Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Datingby Published 04 Sep 2018
|Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating.pdf|
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" Reviews
Happy Pub Day!!!
"I realize that finding the perfect person isn't going to be easy for me because I'm a lot to take," she says, "but I'm not going to change just so that I'm more datable. At the end of the day, being myself is enough. I'm enough."
I related to this book on a spiritual level. Duo Christina Lauren's brand of humor was so on point in this novel, it felt like they had written it specifically for me as a reader. I can't express how uplifting and enjoyable of an experience I had reading this hilarious romp, and I found the underlying message to be just as beautiful as the cover art is. I'm a firm believer that you can never have enough novels preaching about self worth and being comfortable in your own skin, and this story falls firmly in the category of "never settle for less than what you deserve simply because you aren't the world's standard".
Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating was just the cutest book ever. Uff! I've been struggling lately with a lot of heavy life stressors and have found myself gravitating more and more toward romantic comedies and upbeat contemporaries, genres I never would have touched even a year ago. I'm so thrilled that books like this have been a gateway for me to a type of escapism I never thought I would need, but am grateful for none-the-less. I can't remember the last time I've laughed out loud so frequently while reading. I also loved that this book had some deliciously steamy scenes, but overall those were just accessories to the overall plot. If you enjoy rom coms with less graphic content and a greater focus on the comedy portion and the feel good fluffies, this one is for you.
Unexpectedly, I really enjoyed the tidbits included into Josh's family heritage. I've been on a roll lately with books including various forms of asian culture, and the Korean traditions expounded upon here were a nice addition in bringing Josh and his family to life. There are other emotional thematic elements discussed, so it's not just a goofy tale in total, but the overall vibe is kept light and upbeat. Honestly, the second I finished this book my first reaction was that I wanted to flip back to the beginning and reread it immediately. If you enjoy lighter romance that leaves you with a sense of the feel goods and will keep you chortling with laughter the entire go, you NEED this in your life. I cannot recommend this one highly enough!
*I received a review copy via the publisher.
➳Quirkiness, fun double dates, sexy times that became unexpected, everything combined together to bring two individuals that are beyond different but definitely meant to be...
➳When one starts reading a romance novel by my favorite duo Christina Lauren, one should know that you will forever love the story no matter what. When one reads romance stories, you expect a trope to take into place. No matter what, this new stand-alone filled with fun adventures between two best friends, has every retrospective of uniqueness when hitting the pitcher at the exact spot of loving Josh and Hazel. To me, maybe I say this because my love for Christina and Lauren is immense, but I am down-right honest about my reviews. This novel will knock you off your feet when it comes down to the laughter that comes out of you when Hazel does something that is beyond endearing and in a juvenile way.
➳This story basically revolves itself around the idea and actions of Josh and Hazel becoming best friends after some "awkward" college moments and finding out that Hazel's best friend, Emily, is Josh's sister, who is married to Dave, the principle and the boss of Hazel in her new job at a new elementary school as she teaches the third grade. After becoming best friends, Hazel and Josh decide to start setting up double dates with individuals they know, for each other. At first it all starts wonderfully because they both have fun with the partners they end up choosing for each other. But it gets to a point where the sexual chemistry between Josh and Hazel, the unexpected status of being roommates, and one drunken night, they change the tables to wanting to become more than best friends.
➳There is a sudden and unexpected love towards Hazel and her persona. Her vibrancy, her enthusiasm, all her quirks that makes her such a unique individual that has taken everything in her empowering personality to admire herself and not care what others thing about her, is what truly captivates the reader to wanting to read more, CRAVE that kind of writing that Christina and Lauren always seem to specialize in. That's what makes Josh admire Hazel. Her love towards him as his initially best friend is indeed swoon worthy. And as a rom-com, one never goes wrong with loving all the adventures these two encounter and go through.
➳Overall, I am beyond glad that I had the chance to read this book this time around. It definitely brightened my mood and I will definitely be reading this beauty again. Thank you to Gallery books for letting me enjoy this romance novel that had me itching for more love of Christina Lauren. If you are looking for something sweet, exciting, and enthusiastic, then this novel is the ideal one for you.
