Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I wasn’t expecting this book to suck me in as much as it did.  The office rom-com isn’t my usual type of book, but I was feeling the need for something lighter.  It starts out silly and a bit annoying — I didn’t like the main character very much.  But – I could NOT put this book down.  That’s pretty rare for me, especially as I like to read multiple things at once.  This was that rare book where reading it was ALL I wanted to do.  And when I wasn’t reading, I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters — like they were real people, who kept on living their lives when I wasn’t reading.

This is Sally Thorne’s first book. It topped the charts and I picked it up because I’ve seen it recommended on quite a few blogs.  There were a few things about it that annoyed me – mainly, I didn’t want to keep hearing how tiny our heroine was or how chiseled our hero.  And a lot of the plot points I could clearly see coming.  But I quite enjoyed the witty banter and it was pretty steamy.  I also appreciated the progression of their relationship;  its ups and downs reminded me of experiences I had with my husband.

I think what makes this book a standout is the character development. There’s an attention to detail here that made me feel I knew Lucy and Josh, even though I have little in common with either character and didn’t always like them.  Josh could be controlling and Lucy superficial (she’s obsessed with her lipstick, for example).  But as this book unfolds, you get to know so much about each character’s insecurities, their family, their childhoods, their dreams.  Honestly, you don’t see this in a lot of romances.  Thorne gives you a picture of two people who are perfectly suited not just because of sparks (though there’s that) but because of the life experiences that have led each of them to where they are today.  I loved Lucy’s relationship with her parents, for example, and even though she’s terribly cute, her insecurities felt real, and I could appreciate the issues raised about romance and career.

I enjoyed the audiobook’s narration by Katie Schorr, although I often found it hard to tell if lines were interior monologue or spoken out loud until another character reacted.  Something to do with the narration and writing style, but it was distracting.  I’m curious how it would have been different to read it.  I’ve never listened to a romance before, so it was interesting to hear sex scenes out loud.  I’m also more used to historical romances than modern ones, so that contrast was also interesting. 

I don’t want to over-analyze this book, because even with minor flaws it’s full of heart and humor.  It’s a perfect light read when the world feels a little too heavy (as it does right now).  I felt like taking some time off from challenges and this was a perfect new year’s read.

It’s being made into a movie, and Thorne has another book out that I look forward to reading.  And a small part of me wants to start it all over again.  I’ve kind of been missing Josh and Lucy since I finished it.


6 Comments on “Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

  1. I super liked this one too! My reaction was similar to yours in that I felt it was very predictable, but I was so enthralled with the story that I didn’t care!

  2. One of my favorite reads from last year! Yes, there are flaws and I agree with the getting annoyed part, but something about these two characters was so compelling you just cannot abandon them until the end. I loved the attention of details, character development as well as the fact that the two main leads had known each other for years. As much as I love reading insta-heat, it can often come across as too rushed. The background and past of these two character made the narrative a lot more believable for me.

  3. Pingback: My January Reading Wrap-Up | The Book Stop

  4. Pingback: Best Reads of 2020, So Far | The Book Stop

  5. Pingback: My Year of Audiobooks (Part 2: Book Recommendations) | The Book Stop

  6. Pingback: My Year of Reading Romance – The Book Stop

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Bookshelf Fantasies

A Life Amidst Books

The Perspicacious Bookworm

Reading for the critical eye


Reviewing books, society, adulthood, and more.

Ayundabhuwana's Blog

Books. Movies. Travel.

The Chocolate Lady's Book Review Blog

For mostly adult, literary, historical, contemporary, biographical, and women's fiction.

It's A Reading Thing

Lets chat about all things bookish!

Things As They Are

Life, literature, music, food & nature. Put the kettle on ...

A Little Nerd Told Me

Book reviews by an unapologetic Trekkie obsessed with dogs and books


Reader and Reviewer

Novels & Teacups

reading, reviewing, tea drinking

Chasing the Four Winds

Reading, Writing, Nerding, and Honoring the Oxford Comma Since 1987.

%d bloggers like this: