Hello friends and fellow book lovers! I’m finally coming at you with a review and is anyone shocked that I picked this book to review? Probably not because I am complete and utter trash for Christina Lauren. I am currently reading most of their backlist and Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is my latest venture into their work.
I need to stop or I’ll start my review now because I have some thoughts! Normally my intro would be longer but I just finished this book and my head is full of so many emotions. If you’ve read this book, then you know but if you haven’t, no worries because this is spoiler-free.
This is my spoiler-free review of Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren!
Publisher: Gallery Books // Released: September 2018
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?
As previously mentioned, I am trash for Christina Lauren. I’ve read 8 of their books now and I can honestly say, I’ve enjoyed almost all of them. There’s just something about their writing style and how they write relationships that I love.
That being said, I had a lot of positive and a few negative thoughts about Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. Let’s talk about what I liked first 🙂
What I liked about Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
Josh and Hazel: Ok this might be a little obvious, but I loved our two MCs. Hazel was unlike any character I’ve ever encountered. Some have described her as Jess from New Girl and I completely agree with that. She’s quirky and adorable but never puts on a show which I loved. She’s just Hazel and we love her because of it.
As for Josh, he’s basically the exact opposite of Hazel. A serious, stone-faced man but with a secret soft and silly side. He reminds me a lot of Michael from The Kiss Quotient and he’s also Korean American which is rarely featured in romance.
Friendship at the forefront: The novel follows Josh and Hazel’s friendship which I loved. It’s so rare to see platonic friendship portrayed accurately. They truly were best friends and it was glorious. I also loved Hazel’s friendship with Emily.
Teaching: This might sound like a weird thing to like, but Hazel is an elementary school teacher and I loved seeing how passionate she was. My mom is a teacher and it reminded me a lot of her. You could tell how much Hazel loved her students and it was just so precious.
The romance: I don’t want to give anything away but the romance was so cute! It’s one of those moments where you’re screaming about something to happen and then it does and it feels like fireworks are going off in your head. I can’t even form complete sentences, that’s how much emotion I’m feeling.
Sexy sexy sexy: Of course, I’d be remiss not to mention the smut. This book did feature some smut, not a lot but some. I thought it was done really well and didn’t feel out of place or overboard. It reminded me of the smut in Roomies which is understandable.
What I didn’t like about Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
The plot-twist: On booktube, everyone’s been mentioning this huge plot twist and either you love it or you hate it. I hated it and thought it made no sense. I just don’t understand why they decided on that plotline.
The length: The other issue I had was the length of the book. I wish it had been a tad bit longer and the plot twist was fleshed out more. I think so much more could have happened or been changed if there was maybe 50 more pages. I just wanted a little more development instead of going straight to the epilogue.
Usually, I’d feature 3 things but I don’t want to feature spoilers. Going into this book, I was expecting to fall in love with it and I didn’t. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it but it just didn’t live up to the hype for me. I’m so happy I saved it until now to read and that Malanie was the one who recommended it to me!!!! ❤
I gave Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating 4 out of 5 stars.
Have you read Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating? What did you think of it? Am I the only one who pictured her having Kristen Schaal’s voice? 😛