Monday, September 10, 2018

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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?
“And as someone you would never date, but who will soon be your best friend, I can say with no ulterior motive that I don’t like that you’re in a relationship with a potentially treasonous skank.”
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating wasn't what I was expecting, but it was everything I wanted. I was a little hesitant about Hazel at first, because I disliked how often she declared herself "undatable". However, I was happy to see that she was super confident, loved herself, and had no desire to be something she wasn't. She was eccentric, and it was beautiful. I'm also glad she was able to surround herself with people that loved her and didn't expect her to change.

I love that she had so many pets! Hazel is a girl after my own heart! I adored the names she gave them and think Christina and Lauren are lovely geniuses. Winnie the Poodle -- golden. I've never wanted a poodle before reading this book, and now I have a strong desire to adopt one and give it the same name.

Hazel had the best humor, and I really enjoyed her outside-the-box way of thinking and living. She inhaled life with every breath and didn't take anything for granted. "And two, I think there’s something about the eight-year-old brain that just resonates with me on a spiritual level."

Josh Im is perfection. He's quiet and thoughtful, but never judgmental. He has always accepted Hazel for who she is, even when she was vomiting all over his shoes, or feeding him barely-edible food. He actually listened when she spoke, and he appreciated her way of living life. I adored the two of them as friends, and liked watching their relationship grow. He was wary at first, but unable to resist Hazel's charms and her lovely personality. She declared herself his (sometimes inappropriate) best friend, and the two really hit it off. 

I read this book in less than twenty-four hours, if that tells you anything. I enjoyed the setting, the story, the characters -- all of it. They went on a couple of double dates, which were fun to watch, but I kept waiting for them to realize the other two people didn't matter. They were so focused on not admitting their feelings (unsure if the other person felt the same, and not wanting to alter their friendship), that they missed out on a lot of moments together. I just kept waiting for everything to click into place for both of them, and I think in the end it was done in the best possible way.

The epilogue might be my favorite part...

34 comments:

  1. I absolutely adored this book, it just might be my favorite from them yet! So glad you liked it as well!

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    1. I've only read this one and Autoboyography, but I definitely want to read their other books! I think I'll grab Roomies next. :)

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  2. Yes loved this one!The epilogue was great!!!

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    1. I feel like the epilogue really solidified my love for this book! It was just... perfect.

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  3. I was going to try this one on audio but it wasn't available yet at my library but maybe I'll just do the e-book.

    I'm totally in the mood for this type of read.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I think our moods are synched right now! I downloaded the audio version of Roomies from my library and cannot wait to jump in! Have you read it?

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  4. Ooh, sounds like one good epilogue! I'm so curious about this one. I think I'd fall in love with the characters too.

    -lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I hope you're able to read it soon! It was such a lovely book with wonderful characters!

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  5. This is the second glowing review I’ve seen for this one. Looks like I better check it out.

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    1. I'm currently obsessed with Christina Lauren books! They know how to write funny romance. <3

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  6. Seriously though, Josh <-- *heart eyes*
    My heart broke every time Hazel declared herself too "Hazel", but remember, she had that damage done by her father and the men she dated in the past. She just needed someone awesome to come along and appreciate her special kind of zany, which apparently the Im family did.

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    1. I adore Josh and his family (and Dave)! I know Hazel loved having his mom around (at the end), because the cooking... mmm. I wish we had seen her interact with Josh's father, since he said Tabitha never made an attempt. Also, Tabby and Darby?? UGH.

      I remember her father was a jerk, and that her past relationships had been crummy, but josh never treated her like she was crazy. Yes, in college he thought it was a phase, but he never faulted her for it. He didn't want her to change once he learned that was just her personality. I know she wasn't in his head like we were, so it was a huge risk -- she didn't want to lose his friendship. I'm so happy the Im family was around!

