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The Trouble with Hating You #1

The Trouble with Hating You

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A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy debut about first impressions, second chances, and finding the love of your life in the most unexpected way.
Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast, and happily single woman. The moment she realizes her parents' latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she's out the back door in a flash. Imagine her surprise when the same guy shows up at her office a week later -- the new lawyer hired to save her struggling company. What's not surprising: he's not too thrilled to see her either after that humiliating fiasco.

Jay Shah looks good on paper...and off. Especially if you like that whole gorgeous, charming lawyer-in-a-good-suit thing. He's also arrogant and infuriating. As their witty office banter turns into late night chats, Liya starts to think he might be the one man who truly accepts her. But falling for each other means exposing their painful pasts. Will Liya keep running, or will she finally give love a real chance?

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 12, 2020

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About the author

Sajni Patel

8 books1,200 followers
Sajni Patel is an award-winning author of women’s fiction and young adult books. Her works have appeared on numerous Best of the Year and Must Read lists from Cosmo, Teen Vogue, Apple Books, Audiofile, Tribeza, Austin Woman, NBC, The Insider, and many others.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,263 reviews
Profile Image for  Teodora .
303 reviews1,634 followers
March 25, 2023
3.35/5 ⭐

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

This was definitely spicy by default, but it still had some issues that I just couldn't get past.
I enjoyed the story itself, I really did, but I am about to say what I truly thought of The Trouble with Hating You.

First of all, by now I think it is pretty obvious that my favourite kind of trope is the hate-to-love one. There's no doubt, hands down the best trope. So, of course, I was excited about this (it has the word hate in the title, I am fascinated by that word).
But this hate was a bit unnecessary. And the love felt a little tiny bit off.

The main problem here I think was with Liya. I honestly didn't like her as a character even though she wasn't completely repulsive. There was something about her way of carrying herself that threw me off.
She was too explosive and reckless. She was too selfish sometimes and she always made suppositions about things and people without fully processing everything happening around her.

I really liked the fact that she was standing on her own two feet as an independent woman and a pretty successful one too, but from time to time she just threw all her riches in other people's faces, which isn't nice. That's not a real flex. (The real flex is not to tell everyone that you have those red bottoms, but to subtly show them when you are crossing one leg over the other while sitting on your plush throne in your CEO office. Or when you cross your ankles on the big-ass desk in said CEO office because you don't give a fuck, you own the shit).


I also had a bit of a problem with Jay. He is definitely a sweet man, but he is too stubborn for his own good. And I don't mean Aries kind of stubborn, but Taurus kind of stubborn, if you know what I mean.
His love for Liya was a bit off at parts and sometimes it felt like he didn't know exactly what he wanted.

Even so, I admire his loyalty to Liya and the fact that he is willing to shut down every horrible rumour about her just to stand or her, to stick by her side. This is a beautiful and admirable trait in a person and in this book it felt just true and right for Jay to be this way.

Now, on a more serious note, this book tries to talk about some heavy and important stuff.

It talks about how some cultures are still anchored in the past, living by the rules set hundreds of years before real, healthy mentality even existed. It talks about how women are supposed to aspire to marriage above everything else, but it also talks about how important it is for men to have a good wife too. It talks about all kinds of abuse. It talks about people not listening to other people. It talks about the importance of sacrifice. It talks about trust. It talks about freedom.

All of those things are there, believe me. But I wish they could have been better outlined. I wanted to experience the grief and the joy of every single major topic that was trying to be explored, but I think it wasn’t enough emphasis on it.

To me, it is not important to just name those issues. If there were one single issue explored in this book but it was so thorough that it made me believe in its authenticity then hell, that would’ve been more than enough.

Give importance to the matter if you want to signal something. This is what makes the issue real. This is what it makes it able to be abolished.

Make the characters real enough to struggle with those issues. Make them cry or make them shrug, but give them the ultimate power to believe that they can look their trouble in the eye and annihilate it.

I truly enjoyed the book, it was good enough, but I definitely wanted more from it because I know there could be more of it.

All in all, I do think it is a nice and quick read so it definitely didn’t waste my time. Which is great.
The Trouble with Hating You did, let’s say, all right.

Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,795 followers
April 5, 2020
the biggest plot twist of the year is that i actually enjoyed this book bc phew after reading the first 10 chapters i was READY TO DITCH

The Trouble with Hating You is a hate-to-love romance about two very different characters. Liya is a very independent, outspoken, successful biochemical engineer and Jay is a charming, sweet, family-oriented lawyer.

Liya's parents want her to stop this independence nonsense and settle down with a nice indian boy and since she won't listen to their pleas, they try to ambush her into having dinner with Jay and his mother. Things OBVIOUSLY don't do as planned and Liya is pissed at her parents (mainly her piece of trash father) and even less interested in Jay

Up until that point in the book, I was not sold, sure the characters were funny to read on paper but the dialogue felt cliche & juvenile and they seemed like caricatures, having only one outstanding personality trait that made them what they are

There was even a section of dialogue between Jay and a mutual friend where the friend was going on this long feminist monologue and I felt like IT WAS SO OVER-THE-TOP and unrealistic to me. It was like he was getting on a soapbox in the middle of a basketball game and im like sure there are guys with feminist values but like THIS IS NOT REALISTIC

And from there, I was willing to ditch the book bc I haven't been having the best time with books atm but IM SO GLAD I DIDN'T GIVE UP ON IT

It was almost an instant change for me, I felt the writing, characters, and the romantic plot accelerated into something so much more entertaining and realistic. We got some seriously cute scenes between Liya and Jay (he would bring her coffee and breakfast and they'd eat together in her office 🥺🥺 and then he'd stay in late with her 🥺🥺 and that's basically the cutest thing I've ever read in my whole life 🥺🥺)

We got to see deeper in Liya's character, find out why she's so standoffish, snarky, and untrusting of most people. We got to see Jay's backstory, a dark memory staining his childhood, learn more about his family and love them too.

