Title: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.
Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.
Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating was just the pick me up that I needed and has pulled me right back out of my reading slump. All of the characters are just perfect, and the romance was so adorable. If you have not picked up a Christina Lauren book yet, I urge you to start with this one.
The characters within Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating were on point and had me constantly laughing. I love Hazel and just the joy that she brings to the book, and while I was cringing at some of the things that she did, it wasn’t a bad cringe, it was almost like second-hand embarrassment. But that was part of what made Hazel so entertaining and loveable. Where as Josh is much more sensible and has much more of a level head, and the contrast between them was great. I also loved the little glimpses that we got into their terrible dates because it really helped to move Josh and Hazel along and show different sides of their personalities.
When it comes to the progression of the plot, the overall story happened quite quickly, which I did enjoy, but I would have loved to have spent a little bit more time with the characters, especially towards the end. This is only because I loved it so much, and I felt so connected to the characters that I wanted more.
I know that a couple of people didn’t like the ending, and while it wasn’t my favourite, it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. The trope is not one of my favourites, but I saw it coming from pretty early on, which made it a little better for me. I am also glad that it didn’t cause much of a conflict between the characters, as that is normally the thing that I hate rather than the trope itself.
I can’t wait to pick up my next Christina Lauren book; fingers crossed, I love it as much as this one. If you have not picked up a Christina Lauren book yet and love romance books, what are you doing, you really need to do so!