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Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
Read Alongs > January 2019 Read-Along: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

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message 1: by Amanda (last edited Dec 15, 2018 08:43AM) (new)

Amanda D. (tinyminx) | 207 comments Mod
Our January 2019 Read-Along is Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren!

It won with 68 votes with Duchess by Design by Maya Rodale only 3 votes behind.

There aren't any strict rules, though please refrain from starting the book until January. Leave your thoughts about the book in this thread!

You can wait until you finish the book or leave comments as you read.

Happy New Year!

Patricia Burroughs (pooks) | 9 comments I just read it and LOOOOVED it. So happy this is getting discussed!

message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda D. (tinyminx) | 207 comments Mod
Wonderful! And of course, if any of you have read it already or prior to the challenge, you’re still welcome to discuss!

message 4: by Critterbee❇ (last edited Jan 06, 2019 09:06AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 248 comments This is the first time I will be reading anything by Christina Lauren, and have only heard about her through the reviews on SBTB. So, I kind of don't know what to expect, other than the cover shouting Bright Happy Fun Contemporary Romance!

I started it this morning, and so far find is funny and adorable. I have mostly been inside Hazel's mind, so I am bonding with her character straight-away. I like reading about things from her point of view- her cheerful grabbing of life with both hands is refreshing to read.

Also, Hazel's Mother is pretty impressive: Hazel learned at age 14 that
"my mother would never try to change for a man, and I wouldn't, either."

What a great role model for a young person to have.

Off to a great start so far!

message 5: by Patricia (last edited Jan 06, 2019 11:13AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Patricia Burroughs (pooks) | 9 comments This book is wonderful. Hazel could be called a Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope but I happen to love that trope so that doesn't bother me. Also, I get a tad confused about that trope and what it was originally meant to be [a girl who only exists to serve the man's emotional needs and show him enlightenment and doesn't exist beyond that, which makes her more of a, well, not necessarily sex object since sex isn't always present but... is there a term for that] as opposed to just an MPDG type character who has agency, and if that now is also part of the trope?

I haven't gone looking, but I really wonder where the character came from--how Lauren created her. Because Hazel definitely sounds some sort of neurodiverse to me, though I wouldn't be able to pin down in which way. Or have some other issue. As does her mom. Did Lauren write from any kind of direct experience? If not, where did she research it, because it felt real to me [though, again, I love the trope and identify with it on a personal level because of my own issues, so my desire to dive in and live it and feel it does not necessarily mean someone with more experience wouldn't read it and find issues with her portrayal].

Which also boils down to how much of her total lack of filter comes from a choice to just lay everything out and eff anybody who doesn't like it, and how much might be hardwired.

So yeah, tons of questions about this book, partially because it resonates with me so much, and partly because I'm writing a somewhat similar character myself who is #ownvoices,

If I'd read Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating before I wrote mine, I have to admit I might have been too intimidated to do it, and might have shoved the project aside. I'm so glad that didn't happen!

PS When I first saw the title of a book I sent it to a friend saying, "OMG I want to time travel and go back and knock her on the head and steal this title because I so want to write this book!" --not having a clue that I would have any stronger connection to the book at all.

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 248 comments Hazel is def an eccentric, and I cannot imagine how they are missing that Jimin is the perfect balance for her shining awesomeness. I love how she recognizes that men are initially infatuated by her (and other free spirits) but that it never lasts because most expert her to calm down and turn 'all wifey.'

Hayley | 12 comments Read the whole book today and absolutely loved it, at least in the post-book high. The epilogue made me cry. I probably wouldn’t have read it anytime soon without the push from this group, and it’s made me way more enthusiastic about branching out into contemporary romance. Thank you SBTB community!!!

