Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sally Thorne - The Hating Game

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.
Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Comment: This is probably one of the most well liked contemporary romance books of last year, since it was in so many people's lists and has a great average on GR. I follow some sites where this book was also very much defended as being addictive and a winner. I was obviously curious to see if I'd think the same so I added it to my own list but only this month did I finally pick it. I wasn't very worried because I like the genre but it ended up not being so amazing for em after all, even recognizing the details all worked out pretty well.

In this book we have the story of Joshua Templeman and Lucy Hutton, two co workers sharing an office space at a publishing house. These two hate each other, they are constantly playing games with one another at the office and even colleagues from other departments have realized they are not friends.
One day, however, things change and Joshua is the only person who can help Lucy so she feels like paying the debt by agreeing with something he needs to do as well. The problem is that they both are caught are a bad time because there's a promotion at their office and both would be good candidates for it. Can they battle it out while weirdly becoming closer too?

I can totally see the appeal of this novel but two things sort of made me feel less than impressive with this book: first, this is first person narrator and we see everything through Lucy's eyes. While not such a bad detail I felt it was for me personally because if this is about a conflict between two people we only have one of their POV's? And second, I didn't find this to be fun nor as fresh and groundbreaking as several opinions made it out to be. I accepted this possibility by glimpsing some opinions here and there but it wasn't so for me.

I struggled to grade this, actually. I felt the Goodreads grading system wasn't as detailed as would have liked it to be when it comes to my opinion of this book. The 3 stars don't feel enough and 4 seems too much. Since I use different grades here, it wasn't such a problem but the question is that it's not easy to summarize an opinion when I liked the book but it didn't make me feel as happy about it as I wished.

The plot itself is interesting, it has some great moments, being my favorite aspect how step by step they were getting to know each other better and fall in love. But I feel just her POV to be very restrictive. Many people commented on the office games they played, especially in the beginning, as being comic and fun but maybe because english is not my mother language I missed something but it didn't seem fun to me, just childish.
Then, the plot evolved, they got together more often and realized they felt attracted and it was mutual. Of course I can see they didn't really hate each other, their games were more in the lines of foreplay really, but in this case, why bother giving us the notion they went from hate to love?

I had high expectations about the romance but even that was so...I mean, the reasons for their apparent dislike before the serious conversations stage was based on silly things... I suppose this was meant to be a comedy but I didn't find it fun, no.
The sex part was ok I guess, it would have to end up like that. Joshua has some issues, family related, but when they are revealed I can see the why of his behavior (especially from a real life POV since it's not easy to deal with what he went through) and the best scene is probably when Lucy defends Josh with all her power of speech. But this didn't make up for all the rest.

This is an easy book to read, it has great things included but overall it wasn't as impressive for me as it seems it was for most people. I expected the characters' connection to be different, maybe more obvious, maybe more romantic than silly...I can't pinpoint but I did feel rather disappointed.
Therefore, a very, very weak 7 for me...which isn't less just because the structure and writing are good and several elements were interesting, for instance Lucy's relationship with her parents and her wish to improve her work abilities...
Grade: 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment