All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

on August 8, 2016

The Hating GameThe Hating Game
Sally Thorne
Hachette AUS
2016, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Blurb {from the publisher}:

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 forty (ok, fifty or sixty) 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.

I’ve been frustrated with reading lately because I keep picking up books that sound like they won’t be depressing and getting hit with wham! cancer. Or wham! dying hero. I am not in the mood for any of that right now, so I remembered that I’d requested this and it sounded like there’d be no potential for tragedy – right up my alley at the moment. Books only have to have all the characters come through unscathed and I’m happy.

But oh woah. This book. This book.

Guys with dark hair and blue eyes are my thing. Animosity as a front for lust is my thing. Witty banter is my thing. Realising the guy is utterly tormented over his feelings for the girl is my thing. This book is basically all of my things in one wonderful package. And it was amazing. I think I’ve read it three times, maybe four in two days.

Ugh, this story gave me all of the feelings. It made me laugh sooo many times and almost got me to cry a couple of times as well. Our narrator is Lucy, a (very) petite sweetheart who serves as executive assistant to one of two CEO’s in a merged publishing company. Joshua Templeman, a giant, serves as the other and the two share an area outside of the twin offices and spend their days engaged in games of loathing. They are as different as two people could be in many ways – Lucy is faultlessly nice, a bit of a pushover, wants to be universally loved by all at the company, and she is – except, she believes, by Joshua Templeman. In contrast, Josh is a ruthless hardass, terrorising most of the company, accepting no excuses, giving no extensions.

Lucy has always believed that Josh hated her but when she tries to make him notice her, tries to punish him in a way, by wearing a hot dress to work and claiming to have a date it sparks a reaction in Josh that she never could’ve imagined and it.was.glorious. The chemistry between the two, which simmered as a sort of weird resentment explodes as Lucy comes to realise that perhaps she’s been misinterpreting not only her own feelings for Josh but definitely his for her as well.

The reader has to interpret Josh’s feelings and thoughts through Lucy’s eyes as we’re not treated to his point of view so at first of course, Josh comes across as a total asshole because that’s the way she sees him. Lucy begins to scratch the surface of the impeccably dressed implacable Josh, exposing the insecurity, thoughts and feelings underneath. Josh is such an interesting character, the more time Lucy spends with him, especially as it begins to drift into after office hours, the more layers of his personality she reveals, the more the way that Josh comes across on the page, changes. Lucy learns to read him more, identify and interpret the expressions that she previously didn’t notice or didn’t understand, especially the ones relating to her. Lucy realises that she alone might hold the key to unlocking wall that Josh has built around himself – her thoughts and attitudes are often the ones that shape their interactions. When she’s hostile, Josh becomes closed off and abrupt. However if she drops her guard….she gets more. Much more.

I can’t find the words to explain just how much I loved this. Just sometimes you find a book that’s perfect and this was one of those for me. I sort of wish I could read a thousand more, just like this one but perhaps I love it so much because I can’t. I loved the burn of this, the way that Lucy came to realise precisely how and why things had been acrimonious. Their evolution is awkward and not at all smooth. Lucy is at times, quite breathtakingly dense as she fails to understand precisely what has Josh tied up in a knot but her slow realisation is done so well. She’s prone to the odd freak out as she negotiates the changing landscape and Josh’s way of dealing with them is adorable.

The only thing I don’t like about this book is that it’s a debut. That means I have no backlist I can go and immerse myself in. Sally Thorne needs to write more books….and quickly.

10/10

Book #149 of 2016

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2 responses to “Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

  1. […] The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Squee! This one was probably my favourite read of the whole year. I loved it so much. I’ve reread it numerous times. I cannot wait for this author’s next book. […]

  2. […] this now has made me want to go and read this all over again. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (my review) My favourite book of 2016. Love love love. In At The Deep End by Penelope Janu (my review) My […]

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