Few things divide the book community more than book adaptations. The Hating Game is a very popular book in the romance genre because of the popular “enemies to lovers” trope and the situations that steam from it: only one bed, boy obsessed, banter, angst, etc.
I always say that reading The Hating Game felt like a fever dream and seeing the movie yesterday reminded me why I used to say that. There were so many elements that I had forgotten from the book and it was so nice to see them again!
Today we gather because I finally managed to write a review for The Hating Game by Sally Thorne also known as “the best enemies to lovers romance”. There, I said it.
Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Synopsis: Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome. 2) A person’s undoing 3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual. Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking. If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong. Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game. (Goodreads)
5 stars: Persephone – Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring. Persephone is my favourite goddess because she is full of contradictions – she represents both strength as queen of the underworld and a softness as a floral maiden. She teaches me how it’s okay to be both. If Persephone appears, that means that the book was one of the best books I’ve ever read, that it holds a particular place in my heart and that it is now part of my favourite books ever.
Pheme: The goddess of fame, gossip and renown – This goddess will be invoked when a book has received a lot of attention and is praised by critics and the book community. She will be featured whether the book lived up to my expectations or not.
One of the best enemies to lovers romances I have ever read.
I love the enemies to lovers trope and I have to say this is one of the best books I have read with the trope. This is enemies to lovers perfection. Both aspects of the enemies and lovers part were well written and it made for great character development and plot. It felt like I was slowly peeling different layers to discover the subtle, intimate, soft and cute moments. I still don’t know how the author dealt with the trope so well. I am in awe.
Lucy was a great main character. I loved being inside her head. She is incredibly funny in that sarcastic self-deprecating kind of way. And her repartee is impeccable. I found myself laughing out loud from her banter with Josh. And I mean out loud. I also loved seeing Lucy’s growth; how she learned to stand up for herself in every aspect. The scene she stood up to a certain character and said “Anthony, it’s been real” was iconic.
This book worked because Lucy and Josh’s chemistry was off the charts. I mean I needed to take a break after reading about their first kiss in the elevator. From their stares to their steamy scenes I was hooked and enthralled. Every single one of their interactions was mesmerizing and I could just see the love between them. There really is a thin line between love and hate.
“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations. Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are schredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you. Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game – and you háve to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.”
I adored (yes, adored) seeing her play games with Josh. I was LIVING for their games. It made us see the “enemies” aspect of the book so well and it was even better when they were rivals. But as the story went along it was nice to see their dynamic change and the truth about their feelings unraveling. From the nicknames “SHORTCAKE”, to the intimate gestures and the little revelations along the way. What really made this book amazing is the little details like the specific colour Robin’s egg blue, the colour of her red lipstick called Flamethrower and so many others which made me get lost in the story completely. Josh was one of the best romantic leads and the fact that he loved lucy from day one killed me. I love him. I liked every single line and if I had another copy of this book, there would be highlighter and tabs almost on every single page. These two shared an intimacy that is so rare and I soaked up every single moment. The last chapter killed me. Enemies to lovers perfection I tell you. This chaotic review doesn’t do the book justice.