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  7. EEEP THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD! I am all for confident heroines, especially ones with a great sense of humor. And I need to meet Josh--we don't get a lot of those sweet, thoughtful, and genuine heroes in literature anymore!

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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    1. I can totally see you loving this one, Aimee! I hope you have chance to read it soon, because THIS BOOK. It wasn't just Josh (definitely a genuine hero), but his family, Hazel, and their sweet friendship. They didn't play games either, which was nice, but they always thought they weren't right for the other person. Hazel thought she was too crazy for Josh, and Josh thought she needed someone else --- argh. They had a lot to figure out, and it was so fun watching them do it!

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  8. This looks like a lot of fun, and I love that quote. :)

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    1. It was one of many! I had a really hard time choosing one to highlight over the others (I even squeezed another one into my review, lol). Hazel is just so... quotable? You never know what's going to pop out her mouth. She seriously responds on instinct and doesn't think about what words her mouth is making.

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  9. This sounds absolutely gorgeous, such a feel great read Linds! I love quirky, break the mould type characters and Hazel sounds like a cracker! Her love of animals, lack of filter and how spontaneous she is, gosh I could fall in love with her as well. I need a copy of this one as soon as possible. Just added it to my Goodreads. Brilliant review Linds and so glad you loved it ♡♡♡

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    1. She's definitely different -- but in the best possible ways! She knows she doesn't want to change for anyone, and she hopes that one day someone will love her without feeling embarrassed or annoyed by her actions. Josh has been that guy from the beginning, but it takes them a bit to figure it out. I loved watching their friendship grow into something more. I can't believe you've never read anything by Christina Lauren! I think you'd enjoy Autoboyography. <3

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  10. Oh this sounds good! This is definitely going on the to read list!

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    1. Yay! I hope you have a chance to read it soon, and let me know what you think when you do!

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  11. Aww this sounds really cute! I have heard some good things, so I definitely am glad you enjoyed it. I feel like... like I understand Hazel on a spiritual level? So I really ought to check this one out! Fabulous review!

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    1. Hah! I'm not nearly as confident as Hazel, but I loved her personality and how she chose to perceive the world. She adored her pets (and gave them awesome names), loved her mother, was a solid and dependable friend, and just wanted to be accepted for who she was. It was so good, Shannon! :)

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  12. I recently picked this up and looking forward to reading it. I do enjoy reading from the duo, Christina Lauren. Great review. :)

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    1. Which of their other books have you read? I've only read this one and Autoboyography, but they were both really great! I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did! :)

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    2. I've read Love and Other Words, Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, I thought all where really good. I also have Roomies, which I haven't read yet. Enjoy your day.

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    3. I'm thinking about reading Roomies next! Let me know how it is!

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  13. I feel like all my friends are reading this - just requested it at the library!
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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    1. Oooh! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!! It's easily one of my favorites this year! <3

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  14. One of these days I'm going to read a Christina Lauren book---they seem like perfect reads to help you out of a slump!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I've really enjoyed the two I've read -- Autoboyogpraphy and Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating. I know they've written a ton of other books, so I hope I'm able to get to those eventually. <3

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  15. I passed on getting a copy of this because I had so many books to review already, so maybe I'll request it from the library as an audio book. Sounds like a sweet romance.

    This was my second time around with Silver Silence, because I loved those Bears, too! I want my own Alpha Teddy Bear! I listened to the audio this time around and it was just as good as the first time reading. :)

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    1. I know the feeling! I haven't requested anything in ages! I try to avoid NetGalley unless I'm posting a review. I promised myself I wouldn't ask for anything else until my percentage went back up. You should totally request this one from your library -- adorable romance! Hazel is unlike any other character I've read about, and her voice was so refreshing.

      Did you read Ocean Light, too? I haven't read it yet, but I'm on a wait list at my library. I love that you're reading Silver Silence for a second time, and I'm even happier that the audio is good. I read a physical copy the first round, but I think I can squeeze in an audio re-read soon. Valentin is just... everything. <3

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