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 248 comments I finished the book tonight and (view spoiler)

Patricia Burroughs (pooks) | 9 comments Critterbee❇ wrote: "I finished the book tonight and [snipping out spoilery stuff]"

When you mentioned the xxxxx I couldn't even remember it. Even after you described it, it took a moment for me to go oh yeah I remember that. Because of being a person who closely identifies with Hazel and the way her brain works [although I am nowhere near as adorable, alas] I didn't question what happened to her because... well I don't know that I can be specific here without being very spoilery. If you're at all curious email me planetpooks at gmail, or tag me, or something, but I am not totally sure how to react to it.

One reason I have been so curious about how the authors created/wrote Hazel is the wondering about things just like that. If she's a ditzy character raised by a ditzy mother and there was not any intention that neurological issues such as ADHD and others were going on in her head, then your interpretation of the reason is probably accurate. If they knew when writing her that Hazel has very real neurological issues, then there's more at work there. Did they know when they wrote that? Was it a choice because of that?

But that's just a detail of the ending, and the one that I connected with most strongly. I did note the bigger issue as you pointed out, and from reading SBTBs I now, as an author, understand this issue when I never did before. I do understand your point and believe its validity. I agree that it wasn't necessary and something different could have happened.

I love these kinds of discussions because I'm a reader who loves books, but can't publicly judge the choice they made because as an author, that makes me feel awkward.

I'm sorry it soured the book for you, though, since you did enjoy it up to that point. Sucks when that happens.

message 10: by Amanda (new)

Amanda D. (tinyminx) | 207 comments Mod
I read the spoiler because I can't help myself. And yeah, I hate those in books and I'm kind of bummed that it was included.

Haven't started it yet because I'm a procrastinator, but I'm glad I know the spoiler before going into it.

Morgan Thomas | 1 comments OH MAN. I am 180 pages in and wanted to comment about how cute the whole thing is. I'm really digging the chemistry and like how this really reads like a rom-com. And it's funny! Like I actually laughed out loud! (Usually like I don't laugh out loud). When they were doing things I kept thinking of When Harry Met Sally and how things could be ruined.

message 12: by Heather (last edited Jan 13, 2019 09:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heather | 43 comments I loved Hazel - she is a crazier version of several friends of mine. Because I'm attracted to people like that (whimsical, energetic, with a pure heart) I completely understood Josh's attraction. She's a wonderful character and would translate well to film.

I also really enjoyed the references to Korean culture, and found myself wondering if either Christina or Lauren had ties to that community. It added a nice layer of interest.

I agree with the posters above regarding the spoiler. I thought the ending was rushed and the spoiler stuff was introduced in an oddly capricious way. It was as if the authors felt like there wasn't enough conflict or angst, so they dropped it all in at the last moment.

I listed to the audio book and had one problem with it. The male narrator did a nice job with Josh, but his version of a woman's voice was pretty awful. He made her sound childish (rather than child-like) and silly. I fell in love with Hazel's character in the beginning, but when I heard his version of her, it clouded my infatuation. He needs to work on his version of a female voice!

Patricia Burroughs (pooks) | 9 comments Yes, yes and yes. Especially about his Hazel voice. I did get used to it, but it was jarring.

message 14: by Amanda (new)

Amanda D. (tinyminx) | 207 comments Mod
Dating You/Hating You is my favorite CLo book. I really loved the heroine in that one.

Rachel (rachelini) | 1 comments I often have a lot of issues with contemporary, but I really enjoyed this book...up until the end, which I hated. The trope (never my favourite) and the abruptness and how the characters didn't seem to consider anything. And the epilogue.

But I've never read any Christina Lauren before, and I think I'll try another one, because I liked most of the book.

Amanda (racer_reader) | 1 comments I read it in a single sitting. It was a fun and fast read. Made me want a Josh of my own!

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 248 comments Amanda wrote: "I read it in a single sitting. It was a fun and fast read. Made me want a Josh of my own!"

Well said!

message 18: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 67 comments Finally got started, but so far all other CL books still suffer in comparison to AUTOBOYOGRAPHY for was so clearly a labor of love for the authors, with such beauty and sensitivity, that I still find their rom-coms jarring in comparison.

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