Thorne, Sally. 2016. The Hating Game. New York, NY: William Morrow Paperbacks.
ISBN 978-0062439598. $14.99 USD.
Reading The Hating Game by Sally Thorne reminded me of some of the Hepburn/Tracy films with their love/hate relationships, snappy dialogue and large city workplace settings, updated for the 21st century (with language and sex, of course)! As Sarah Hudson wrote in a blog post for "Arts and Literature Review Blog," the Hepburn/Spencer “films tended to be about the clash between personal ambition and personal relationships, something that men and women [still] haven’t really been able to reconcile.” This seems true about Thorne's book, as well.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman work for a fictitious publishing company, comprised of two smaller firms that merged. They are each executive assistants to co-CEO’s who despise each other, and Lucy and Josh work in a small office with desks that face each other. The title of the book “The Hating Game” comes from the fact that Lucy and Josh’s interactions are combative and competitive, like a sports match - a bit like tennis, with the verbal volleys being batted back and forth between them. Lucy’s bright clothing, optimistic attitude and quirkiness seem to grate on Josh’s nerves, and his joyless, OCD, passive-aggressive tendencies are driving Lucy insane! They indulge in various other games: “The Staring Game,” where they see who will blink first, and “The Mirror Game,” where they copy each other’s movements, as well as other “games” of one-upmanship.
When Lucy and Josh both are presented an opportunity for the same promotion, things really get tense. But somewhere along the line, Lucy and Josh realize another game is afoot: The Game of Love. Watching these two characters, to whom the author has given well-developed back stories, we are treated to an entertaining romance that sizzles when they finally stop all the games and start embracing their attraction to each other. This is an entertaining and satisfying romance, and the HEA is well-deserved for these “players.”
Geared toward mature audiences.