Book Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne


Nemesis (n.)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;

2) A person’s undoing;

3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


I loved The Hating Game a lot more than I thought I would. Whenever books are labelled ‘Tiktok sensations’ it really puts me off, but I’d heard it was an enemies to lovers story, I gave it the benefit of the doubt. I’m glad I did, but it was an entertaining read. I wouldn’t call it enemies to lovers though, more like annoyance to lovers.

The Hating Game is definitely the type of book that you need to go into with the mindset not to take it too seriously. I’ve seen people completely picking this book apart for the silliest and smallest passing comments made by the characters but I really don’t think it’s that deep. Please educate me if I’m wrong, but some of these comments felt like a reach.

I feel like you’re not really supposed to like these characters, at least to begin with. They are both awful, constantly throwing insults back and forth and sabotaging each other. However, you do see some changes and while I don’t agree with some of their actions, their awfulness makes them perfect for each other.

I love it when the man falls first and harder, it gets me every time. Joshua Templeman has been in love with Lucy Hutton from the very moment he saw her. He is incredibly emotionally stunted though so what else would he do other than make her think he despises her? Oh yeah, paint his bedroom the colour of her eyes. It’s a little stalkerish, but this isn’t real so I’m going to say it’s incredibly romantic. Please don’t do this in real life though, you’re asking for a restraining order. 

The constant objectifying from Lucy got a bit much, especially as she would complain about her boss doing the same to her, but this book is definitely for the female gaze so of course she going to constantly be talking about how muscular he is.

I’m personally a fan of cheesy rom-com books because why else would you want to read romance? I want happy, fun, cliche-filled stories. I’m reading to have a good time, I don’t need it to be super serious all the time. 

The Hating Game definitely isn’t a perfect book, but it was entertaining. I had a good time while reading it, so I’m going to give it a pretty high rating of four stars. I’m basing this on the experience rather than how well it was written. A lot of you will probably think this is not a good book and you’re probably right, but I hold romances to a different standard – they’re written for enjoyment rather than to be literary masterpieces, in my opinion. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Check out Young Creative Press on all socials

You can also check out my StoryGraph here

Like this post? Why not read this one too: Book Confessions: Series I’m Never Going To Finish #2

Leave a Reply