I really appreciated that deeper look into their characters because it made them relatable and realistic rather than just reading about a regular run-of-the-mill romance.

I really liked Liya's friend group, it's always so awesome to see books that give the female lead a group of friends she loves and trusts with her life i AM A SUCKER FOR PURE FRIENDSHIPS OKAY

I loved the unapologetic Indian representation. The inclusion of the culture was done in such a great, seamless way and I'm really glad it added that extra dimension to the story.

While I did enjoy reading it and found myself wanting to just sit for hours and read, I will admit, the dialogue isn't always the most profound. It is cheesy at times, there are some really cliche lines used here and there but overall, it was a really sweet, fun, fast-paced read

trigger warnings for

Big thanks to Netgalley for approving me for this title!! 💖💛🥰💚💖🥰💙🥰💜💖🥰
August 27, 2021
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As much as I wanted to love The Trouble with Hating You, I found its storyline frustrating and I'm ready to spill some tea.
While I appreciated the way in which Sajni Patel incorporated serious issues into her narrative, I couldn't push aside my annoyance towards her main characters. Yes, they did have chemistry and their own character arcs but I wasn't a fan of the way in which Liya Thakkar was portrayed. She's a self-proclaimed feminist who more than once states that she's not a 'damsel in distress'.
Her storyline is very much focused on why she feels 'broken' and on her refusal to let her 'weaknesses' show. Given her backstory her distrust of men is understandable. However, even if you have most of the characters describe one character as a 'feminist' doesn't mean she's automatically one. Case in point, Liya repeatedly tells men that she's not the kind of woman they think she is ('loose'). She stresses that she's not a 'whore' or a 'slut', and every-time she used or alluded to these words it was clear that her stance towards 'these' women (those who fall under these labels) isn't good. Way to stand up for your fellow women Liya, just worry about your own reputation and push 'women who are like that' under a bus.
I'm just really tired by these female leads who made into these big 'feminist' when in actuality they perpetuate sexist notions and actually end up being 'saved' by this hot man with abs. Here there is one of the most clichéd scenes ever: Liya injures her ankle and has to be carried by the male lead. Why can't it ever be the guy who hurts himself ? Not only that but what led to Liya injury seemed to emphasise that nothing good will come by going out with men who aren't the fabulous hero.
While Jay Shah has slept with three women with 0 angst, only horrible men are interested in Liya. Jay is the only decent guy she's encountered. There was something vaguely moralistic about it. Liya's more casual attitude towards sex is shown to have negative consequences.

Back to the story: after a clichéd first meeting these two are forced to spend more time together because of their work. Liya 'dislike' towards Jay lasted longer than it was credible. I understand that initially they didn't get along and Liya had few reasons to like Jay. But after he 'rescues' her, he turns into this helpful and caring guy. Yet, even then she childishly insist that they shouldn't even be friendly towards each other. Mmh...grow up?
Jay trauma struck me as corny. He has scars and doesn't want to talk about his 'dark' past. Yet he forces Liya to open up about her traumatic experiences.
There are a few other things that kind of grinded my gears: Liya's friends being rude to the woman who's interested in Jay, Jay saying 'I'm a nice guy' more than once (yet he stubbornly pursues Liya, inserting himself into her private affairs, all the while assuming that she will reciprocate his interest) with a single- what Jay says to Liya's father ....which 1) that was private you asshole, 2) he makes Liya sound like Georges Simenon (who claimed to have slept with 10,000 women).
I hated the judgemental way in which Liya's completely normal lifestyle is portrayed as (and I don't mean that because within her community she's labelled as 'bad' but because the way the story unfolds suggests that her 'carefree' attitude towards sex lands her in trouble or with troubled men). By the end it seemed that the only reason why Liya no longer feels 'broken' is because of Jay.
Overall, I probably wouldn't recommend this. The more I think about this book, the more I dislike it. If anything I found it incredibly hypocritical. Here we have a narrative intent on making Liya into this cool and independent 'feminist' when she herself is incredibly judgemental about other women, views all men as ‘bad’, but then needs to be saved by Jay after her 'liberal' attitudes land her in danger.

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June 9, 2020

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I haven't been reading as many romance novels lately, but THE TROUBLE WITH HATING YOU was such a great book to get back in to the genre with. It's one of the best romances I've read in a while, and part of that is because of a really great cast of supporting characters, but most of that is because I love, love, loved both the hero and the heroine of this romance: Liya and Jay.

Liya is a lead biochemical engineer that is in hot water. She works hard and was just given a promotion. She lives on her own, cooks, cleans, does her own laundry, but she saves so well she can afford to splurge on the designer things that make her smile. But her very traditional parents-- especially her father-- don't like that she lives on her own and refuses to marry. She has a reputation in their community for being "easy" and "too American," and so her father has decided that it's time for her to meet her match.

