Review: The Hating Game

The Hating Game The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review to come.

I just need a second to process how much I love this book. Clue; look at my updates.



10000000/5 stars.

Yep. My first favourite of the year.

So idk where to start in reviewing this. I found this book because it popped up on my feed that somebody liked one of their friend’s reviews about it. I remember they loved it dearly, but I checked out their account and saw they were addicted to smut. I’m typically a YA reader, so I was pretty much turned off it. Still, I added it to my TBR pile.

In no way was I in a hurry to read it, but as I was rushing out from my closing library a few days ago, I caught my eye and I knew I had to borrow it. I don’t know what it was. But that bloody book was calling to me.

Okay so I think I’m going to review this book by going through what happens in the story. The end will definitely have spoilers, so skip that section if you don’t wanna find out. FOR ANY PERSON WHO IS WONDERING IF THEY SHOULD READ THIS BOOK: I ADVISE YOU READ IT WITHOUT ANY IDEA WHAT IT’S ABOUT (as long as you love a stellar romance with EXCELLENT writing). It’s how I read the book, and honestly, I’m so glad I wasn’t spoiled. This whole book is about tension and how it snowballs. This book can only be 5/5 stars IF you also have the tension growing.

I want to start crying as I think about the start of the book. MY BABUES GREW SO MUCH. UGH. I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS BOOK EXISTS.

When I first started reading this in the library, I made it through 2 pages and immediately knew I had to close it. NOT BECAUSE IT WAS BAD. To be frank; quite the opposite. I held that book to my chest, and I just knew. This is it. This book is going to ruin all other books this year. This is my favourite book of 2017. 2 pages is all it took.

I love the set up of this book. The first 1/3 of this book are filled with them absolutely hating each other. Taking jabs left, right and centre. And it was pleasurable. You could tell that Lucy had started an attraction, but only the superficial stuff. And not even that. Just his shirts. And his eyes (my god; HIS EYES). As for Josh… honestly he doesn’t let on until he gets randomly jealous. It all makes sense now, by the way, after you read the ending. Why he behaved like such a little shit.

Let’s talk about her random dream that changed everything. Wasn’t THAT something, huh? It was a little too fantasy, but we were in the depths of Lucy’s mind.

Lucy is absolutely a cook. Not cooking type of cook. Like… coo-coo. Crazy. She’s insane. And he loved her craziness? But there’s so many thing she’s does that make me believe she’s 18; not 28. I feel pretty much the same for Josh.

Her little black dress entrance was hella hot. I’m just putting it out there. When she kisses the paper and sticks it on Josh’s computer screen????????

Kill me now.

And then their staring game. Holy. Smokes. What a game. What a silly little game that I couldn’t stop obsessing over. What a silly little game that is also a bit weird especially when they’re both checking each other’s laps through their glass table.

I loved all the typical Bridget Jones awkward moments. This book is a cross between that and The Proposal.


Their elevator kiss was… out of this world. And I’m comparing that to 5SOG’s. That’s really somethin’.

I love that Danny was such a poor guy that really just wanted to start something up but ended up with a death wish from Josh. Oh my lord, was that funny (and hot. Can I emphasise how hot this book was? No? THIS BOOK WAS FLAMING).

I love Joshua Templeman, too, by the way, Lucy Hutton.

ONE OF MY ALLTIME FAVOURITE MOMENTS IN THIS BOOK; when Josh sent a bouquet of roses after their fight, saying that she’s always beautiful.




It sounds cliche but it was so out of the blue since they’ve always been so hostile towards each other.

And then he’s Mr. Jealousy for the next 1/4. Honestly, I can’t remember much from that point. He was angry and so was she, but more sexual chemistry was brewing. This section became more competitive.

Oh wait. I remember what happened next. Only the most pivotal moment there ever has been. Prepare yourselves.

The paintball and post-paintball event.

How does this book have a freaking paintball scene? It was pure fantasy by this point, and yes it’s trash, but I loved it to all of my heart’s content.

1. When he organised her to be in his team. Every. Single. Time.
2. When she shielded him but then he twisted them around so she’s pinned to the tree and he’s taking shots onto his back.
3. The big one; when she was sick afterwards.

Poor Lucy. But I’m thankful she was sick.

The most fantasy moment in this entire romance novel?

When he stayed with her he entire time she had the vomiting bug. From driving her home, to holding her upright in bed, to calling his brother, Mr. Nice Guy Patrick MD.

I don’t think you guys understand???????? He held her hair back??? Made sure their was no vomit (he’s a neat freak)!! And he did this totally romantic but super weird timing thing where he held her between his legs on the bed. Idk to describe it?? Like the poster for a Walk to Remember. That’s the pose.

