The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

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Sally Thorne's The Hating Game borrows heavily from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I applaud Ms. Thorne's taste in inspirational material, but her book serves as a reminder of how much more there is to Pride and Prejudice than than the romantic storyline. Don't get me wrong: I'm as big a Lizzy/Darcy shipper as the next nerd, but if you stripped their story down to a series of squabbles, mistakes, and inept courting, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying.

Lucy Hutton hates Joshua Templeman, and she's certain the feeling is mutual. As executive assistants to a pair of co-CEOs, Lucy and Josh share an office, but that's the only thing they have in common. Lucy is cheerful, loud, and quirky; Joshua wears his neatly pressed Hugo Boss button-downs in an exact rotation and routinely makes accountants cry. Their squabbles have made them into an HR nightmare, so when she learns that they're competing for the same promotion, Lucy assumes her war with Josh is about to kick into high gear—just as it begins to dawn on her that her feelings for her work nemesis aren't totally antagonistic.

The characters in The Hating Game need friends. And better hobbies. Pushover Lucy collects Smurf figurines (...no, really), gets along well with her parents, and likes strawberries and retro clothes. Icy Josh goes to the gym a lot and is estranged from his family. While both are allegedly great at their jobs, they appear to spend 100% of their free time obsessing over one another. Thorne is an excellent descriptive writer with a fun sense of humor, but her characters' hyper-focus on their relationship makes them act like high school sophomores. I still enjoyed The Hating Game, but I pray the protagonists of Ms. Thorne's future books have more going on in their personal lives than an unhealthy fixation on a co-worker.
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Posted by: Julianka

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