Jay is a lawyer and helps out with his widower mom, especially now that his older brother has gotten married and now has a pregnant wife. He's a little skeptical when he's invited over to dinner, and his skepticism only increases when he's literally barrelled over by the woman whose family he's supposed to be sitting down with. As it turns out, he's the lawyer from the firm hired to save Liya's company, but because of that terrible dinner gone wrong, they both hate each other.

I was delighted when I realized that this was a sort of Taming of the Shrew story. But when I realized it was enemies-to-lovers, I got glittering stars in my happy eyes. And the book does it so well. Nothing is rushed. Not the thawing of emotions. Not the physical affection. They start off as enemies, but then slowly become friends... and then, they become more. But it isn't easy. Both of these characters have HUGE problems in their back stories that are actually quite emotionally heart-wrenching. I felt so bad for Jay, but Liya's back story made me want to cry and punch someone.

Well... actually several someones.

Jay is such a doll. I'm a sucker for the caring alpha stereotypes, especially the woke ones who like strong women and treat them with respect. But Liya was great, too. She was more than capable of fighting her own battles and I loved how hard she worked to get to where she was. The supporting cast of characters was also amazing. Her friends-- Preeti, Sana, and Reema, and, later, Shilpa-- were so great. I loved Liya's mother. Jay's brother, Jahn, was also really, really nice, and I loved their mother. I think the overarching message that tragedy shouldn't be your own burden and that it's important to have a support network you can fall back on when you can't fight alone was really powerful.

While snooping on the author's profile, I saw that the next book in this series is apparently going to be about Preeti, who is a doctor and has strong feelings for a man who isn't Indian. I am so excited for that book, you don't even know.

If you enjoy great novels with PoC characters that lovingly portray other cultures, have great food imagery, feature STEM heroines, have strong friendships, handle tough subjects with delicacy, and basically just go above and beyond at building a world that feels real and will sock you right in the feelings when things go sour, READ THIS BOOK! The whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking about what a great movie it would be. When I put it down, I felt like I'd eaten a hearty meal.

Seriously, this was just great.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Chelsea.
116 reviews16 followers
February 9, 2022
Repeat after me:
I'll never read this book to understand or have a deeper look at Indian culture.

If I ever have to pick a book, with a massive cultural and religious misrepresentation blunder, this one is it. I wanted to DNF it after reading 1st chapter only, but just had to see the extent of this fuck up.

It's like "5 most common stereotypes about Indians" was googled and somehow added in the book.
Also, their were many errors about Hinduism, I'm not even a religious person and still was able to identify all the wrong things, because it was that basic.

I'm not gonna totally dismiss this book by saying that these things never happen in India or Indian community, but this kind of thinking is not common anymore, infact as a 20 year old Indian female let me assure you that me and my friends don't live life like depicted here.

I was just scrolling through reviews to check if I'm the only one who is enraged, and came across so many reviews claiming "I learned about Indian culture", and I just wanna tell you all that you have learned about is Indian food and not culture.

I literally can rant about this book whole day, and can make a list of things I didn't like or were straight up wrong, in alphabetical order.
As much as I love reading about books representing Indian or Asian culture, this kind of misrepresentation only makes us take 2 steps backward rather than forward.

Well, I would never recommend this book to anyone, not only because of the misrepresentation but also the story was not awesome and the characters were just okay.

[Please check out the comments thread for more detailed views.]
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,077 reviews13.3k followers
March 2, 2021
4.5 stars.

TW for death of a loved one, abuse, and sexual assault.

This was so good! Such a good hate to love romance with a heroine who is determined to be a strong, independent woman. Liya pushes agains the norms of her cultural beliefs, so many people think the worst of her and say really awful things about her. It was really hard to read about so many people judging her just because she's not a virgin or because she chooses to live alone and have a successful career and not chase after a husband. It was fun, though, how her and Jay got off on the wrong foot and then Jay became intrigued by her. He hears what people say about Liya, but he gets angry that they judge her and stands up for her, which I loved. Jay was so thoughtful when it came to Liya and I loved how patient he was with her. He didn't rush her into anything and he was there to just take care of her, even when she pushed him away. Liya's story was hard to read because of how badly certain people treated her, whether they were her own family or strangers in the community. I think that Jay was just the perfect hero and I loved how their romance developed! I do wish that there wasn't the lack-of-communication plot at the end (Liya runs away before they can talk), but I did love how the story wrapped up and how Liya slowly learned to trust and finally let Jay in. This was just such a good romance!
Profile Image for EmBibliophile.
497 reviews1,144 followers
January 8, 2023
3.5 stars

The book didn’t start out great for me and I wasn’t really feeling it, but the more I read the more I found myself getting into the story and kinda enjoying it.
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,596 followers
May 30, 2020

Many thanks to Forever Pub for the free copy in exchange for an honest review
"More times than not, I was happy to come home to an empty apartment. Peace. Quiet. Freedom. I didn't have to answer to my parents or some man, or hurry to make dinner for anyone."

I really enjoyed this newest addition to the many Forever titles I have read. It was well-paced, dramatic, and romantic. It did have a few problematic/annoying tropes that I'll get into in a minute.

So, what's this book about?
Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast, and happily single woman. The moment she realizes her parents' latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she's out the back door in a flash. Imagine her surprise when the same guy shows up at her office a week later -- the new lawyer hired to save her struggling company. What's not surprising: he's not too thrilled to see her either after that humiliating fiasco.

