Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Book Review: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

By Melissa Amster

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?
(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Some of the bloggers I follow regularly were recommending Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating, so I decided to check it out for myself, just to see what the fuss was all about. People seem to know my tastes really well because I absolutely loved it! I had such a fun time reading it and laughed and smiled throughout. I found out after I finished reading this that Christina Lauren is really two authors working together. Mind? Blown! I had no idea, as the writing is so fluid throughout.

I could easily connect with Hazel, as she reminded me of myself in some ways. I'm not as quirky, but I do tend to say embarrassing or inappropriate things sometimes and I could relate to the level of cringey-ness she must have been feeling. She also has good taste in names for her pets. Her dog shares a name with a cat I once had. I also really liked Josh and enjoyed seeing his perspective in this story. The dialogue is great and keeps the story flowing nicely.

The story had a similar feel to When Harry Met Sally. It once again poses the question: Can men and women really be friends without sex getting in the way? Speaking of which, the bedroom scenes were on fire! I like my romantic stories to be steamy, so I enjoyed that aspect.

While it tied up a bit too neatly at the end, I enjoyed the journey to that point. There wasn't an intense conflict, but I was almost worried that there would be. There are still some up and down moments and plenty of little surprises.

I miss both characters now that I'm done reading this novel. I hope there will be a sequel. (A girl can dream!) I recommend picking this one up for a fun and light read. I'll be checking out more of Christina Lauren's novels in the near future!

Dream movie cast:
Josh: Rene Gube
Hazel: Vanessa Marano
Emily: Melise
Sasha: Emer Kenny
Jones: Tom Brittney
Hazel's mom: Kristin Chenoweth

More by Christina Lauren:

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