Published by Gallery on 09/04/2018
Most men can’t handle Hazel. With the energy of a toddler and the mouth of a sailor, they’re often too timid to recognize her heart of gold. New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Roomies, Beautiful Bastard) tells the story of two people who are definitely not dating, no matter how often they end up in bed together.
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?
The writing duo that is Christina Lauren stands near the top of my list of favorite authors. They’re such a powerhouse of unstoppable success – every book consistently great. And Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating falls perfectly in line.
My one and only gripe, if you can even call it that, was Hazel. I really loved Hazel. She’s a non-traditional heroine with a lot of quirks and I loved that she was unapologetic about who she was. However, I did feel from time to time like they were trying too hard to make it clear just how “odd” she was. I’m just used to their characters feeling a bit more organic. But I wouldn’t even really consider this a detractor, per se. It was just something that I noticed.
But like I said, I loved Hazel. I love when a heroine is comfortable in her own skin and doesn’t doubt herself. I envy those traits myself. She knew that she was eccentric and wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but she was willing to be patient enough to find the people who she would be right for. Both in friendship and romantic relationships.
And then there’s Josh. Wonderful, kind, funny, sweet, sexy Josh. I love a good friends-to-lovers story, and this one was kind of the ultimate. They were best friends and I loved seeing them sort of fall in love with each other in that way that best friends do first. Friends are so special, especially those few that are once-in-a-lifetime kind of friendships, and so even getting to experience that with them was wonderful.
And then I did all kinds of swooning. I loved this book – it was sweet, cute, fun, and sexy. I definitely recommend it to anyone who needs a little joy, and of course recommend it to anyone who is already a Christina Lauren fan. There’s nuggets in there of all the things you come to love and expect out of a great Christina Lauren novel, and there’s some individual specialness to it as well. Definitely pick up this adorable book.