Jay Shah looks good on paper...and off. Especially if you like that whole gorgeous, charming lawyer-in-a-good-suit thing. He's also arrogant and infuriating. As their witty office banter turns into late night chats, Liya starts to think he might be the one man who truly accepts her. But falling for each other means exposing their painful pasts. Will Liya keep running, or will she finally give love a real chance?

Enemies-to-lovers is, by far, one of the best romance tropes. It is so passion filled and almost always leads to hilarious and funnily awkward scenes. This book employed ETL and all of it's amazing sub-tropes such as enemy-giving-other-enemy-help-and-both-the-help-and-the-helpee-are-not-hating-it-but-don't-want-to-admit-it.

I appreciated Liya as a character. She felt very realistic which isn't something I can say for all rom-com characters. She also had a lot of depth as she is still harboring bitterness and fear from past trauma (that isn't revealed until the end). I loved the way this was explored and the way the author managed to balance out the dark parts with light humor.

Jay also had a lot of depth as he also harbors his own personal traumas in his own ways that he has to confront throughout the novel. I do appreciate the author making the two main characters realistic and giving them flaws that make them seem like actual people.

That said, I was a bit disappointed that Jay was (basically) physically perfect. Muscular, flawless skin, etc. This isn't even a complaint on this book in particular. Rather, it's a comment on the romance genre in general.

Finally, I want to discuss the ending. I won't spoil anything but I loved the way it just snowballed. Drama! Intrigue! Romance! Overall, I loved the climax although I was a bit frustrated with how Liya overreacted to a certain thing that I won't name. I know it was so that the plot would progress but still...

I also loved the final moments... I won't give details but the final moments were super sweet.

Overall, this book was quick-paced and super fun to read. Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:
4 stars
Age Rating - [ PG-13 ]
Content Screening (Mild Spoilers)
Positive Messages (3/5) - [Confronting trauma in a healthy way, Being brave, Honesty, Patience in a relationship]
Violence (3/5) - [Sexual Abuse (off-page), Fire and death by fire (off-page), Punches, Fights]
Sex (3/5) - [Sexual themes, Kissing]
Language (3/5) - [D*ck, F**k, D*mn, Sh*t, B*tch]
Drinking/Drugs (2/5) - [Alcohol consumption]
Trigger and Content Warnings - Sexual abuse, Loss of a loved one, PTSD, Classism
Publication Date: May 12th, 2020
Publisher: Forever Pub (an imprint of Grand Central Pub (an imprint of Hachette Book))
Genre: Romance/Contemporary


IT. Was. So. Good.


This. Sounds. So. Good.

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Profile Image for Aoife - Bookish_Babbling.
297 reviews309 followers
May 25, 2020
I've really struggled to put together a review for this book. In fact I have lost sleep as my brain has whirred trying to piece together something semi-coherent. Massive apologies as I fear I may have failed to do so! 🙈
Let me start by saying this is not a bad book. In fact many have really enjoyed it and I hope you will too. It is just not the type of romcom I typically reach for. It was a little too dramatic towards the end & more fade to black than the steamy reads I prefer which is a pity as I was very excited to pick it up being a big fan of enemies-to-lovers. Sadly these MCs just did not click for me 😕

They both bring backstories and have their own struggles to work through which leads to interesting moments for communication and it is dual perspective, which we know I enjoy, but I really didn't warm to either MC. Right off the bat Liya got my back up with her brand name dropping and as she initially interacts with Jay I found her rude & judgmental rather than strong.
Jay also didn't endear himself to me as I found him a little pushy/white knight'y in his pursuit of Liya who really didn't give him any reason to believe there could be anything between them until suddenly there was? 🤷‍♀️
I just didn't feel the chemistry here and I was deffo not here for his "gift"...Hard nope, wtf dude? 🤦‍♀️

However the female friendships & Shah family were fantastic. I loved every interaction we get to see with these characters. We know what a sucker I am for side characters 🤩
They were wonderful additions to this story & I would not be upset to see either Preeti, Sana or Wendy get spin off books as they were 😇
I'd even be curious to see Reema navigate as a newlywed, maybe through her experiences we could get a different perspective on their culture than what Liya's story shared...but I'm possibly most interested in Sana's story and am🤞🤞🤞 for that one.

The food sounded AMAZING and made me so hungry!!!
This brings me onto the colourful culture, which sadly left me rather underwhelmed as I didn't feel we really got to experience much in the way of Indian culture outside of the drool'worthy food descriptions. I was very excited to see an own voices romcom read giving us a glimpse into stories we don't see as often in popular culture. I enjoyed Shilpa's baby shower but cannot speak to this being a cultural thing as I would typically associate such shower'type events with American culture vs anything else but I was especially excited at the prospect of Reema's wedding being elaborated upon as these are magnificent events - sadly however this was rather overshadowed by a seriously OTT dramatic turn in the storytelling which I am sorry to say I was not here for at all!
I actually wonder if maybe I'm missing something and this might have been a nod to Bollywood films? 🤔
I don't think I've seen one, unless Bend it Like Beckham counts - which I doubt but 🤩 sorry skewing off topic 🤐...as mentioned above OTT dramatic romcom storylines aren't typically what I gravitate toward - however in saying this I am now nervous of my being stereotypical and potentially jumping to the wrong conclusions 😱

2.75* rounded up to a 3* as this is a me compatibility issue. This book just wasn't quite what I'd hoped it would be and I didn't connect with the MCs.

