The Opposite of Hate: The Hating Game

I have found that book choices are very mood dependent.  For example, sometimes I’m in desperate need of a good cathartic gut wrenching cry and will choose a book accordingly.  On the other hand, a book that has been recommended over and over again just won’t strike a nerve because I’m not in the right mood.  Thus, my book choices fluctuate from literary fiction to contemporary to young adult.  However, when you find the perfect book to fit your mood it’s as if striking gold and thus the book high…you know, that feeling you get from reading a book that makes you not want to put it down because it’s so good and then you have to go find another one that makes you feel that same way and you search and you search and you read and you flounce until just when you think you can’t find the feeling again…AHHHH…you found it.

Enter, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.  Named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2016, it was the perfect romantic comedy of a book which could easily translate into a movie.  This one reminded me of Ten Things I Hate About You meets How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days.  Lucy, an upper-level assistant at a publishing house finds herself wanting to be friendly with her new counterpart Josh, when their publishing houses merge.  However, Josh does not return Lucy’s smile on the first day and it’s game on.

“He did not smile back, and somehow I feel like he’s been carrying my smile around in his breast pocket ever since. He’s one up.”

Rather than form an alliance at their newly formed company, Lucy and Josh become the best of adversaries in their new roles.

“I always thought you’d live underground somewhere, near the earth’s core,”

But, like all good rom-coms, Lucy and Josh are barreling straight toward a head-on collision with potentially disastrous consequences, not only for themselves but their careers as well.  The Hating Game, included on The Washington Post’s Top 20 Romances of 2016, was a delightful, smart, funny read that simultaneously made you wish it was a movie but at the same time not because it was such a good book and you thoroughly enjoyed reading it so much that there is no way that the movie could make you feel the same way. So…when you find yourself in the need for a quick escape but still in need of some mild angst, UST (unresolved sexual tension), and romance The Hating Game is the book for you.

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A Sweet Read: The Problem With Forever

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Don’t you love the cover of this book? The book cover, coupled with the book description, made me immediately intrigued. The Problem with Forever follows Mallory’s journey as she is adopted out of foster care after suffering a horrible tragedy. As a method to cope with her PTSD, Mallory no longer speaks and is homeschooled. In an effort to prepare for college and assimilate to being in public, Mallory enrolls in a public high school for her Senior year. Facing her fears and anxiety of being in public, along with the typical high school pressure, Mallory is fighting an uphill battle.

Mallory’s journey takes a turn when she unexpectedly finds herself in class with a boy that has strong ties to her time in foster care. When Mallory reunites with Rider, her childhood protector, things do not go as planned. Jennifer Armentrout weaves a story that is slowly revealed over time. Some would argue that perhaps this book was too slow. I found the story to have major angst potential although, in reality, the angst was very mild. Mallory’s connection with Rider is obviously very strong and one that lasts over time and tragedy that unfolds throughout the novel. However, some parts of the story felt unbelievable to me. Coupled with a few plot holes, if you are looking for a young adult high school based novel with mild angst, The Problem With Forever is a cute read that will do the trick.

 

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