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The Hating Game: 'Warm, witty and wise' The Daily Mail Paperback – September 7, 2017
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I recently attended a Writers Retreat where one book in particular was mentioned, and I use the term mentioned very loosely, what actually happened was they demanded we all read it immediately. Suffice to say, I purchased the ebook that night and dove in, immediately I was smitten, utterly invested and truly in love with every single word written by Sally Thorne.
"Watching you pretend to hate that nickname is the best part of my day."
Lucy Hutton always dreamt of working in the publishing industry, as an avid reader her love for all things books was greater than anything she'd ever known, being hired by Gamin Publishing was everything she had ever imagined, but when her beloved company was on the brink of collapse and amalgamation with another struggling publishing house, Bexley Books, became her reality, her career goals stayed alive, just barely, with a host of personnel cuts and the loss of her best friend Val, her work world was rocked. The day she met Joshua Templeman seemed like a possible new beginning, but his cool disregard of her almost immediately sent shockwaves through her usually cherry demeanor, a war began that day and with every day that past their mutual dislike of each other grew.
"You've broken me down so completely, I can't even handle it when a guy tells me I'm beautiful."
The Hating Game written in the first person point of view painted Lucy as both incredibly smart, and extremely funny, every snarky thought, every snappy comeback, every moment of despair mixed with joy as Joshua became Josh in front of her eyes. Every moment in this book served to cement my love of the author's words, I was invested immediately, but each new chapter brought with it feelings of awe, the more I read the deeper in love I fell, the more real Lucy and Joshua felt, the more their personalities jumped off the page and straight into my heart.
"I'm about to lose something I never had to begin with."
The Hating Game is slow burn in the very best way, Thorne builds not only the connection between her hero and heroine but the readers attachment to them, their witty dialogue served to lure the reader into losing themselves in one of the best bouts of drawn out verbal foreplay that I have ever experienced. Usually when I enjoy a book it only serves to make me want to devour the words, here however I simultaneously wanted to speed read my way to end, and slow down in order to savor every moment. I loved every second here, I wanted to drown in Thorne's words, I wanted to escape into Lucy and Joshua's world, stand in the corner, watching them like a creeper, I wanted to befriend them, I wanted to relax with Lucy over a glass of wine after a long day at work, I wanted to know everything that happened in between every moment, every lost look, every sigh, every secret smile. The Hating Game has quickly became one of my very favourite books, climbing it's way onto not only my Best of 2016 List but my favourite of all time list. If this is how Sally Thorne marks her debut into bookworld, I can only imagine what she has yet to do.
“My hostage. My blackmailed, unwilling captive. Stockholm Shortcake.”
There is nothing like a good hate/love book to get your reading mojo well and truly pumping and that is exactly what The Hating Game delivered. Sally Thorne captured everything about those office relationships where competition takes on a whole new meaning and to think that this is her debut novel, I was totally blown away.
Enemies to lovers is one of those tropes that literally has me salivating. You learn more about a person through their actions in that kind of environment, especially in the work place. It is harder to hate than it is to love and there is often a very fine line between the two. Sometimes there is that genuine hate, because let’s be honest, there are a lot of douches and b****es in the world, but more often than not we hate as a veil of our true feelings and that was definitely the case with these two.
“Shortcake, if we were flirting, you’d know about it.”
“Because I’d be traumatized?”
“Because you’d be thinking about it later on, lying in bed.”
Two publishing houses struggling in the economic climate merge to ensure the viability of at least one of them, two CEO’s, two assistants. One male assistant, one female assistant who knock their a**es out week after week to be the best. This was all about one-upmanship. Who could work the longest hours, who was more efficient, who has the best ideas etc.: Their competitiveness was the source of many hilarious scenes, yet so relatable having been in a similar environment myself. But they loved to hate one and other, their inter-office games of “hate” had me laughing so many times and this book was written so well their story effortlessly flowed from page to page. This was an easy read, a real page turner.
“The trick is to find someone who’s strong enough to take it. That one person who can give it back as good as they get.”
Lucy Hutton was working in a place that she had dreamt of since she was a teenager. For her, publishing had always been her dreams albeit maybe not as a PA to the CEO. Her position had left her friendless because of everyone’s “snitch” mentality and her only source of enjoyment in her working day were her battles with Joshua. These two sat in the same office where daggers were drawn from clock in to clock out. Where juvenile staring competitions were the norm and trying to decipher codes and logins were their speciality.
“I feel like your Easter egg.”
Joshua was a whizz with numbers, he kept himself to himself and was definitely a closed book. He was an ornery man of rituals and order and was as predictable as they came. But who was Joshua Templeman? With a new position being made as COO, a promotion for Lucy or Joshua, battle lines are well and truly drawn as both know that neither one could work for the other. This was a fight to the death in more ways than one. Lucy begins to see a different side to Joshua when little chinks in his armour are slowly revealed, could this be who Joshua Templeman really is and god forbid Lucy for actually…falling in love.
“The energy that usually lashes ineffectively inside each of us now has a conduit, forming a loop of electricity between us, cycling through me, into him. My heart is glowing in my chest like a bulb, flashing brighter with each movement of his lips.”
The humour and banter in this book was contagious from start to finish, the dialogue was spot on and the chemistry was seriously off the charts. Even in hate mode you could feel those flickers of electricity and you were constantly on edge just waiting for them to ignite into a raging inferno. These two as enemies were hilarious, as lovers totally swoon worthy. I adored EVERYTHING about this book. I made the mistake of starting this late in the day and then read into the early hours of the morning, I couldn’t put it down. The characters were infectious, the plot was riveting and as each layer of Joshua Templeman was revealed my heart just got mushier and mushier. For those that love enemies to lovers this is a must read and the story will speak for itself.
“This is the best game I’ve ever played in my entire life.”