The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
It was like this book was tailor made for me - there was absolutely no aspect of it that I didn’t enjoy.
I was supposed to do work on the night I read this. I had about six hours of writing for a client ahead of me, but I decided to take some time to destress after my morning at my other job and read a little bit of this. Several hours later, I was starving, thirsty, and really had to pee. I had noticed none of these things while I was reading. My heart still warm from the conclusion of the narrative, I stumbled out of my chair to make some toast and feed the dogs I was looking after. I nearly spread dog food on my toast instead of jam.
It was like this book was tailor made for me. There was absolutely no aspect of it that I didn’t enjoy. Not a single word. It was the most enjoyable book I’ve ever read, and that’s not a statement I make lightly. I’m a book reviewer, and I average about 3-4 books a week once I factor in those I’m reading for pleasure. I finished a book at the beginning of June that gave me a book hangover for nearly the whole summer. When I say I loved this book, I mean it.
The Hating Game is a debut novel. That’s the only thing I dislike about it, because there are no other books by this author that I can devour. Not that I think I’m ready. I have other books to read right now, but I actually started rereading this the day I finished it.
I know what you’re thinking: Enough with the dramatics! Time to talk specifics. Let me do my best. The Hating Game is about two coworkers who hate each other until they don’t. That’s the best way I can describe it. Somehow the author has managed to take the enemies to lovers trope and reimagine it, make it better. It’s full of twists and turns and keeps you engaged right until the very last line. The wit is as sharp as those knives they used to advertise on TV cutting through tomatoes in mid-air. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if this book had no plot, the writing was so interesting. I could have stayed in that office forever.
The heroine, Lucinda, is my new spirit animal. She’s weird, hilarious, and smart—but also totally clueless. I got so in her head that, even though I knew roughly what I was looking for, I still completely missed lots of the same things that she did. Rereading it is a pleasure, because I’m picking up on all those little subtle nuances I missed before. The hero, Joshua, is a total jerk. But in the best possible sense of the word. And he has reasons for everything he does and it’s wonderful. I’m in love with him. But I also love Lucy with him, so I would never interfere. (Not that I could, but that’s beside the point.)
The setting—the office of a publishing house that is a combination of two smaller publishing houses—was brilliant. It made learning about the environment that they worked in almost as interesting as learning about them. There was enough conflict to drive the story, but just the interactions between the two main characters at their desks would have been enough for me.
The sexual tension killed me. I am a sexual tension connoisseur. I’m picky, and when I find a situation that tickles my tastebuds, I savour it. This book is the finest of aged sexual tension wines, sealed in a cask composed of workplace proprietary and filtered through pure chemistry. That’s a totally weird way of getting my point across, but I’ve committed to it now. Normally, even the best sexual tension is broken by the first kiss. Or the third. Not so here, my friends. I thought I knew what to expect from this story, but I didn’t. What I got was so much better. Like I said, I couldn’t stop reading. I had so much to do, but I just had to know what it was building up to. And it was totally, 100%, *profuse nodding* worth it.
I feel like there’s so much more I want to gush about, but I don’t want to give away anything. I feel like I’m going to spend the rest of my life waiting for Sally Thorne to release more books. Like a crazed addict. If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. But, since I can’t, 5/5 will have to do!