Friday, October 28, 2016

THE HATING GAME by Sally Thorne / Audiobook Review

Written by: Sally Thorne
Published by: William Morrow
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Purchase: Harper Collinsamazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | audible
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

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.

If you have a couple who hates each other OHSOMUCH, it's pretty guaranteed that I will love this story and love it with the light of a thousand burning stars. And these two, Lucy and Joshua, utilize the very best of banter and zing-iest of zingers.

As those of us, who have made it our life's mission to find the snarkiest of romance novels, already know, hate and love sometimes do blend. What starts out as a full-on hating game quickly dissolves into something else. And fans of that something else, well, we just wait and wait and wait. That anticipation doesn't kill us, in fact it has the opposite effect--it makes us flip pages faster.

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 have to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.

I had to give you a taste of Lucy's voice. She is everything I love in a romance novel. She is bold, strong and determined to get that promotion instead of her arch-enemy, Joshua. Lord, I loved her sense of humor!

For those of us who love the rhythm of a Pride & Prejudice plot, The Hating Game will feel familiar, and yet, different (maybe I just read P&P into every romance?!?!). One of the aspects I enjoyed was the presence of both of their families. They were funny (her Dad refusing to get Josh's name right), and real (Joshua's mom). Just because we're grown-ups doesn't mean we don't have our families in our lives, and this story represented them so well.

I listened to the audiobook, and the performance of Katie Schorr really brought all the characters off the page and into my car. Her intonations and inflections were perfectly done especially in their snarky convos.

I cannot believe this is Sally's debut story. I am so looking forward to more of her writing. If you love banter as much as I do, then please, pick up The Hating Game. This is one book that must be read and soon!

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