The 52 Book Club 2022 Challenge Prompt: 51. The word “game” in the title
Other Possible Prompts: 9. A book that sparks joy, 18. Jane Austen-inspired, 23. Author with an X, Y, or Z in their name, 34. An author’s photo on the back cover, 41. Involves a second chance, 45. A book with illustrated people on the cover
Y’all are in for a real treat because I have, once again, reread The Hating Game. I got the urge to watch the movie again the other day at like, 10pm which is way too late for me, and I remain grateful that I had the foresight when it was released to buy it instead of rent it because obviously I was going to watch it over and over again. Well, naturally, like if you give a mouse a cookie, once I rewatched the movie I wanted to reread the book. I opted for the audiobook this time, my first time listening to this masterpiece.
Lucy Hutton and Josh Templeman hate each other. Every day, they sit across from one another in their glass walled office space at B&G Publishing, and play the hating game. Sometimes it’s the staring game, sometimes the HR game, sometimes the copycat game, but the object is always the same: make the other one crack first.
When Lucy and Josh have to compete for the same promotion, the tension reaches an absolute breaking point. The antics get more intense, and Lucy realizes that hating someone feels disturbingly like loving them…
I am very pleased to inform you that, upon a third listen, this is still the gold standard for romcoms. Authors, take note. We are all shooting for The Hating Game. I love discovering that time has not tampered the charm and warmth that this book holds; it is still just as good as the first day I stayed up until 3am devouring it.
I honestly forgot how laugh out loud hilarious this book is. The “word tennis” that Lucy and Josh play throughout is so smart and witty, and it happens so fast that you’re still cackling when the next punchline lands. It is hysterical, and it increases my enjoyment of the book 1000%. I couldn’t stop laughing.
One thing I did forget from watching the movie more recently than having reread the book was how mean Josh is! I think in the movie you can always tell that he’s flirting, but when you’re listening to Lucy retell it, there are times when it truly doesn’t come across that way. He is brutal. Knowing how it all turns out makes it easier to swallow or spin, but I forgot that I really felt that way as a first time reader. It’s hard to tell when he’s joking or messing with her sometimes.
Lucy and Josh just fit together perfectly. Everything about their romance makes sense. It is just too good. The gold standard. The only thing I’ve read that even came close to matching this wit and heart was You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle, which also had me roaring laughing. I think if you can make me *actually* laugh out loud while reading, you’re doing something right. The rest will fit together fine if you can make your characters genuinely funny to the reader and the other character. This book is a perfect example of that.
So yes, obviously, I recommend The Hating Game. I have been for just about a billion years (I think Goodreads said I first read this in 2017 – so five whole years!), but now you have a full review for once!
Enjoy this fabulous week!