The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Length: 11.5 hours
Narrator: Katie Schorr
Original Publication Date: 2016
Genre(s): Adult fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Lucy has dreamed of working in a publishing house since she was young. Now, she works as an executive assistant to the CEO of one. But when the publishing company she works for is forced to merge with another, she’s forced to work the other executive assistant, Josh. Lucy and Josh hate each other. Every day they compete with one another, playing trivial games to one-up the other. When both John and Lucy are up for the same promotion, their war is taken to a whole new level. And during that battle, when walls are finally lowered and truths come out, Lucy finds that she actually doesn’t hate Josh at all. And maybe he doesn’t hate her, either.
I honestly didn’t want to read this book. I didn’t want to like this book. But I did both. And now I am smitten. The novel is told in first person POV from Lucy’s perspective. Lucy is a bit…cringe. Though I overall liked her as a character and our narrator, she made me feel some secondhand embarrassment at times. Other times I genuinely cringed. This was written in 2016 and still the R-slur is used once? And “fat” is used a handful of times, and though in regards to a rude character, it still rubbed me the wrong way. These moments are my only negatives about the book. The writing otherwise was well done and the story itself was just corny enough to give me heart eyes. It didn’t read as silly or full or tropes—it read as a cute enemies to lovers romance.
I very much enjoyed the interaction and budding romance between Lucy and Josh. You all know I’m an enemies to lovers sucker, so this novel was right up my alley. I loved the progression of the story and where it ends up. I loved all the various settings the characters went into and out of. (Sidebar: why do all romances have a paintball scene? I wonder which romance book/movie started that?) I never felt bored while reading this one—I wanted to stay up way past my bedtime on a work night to finish it, but I’m glad I didn’t. It was much more rewarding to finish it not delirious from lack of sleep.
I’m not sure why, but I feel like this year will be the year of romances for me. Last year was definitely fantasy, but I’m feeling like a lovestruck sucker this year. And surprisingly I actually prefer listening to romances on audiobook. I’m not sure why but I feel like I consume them faster and become more interested in them that way. Especially while I’m working—these types of books really get me through the work day.
Overall, if you can push through some cringe-y and outdated moments, I think general romance lovers (especially of nemesis/sworn enemies to lovers) will enjoy this novel. It’s fun with a few serious moments thrown in, there’s some lightly spicy scenes, and it’s always interesting. And there’s an adaptation of it that I am very excited to watch.