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The Hating Game: TikTok made me buy it! The perfect enemies to lovers romcom Paperback – 14 November 2017
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Charming, self-deprecating, quick-witted and funny . . . a vibrant take on an old standard. ― The New York Times
[A] charming debut... it's warm, witty and wise, and I rooted for Lucy right from the start ― Daily Mail
With the utterly delightful The Hating Game Sally Thorne satisfies hearts longing for laughter in their love stories....Their battle of wits is tremendously fun - acerbic and sexy and filled with tension. The result is a wicked, witty romance that will capture readers' hearts long before Joshua manages to capture Lucy's. ― Sarah MacLean, The Washington Post
Lucy hates Joshua Templeton, her uptight nemesis who sits across from her at work all day. When a promotion is up for grabs, the games begin in full force in this fun, sexy romcom. ― POPSugar
Debut novelist Thorne delivers something nearly impossible: an entirely predictable plot that is also completely fresh, original, and utterly charming. From the opening page, readers will know the outcome of Lucy and Joshua's relationship, but what happens in between is magic. From Lucy's hilarious inner dialogue to Joshua's sharp retorts, the chemistry between them is irresistibly adorable-and smokin' hot. A breezy tale perfect for a day at the beach, this one's a real winner. ― Kirkus
Some of you might have traveled to the beach for the sole purpose of escaping the office, but we think this funny and romantic workplace comedy just might change your mind.... we know you'll find their story entertaining and sexy. ― Bookish
Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love,' says Lucy Hutton, who can't stand fellow executive assistant Joshua. There's only one place this could go...but it's good fun getting there. ― People Magazine
Thorne is a strong writer and one to watch. Her debut will have readers rooting for both Lucy and Joshua in whatever games they play. ― Library Journal
Intense and full of heat, this debut's romantic chemistry is off the charts! As these opposites attract throughout the story, readers may want to have an alternate source of oxygen handy. Humour shares space with office drama, an easy ebb and flow of tension and relief. A witty writing voice combines with spot-on timing to make sure this novel is difficult to put down! ― RT Book Reviews
This book might be receiving a lot of attention and the reason is, it's pretty wonderful. I can't go back to my copy for quotes for this review because I end up reading it again and I already lost too much time and sleep trying to make myself stop reading it. ― Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
If your reading catnip includes dialogue that crackles, cranky heroes with hidden depths, and vivid, self-assured heroines who take exactly zero crap from said hero, find yourself a copy of this book immediately.― Sarah Wendell, Smart Bitches
The Hating Game is an absolutely charming office romance story between opposites. This is absolutely a romance complete with great banter, email exchanges, and even a few steamy scenes. ― Jane Litte, Dear Author
I was delighted by this book. Delighted by the ins and outs of the publishing world, delighted with the dialogue between them, delighted by the wit that Lucy demonstrates in her inner monologues. Just flat out delighted. I have not enjoyed a workplace romance this much since the early seasons of Jim and Pam on the American version of THE OFFICE. The characters are vibrant and believable and I am anxious to read more from Ms. Thorne as soon as she can write it. ― Fresh Fiction
I finished The Hating Game and immediately emailed my editor, sister, mom, and hairdresser to tell them about it...The Hating Game is quirky, funny, romantic, delightful, and most of all, charming. If you like any (or all) of those things in a romance novel, shuffle your TBR queue and move this one to the top. I think you'll love it too. ― All About Romance Desert Island Keeper
As Lucy and Josh spend more time together outside of their office, we see how this relationship has hope. I want to keep reading so I can continue witnessing both of their transformations. From enemies to frenemies, to friends, to lovers. It's a ride filled with sarcasm and smack-downs that slowly becomes sprinkled with frosting. ― Heroes and Heartbreakers First Look
The Hating Game is one of the most entertaining and clever workplace romance novels I've read in a long, long time. I think readers are bound to laugh at Lucy and Joshua's crazy antics and fall in love right along with them. Highly recommended. ― Harlequin Junkie Top Pick Review
The Hating Game was one of the funniest and romantic books I've read this year. I love a book that leaves me with a huge smile on my face and being sad to reach the end of the story. The Hating Game was definitely one of the best books I read this year with a truly funny, sweet and entertaining romance! ― BookPushers
A smart and funny modern romance ― Good Housekeeping
Read it for the hilarious banter, the romantic build-up and the drama that shows that there's more than a little substance to this novel ― W24
A great debut novel. If you are looking for a fun, sweet enemies to lovers story, with two engaging, well developed main characters and delightful dialogue, don't hesitate and pick this one up! ― Steamy Reads (5 Star Review)
Funny, sexy and instantly unputdownable -- Paige Toon
- Publisher : Piatkus; 1st edition (14 November 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0349414262
- ISBN-13 : 978-0349414263
- Dimensions : 12.6 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 32 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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What a clever writer Sally Thorne is with her sharp and snappy, but thoughtful style. (This is her debut? Amazing!) What fabulous and relatable characters she created in 'opposites and rivals', Lucy Hutton (who is the voice of the narrative) and Josh Templeman! Lucy is colourful, left-of-centre and adorable. Josh comes across as an arrogant and cynical guy with a hard edge, but there was more to him than meets the eye. They're both smart and capable. Each are executive assistants to the two respective co-CEOs of a newly formed publishing company (a merger that was forced, in order to survive the redirection of public preferences in reading). The two lovelies are also savvy regarding office politics and play many mind games with each other, until circumstances peak, then gradually start to shift making room for new situations and some romance, perhaps?
What a gorgeous narrative. It is easy to see how this trope would translate easily into a movie script.
Well to my detriment I am an idiot for waiting so long to read this. It was phenomenal.
Both the hero and the heroine were in a league of their own and the banter between them was brilliant. This is a slow burn novel (which are my least favorite) but once we moved past the "hating" oh god the feels. At no point did I feel it dragged with all the chemistry in the background.
Lucy is magnificent. She's a sweetheart who wears her heart on her sleeve, even when she's playing the hating game. Josh is broody and arrogant on the outside but sweet and so in tune with Lucy on the inside that it's ridiculous. Together they make a great couple although it does take a while...
Laugh out loud funny and so many delightful descriptions, it's a great read and deserving of all the rave views.
By Zara on 23 December 2021
Did I do overnight on a workday and only get 2 hours sleep? Yes?
Do I usually read "heavier" and grittier chic-lit? Sure do.
Was I thoroughly moved by both of these characters and see parts of myself in them, thus cementing my obsession? Yep. Yep. Yep.
Do I regret reading this book? Yes. Because now I will never have the chance to experience it for the first time again.
I know this is some sensationalised book, but I think it might actually be worth all that ... It is to me, at the very least.
Josh and Jordie for eva.
What a good book!
I so enjoyed this. It was fun, silly, sexy and so easy and feel good to read.
Lucy sometimes annoyed me with freak outs, seemed a little silly. And I always really wanted to know if she got the job.
A sequel to this book would make my life. I haven’t had my fill of Lucy and Josh.
Top reviews from other countries
I was sooooooo convinced that I would love this as so many people do. Unfortunately I was left very disappointed. It irritated the hell out of me. These people (who are pretty high up in the company might I add) do 0 work, they just play games with each other all day. Lucy's password is something like IHateJosh4eva - really?! I know it is a bit of fun but I just found it really frustrating.
Also - Josh does some weird things which didn't sit well with me. He loses the plot a little whenever Lucy deals with her colleague Danny in a way which I didn't find ok. I actually found him a little controlling. And, the colour of his room? One word - weird.
Lucy's inner dialogue is something I also struggled with, its pretty erratic and sometimes I got myself confused with what I was reading and had to re-read it.
I just didn't get it, they both say and do very weird, childish things throughout. Yes there were some super cute moments and these are the reason I ended up giving it 3 stars but overall, I was very underwhelmed.
BUT, I have a feeling I will love the film (LOL)
I finished this book days ago, and I still can't deal with the fact that it's over. I both regret and don't regret the binge-reading (finished in less than 24 hours...mid-work week). I'm just glad I have this in both audio and Kindle format so that I can read/listen again and again whenever I want because THIS WAS TOO GOOD. (The audio is done really well, FYI.)
I love love love hate-to-love romances, and this one is done so well and so uniquely. We've got forced proximity on a daily basis, glorious banter, and oodles of sexual tension. OODLES.
If you follow me on Twitter or have read other reviews by me, you might know that I am not a fan of the short and petite heroine thing. Not every damn heroine needs to be a tiny redhead. So I wasn't impressed at first when, lo and behold, Lucy is only five feet tall. Pair that with Josh, who is over six-foot. Authors tend to write these stereotypical pairings without thinking of the logistics; if you take a moment to think about it, making out with a height different of over a foot is going to be uncomfortable at best, and possibly even quite painful. BUT NOT SALLY THORNE. Sally actually thought this one through and acknowledged the difficulties. Lucy has to climb at times, Josh has to bend down or pick her up (to put her against a wall!!!!!!!), there's a lot of "I think you're too big for me"... Thank you so much, dear sweet Sally, for not just ignoring real world problems. (P.S. I want Anna Kendrick in this role right now.)
Lucy was a great character in general. The whole story is narrated from her point of view, and I really felt like she was real. She was hilarious, but also snarky and unsure and flawed. She knew and liked who she was, but she also struggled with self-doubt at times. It drove her absolutely mad that she could get on with everyone except Josh. But, like I'm sure a lot of people can relate with, her desire to be liked by others often meant she was taken advantage of. By everyone...except Josh. Oh, Josh, you were clearly what Lucy needed.
I would have found Josh annoying, too. He's very clearly a Smart Guy, but also sooooo serious. Unlike Lucy, he doesn't try to make friends with everyone, and the reason for his standoffishness is revealed later. What was refreshing was that he was Ridiculously Good-Looking, but he hated being objectified. When Lucy remarked on his looks, it put him on edge. I'm not used to seeing that, especially from a hero. He could be quite direct, but Josh showed he cared when it counted. I especially loved a part in the middle where he had to take care of Lucy; there were so many wonderful and funny moments in that, as well as a few that showed a deeper side to him.
Yes, I loved just about everything about this book, but I really loved was how we didn't have to wait until the very end for things to sizzle. Sally introduces the physical fun relatively early on through some super sexy make-out sessions. The sexual tension runs constantly as the two stare at each other across their desks, and, being an office romance, there are of course moments when the tension gets to be too much and a few not-so-original hiding places are utilised. That being said, it never gets too explicit. And really, their banter is hot enough as it is.
Full disclosure: there is a bit of a love triangle in this. Josh doesn't consider himself a "nice guy". In fact, he's a bit bitter about the whole nice guy thing. And Lucy is a nice girl, at least outwardly (she has a bit more spunk on the inside...hahahahaha). She wants a nice guy, and she tries to be interested in a nice guy, but the niceness cannot compare to the intensity of her "hatred" for Josh. He even encourages her to try it with the nice guy, dares her to be with him, in fact. This was maybe the only time I felt a bit off about the book.
The style of writing and voice were very witty and well-paced in general. Time was shown to pass without unnecessary fillers and enough drop-ins to scenes here and there that truly added to the story and the development of feelings. Honestly, that's one of my biggest issues when reading: unnecessary fillers or there not being enough time for feelings to really develop. But no, these two have worked together for a few years, and the book covers a few months, so I could 100% believe the eventual love between them.
There's a reason I finished this within 24 hours, despite having to work/sleep/etc. It was just so damn good. I'm genuinely worried that it's ruined other hate-to-love books for me for a while, as I've never read a hate-to-love done this well, and I've read quite a few great ones! I will admit that while I'm eager to see what Sally writes next, I'm a little bit nervous that it won't live up to the greatness of The Hating Game!
“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.”
Joshua Templeman is tall, dark and handsome, but also humourless, icy and unrelenting in his pursuit to make Lucy’s life a misery. From the first day they met, when he completely blanked her sunny smile, they’ve been rivals and enemies. They play games of one-upmanship and tit-for-tat.
“I’m getting dangerously high on his smiles. This is my third one now? I’m stuffing them in my pockets. I’m cramming them into my mouth.”
Lucy Hutton is a five-foot-nothing firecracker who resembles a Disney princess. She gives back as good as she gets but, deep down, yearns to be Joshua’s friend. Why didn’t he want to be her friend? They sit day-in day-out playing various games – the Mirror Game, the Staring Game, the HR game. Lucy thinks the aim of the games is to make the other one smile. That was never Josh’s aim.
When a new promotion comes up for grabs, the Hating Game begins, but one insane, hot moment in the elevator throws Lucy completely off-kilter, followed by a night of sickness where her enemy shows a hidden side to himself, and her view and perception of Josh starts to unravel.
The sweet little word dissolves and I swallow.
“I’m not going to kill you. You’re so dramatic. “ Then he presses his mouth lightly against mine.
I just LOVED everything about this book!! It was refreshing and I adored the author’s writing style. I found the story funny and moving. I loved the hate-flirting, the witty dialogue, the sexy, slow romance of Josh and Lucy’s budding relationship, and the trust and the truths that emerge. I loved how much they understood one another. Once they crossed the enemy line, all their animosity translated and transformed into some electric foreplay. This story made laugh and it made me cry. The conclusion made me melt so much that I was just a useless, slushy puddle by the time I read the final line.
Gah! Just a FABULOUS book and I cannot recommend it enough! I’m chomping at the bit for this author’s next release. Cannot wait!!
There's just so much that I loved about this book, like I had a feeling that I would like it because I'm a sucker for the two things featured in it: slow burn romance and the enemies to lovers trope. But I never thought I would love this book so much. Sally Thorne honestly nailed it when it comes to creating complex characters that have their fair share of angsty emotions without being wayyyy to angsty which is often the case for some books. I absolutely loved Josh and Lucy and their office banter was just hilarious, the small characteristics of each character were thrown in so casually but they just endeared me to them both even more!
The different games which they played were pretty funny and I could almost visualise their antics which made it that bit more funnier. But it obviously wasn't all about being funny, there was a deeper plot running throughout which was revealed in the more serious parts but even in the bits which were less serious. The love story which ensued pulled at my heartstrings for so many reasons, its cuteness, the depth of their hidden feelings, and the anticipation of seeing how it all pans out are only some of them.
The ending was also perfect for me and I probably re-read it like 10 times before I put the book down, it was so worth the wait! I'm absolutely sure anybody who reads this close it with a big smile on their face (like me) and struggle to put it down (also like me)
I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the interactions between Lucy and Josh who work in the same office.
Lucy is the girl that everyone loves. She's warm, kind, helpful and gives her all in everything she undertakes.
Josh has a bit of a reputation and it's not a good one! He's not liked by many people as he's cold, ruthless and heartless..... or is he?
The author made me feel totally guilty of my initial feelings about Josh. The saying is to 'never judge a book by its cover' and I totally did with him, and I can imagine many other readers did too. I really do love a story that has an affect on me and has me thinking long after I've closed the book. I must remember to consider that maybe there are reasons for someones actions- a lesson learned!
This story will have you feeling all the emotions. I laughed, cried and was sitting on the edge of my seat at times. I would have loved more of Lucy and Josh's story, and that's because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to them both - one sign of a great read! I would totally recommend for you to read this book, as I know you will enjoy it as much as I did.