I am a sucker for cute rom-com books. My bar is set pretty high for this genre- I read a lot of them and roll my eyes at a lot of them. This genre is absolutely flooded with poorly written books and thousands of recycled plots. I picked this book up on whim for three reasons: I’m a sucker for love-hate relationships, the cover was pretty, and it was $1.99 on the iBooks store. That being said – The Hating Game turned out to be a surprisingly good take on a plot that seems to be retold a lot in this genre.
The Hating Game follows Lucy, an assistant to the co-CEO of a major publishing company. It’s been her dream to work in publishing since she was a little girl, but having to work along side Joshua puts a real damper on her dream job. They torment each other constantly: verbal jabs, spying, and even stare downs. When a new executive position opens up at the company, their hatred for each other skyrockets: only one person can get the role and neither can stand the thought of working under the other person. As they prepare for the interview, they slowly start to crack through their mutual hatred and cute shenanigans ensue.
One of my only issues with this book was how Lucy was treated. I liked her character – she was sweet and spunky and career driven. But this book seems to be insanely fixated on her size + stature. Lucy herself is constantly thinking about how small she is and other characters point it out frequently. It was mentioned so often that I found it took away from the rest of the quality content in the book. She was an otherwise well developed character (though she did take the whole spying thing a little too far). What can I say? I’m a sucker for a driven, independent female character.
I wasn’t expecting much from Joshua, honestly. I didn’t expect him to have a reasonable, and well thought out backstory. There were reasons why he acted the way he did (I know this is a super vague statement, but I don’t want to spoil it for you), and it elevated his character from being a generic jackass from any romance book ever to being a unique, developed, complex character. The chemistry between Joshua and Lucy was organic and real. It wasn’t instantaneous, it grew as they got to know each other and that was really refreshing to see.
This book was definitely a stand out in a sea of mediocre adult rom-com books. The characters had genuine chemistry, the plot was interesting (and not a carbon copy of a thousand other books in this genre), and it was just darn cute. If you can catch a copy on sale on the eBook store, I would highly recommend you pick this one up. I give it 4/5 stars for being a well executed romantic comedy with a handful of flaws.