Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating spoiler-free review // I am Christina Lauren trash

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? 😛

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Books · Reviews

Roomies spoiler-free review // My love for romance books is back

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! Originally, I planned on writing a review of one of my Contemporary-A-Thon books but I changed my mind. My library hold on Roomies by Christina Lauren came off and I just need to talk about it!!!

I’m going to try to keep the structure similar to my last review. Unlike my previous ones, I just finished this book and I want to scream about it! Before I get started, I just have to say I used to love romance books when I was younger. I ate them up but then I got away from them and now, I’m getting back into them.

Taylor Jenkins Reid might have sparked that, but books like Roomies fan the flame. I’m getting a little bit carried away so let’s get back on track.

This is my spoiler-free review of Roomies by Christina Lauren! 


Publisher: Gallery Books // Released: December 2017

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient. 

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a bigtime musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

Before this, I’d only read one of Christina Lauren’s books, Autoboyography. It’s YA and it was good but not great. I think I gave it 3 or 4 stars, not my fave by any means. Going into Roomies, I was understandably a little hesitant.

In comparison to my previous read, Roomies was everything I wanted and more. It was fun. It was relatable. It was sexy and the romance was to die for. Plus I’m always a sucker for a fake dating trope so let’s get into my review.

What I liked about Roomies

Holland: Our main character Holland was incredibly relatable. In a lot of ways, I felt like I related to her too much. She struggled a lot in the novel with finding a job in her field, her crush on Calvin and eventually, her marriage with Calvin. I couldn’t help rooting for her even when she was a bit stubborn.

Calvin: I don’t normally choose the love interest, but he felt more like a second main character to me. At first, seeing him from Holland’s perspective was decent but learning more about him made me love him. He was charming, sweet and so passionate about everything he did. Plus the adorable way they wrote his accent, I’m swooning.

Broadway: As noted by the synopsis, this book focuses on New York City but especially the Broadway scene. I loved everything about that as I’m a huge fan of musicals. The way they wrote the setting felt so vivid to me. It was almost like I was walking on the streets of New York.

Family-focused: Even though romance is the main plot, there’s a lot of sweet family moments. Most notably, it’s between Holland and her two uncles. It was a unique and unusual dynamic but I loved it. I also loved how close Holland was to her brother and their long phone conversations, lol.

Sexy sexy sexy: This book was pretty steamy! I’m always down to read smut and Roomies had the perfect amount for me. It honestly could’ve had a little more and I would’ve been happy, lol. Christina Lauren really knows how to write realistic but still sexy sex scenes (if that makes sense!)

Fake marriage trope done right: I won’t sit here and act like Christina Lauren is the first author to do this. She isn’t but it still felt unique and fresh. Mostly because Calvin is Irish and there’s not really a focus on Irish immigrants, at all. While it was admittedly a little cliche, the plot still felt new and exciting.

What I disliked about Roomies

Lulu: In the book, we’re introduced to Holland’s friend Lulu. This girl is the epitome of a hot mess and it’s so annoying. From a certain point, I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes or cringing at how obnoxious she was. She also wasn’t a very good friend to Holland either.

The lack of communication: For the most part, this book did a great job of demonstrating good communication between Holland and Calvin. As for the times it didn’t, I was ready to rip my hair out. I know Holland’s 25 (my age) and I’m not sure how old Calvin is but they let the little stuff go but let the big issues fester. It was so frustrating to read.

The last 1/4 of the book: This one kind of goes along with my previous point. At a certain point, the book turns one way and it feels like whiplash? It was jarring especially the ending. Honestly, I would’ve loved another chapter or two, maybe even an epilogue to wrap things up.

Honestly, I didn’t give away any spoilers! I think I kept it pretty vague or I used what was written in the synopsis, I hope so. Going into this book, I didn’t plan on loving it this much or even reviewing it but it was a lovely surprise.

I gave Roomies by Christina Lauren a 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Have you read Roomies by Christina Lauren? Are you a fan of romance books? If so, do you have any recommendations for me? I always on the lookout for more romance books 🙂

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