And she was just dying in his arms AND HE WAS SO NICE AND CHILL ABOUT IT?????????? I’m sorry but if you even cough in my direction I’ll probably be out of there nopity nope nope (but it’s bc he finished premed so he’s okay w some of this sick stuff).

But then when she’s feeling better, they bare (/bear?) their souls out to one another and I don’t want to ruin what they spoke about. I rave about lot in this book, but their conversations I will never truly spoil. You need to read them. They’re so fragile and cute and romantic. God save us all.

And then the dreaded Monday comes back and it’s ruined.

But then they go into a cleaner’s cupboard. And he makes her play a new game; The Or Something game. The rules?

1. She has to go and kiss Danny one more time.
2. If it’s better than Josh; she can continue dating him. If it isn’t; then they get to be friends. Or something.

By this point Lucy is deliriously horny and aren’t we, Luce??

And so she goes on the date. But her fate is sealed from the beginning– she doesn’t even try to like Danny. So she heads over to Josh’s house. And yay. Make outs, and proclamations and Josh being super happy.

Because here’s the thing about Josh: he’s hurting, constantly. And you find out at the end. Why he fights with her. Why he’s such an ass to anybody. Why he doesn’t have any friends. Etc.

They’re both such loners with literally no friends and he doesn’t want to be friends w her (HE WANTS OR SOMETHING) and she’s desperate to be friends bc she thinks that’s what it takes to be OR SOMETHING more and so he’s trying to keep her at arms length bc he knows he loves her way more than her moderately tolerating him (but being attracted af to him).

Then jealousy arises again. Yay. Josh is hilarious. He storms down to the Starbucks across the street where he sees Lucy and Danny (for a work meeting) but this is when you find out he’s just as weird about her and she is to him; because he is just glaring at them and eventually when they walk up to him he’s talking about his involvement and Danny is like um what (yay gossip) but Lucy denies it all and then storms away. Classic macho man stuff that was made a bit more light in this book.

The last 1/3 is the wedding. No, not theirs. It’s Josh’s brother; and the bride? Totally predictable but kept a mystery for some tension: Josh’s ex girlfriend. Who Lucy didn’t know about. Bla bla, that was a drama. Josh’s mum was the best. Talked to Luce.

By the by- I love everything about this book. In case you didn’t know. I love their heigh difference too. That was adorable.

Okay so after the wedding they do the diddly doo. Now Lucy has this deep obsession with his muscles: and I’ve never been one for that, so that may be the only thing I didn’t like about this book. I just skimmed over those details.

The sex was actually pretty anticlimactic. But I always like reading the tension building up. And I’m not going to complain; I got like 350 pages of it prior.

Then they return home. There’s only 10 pages left. HOW? They still have the job interview that they’ve been competing against through this entire book?????

But then you reach the Answers. That explain everything.

Josh has always been in love with Lucy.

Which is unfathomable in her perspective because all we see is genuine hate and fear for almost a year, until halfway through the book.

He’s been in love with her to a probably creepy amount. The weekend after he met her, his girlfriend broke up with him (and moved onto his brother)- because he literally stopped caring for her, she was invisible now that Lucy is in the picture. Also during that weekend, he decided his new fave colour was Robbin Egg blue– the colour of Luce’s eyes (which she didn’t realise until the end). He thought he was a goner when she walked into his bedroom. Because he painted his ROOM that colour???? Wowie. And he had a system for his shirts, just to see if she’d notice it. And she did. So he kept doing it. Because he wanted her to notice him. A lot. And so he continued to piss her off. Because he’s incredible shy and didn’t know how to approach it (typical). And then there’s his journaling. Like Lucy remembers his shirts; he remembers… everything. He documented if she was wearing a dress or skirt. How many times they fought. If she smiled at somebody else that wasn’t him. If he wanted to kiss her.

It’s probably super weird, like her Smurfs collection (I ge true meaning but still wtf), BUT I LOVE IT.

And then finding out that he resigned before they went to the wedding????? And THATS why he was so touchy feely with her when they exited??? A perfect way to end the story. Ugh, fave. As well as when Lucy called Danny at the wedding and Josh picked up her phone and said ‘m8 stay away stop talking to her yes this isn’t a joke bubi’ WOW WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.

So I just listed everything I loved about this novel. As you can see: it’s everything.

READ THIS FREAKING BOOK. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I wish there was more but I know it’d ruin this story. Ugh.

View all my reviews

Author: Cal's Reading Corner

HSIE teacher from Sydney, Australia.

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