Buddy Read with my romcom guru, Fran. I'm sorry your first BR wasn't all we'd hoped when we picked this up. Massive thanks for coming on this journey with me & hopefully the experience and my flakiness hasn't put you off potentially trying again another time.
Profile Image for Maria.
157 reviews89 followers
April 18, 2022

DNF @ 45%

There were a lot of things that irritated me about this book.

The main characters were both annoying in their own way.

The female lead did quite a bit of slut shaming, was a terrible communicator, and made a lot of weirdly poor decisions. Who goes on a first date with a dead cell phone?

The guy lead was also an idiot who listened to rumors instead of talking to the source, which felt very juvenile and he had weird solutions for problems. If I was being sexually harassed by a guy, I wouldn't want him to bring me apology flowers.

There were also several enablers of verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse.

There were a lot of situations that were unrealistic, like the guy who tried to hook up with Liya in his apartment's parking structure so his building's security guard could watch it on camera. What lame-ass angles and poor-quality resolution would you get from security footage? If that was really your thing, which is unlikely, wouldn't you just set up a camera in your bedroom so your friend wasn't just getting occasional glances of elbow or random calf through a window?

I was going to try to power through, but when I got to the part where the male lead tried to eat tacos with a fork and knife I was done. Who from Texas tries to eat tacos like that? What a dumb detail to include. If I had been reading the print copy I would have thrown it.
Profile Image for Renaissance Kate.
239 reviews125 followers
May 7, 2020
This book comes out next week and I hope you add it to your reading list as soon as possible! This was such a fun read and I couldn’t put it down!

Liya is an ambitious biochemical engineer in Houston whose recent promotion has her working around the clock to ensure her company stays afloat. Ostracized by her rumor-mongering, conservative Indian community for being too “American”, Liya finds solace in her job and her close-knit group of girlfriends, each of whom faces expectations of her own. One evening, Liya’s parents’ invite her to a family dinner that turns out to be a meeting with a potential marriage suitor. Upon discovering this, Liya sneaks out the back door to literally run into the suitor himself before making an awkward exit.

Jay is a lawyer who was recently hired to advise Liya’s company. When their uncomfortable dinner meeting proves not to be their last encounter, he finds himself wanting to spend more time with her despite the tension between them. He doesn’t let the rumors in the community bother him, and their morning breakfasts and late dinners in Liya’s office gradually turn into something more. In getting to know one another, Liya and Jay must grapple with their past traumas before finally accepting the true feelings that blossomed along the way.

Heartwarming and thought-provoking, Sajni Patel’s debut novel features close friendships, moments that will make you laugh and others that will make you cry, and two very lovable and complicated protagonists. Liya and Jay work through their conflicts together, going from acquaintances to friends to lovers and transforming side-by-side into the people they’re meant to be. Most importantly, their story explores the idea that falling in love does not erase past traumas, but it can help you face and work through them towards a brighter future.

I found this book so refreshing, from the slow-burning romance to Liya’s and Jay’s gradually overcoming their past traumas together, with a lot of self-doubt and guilt in between. Neither expects the other to change for them, nor does their love magically make them forget their pasts; rather, it results in two satisfying characters arcs and a finale that made my heart soar. Yes, there were some cheesy moments in this book, and Liya’s and Jay’s repartee in the middle could get a bit repetitive at times, but overall I would highly recommend this book and I can’t wait to read Preeti’s story in book #2!

Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for poppyalex ۵.
165 reviews157 followers
April 14, 2023
i like the way Liya is portrayed in this book: brave, self-earning, able to speak up for herself etc, i also liked the friend group, it was good to see the mc have a social life instead of being alone/complete closed off in every way till her s/o. also how Jay stood up for her was pretty good and his mother was probably my favorite character.

the likeable annoying clichiest-cliché 🤚🏻🙄😮‍💨

what i liked much, much more was the last quarter of the book.

what annoyed me the most: Liya's father, vague descriptive language in some scenes, THE FACT THAT ALMOST EVERY FWMALE MENTIONED WAS EITHER A DOCTOR, NURSE, SURGEON, HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH MEDICINE OR BIOCHEM, oh my god it felt so stereotypical.
also the amount of rhetorical questions in every freaking chapter, it reminded me of my year 8 essays when i had just learned how rhetorical questions are used to engage the reader in the text and i tried putting abit too many in my essays thinking i'll get more marks.

also, did people really go to the temple (mandir) every weekend?? this book made it seem like half of their lives were just spent in the mandir and interacting with the people in their community.
also this thing of guys playing volleyball and girls doing dance practice in the temple was uhhh just no bro.

lemme show you a conversation between Liya and father, it takes place just in the starting *SPOILER ALERT*

“He (he's referring to Liya's to-be husband) would be too tired after a long day of work. The least you can do is have a hot meal ready when he steps through the door to show your appreciation.”
For about two minutes, until Dad said, looking at me, “And get me water.”
I held up a hand, embracing my unruly, opinionated self. “You get on me for not knowing how to cook three Indian meals a day, but you can’t possibly get off your butt and make your own cha? Or get some water? It’s right there. The fridge even dispenses it for you.”
Dad crumpled the paper, his knuckles white. “Liya, you are a girl, perhaps the most rebellious one I’ve ever known, and you should bridle that tongue of yours. I don’t know what I’ve done in my past lives for the gods to curse me with you.”
I raised a sharp brow, my bangled wrist on my hip. “I don’t know about your past lives, but you’ve done enough in this lifetime to deserve some affliction.”

