When Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy.
After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £200,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes.
Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?
Talli Roland writes fun, romantic fiction. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine).
Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories--complete with happy endings. Talli's debut novel The Hating Game was short-listed for Best Romantic Read at the UK's Festival of Romance, while her second, Watching Willow Watts, was selected as an Amazon Customer Favourite. Her novels have also been chosen as top books of the year by industry review websites and have been bestsellers in Britain and the United States.
To learn more about Talli, go to www.talliroland.com or follow Talli on Twitter: @talliroland. Talli blogs at talliroland.blogspot.com.
Chick Lit, it's nothing personal, but we have to break up.
As much as I would love to be able to read and enjoy every single genre in existence, it's obviously not possible. I'm finding that I'm just not a chick lit kind of girl. I gave it my best shot. There is something about this particular style of story-telling which fails to grab my interest.
I mean, I honestly can't explain why I wouldn't enjoy a story where a woman is conned into participating on a dating game show in which her ex-boyfriends come back for revenge or redemption. This sounds like a fun idea. It's too bad that by the 30% mark in the book, the show was just starting and the first date looked like it was going to be boring.
I'm sure I stopped just short of the point where the laughs were going to start.
I really don't doubt this. Heck, I pretty much hated the first half of Can You Keep a Secret?, but the second half won me over after the flighty nonsense turned into something funny. However, it makes me want to ask this question : Should I have to wade through a sizable portion of a book before it starts to get interesting?
I'm just honestly not in the mood to find out the answer to that question.
If you do happen to be a fan of the genre, disregard my non-review (really, it's just comments about why I pulled a DNF anyway). It appears that most of the entire page of reviews for this book are on the high end, so if you enjoy a CL romp every so often, this might very well be a book you'd want to check out.
Talli Roland = Nick Hornby with boobs. 'The Hating Game' knocked my socks right off, and replaced them with a comfy warm foot bath. Reading this book was just as good as a Friday night with pizza, chick flick, and full body massage all at once.
And it wasn't only entertaining. It was different than other chick lit books I've read. It was different because the main character, Mattie, wasn't someone a reader would easily warm to or root for. I didn't get all teary-eyed, or hate what was being done to her. And a little part of me wanted her to get what she deserved: a lonley life. But she was fascinating, and it made me curse at her out loud for being such a selfish try-hard dominatrix, when really, all she needed was to tear down the wall and let herself 'feel'. I loved that this book focused on a person one would not generally like, because that means this genre is finally steering away from the stereotypical chick lit scenario of glamorous woman fighting obstacles to make life even more glamorous (I know that's quite a generalisation, but you get my drift). So, bravo to Talli!
One thing I think it could have done with, though, is a little more background on Mattie. I would have liked to know more about her childhood and what made her so emotionally inept. But I suppose that's because I like to delve deeper into people's psychological make-up. A personal preference. And one that is not commonly taken advantage of in this genre anyway. So, I totally understand why is wasn't there.
Awesome debut, Talli! And here's to a wonderful and successful career in writing! *raises coffee mug with a kiss*.
I was offered the opportunity to read a pre-release copy and found it to be a fabulous indulgence in a The Devil Wears Prada meets The Dating Game sort of way. If you are the sort of person who loves reading while wearing your comfiest clothes, as you sip champagne and work your way through a box of chocolates, then you will love The Hating Game. Treat yourself to a copy of The Hating Game because you're worth it.
When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she’s confident she’ll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she’s perfected from years of her love ‘em and leave ‘em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £50,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it’s revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?
When I first heard about Talli Roland’s debut novel I was intrigued. A book set around a game show where a character gets to meet up with some of her exes. It sounded fantastic. And then when I saw the cover, I got even more excited. I wasn’t totally sure I liked it, but it grew on me more and more until I found that, actually, I loved it. So when the lovely Talli offered me a very early copy of her novel to review, I immediately said yes because I was dying to read this unique-sounding book! On my first day off of the week, I decided to start this one and I wasn’t disappointed with the book at all.
