Book Reviews

Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

So you know how you see these books all over the place and you wonder what the hype is? And then you kind of forget about it till you see a trailer for a book? That is the story of me and The Hating Game. It’s only fitting I picked up the Movie Tie In version – which I normally hate – but I decided to wait the 11 weeks for the book at my library. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Lucy Hutton has always believed that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone. Everyone except sarcastic, cynical, and intimidating Joshua Templeman. Her nemesis.

Josh is the dark and brooding to Lucy’s light and cheery, the crisp pressed suit to her retro outfits and bright red lipstick. And he gets under her skin like no one else can. Trapped in a shared office together five days a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship.

When a new executive position is announced, Josh and Lucy are top contenders for the promotion, but the idea of working for the other is so unthinkable that they strike a deal: whoever doesn’t get the job will walk away. The stakes have never been higher and as the competition heats up and the barriers between them begin to fall down, Lucy starts questioning just who her opponent truly is and whether this man she’s hated all this time is even the real Josh.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either.


Before I start my review, I wanna get off my chest that Lucy isn’t that short. She’s five foot and as someone who is 5 foot 2 inches, I don’t think that’s a huge difference. I can’t speak for that lived experience, but it’s like made into a big thing and so this was just a little thing that bothered me because I didn’t even find out how tall she was exactly until like 3/4 through. ANYWAY, The Hating Game is an enemies/nemesis to lovers romance book which surprised me in a few ways.

Firstly, it’s not dual POV which it could have been. This is a great choice because not only does it put Lucy firmly in the heroine space – not having to share space with Josh – but it also establishes that line between things we perceive and what they are. That line where we think we are seeing or interpreting something, and it’s actually not true. All the miscommunications and misunderstandings that never go corrected and build.

Secondly, I loved that the build up felt super slow. And while that could be seen as a bad thing, to some people, it gives their relationship, that turn between love and hate, a very grounded feel. Their interactions are given space, new beginnings, and wary neutrality. It doesn’t feel like that thing where all of a sudden, you see someone in a different light. With that amount of anger and mistrust, it takes time to go off the offensive and heck the defensive.

Thirdly, while I knew I’d enjoy Lucy and how she is struggling to establish limits, Josh unexpectedly captured my heart. There’s so much more to Josh than we see, than ever Lucy sees, and that’s part of the joy in The Hating Game. I don’t want to spoil the discovery for yourself, but it’s definitely worth reading if you like discovering what makes a character tick, what’s happening beneath icy eyes.

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Do I believe it lives up to the hype? Ultimately yes. It delivers on the enemies to lovers, surprised me, and was a fast entertaining read. Find The Hating Game on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite enemies to lovers story?

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

  1. I came across this one after finishing Ali Hazelwood’s “The Love hypothesis” (I know, don’t judge me on that, but it’s got a similar vibe to it) and I thought this, too, was a heartwarming story. Maybe not the deepest, most sophisticated or eloquent one there is, but I’ve definitely read worse romcoms that were turned into movies. I’m very much looking forward to the adaptation once it hits amazon video.

  2. Well, as someone who is only 5 foot tall and constantly told that I fit into the midget category based on my height, I’d have to disagree with you that it isn’t that short. lol This is one I remember wanting to read, but never got to. I was going to watch the movie, but then realized it wasn’t free, so am waiting a bit before I pay for it. Great review, thanks for sharing.

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