I read The Hating Game because A) Malin said she liked it and Malin has impeccable taste and B) she compared it to Act Like It, which I absolutely adored. Honestly, I was smack dab in the middle of The Descent by Tim Johnston and just could not get into it, so as soon as I saw this recommendation, I dropped everything to read it. I’m so glad I did, it was one of those “have to finish this immediately” books but, oh, it was also an “I’m so sad this is over” book because what do I read now, I ask you? WHAT?
(No, I’m serious, if you’ve read this or Act Like It and liked either of them WHAT SHOULD I READ NEXT?)
The Hating Game tells the story of two people who fell in True Hate as soon as they met each other. Lucy and Josh are assistants to co-CEOs and are as different as night and day. They only met because their two companies had to merge in order to avoid shutting down. Lucy is a teensy thing with bright, bold lipstick and fashion choices, she’s always quick with a joke and is extremely well-liked by everyone. Except Josh. Josh is a quiet, sullen, stoic type, who never has a kind thing to say to Lucy and who is generally feared by the entire company. They spend their days waging quiet (and not-so-quiet) war with one another, with battles including the Staring Game, the How You Doing Game, and, my favorite, the “I’m Keeping an HR File On You” game.
When a new position within the company is announced that both Lucy and Josh covet, they’re ready to wage a different kind of war with one another, one with actual stakes. Neither is quite prepared for this, as their feelings have started to change and they’re beginning to grow closer. As the novel progresses, they take a predictable turn toward not-so-hatey, but even though it’s predictable, that doesn’t make it any less delightful. There’s something so comforting about romance novels, whether they be old timey or modern. My favorites are the ones where the two main characters absolutely despise one another and grow fonder toward the other against their will (thanks, Jane Austen), so of course this one was right up my alley.
I highly, highly recommend if you’re looking for a light, swoonworthy, romance that has some genuine cheer out loud moments. Just make sure you block off an afternoon so you can finish it all in one go.