The Hating Game, as I have said, is one of the most unique books I have ever come across. It’s basically Blind Date, with exes, in book form. It is nothing I have ever read before, and I’m very intrigued as to how Talli came up with the idea for the book. We’re thrown into Mattie’s world immediately and we find out that not only is her business struggling but thanks to her ex, Kyle, she’s barely got any clients left. Wannabe executive producer Nate goes to see Mattie hoping to find himself a better job than the one he already has, but is suddenly struck with a fantastic idea for a show: take one woman – Mattie, throw in four of her ex-boyfriends, and give them a second chance at romance. He pitches it to his boss, Silver, who agrees before having to convince Mattie. Mattie, with a ton of money worries agrees immediately, thinking that a week of dating losers is an easy way to make some quick cash. But what Mattie isn’t told, is that it’s her ex-boyfriends she’ll be dating. And suddenly, things aren’t as simple as they first seemed.
See? Isn’t that the most genius plot you’ve ever heard? I was sucked in immediately, into Maddie’s world, into the world of what it takes to make a TV show, and I found it rather unputdownable. With such a complex plot, there is a lot of twists and turns as the book progresses, there are some dark moments, a lot of light moments, and it was basically like being on a very enjoyable rollercoaster. And I don’t even like rollercoasters. I truly had no idea what the madcap producers of the show Baz and Nate were going to do next, nor did I particularly know if Mattie would stick the entire thing out. Surely there’s only so much a girl can take? The dark side of the book was very more-ish and it built and built as the book progressed and it suddenly seemed to be a matter of time before it all exploded everywhere, harming everyone, but Mattie more than all. The suspense was well built and despite the fact I knew where it was all undoubtedly heading, I was still surprised at what happened.
I absolutely loved Mattie. She’s fierce, she has a right attitude to her and she doesn’t let anyone get in the way of the life she’s built for herself. She’s also learned that being Mrs Nice Girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as far as romance is concerned so she’s got her love-em-and-leave-em routine down to an art form! She’s the kind of girl everyone aspires to be, and she doesn’t hold back or mince her words and she was just awesome. Honestly, there aren’t enough words in the world to describe just how lovely Mattie is despite her chilly exterior. Of all of her four exes, Charlie, Giovanni, Adam and Kyle, the only one I took to was Kyle. He seemed really really lovely, despite the accusations against his name, and after a few false starts, I began to really like him. Charlie and Giovanni were fairly forgettable to be honest, and I just found Adam strange. I really liked Jess, Mattie’s best friend, she seemed so lovely, if a bit naive. As for the producers of The Hating Game, the only one I could stomach was Nate, the rest were just hungry for money and ratings.
I thought The Hating Game was incredibly well written. It’s told in third-person, switching from Mattie, to Jess, to Adam, to Nate, to Baz and it helped to create a full and proper story, as it managed to convey every single aspect of Mattie’s experience from every angle, giving us some exclusive looks at what was coming for Mattie before Mattie knew it herself. I’ve really found myself blown away with Talli’s debut novel. She’s a fantastic story-teller and I could barely stomach to put the book down to take my dogs for a walk. I just wanted to continue Mattie’s story and find out how it all ended. I wasn’t disappointed with the book at all, I had no niggles, no qualms, I thought the ending was great, and I really can’t wait to see what’s next from Talli, she could become a huge Chick Lit star, there’s no denying it.
Think Blind Date meets Big Brother meets I'm a Celebrity and you've pretty much got the idea of the sort of game show hell Mattie Johns finds herself in.
She's asked to do some embarrassing things during the course of the game show. You expect her to refuse, but she's so determined to save her business she just takes a deep breath and gets on with it. Albeit, with some fabulous putdowns to anyone who annoys her.
I thought I knew how the story was going to unfold but I was wrong-footed by something that happens towards the middle of the book. Several twists and turns follow, which kept me guessing to the end.
Mattie isn't the usual ditzy, chick lit heroine. She is feisty with a capital F. She's also rude and abrasive. At the beginning of the story I found it hard to warm to her, but it soon becomes apparent the 'ball-breaker' image is an act to protect herself from getting hurt again and it wasn't long before I was firmly on her side. It's very hard to make a reader care about an (initially) unsympathetic heroine but Ms Roland pulls it off brilliantly, revealing layer after layer of Mattie's personality.