first of all, ew. second of all, ewwww. shove that misogynistic attitude up your ass, also, what father says that his daughter is a curse to him, i know there was this time people only preferred sons over daughters and all that shit but people started becoming open minded and thinking properly enough. the much i know is indian parents treat their daughters preciously and they're taken as 'Lakshmi ma' (indian goddess of wealth and prosperity, all respectful) i'm not saying shitty people still don't exist, i can't know about that accurately but like bro if you're gonna remain so stupid then why even bother having a kid or less why even marry. (i know not all characters are meant to be perfect blah blah)
the stupid father also doesn't believe Liya about her (tw) being raped by the guy Mukesh who helps clean and cook in the temple and takes care of it, i can for once understand why juliette thought she would be spend the rest of her life hea with adam but i can't understand how stupid this guy is to stand with the guy who raped her daughter and call her a frieking whore just so he doesn't have to face any stupid issues with the community. wtf.

the book felt very unrealistic at some points (i’m aware it’s fiction) starting with how Liya and Jay kept on seeing each other without planning. so look, at first they had just seen each other's pictures and their first meeting is obviously in a classic bollywood way where one of them tips/falls over the other and one of them ends up on top of the other, they continue staring and admiring each other for a while before getting up, then the next day or another day they find out they're working in the same office and meet there, okay that can be a believable coincidence but the guess what, when Liya is having a bad day and ends up at a diner to use the phone since her phone is dead, Jay is there eating dinner. huh, so you're telling me they've been living in the same place but only start seeing each other alot more after their first meeting, that too coincidentally, huh okay.

also the speech Rohan gave at the temple while playing basketball, like yeah okay good you shouldn't judge people based on rumors and shit but it felt like the whole thing was just thrown in there for the sake of it being in the book

alsooo, the story is set in Houston but you get no, literally no vibes of Houston which makes it impossible to imagine all those things happening in Houston

the way Jay and Liya argued with each other in the starting (in some scenes e.g they were arguing in the mandir infront of some of their friends) it wasn't cute/adorable at all. it felt like they were just too toxic for each other and would be better off with other people.
Profile Image for Nursebookie.
2,040 reviews316 followers
May 24, 2021
I enjoyed this book for many reasons - I loved learning about Indian culture, and modern dating despite the strict tradition; enemies to love trope in a clean romance; nod to pride and prejudice; addressed important themes on sexual and emotional abuse; great side stories on amazing friendships and focus on families.

I gravitated to Liya and Jay’s non traditional way of meeting - despite the too frequent coincidences. It worked and made for a fun story with funny banters, but the word panties were used way too often for my liking 😂😁.

I think this was a great debut novel that I enjoyed reading. I loved the energy of the characters, and there was just the right amount of balance of both fun and serious. The topics were introduced within the context of the storyline and worked very well.

I had fun reading this novel and I think you would like it too.
Profile Image for Antonella.
3,405 reviews449 followers
December 27, 2020
GENRE: contemporary romance
TROPES: enemies to lovers, workplace romance
TRIGGER WARNINGS: sexual assault when the heroine was a teen, emotional abuse, grief
SONG: M.I.A. Bad Girls

why more people aren't reading this book?
where are my romance contemporary readers at?

Liya is a hard person to warm up to. She is set in her ways and by the time you realize exactly why she is that way most of the readers won't like her.

And in case you need it spelled out. I LOVE IT!!!

Because she gives the hero a hard time. She doesn't just fall on his feet, because he really is a great guy. But after things she has been through and all the crappy men she dated, she sure as hell lost her trust. All the reasons why she is one of my favorite heroine I have read this year.

Here come this amazing guy Jay and you want to scream at her "Liya wake up and take a chance" but I GET HER...and her reason she is hesitant and all of her behavior. When this amazing guy is in front of you all you ask yourself is "you can't be that great, what is wrong with you"..
Add the fact the family she is raised in, a community she is a part of, and the way she meets Jay...and you get this beautifully complicated relationship.

Because she is deeply loyal to her friends, fiercely protective of them, has a bond with her mother, is a fighter...and Jay doesn't give up, he is patient, non-judgmental, truly a wonderful guy.. this is
AMAZING romance book!!

Profile Image for Tani.
245 reviews256 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
May 17, 2020
Dnf @ 31%

Cultural misrepresentation at it's best.

Indian food is not equal to Indian culture. Thank you, next.

Buddy read with The Boss
Profile Image for richa.
879 reviews216 followers
January 20, 2022
1.5/5 ⭐
Hate it when they become enemies/haters for the most juvenile and misunderstood reason. Y'all need to come up with a genuine reason, this is not cute anymore.
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,571 followers
May 12, 2020

This was such a great story, I loved it from the very start till the end! Jay and Liya were both fantastic, I adored them!The storyline was fantastic with one of my favorite tropes enemies to lovers!


I connected with both characters and I find them cute and sweet.Liya is an amazing heroine, and Jay is swoon worthy!

The trouble with hating you is full of emotions , a great romance and the perfect amount of drama!I'm looking forward to read more books from this author!


Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,447 reviews7,539 followers
June 17, 2020
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Around Day 4,742 of lockdown I found myself getting a little burned out on reading and had to look for another way to pass the time instead. Oh, and for the first time in 20+ years I was living in a truly C.L.E.A.N. house and had a yard full of green grass and flowers so homegirl was truly in dire straits. That was the moment when I discovered . . . . .

