Book Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
There’s a thin line between love and hate. But I only have love for The Hating Game. Not just love though, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. This book is the best thing I’ve read all year. This book is perfection.
The premise is nothing new. There’s plenty of romances featuring the love/hate trope out there. However, not many reach the dizzy heights of classics like Much Ado About Nothing and Pride and Prejudice, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say The Hating Game just about does.
Written in the heroine’s, Lucy Hutton, first person point of view, The Hating Game is essentially a romance, but I’d also say it could be classed as feminine literature (I’m not really fussed on that definition. Why do we have to specify if it’s literature written by, or for, a female? It’s just literature, ok.). Let’s just say it’s a class above the norm when it comes to the romance genre anyway.
Lucy has her dream job with a publishing house. Given these lean times for that type of firm, her employer has chosen to merge with a rival publisher. As such, she now has to essentially share a position and an office with Joshua Templeman.
Lucy is everyone’s friend at the newly formed company — charming, affable, and emotively driven. Joshua is the opposite. He is more comfortable with crunching numbers than dealing with staff. He was also responsible for sacking a large percentage of the staff (a necessary move to save the newly merged company from insolvency), meaning most of the remaining employees are petrified of him. Oddly, Lucy is not one of them, but she does believe he hates her as much as she hates him.
She spends most of her working life obsessing over Joshua. From the pencil marks on his calendar to the colours of his shirts. She also obsesses about his beautiful body, and why he has never smiled at her.
Yes, yes, it’s obvious what’s going on, but truly, the journey to that obvious resolution is exquisite.
Sally Thorne’s prose is gorgeous. There were passages in this that I read, then read again, and then bookmarked so I can savour them slowly again whenever the need comes over me.
The Hating Game should also be on the required reading list for romance writers attempting UST. O.M.G. The UST. LOVE. I’m sure Lucy and Joshua’s office is trembling with it at times. It’s not an easy thing to write, I believe. It’s much easier to use actors and meaningful looks, but it’s so obvious in The Hating Game from the first page. LOVE.
Now, let’s talk about sex. Well, not only sex, but writing physical intimacy. This book contains one of the sexiest kisses I’ve ever read in print. 70% of romances still, in this day and age, fade to black when it comes to intimate scenes (grrrrrrrrr and yawn). 29% of them think adding crudeness and explicit scenes is the way to go (grrrrrrr and ick). This is a one-percenter of perfection. Stuff that idiotic Shades of Grey crap, try to read this in public and not blush. I dare you!
I was a little fascinated to find out (after I’d finished) that Thorne is Australian. The book never specifies its setting, but I thought it had a distinctive American feel to it. I was also surprised to find out this was her debut. She’s obviously a natural. Whatever she publishes next, I’ll rush out and buy.
5 out of 5 (duh) and highly recommended.