This is a delightful rom-com, full of wit and with some great, laugh out loud one-liners. If you like Marian Keyes then you're going to love Talli Roland. Remember the name, as I predict we'll be seeing a lot more from this talented new writer.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and give it 5 out of 5. However, I'll never be able to look at a cocktail sausage the same way again!
"`IF I GET PNEUMONIA, HE'S GOING to pay,' Mattie Johns muttered as she gripped the chains of the dunk- tank swing and looked down into the murky water."
The first scene already had me laughing so I was hooked. The story unfolds seamlessly. When I began the book, it was a busy time for me but I made time to read. I finished it in four days.
At first I found Mattie unlikeable. But even in the beginning, I could detect her vulnerability within her uncompromising exterior. This is a woman who wants to be in control, so it's interesting to see how she grows as her life becomes more and more out of her control.
Every character has depth in this story, which is a feat because there are quite a few important characters. Too many books have a friend who is little more than a sidekick, only existing to provide humor. I liked the best friend and learned much about the main character through her. The ex/love interest isn't too domineering or too wimpy. I found myself rooting for him early on, even when Mattie seemed to have good reasons to stay away.
The premise is clever. Reality TV with all the behind the scenes backstabbing exists in spades. I had a hard time putting the book down, wondering what would happen next. No predictability here.
This book is appealing to read and would make a great film. I could see the movie version clearly - probably because much of the time the reality television show is filming. And if this becomes a movie, I will definitely see it.
we begin with self-published author extraordinaire Talli Roland and her debut novel The Hating Game, which is also the first Chic Lit book I’ve ever read. Coming into this, I did not know what to expect. Honestly, I was hooked from the beginning. There was never a dull moment. This was a character driven comedy that could easily be made into a two-hour movie for the Hallmark Channel.
The characters were about as diverse as one could imagine. They reached out of the pages and engaged the reader. I enjoyed the path of character arc for the main character Mattie. Without giving any spoiler alerts, she deserved to win in the end. The supporting cast ranges from loyal to sordid and everything in between. Using a television network with sleazy corporate executives that would stop at nothing to make money at the contestants expense only added to the conflict.
What I liked was with the high number of characters, I did not at all feel there was character clutter, and Roland did an excellent job of staying within her POV without excessive head hopping. The story unfolded into an ending that was as exciting as most adventure novels I've read lately. Nicely done. I couldn’t find anything wrong with The Hating Game. I give the book five stars.
Mattie Johns is crumbling to pieces, a man-eater by nature she has sworn of guy after guy before it gets to serious, burned by her last ex she finds not only her heart falling to the ground but her business.
A solution walks into her office, a proposition that Mattie will not refuse. Go on a dating show and win the prize money to save her company. Nothing is as simple as it seems, she soon finds out she's not dating just anyone, she's dating her exes.
Talli Roland left nothing to chance, her writing keeps you on your toes, surprise after surprise lunged one right after the other, and just when you think you've got it all figured out she turns Mattie's world upside down once more.
This novel was light, fun and perfect for any girl who has ever guarded their heart until they've found the one. Break up, make up, whatever stage you're at in the dating world you're sure to love this tale!
It is beyond me how people rated this book so high. It is one of the stupidest, silliest, unimaginative books I've ever read.
The writing is appalling, the characters deplorable, the storyline sickening. Honestly, I'm just upset I wasted my money on this book. I don't know who Talli Roland is, but she needs to stop writing. In my opinion, she is a disgrace to all other chick-lit writers, and only succeeds in making their genre look bad.
I think it's clear I hated this book, just as much as I hated "The Hating Game" and every other aspect of this novel.
I had to look for this book everywhere in order to be able to read it. I couldn't find it in our bookstores, or libraries, or anywhere else, and only because of the high ratings did I decide to order it online.
Now I understand why I couldn't find it anywhere - it's absolute rubbish.
Was not worth the money I spent on it, or the time I wasted reading it.
A captivating, unputdownable book! Mattie Johns is an enthralling character that may appear to be tough and vicious outside, a man-eater, and unhappy human being...but I think every woman needs a little bit of that toughness, of her confidence and poise, a vision of strength and inner power even if the reality is she is crumbling inside. Even when she's losing an argument, she makes sure she says something smart in the end, even if it's only a one-word 'Whatever!' You'll both love and hate her, such an amazing character that Talli had created in this wonderful book! This is not the usual rom-com novel where the protagonist is a sweet, softie woman who wears her heart on her sleeve...that's what I love about it!
I love reading this book! A side-splitting, witty, clever book! Hats off to Talli! Five stars!
Mattie takes the word Man- Eater to a different level, in my mind she is now being referred to as the nutcracker. She is like the best of us, hard in the face of unwelcome surprises and betrayal. Flung into a world of exes and reality TV you can only imagine how hard she will fight back when her back is against the wall, the true test of her strength is revealed when she has to face up to her own flaws and stop whipping others into shape.
Talli Roland has captured the essence of her characters and brought them to life in her book, she is witty and a times comical in her writing.This was a very fast read for me and i enjoyed it immensely. Not reading this would be like missing out on the party.
What a totally refreshing read! A different approach to romance, with the back drop of a reality TV show as the plot.
I really enjoyed this book. It had great pacing, sharp, witty writing and by the end I didn't want to put it down. The author has a great way with words. This story had me giggling, and cringing at the poor things Mattie had to endure.
Mattie is one tough cookie with a chip on her shoulder (if you ask me) but I still found myself empathising with her, realising her mum's brainwashing is the reason Mattie is the way she is.
My only tiny niggle would be I didn't get enough of Kyle. I would have liked more of him 'on stage' rather than Mattie reminiscing. But that could be because when he was on stage, I loved reading him.
This was a very fun read! Snarky, hip, humorous,romantic--a page turner! On top of being entertaining I thought it took an insightful look into the heart of someone with "daddy issues" and how it affects her dating, while also making a satirical poke at the "reality TV" epidemic and what we consider "good drama" and the extremes that some shows will go to just for ratings. I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants an enjoyable read laced with thought provoking "reality".
I haven't indulged in chicklit/romantic comedy style books in awhile, but this made me remember why I enjoyed them so much! The Hating Game was very unique, I loved the reality-show based plot and the characters were a lot of fun. And I'm always a fan of books set in England. Well written and a great read, I highly recommend!
I’ve probably had this book on my Kindle for years! And now I’m finally happy to say I’ve read and enjoyed it. It’s not what I normally read—contemporary rom-com or chick lit for adults (I tend to stick to YA) so that was interesting. The idea of a game show called The Hating Game was unique and great, and fun to see how the plot played out. The F-words weren’t really my thing, or the sexual references/innuendos, but other people might not care about those. But in general, the humor made me smile; this novel was a nice light story that kept me reading until the (satisfactory!) ending.
I was halfway through when I was struck with the thought, "is this comedy or drama?" I believe both! Life is a combination of both, and when manipulated, it seems to be more dramatic than necessary! I stayed up late to get to the end! I will read this an others from on Me. Roland! Very entertaining! Thank you!
Although the story is somewhat predictable, it was still an enjoyable read. The relationship between the main character and her ex boyfriends is plausible and makes it easy to relate to her. An easy holiday read.
Talli Roland is a very enterprising young woman that totally understands the importance of publicity. She obviously realises that it is just not enough in the competitive world of publishing to sit back on your laurels and think how well you have done to get a book published! No this young lady has gone out of her way to promote her first novel ‘The Hating Game’, for this alone I hope it succeeds. She writes a blog called Talli Roland is a Goodreads author has a Facebook Page and is also to be found on Twitter, which are all great ways for this first time novelist to get her name recognised.
The Hating Game will be released on Amazon as an eBook on December 1st, today in fact, with the paperback version due out in March of next year. I was lucky enough to be sent an advance review copy of the novel in eBook form. I may be wrong about this but from just looking at the brightly coloured cover I got the feeling that this novel is directed at a much younger market than the one I am part of. I know we should never judge a book by the cover, but in this case I think the cover will stand out on the bookshelves and catch the eye of those ‘young’ women looking for something to read that is both modern and romantic.