The plethora of Indian romantic comedies on Netflix. Ummmmmm yes please. I’ll have all of those.

As you can see from the 40 or so books marked as “currently reading” (despite me being a one book at a time kind of gal), I’m back in the swing of things and my library card pretty much has smoke coming off of it at this point from overuse. Buuuuuuuut, I still like a romcom (and I lean toward the fade-to-black PG-13 sort in my movie choices despite being a reader of porn) so when I saw this book I knew it would be right up my alley. The Trouble With Hating You followed a trope that was used in many of the romcoms I have viewed so far – the “our parents want to arrange our marriage to each other but thanksbutnothanksokaybye” – which you know means they will eventually fall in love on their own. A super cute way to waste a few hours for sure.
Profile Image for Lily Herman.
543 reviews571 followers
April 24, 2020
There's no better feeling than seeing a book on NetGalley, getting intrigued, reading it with no outside opinions to bolster you beforehand, and falling in love with it on the spot.

That was the magic of reading Sajni Patel's debut novel The Trouble With Hating You.

Often new authors struggle to give their characters the space to really hate each other (I don't want people who only dislike one another for a chapter and then are in love!), but the simmering enemies-to-lovers storyline in this book was truly a thing of beauty. The two main characters were self-actualized adults who took time to sort through their problems, and the fact that Liya was casually a biochemical engineer was even better. A little repetition aside, I was hooked from start to finish and read this novel in one sitting.

This was such an incredible debut from Sajni Patel, and I'm already counting down the days until her next book. She's got a fan.

(Content warning: This novel deals with sexual assault and emotional abuse.)
Profile Image for Vee.
594 reviews89 followers
June 2, 2022
Giving this book such a low rating physically pains me (considering how much I hyped it up in my head) but alas, here we are. Yet again mess from yet another contemporary desi author.

Let me preface my review by saying that despite this being yet another Indian-parents-set-up-an-arranged-marriage-meet-cute-that-doesn’t-work-out-at-first-but-they-still-fall-in-love-at-the-end plotline, I still decided to give it a shot because a) the cute cover because I like pretty things and b) the overwhelmingly positive reviews from those who read the ARC. My mistake. As an Indo-Canadian millennial who’s tired of reading contemporary romances with brown characters that literally ONLY seem to have this plot, the frustration of not getting any unique content from talented desi writers is only getting worse. Even legends like Nalini Singh aren’t off the hook in this aspect (see: Rebel Hard).

My biggest problem with this book was primarily the off-paced and devoid-of-any-chemistry romance but the highly unrealistic cultural tidbits sprinkled throughout the book didn’t help the matter either. Absolutely no desi millennials/Gen-Zs - even the overtly pious ones with supercharged religious parents - go to the mandir (the Hindu holy place of worship) every week. Hell, I think the last time I went was almost three years ago because my family drove past it randomly. Ain't nobody got the time for that! The Hindu community also isn’t as tiny and engrossed in one another as the book shows; hundreds of thousands of people go through a mandir every day but the way it’s shown in the book, you’d think everyone is chummy with one another and their business. Like you’ve got girls practicing dance routines and boys playing basketball tournaments in the place like it’s a damn rec centre. Once again, ain’t nobody got time for that shit!!! A little gossip and friendly chatter is obviously warranted (as is the fact in any community) but even the most nosiest of aunties have better things to do with their life than shit-talk other people 24/7.

Going back to the romance.........sigh. Talk about a supreme let down. Jay and Liya didn’t get off to a great start thanks to her asshole of a father (who, yet again, is extremely unrealistic in his assholery) and the fact that . BUT. Jay is nothing but friendly and sociable with her, even after she reveals her traumatic past, keeps him at a distance and is constantly rude to him. Even his mother is an angel to her despite apparently every single person at their mandir constantly warning her away from getting involved with Liya, like........huh?? Desi men and their mothers do not act like that in real life, believe me. Not only that, their half-cooked romance is annoyingly snail-paced and their relationship unsteady even as they open up to each other, leading to the Mother of all Terrible Book Endings: Needless to say, I was in a constant state of hair-pulling frustration throughout the entire reading process but the last chapter truly made me want to hurl my iPad off the nearest bridge. As if 2020 wasn’t already shitty enough, I had to suffer through this garbage despite being so damn excited to read it. All I wanted was a cute, sexy, funny contemporary romance starring a brown couple and I got handed this steaming pile of shit.

Needless to say but I am thoroughly pissed, at Sajni Patel, this book and myself. I also think this reading experience solidifies my future outlook on stories from desi authors: if y’all are gonna continue to only write about brown characters when it involves arranged marriages, shitty parents and annoying aunties, I’m not reading anything from you. I have suffered enough.
Profile Image for Mrinmayi.
155 reviews575 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
May 18, 2020
Dnf at 30%

I had high expectations going into this book and I was sooo disappointed 😔
It felt like any other Rom com with Indian characters
I expected more Indian culture in this book
But the representation felt flat
I think it might be a "its not you its me" situation
I am so done with the way lndian parents are focused in negative light in most of the books🙁

I got so uncomfortable while reading this book
Especially with the part how Liya's father reacted to her getting sexually assaulted 😡
I know there are fathers out there who would blame their own daughter
But that's not what I thought would be present in this book

Also ....Yes there are lndian aunties who might pester you with questions but so are other women/ men in any part of the world 🤷🏽‍♀️
The thing is there are annoying people no matter the ethnicity

I couldn't connect with any of the characters
No matter how much I tried; l couldn't care for any of them
But as l said it was rather a " me " problem
Many did enjoy this book
It was ME who did not enjoy this
Profile Image for Bree Hill.
791 reviews572 followers
May 22, 2020
"You should spend more time in the kitchen with your mother and learn how to cook. What will you feed your husband and children."
"A woman should be able to cook three fresh meals a day. You don't want your husband to starve."

"I'm sure if it came down to starvation, he could figure things out."

There is no way The Trouble With Hating You wouldn't be a five star read from me. The convo I mentioned above is a conversation between the heroine Liya and her Father and showcases a lot of what is going on this book; the clash between old world thinking and new world thinking.
Liya is a successful, no crap taking heroine. She is tough and I'm sure you'll see reviews about her being 'rude' and 'unlikeable,' but she chooses to have a thick skin and maintain control over her situations because once upon a time she WASN'T in control and her culture, the people around her, those who SHOULD BE PROTECTING HER, didn't believe her. What woman wouldn't have a tough exterior after?
Enter in Jay. There is a dinner set up with the hopes that this would be the man she marries but she has no yearning to get married. I was so fixated on this storyline before reading the book buttt OH MY GOSH there is just so much more. Jay is wonderful. When you're used to people not having your back and not believing you, it is tough to open up but when someone wonderful comes along and love finds its way, there is no controlling it.

"We still had boundaries. His not to cross anything beyond kisses. Mine not to venture anywhere near love. An impasse. A resolve that was quickly falling apart."

This is a beautifully, brutal romance with glimpses into Indian culture woven into it with a hardcore, specific look especially at the roles of women, the roles of men, especially Fathers, uncles and men of power..and how sexual assault is handled.
"Men haven't treated you well before, have they?"

For Liya, it would have been easier if Jay was a bad guy; she could control that but he's a good guy, and I just loved him so much. Loved this story so much.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,899 reviews635 followers
October 7, 2020
Now I know why this book has many good reviews. This book is such a delight. There are so many issues and moral messages in this book. This is romance book with a whole lot of punch.

I am not Indian and not familiar with their culture, but the matchmaking from family member is something I can relate to. This book put it with humor. Jay and Liya chemistry is off the chart. Miss Patel done a wonderful job putting a lot of fun and cute banter between them. Their banter makes this book alive. Deeper into the story, the plot and twist becomes thicken. I am glad Miss Patel is managed to inject with humor.

The chemistry between the characters can be maintain until the end of the book. Overall this book is a perfection. Can not wait for other book by Miss Patel.

5 stars
Profile Image for Malene.
1,200 reviews526 followers
June 16, 2021
My first book from Sajni Patel and what a wonderful story it was. An enemies to lovers romance done right. Lyia and Jay were amazing giving me glorious banter and delicious chemistry. I’m not a fan of fade to black but here the connection between these two was so palpable that I didn’t care there wasn’t any explicit intimate scenes and just one fade to black. I was so into Lyia and Jay’s blooming courtship. Also the secondary characters were terrific especially Jay’s family and Lyia’s girlfriends. I’m so excited to read Preeti’s book.

I was fully immersed and interested in TTWHY and after reaching the final page I’ve come out with more knowledge about the Hindu culture thanks to the author. I appreciate the differences between Lyia and her girlfriends. Some follow the Hindu traditions and others don’t as it is in Lyia’s case. That made the dynamics even more interesting and deeper. 
This was just an amazing story and I’m excited to read more from this talented author.

4 You Will Never Be Alone Stars
Profile Image for Laura ☾.
819 reviews270 followers
June 7, 2020
The Trouble With Hating You follows Liya and Jay, while they both struggle with their own demons and cultural expectations.

I feel like this book had so much potential in its premise, but the execution fell flat for me. While they both had their struggles, which could have been delved into more, they actually felt more like a plot device? And I struggled to really like either of the main characters somehow.

There were some lovely aspects - like the Shah's family dynamics and Liya's group of female friends, but overall it just could have been developed more!

p.s. who on earth calls chai 'cha' ??
Profile Image for Renegade ♥.
1,339 reviews
March 23, 2021
4 1/2 to 5 stars

"What are we doing?" she whispered.
"I don't know anymore."
"Why are you here?"
"You're not this quiet, lost person. Where did you go?" I cupped her cheek and searched her eyes for the vibrant, full-of-life fighter that was somewhere in there.
"Most people like me to shut up," she said quietly.
I grunted, "Not me. Where's the snarky, smart-mouthed, opinionated woman?"
"She's still here."
"I miss her," I confessed.
She craned her head back. "You miss that woman?"
"The world feels incomplete without her."
She momentarily glanced away, her lips quivering as if she were trying not to smile. "You talk like a man who has it bad."
I caressed her cheek as I let go. "I am a man who has it bad."
Profile Image for Blue.
216 reviews77 followers
July 1, 2020
Recently I have been trying to read books with more Indian representation so I though I would give this book a chance. This book covered a lot of hard situations that characters were going though. Liya and Jay are so cute together! They both are able to help each other with difficult situations in their past. Liya also has a really close group of friends that support her through her tough times. There were some problems brought up in their lives that were never resolved, but overall this was a really fun read.
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