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Thursday, August 30, 2018

An Adorable Story That Didn't Quite Hit The Mark For Me: Josh And Hazel's Guide To Not Dating by Christina Lauren

JOSH AND HAZEL'S GUIDE TO NOT DATING

by Christina Lauren
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: September 4th
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

I was ready to completely fall for Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating after having three back-to-back hits from Christina Lauren. For some reason, I thought this book would involve fake-dating - it did not. But that's not why I wasn't entirely in love with this book. It had some very charming moments, but it wasn't my favorite from this writing duo.

I was sure while reading the prologue of Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating with a goofy grin that this would be just the perfect book for me. I honestly think it could have been had I warmed up to Hazel sooner. You see, Hazel was what I would call eccentric. She was different from the heroines I'm typically used to and unfortunately, I didn't find her quirkiness to be all that cute. She was a hot mess and sometimes, reading about how messy her whole life was made me so anxious. The girl also had no filter and said the weirdest things to people she had just met, things that I honestly found over the top. It was hard for me to truly care for Hazel in the beginning because she left me scratching my head wondering if people could be this cartoonish in real life. Don't get me wrong, I like a unique and quirky character, but Hazel came across as childish to me. As the story progressed and more of her vulnerabilities came to the surface, my dislike for her did eventually disappear, but I can't say that she was a character that I could relate to. Josh, on the other hand, I had no trouble liking. He was a regular guy who was a genuine sweetheart. He was a little more introverted than Hazel, but he was one of the few people who understood her and found her charming.

Josh and Hazel knew each other in college but never dated. They lost touch after college but fast forward several years and Hazel finds out that her best friend's brother is Josh. She immediately lured him back into her life, forcing him to be her friend. I thought their friendship was sweet and it was fascinating to me how these two characters who had very different personalities clicked so well together. As friends, they go on blind double dates, which quickly turned awkward. As expected, their friendship slowly turned into a romance. It was very cute and I liked them together a lot. I especially liked how well they communicated with each other which meant that this book was relatively drama-free. There was a plot turn towards the end of the book that I didn't particularly care for, but again, Christina Lauren made sure that it wasn't a source of miscommunication or obstacle in Josh and Hazel's relationship. Besides the romance, Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating also had strong themes of friendship and family. I'm not Korean, but I thought Josh's Korean heritage and culture were written with care.

Christina Lauren are fabulous romance writers and even if I wasn't completely gaga over Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating, it's still a book I would recommend to readers looking for a light-hearted and adorable love story between two people who could not be more different from each other. I will be eagerly looking forward to their next release, My Favorite Half-Night Stand.

Are you a fan of Christina Lauren? What are your thoughts on quirky heroines?
Let me know in the comments below!

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