Lets face facts, reality game shows are a 21st century phenomenon very much loved by the younger generation so the books subject matter will also attract the attention of potential readers. Personally I am not a fan of this sort of television show but I know many people that are, including my younger daughter who is also not much of a book reader as few novels catch her interest. However I think she would enjoy this because it is about something that she will feel she can relate to. This is part of a large problem with writing a novel, is there a market to read this story. I think Talli has a potential winner with her choice as within its genre she has written a sparkly lively modern novel that will appeal to many.
Mattie Johns the protagonist runs a media recruitment company and is a young woman that comes over as somewhat brash, hardened against life and love, always determined to have the last word. Her business is in trouble so she jumps at the opportunity to win a large cash prize in exchange for appearing on a dating game show. It does not turn out to be the easy money making deal she had hoped for when it is revealed that the dates are actually ex boyfriends!
Although the the story of her endeavours to win the money are both amusing and and at times emotional you will also learn of the ugly side of reality television. Programme ratings are what motivate the producers of this programme with absolutely no concern what so ever for the feelings of the contestants. One hopes that in real life it would never go this far, but I suppose one can never be sure. How far is that? What is it that happens? Does it all end happily?
All questions that will be answered if you read this cleverly written witty debut from new young talent Talli Roland. I will certainly be recommending ‘The Hating Game’ to any one who likes modern romance young or old, despite my earlier comments as I do not want to suggest it is only for the young, it is also for the young at heart. An entertaining read then with an extra little touch that I found amusing are the chapter headings of quirky facts about relationships.
Please visit my blog for more info and links to the sites mentioned here.
As embarrassing as it is, I’ve always quite liked reality television. If it involves a group of weirdos desperately clinging to their 15 minutes of fame, it’s likely that I’ll be hooked… so when I stumbled upon The Hating Game, a book based around a reality TV show, I couldn’t resist.
The story centres around Mattie Johns, a shrewd business woman who is having a bit of a crisis. Her recruitment company is failing and she’s facing bankruptcy – all thanks to her cheating ex, Kyle, who stole most of her clients when he started his own business after their split.
When Mattie is approached by an ambitious TV producer with an idea for a reality show – one with a £200,000 prize – it seems to be her last hope to save her business. She thinks it’s just a simple dating show: go on four dates, let viewers vote for their favourite guy, and then spend two weeks on holiday with the winner. If she can last the two weeks, the money’s hers. But there’s a twist. The men are all her ex-boyfriends. I’m sure many of you would rather stick pins in your eyes than spend two weeks with your ex…
It is made very clear throughout the book that Mattie has trust issues. Her father left when she was very young, and so her mother has instilled in her the idea that she should never rely on a man. She’s spent years dating men that meant nothing to her – Kyle was the only one that she ever really fell for, and he broke her heart – but Talli Roland has written Mattie’s character in such a way that I found her quite hard to sympathise with. To be blunt, she’s a bit of a cow. She may be ‘independent’, but she treats people badly, and her moaning about how she doesn’t need a man gets very irritating. At various points in the story I wanted to give her a good shake and tell her to get over herself.
Thankfully, The Hating Game is written in the third person, so we experience a lot of different viewpoints. I’m not sure I could have handled Mattie’s attitude if I’d had to suffer her first-person narrative. Roland explores the thoughts and actions of all the exes, the production team behind the show, and Mattie’s best (and seemingly only) friend, Jess – all fairly one dimensional characters, but they do work well to create an easy, readable story.
Roland goes into a lot of detail about the making of the TV show, and seeing the ‘backstage’ antics is a real selling point for the book. The producers are extremely manipulative, pushing the word ‘reality’ to its limits, which initially makes great reading. But then comes my biggest complaint: it all went a bit too far. The plot reaches a point where it crosses the line from dramatic to unrealistic. While I’m sure there are people in the television industry that push the boundaries when it comes to ethics, The Hating Game became very hard to believe towards the end of the story.
On one level this is pretty average chick lit, with one of those storylines where you know exactly who the protagonist should end up with from the start. But the reality TV aspect, even at its more unbelievable moments, does give The Hating Game a bit of an edge. If you wasted years in front of Big Brother, give it a go – even with its flaws, The Hating Game is still more entertaining than watching a house full of ‘eccentrics’ draw up a shopping list.