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Book Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game

Author: Sally Thorne

Genre: Contemporary, romance, fiction

Publication date: August 9th 2016

Publisher: William Morrow


Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


If the title wasn’t obvious enough, this is a hate-love relationship book.

Do you recognize that term? If you love/like it, chances are you’ll definitely enjoy this book. But if you don’t, worse, if you despise it, walk away now.

Everybody have lists of tropes that they either cannot stand or loves. If the book has this specific trope, depending on the individual readers, it can either bring absolute bliss to the reader’s reading experience, or it can become their worst torture.

I can totally see people just completely trashing this book because they just despise and cannot stand hate-love relationships. If you’re one of those people? You are going to hate this book. Because this book is literally a book completely about a hate-love relationship. But it’s also because of the hate-love relationship that I love this book.

To better give an idea of how much of a sucker I am for hate-love relationships, I am more than capable of overlooking problems (as long as it’s not, like, completely trash and atrocious or anything like that) if the book genuinely has a really good and solid hate-love relationship. This is why I can enjoy books such as Angelfall by Susan Ee and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. They’re perfect examples because both series technical wise has really weak world-building and story-lines. Even their conclusions left many loose ends and were just…frankly pretty disappointing. However, I still enjoy those books so much because of the hate-love relationship.

This book is a fluff for readers who are just craving hate-love relationships. If you are literally looking through Goodreads book lists day and night because you are just trying to find another book with a good hate-love relationship, this is your antidote. It’s exactly what someone who loves hate-love relationship story-lines would want. I also want to heavily praise the author’s decision in not overstretching the story-line in order to make a franchise out of it. One book was more than enough to bring a full circle in this storyline, and anything less or more would’ve diluted the quality.

Again, if you don’t like hate-love relationships, I guarantee you that you will read this book and just flat out execrate Lucy and Joshua’s demeanor. You’ll be so annoyed by their choices, actions, and attitudes in general, and you’ll hate it. The beauty of a hate-love relationship is the enjoyment of watching them half insult and flirt with each other, and at the same time desperately trying to suppress their attraction and chemistry. But if you find these…actions annoying and you just want them to stop playing…yeah, you’ll hate it.

Basically, to summarize this review, if you like/love hate-love relationships like me, this is a perfect book for you to just eat it up. But if you have never liked those relationships, it will be your worst nightmare (don’t read it).

My Rating:


Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia, and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book–and it isn’t always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.

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