Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
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.


Thoughts

I seriously considered DNF-ing this book at the halfway mark but I stuck it out until the end. The book was extremely boring, predictable, and uneventful. I rode it out for the love-hate relationship to blossom but what I got was extremely childish bickering and characters that I didn't care about. The characters were not very likable--they were both flat and one dimensional; there was no character development which made sticking through an entire book with these characters and reading about their relationship super boring.

There is also so much talk about how muscular Josh is and how short Lucy is that it made me roll my eyes whenever their appearances were described. Both the leads are super shallow, constantly noticing each other's appearances and they had no personality besides "Josh was tall, huge and muscular" and "Lucy was short and petite".

I thought it would get better as I read on but there was nothing captivating about this book that made me want to read more. But the love-hate dynamic was done in such an immature way; the only reason why Lucy "hates" Josh is that he didn't smile at her when they first met which is really childish. Eventually, they start to develop feelings for each other but Josh constantly acts like an asshole around her because he doesn't know how to express his feelings which annoyed me. There are some never-ending kissing scenes but that's as much as you get in terms of smut. All the sexual tension was overdone. The smut wasn't well written either--you can clearly tell that this is a debut novel because the writing of the book screams amateurish. When the characters finally have sex it was confusing and hard to interpret. I didn't find their dynamic romantic at all; they were always just horny for each other.

There is some serious shaming about liking nice guys here and that didn't stick well with me. Why can't women like nice guys? Why does she always have to be attracted to an asshole like Josh? In addition to nice-guy shaming, there is also slut-shaming and fat-shaming which makes this book all the more loathsome.

Overall this book just wasn't my cup of tea.


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