Book Title: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
Author: Christina Lauren
Genres: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Fiction
Pub Date: 9/4/18
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?
“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.