➳ARC kindly provided by Gallery Books, in exchange for an honest review...
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ARC provided by Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
“The world seems full of men who are initially infatuated by our eccentricities, but who ultimately expect them to be temporary.”
Most of you know that I’m a pretty big fan of Christina Lauren! Autoboyography is now one of my favorite books of all-time. And friends, I really enjoyed this book and it made me so unreasonably happy! Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is set in Oregon and is honestly one of the cutest friends to lovers stories I’ve read in such a long while. I honestly never wanted this book to be over.
➽ Hazel - Teacher, the quirkiest character I’ve ever read, but I mean that in a good way, and has finally reunited with a guy who she has embarrassed herself around for the past almost decade.
➽ Josh/Jimin - Doctor, Korean (Yeah, named Jimin, smart marketing because BTS Armies are going to love him with their whole heart), and currently in a long distance relationship that isn’t working.
And these two’s paths have constantly crossed since college, but fate has truly brought them together when Hazel attends her best friend’s BBQ, only to realize that Josh is the guy who she has embarrassed herself around since college. But after that BBQ, they decided to be friends and it leads to them going on a lot of double dates, which are all mostly bad.
There is a constant theme of family in this book, both from Hazel and Josh’s side, and I loved it so much. Hazel’s relationship with her mother was so inspiring, and I loved how they loved each other unconditionally. Josh is from a much more traditional background, but the love is so there and so very abundant. Seriously, both of these families warmed my damn heart and it was easily one of my favorite parts of this book.
I also really loved how Hazel wouldn’t change herself for anyone. And I think this book does a really good job at showing you how most people are pretty negative about anyone being too loud, too weird, and too different than the standards society puts on us. This isn’t like the typical “oh, the girl is quirky and cute” but this is the more realistic and sad treatment of people who live their life to the beat of their own drum. And seeing Hazel (and Josh) always speak up if anyone was negative or judgmental, was really beautiful. Because, like, who the hell wants to be normal anyways?
“I have chaos around me, but it’s like he doesn’t even care. He doesn’t need me to change or pretend to be someone else. He’s my person. He’s my best friend.”
This book was actually funny, too! Like, I was giggling alone in bed while reading at least a third of this book. Hazel is one of the most fun protagonists I’ve read about, and she and her animals had me laughing constantly. And all the dates? So freakin’ funny! I honestly could perfectly picture this book, and I actually think it would make for a fantastic romcom movie adaptation.
But this book does have a lot of steamy scenes, so trigger and content warnings for sexual content, talk of past death of a loved one, cheating (off-screen and not main characters), and a homophobic slur.
And out of all these trigger warnings, I want to talk more about the homophobic slur, because it was so damn pointless. I mean, it was said in a negative light, but it wasn’t necessarily challenged. Like, it felt so bad to read and took me completely out of the story. These authors could have just as easily said “he said a rude thing” or hell, even “he said a homophobic slur” without actually using the word. Like, I hated it so much and it was easily the worst part of this book.
The only other negative thing I'll say is that the ending felt rushed. Like, we spend so much time watching these two people become friends, and the romance and love has to come rather quickly. Which I get, and I don’t mind that much, but I was still shocked with how the last few chapters went and then I got hit with the word “epilogue” and it felt so abrupt. Also, this book is 95% light, cute, and heartwarming, and then it just takes a really dark turn during the last tiny bit, and it just felt very disjointed.
“You’re second only to a unicorn as far as best friends go, Josh Im.”
But overall, I really did enjoy this sweet friends to lovers story. I think this is for sure a perfect summertime read. Oh, and even though it has a cover that looks very much like Roomies , these worlds and stories are not connected what so ever. So, don’t be scared or think you have to read Roomies first! But I totally recommend this one, and I hope if you pick this one up, that you’ll enjoy it so very much, too! Happy reading!
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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
I'm read this for #smutathon, which was hosted by Lainey and Riley! ❤
And this is a buddy read with Lilly at Lair of Books! ❤
Thanks to Netgalley for supplying me with a free e-arc in exchange for an honest review!
UMM..... THIS WAS SO GOOD!!
I told myself I wouldn't read anymore Christina Lauren because I thought Roomies was a bit bland and not up my alley, but this one just sounded cute so I broke my own rule and WOW I'M SO GLAD I DID THIS IS A NEW FAVORITE OF THE YEAR!
The main thing I love about this book is the main character. She's cute and quirky and fun without trying too hard to be ~different~. She's authentically weird rather than being a manic pixie dream girl, and she's aware of it, AND she's proud of it. She reminded me of Jess from New Girl, which is my favorite show of all time because I love her character so much. That, combined with the fact that she also reminded me of Lucy from The Hating Game made me love her. Her dialogue was always so great--hilarious without EVER being cheesy. She was so refreshing and unlike any character I've read before. Hazel also really validated a small part of me that's insecure that I'll never find anyone because I'm too weird. I've never read a book like this before, like I was receiving a gentle pat on the back. Two thumbs up.
Josh was also SO sweet and mindful and generous and he's the perfect love interest. The dynamic of (sorta) enemies to friends to lovers was also a great slow burn. The pacing of this is exactly what I look for in romance and I would read every book Christina & Lauren write if they do it similar to this one.
As always, Christina & Lauren were really mindful of representation, feminism, and healthy relationships. The love interest and most prominent side character in this are Korean, and their culture was discussed at multiple points in the book (I'll link some ownvoices reviews discussing the rep if I see any once this comes out). However, there were a few times that Hazel would fetishize Koreans because she sexualized Josh's Korean name and the way he sounded when he spoke Korean. It was the only thing I thought was distasteful about this book, and maybe (hopefully) it'll be edited out in the final version. Lastly, there's a lot of candid talking about sex, including discussion about consent and bleeding and other good stuff. Also, there's a lot of fighting back against slut shaming and women being able to do what they want, which I think was great. I just love how the characters in Christina Lauren book will encounter a problem in the relationship or with sex and literally say, "Hey, let's talk about this" rather than avoid each other childishly. SO GOOD! (and yes, that's how low the bar is in romance books to be considered good, people.)
I was warned that the ending of this might be something I'm not into, and I gotta agree that this veered a sharp left at the end. I haven't decided if I liked it or not, but it was definitely *cough* a choice. I'd have to talk about it in a spoilery review. But if this would've ended differently, I probably would have given it 5 stars. (Update: it’s not a bad twist, it’s just a plot point that i think was random to throw in at the END of a book lol. no worries! read it anyway!)
Definitely add this to your TBR if you're looking for some healthy romance that has equal parts cuteness and steaminess. I adored it thoroughly.
Fun, fluffy friends to lovers to soulmates story with a bit of an edge.
Hazel first me Josh in college when she propositioned him at a frat party and then proceeded to puke on his shows. They have some embarrassing run-ins afterward, but it isn’t until 10 years after college that they are reunited. Hazel is a lot to handle--she’s loud, a little weird, oftentimes says the wrong thing, and fully embraces those she loves. Hazel is aware that she’s different and not everyone can handle her personality. While she loves her friends wholeheartedly, she keeps romantic love at bay in fear of being hurt. Hazel realizes that Josh’s rigid personality makes them a bad romantic match, so she decides the next best thing is to become his best friend.
“When I meet someone I love, I become an octopus and wind my tentacles around their heart, tighter and tighter until they can’t deny they love me just the same.”
The two friends decide to help one another find love and go on a series of blind double dates. Of course the more and more time they spend together, the more they realize that there is more to their relationship than just friendship.
I was completely entertained while reading this. Hazel’s character was a breath of fresh air and her voice drew me in. I loved her idiosyncrasies and honesty. Josh’s character was a nice contrast to Hazel’s. I loved all of the animals and other quirky little bits added in. While I knew where things were headed the whole time, Hazel’s character kept me invested in reading.
This is a fun, uplifting read that left me smiling. Highly recommend to those looking for something light and happy!