Title: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: September 2018
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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
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?"
My Two Cents:
"Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating" is an adorable friends-to-lovers story from the writing duo behind Christina Lauren (which are becoming some of my favorite books when I'm looking for a good romance that will leave me sighing happily). Josh and Hazel have been friends for a long time but they have never dated, it seems totally unthinkable that they would even consider it. Can really good friends ever make it as more-than-just-friends?
With as rough as 2020 was on my reading, one genre that I had considerable success with getting into was romance. With everything going on in the world, the happy endings that romances have brought me considerable joy in a year that made it so hard to focus on reading and Christina Lauren books are some of my favorites!
Hazel is a joy! She is an inexhaustible elementary school teacher with a bunch of pets (which this animal lover really liked). Josh is much more serious and while he loves Hazel, he doesn't quite get all of her chaos but he knows it comes with the territory and eventually he's more than happy to be entangled by Hurricane Hazel. I love all of the little touches that the author adds to the characters so that readers fall for them as well!
Like so many characters from other Christina Lauren books, Josh and Hazel both feel really real. The chemistry between them is palpable and even if it isn't surprising where they eventually get to with their relationship, you are cheering so hard for them the entire way. I also really loved how the authors capture such great banter between both of them: they are friends for a reason and that is clear in the way they tease each other and keep each other on their toes.
This book was a perfect pick for chasing away some of the 2020 blues!