Book reviews

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

As a fan of romance novels, it is not surprising to come across best-selling tropes and find oneself charmed and taken by the different characters. This is exactly how I would describe my less-than-24 hours with Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game. An enticing, funny, and incredibly heart-warming enemies to lovers plot which will leave you wanting for more.

This is my first Sally Thorne novel and I have to mention that her imagery — the way scenes are laid out and described — is so strong, even I have developed a bit of a crush on Joshua Templeman. White, off-white stripes, cream, pale yellow, mustard, baby blue, robins egg blue, dove, navy, and black — this is Josh’s office shirt sequence, and I type this so readily, colors brimming out of my head creating a visual so tangible it’s like holding my very own Josh color palette.

Yes, Doctor Josh is nowhere near perfect, a total pain in the ass especially in the earlier parts, but the way his character developed, the shifts in his mood, speech, and actions had me swooning and silently wishing there’s a novel written in his perspective. It’s intriguing to imagine how that would play out, and I find myself liking his character all the more (well, when he’s not in denial and being petulant).

The same goes with Lucy Hutton, the female lead. Well, the fact that she not only works in a publishing company but devours books for a living is already a point in the right direction. I love her instantly. Except for the times she’s being a pushover, which to the author’s defense are not really that many times. I enjoyed seeing her own the power and confidence she so rightfully deserve – a woman made to rise above life’s challenges. If anything, I aspire to be someone like her — with the Flamethrower red lippie to match.

If you are a fan of the Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennett-Mr. Darcy dynamic, I am sure you would enjoy this read. My only issue with this book? It’s simply not enough! At not even 300 pages in ebook format (416 in paperback, I checked), there’s too much love-hate energy between Josh and Lucy I am inclined to explore. The frustrating sexual tension palpable in every argument it seems surreal when they finally arrive at the ultimate realization of mutual adoration and attraction as opposed to deliberate hatred and sabotage. Damn, it frustrated me reading 82% of the book and finding that only then do they begin accepting their feelings for each other. But let’s not let my personal frustrations rid us of the fact that this book is sweet, engaging, and enticing through and through.

I give this book 4.5 stars. It is simply the story I’ve been looking for these days. With life getting the best of me for months now (hence the delayed post), I thank the author for bringing such a warm, funny, light-hearted novel into this world.

Oh! I am sharing one more bit of the author’s strong imagery below, to let you see what I mean. This is describing the scent of Josh’s car. I have never been more aware of the scents around me, haha.

“Top notes of mint, bitter coffee, and cotton. Mid notes of black pepper and pine. Base notes of leather and cedar. Luxurious as cashmere. If this is what his car smells like, imagine his bed. Good idea. Imagine his bed.”

Sally Thorne, The Hating Game

Please do consider this read. It is a good idea, much like imagining Josh’s bed.

  • Title: The Hating Game
  • Author: Sally Thorne
  • Year published: 2016
  • Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
  • Total number of pages: 416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-063-06353-2


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