Book Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (+ Audiobook review)

The Hating Game

Author: Sally Thorne
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publishing Date: August 9, 2016
Paperback, 384 pages
Audiobook: HarperAudio (August 9, 2016)
Narrator: Katie Schorr
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes
Amazon   Goodreads


Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Rating: 5 stars


I ALMOST didn’t read this because I don’t typically care for the first person present tense style of writing. Boy, am I glad my good buddy Ariel pressed me to read this, saying she couldn’t put it down. I read this entire book in a span of less than 24 hours, and it would have been less than that except I need to keep my job! Kept me up long past my bedtime.

At one point Josh tells Lucy “You are deeply weird,” and the great thing is, they BOTH are! The story is told entirely through Lucy’s point of view in the present tense, and she starts by giving us two important facts: Her name is Lucy Hutton, and she hates Josh Templeman. They spend their days sharing an office and playing little games with each other (like The Staring Game and the How You Doing game), trying to win and one-up the other. Their dynamic is just so hilarious, and they are clearly BOTH deeply weird in the same wonderfully quirky way to interact with each other the way they do.

The scene where Lucy has the stomach flu just about ripped my heart out of my chest (and that’s all I’ll say about it because no spoilers!). Several other scenes after had my eyes welling with tears and clutching at my chest because of the feels. I wanted to both kiss and noogie both Josh and Lucy through most of the second half of the book, and just could not put it down. I’m so glad I pushed past my distaste for the first person present tense thing and stuck with this book, because my life is DEFINITELY better for having gotten to know these two “deeply weird” characters.

This section of the review is for my second read through. That’s right – less than I year after I first read The Hating Game, I was compelled to read it again. I also checked it out from the library the first go ’round, and now I own it in ebook, paperback, and audiobook. (Yes, that is how good this book is.)

I really loved listening to this on audiobook. Katie Schorr does an amazing job with the narration, and is a joy to listen to. There are a few spots where I couldn’t really tell if what was being said was being said allowed, or if Lucy was just thinking it in her own head. That’s really the only downfall of the audio version.

The second read through may be even more amazing than the first. So many of the things Josh says and does are so revealing of his true feelings, and it’s INSANE (and also totally heartbreaking) to read the story already knowin
g how Josh has felt from Day 1. There were several scenes that had me screaming to my BFF (who made me read this book in the first place) things like “OH MY GOD, ARIEL, WHEN SHE SAYS SHE’S GOING OUT WITH SOMEONE LEAVING THE COMPANY SOON IT’S RIGHT AFTER THEY MADE THEIR BET AND HE THINKS SHE MEANS HIM.” I won’t mention the other scream-inducing parts because I don’t want to spoil anything, but there were at least half a dozen parts of this book where I just DIED for Josh, because there are so many misunderstandings and missed connections that aaaaaaaalmost make it and are just out of sync enough to RUIN LIVES, YOU GUYS. *flail*

If you haven’t read this book, read it now. And if you HAVE read it… read it again!

7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (+ Audiobook review)

  1. I think this is one the hype monster spoiled for me. It was a solid 4-star read for me, but I was expecting so much more. I was expecting a slap-stick rom-com, but this was deeper than that, not in a bad way. It had great banter, and I did enjoy the romance.


  2. I can see how it might not click with some people. I did find it more problematic in a few ways on my reread, but the reading-between-the-lines chemistry is so there for me, especially on Josh's end. Lucy is kind of emotionally stunted or something so I do feel the book loses something being told from only her POV.


  3. I read this with no hype other than my BFF saying \”OMG, shut you face and read this book.\” And that was all I had going in, haha. And when I realized it was told in the first person present tense POV, I almost quite reading it on page 1, but it grabbed me and sucked me in. I actually try not to read many reviews because I find that the more reviews I read, the more disappointed/dissatisfied with books I usually am. …Which I probably should say, being someone who runs a blog based largely on book reviews… Heh x.x


  4. Pingback: TTT: Valentine’s Day Freebie (Romance Novels!) – Elley the Book Otter

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