIKE MY HEART IS SO FULL AND I’M ABOUT TO PUKE RAINBOWS.

How is it fair that in all the history of my nine to five jobs I’ve never had a co-worker like JOSHUA TEMPLEMAN?

Granted I’d just graduated so I barely have any career to speak of. I would also probably die from stress and mortification if I had to deal with someone who constantly reprimanded my work ethic and teased me to the point of madness on a daily basis like Josh did Lucy.

But I digress.

“I want to make a fool of myself over you.”

I LOVE big, tall, grouchy, intimidating, perceptive, neat freak, and smart as a whip JOSH. He’s almost never nice, but who wants nice anyway? (LOL I’m going to get trolled over this. But no ladies, please find yourself a nice guy.) Anyway, it doesn’t matter bcs his heart is in the right place. He’s misunderstood and a little shy. He’s actually a giant softie.

“I’ll never be able to untangle myself from this feeling. The color of love is surely this robin’s-egg blue.”

I freaking ADORE Lucy, Heiress of the Sky Diamond Strawberries Dynasty. Lara Croft Lucinda is my favorite. She can be a bit of a pushover, but she kicks ass in her five inch heels and with her Flamethrower red lips. She has the most wonderful relationship with her parents and I’m just all here for it.

“What are you imagining? Your expression is filthy.”
“Strangling you. Bare hands.”
“So that’s your kink.”
“Only where you’re concerned.”

These two are so ADORKABLE together. Their banter, their stupid fights and games, their flirting, gah . . . their dynamics is everything! Being in their presence is so addictive. I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face even if I tried. They are so much fun to hang around I never wanted this book to end!

To be honest, the audiobook isn’t all that great. The narrator doesn’t vocalize Lucy and Josh’s voices distinctly that sometimes it was lost on me who was speaking what. However, I also think I wouldn’t have gotten this emotional over this book had I just read it conventionally. Anyhow, I still consider this one of my best audiobook experiences.

I’m normally not into office romances considering guys in corporate businesses are not the type of heroes I want to read about. (No offense!) But this book ticks all my boxes. I’m fairly certain I won’t ever get sick of rereading this. You can say whatever you want, but THIS BOOK IS A MASTERPIECE. I believe that anyone who hasn’t read this is doing themselves a disservice. I’m so excited for the film!
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
September 26, 2022

I've been seeing The Hating Game plastered across my Goodreads feed for well over a year now and avoided it solely due to my phase of being constantly disappointed by the majorly hyped books. I could just about slap myself silly for pushing this aside for so many months, because it was worth the hype and much more. While a little slow in the first few chapters, the story quickly takes off once the scene is set and I'm forced to admit something-I have a serious obsession with love to hate tropes. You heard me, I'm a walking, talking cliche and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

There's not really much to go into regarding the plot here, as you pretty much get the details you need from the synopsis, but this book is just what it sounds like, a book all about two people concentrating on winning "The Hating Game", a past time where they spend every free moment plotting on how to sabotage one another. Lucy and Joshua work together for a publishing house that consists of a merger between two very different CEOs, and as Lucy and Josh find themselves up for the same promotion, they are forced to declare all out war, and as the tension builds they discover that maybe they have been wrong about each other all along.

I've seen some reviews that claim they would have enjoyed this more if the "hating" stage had lasted longer, but IMO it was the perfect length of time. The fact that this book wasn't just sexy, but also hilarious? That was a huge bonus. Thorne's writing made me feel like I'd found a bosom buddy in my bizarre sense of humor. I also didn't realize this book would be more than a piece of fluffy goodness... You know, the ones that are wholly enjoyable but completely forgettable? Not this one. I was completely taken with the fact that the author chose to have her characters wrestle with some below surface, realistic issues. By the end of this book I was ready to fight anyone who hurt my precious pumpkin Joshua Templeman.

The Hating Game was a juicy delight; the characters were larger than life and the plot was unique while maintaining a semblance of comfort and reliability. If you have been living under a rock (like me) and haven't managed to move this up your TBR yet, go ahead and block out your weekend to devour this baby. I'm so glad I've decided to focus on expanding my reading to cover a wider variety of genres this year; I can finally stop kicking myself for missing this one and join in the fandom awaiting Thorne's next novel. Highly recommended for a feel good, rip-roaring time!

Buddy read with my partner in crime Sam @ CluesAndReviews <3
Profile Image for Zoe.
331 reviews1,430 followers
April 18, 2022
me: I hate cliches

the book: he's grumpy and shes sunshine but he's soft for her

Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,302 reviews43.9k followers
November 19, 2021
This is fabulous!

Hating Game is the Bible of enemies to lovers theme! Polar opposite- extreme sexual attraction- dirty silly funny games they play- rivalry at work place- sunshine meets the grump troupe!

This is my favorite Sally Thorne novel and it’s also at my top ten all my favorite romance books list! Whenever I feel anxious, sad, tired, I reread this book to brighten my mood and enjoy every second of it!
We have also good news that BCDF Pictures turned this amazing novel into a movie and it’s in post production now. I don’t know the probable release date but I’m excited to see Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale as Lucy Hutton and Austin Stowell as Joshua Templeman!

Think about merging two company makes two executive assistants miserable : but this time those assistants don’t try to match make their bosses like Netflix’s Set it up movie ( another good written romcom script I highly recommend) because merging of Bexley Books and Gamin Publishing also means they will fight against each other to get the promotion they worked for.

Tension is high, chemistry is palpable. Which one will win the game? Sweet, quirky, kind Lucy or brooding, grumpy, introvert, arrogant Joshua?
Let the staring, mirror, HR games begin!

Could someone have so much fun each time read the same book over and over again? Yes, I’m exhibit A! I loved this book so much and I highly recommend you to get a copy and devour it if you haven’t read it yet!
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