The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Find the author: Twitter, Facebook
Also by this author: 99 Percent Mine
Publication date: August 9th 2016
Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.
Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.
Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.
The Hating Game is on my favorites for this year. I read it in one day, one sitting, and I was utterly obsessed 20 percent in. Lucy and Josh work in an office together, and thanks to a merger, they have to sit across from each other and compete for the same job. As a result, the competition and hatred is at an all-time high. They throw witty, dark insults at each other while both being great at their jobs. Things change when Lucy discovers that maybe the hate is not so hatey after all.
Lucy and Josh’s banter is sexy and dark and the games they play…*fans self*. You guys, these two are CHAMPIONS at not showing their true feelings. It’s a true battle of minds and wits. At first I wasn’t even sure I was on board because they are SO mean. But then things change. Sally Thorne really pushes the slow-burn in this novel, giving us pages of banter, flirting, and incredible mining of two psyches. It’s intoxicating.
Yes, Lucy is pretty naive. Yes, Josh is socially awkward. The characters are weirdos, but by the end of the book, they were MY weirdos, you know? I finished this book feeling like my heart had expanded two sizes, and with that incredible, satisfied feeling…that quickly turned into a desperate need for a reread. I had to indulge that whim only a week after finishing.
Yeah, that’s right, guys, I read The Hating Game two times in three weeks. AND I bought a hardcover copy.
If I have one qualm, it’s that occasionally, I found it hard to tell who was talking. The author has a very strange way of tagging the characters, and sometimes the dialogue was confusing – especially when they are banter-y. That said, the slow-burn is so great in this and the characters so strong, funny, and just REAL, that I basically forgave everything.
Please note that The Hating Game does have some steamy, graphic love scenes that may burn up your ereader/hand/other parts.
Guys, if you haven’t already put this on your holiday wishlist, I implore you to do so. Please read this adorable, frustrating, smart, and character-driven book immediately. And then come back and gush with me.*****Scrappy Little Nobody
Author: Anna Kendrick
Find the author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication date: November 15th 2016
Source: Purchased from Audible.com
A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.
Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”
At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.
With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”
Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).
Such a fun read! Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick’s debut novel reads just like a longer version of her tweets: funny, raunchy & pulls-no-punches honest. This collection of essays is sort of chronological, detailing Kendrick’s early life and interest in acting, how her tiny stature defines her life, and more. The always sarcastic, super-ambitious Anna is candid in her opinions about the weirdness of being a star among other stars and the strangeness of paparazzi. And yeah, she gives you her full opinion on Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza, and more, which I LOVED.
This is probably one of the funniest books I’ve read this year; Anna is straight-up weird, but in a relateable way. She’s definitely a person you would want to be friends with because damn, hanging out with her watching Netflix sounds like the best thing ever. I snort-laughed several times in public places while listening to this book.
As far as performance is concerned, Anna rocked this audiobook. This is definitely a case where you need to hear her narrating because no one can say these things like she does. I appreciated that she didn’t really dispense that much advice or wisdom – but instead, she kind of gave examples of what has worked and hasn’t worked for her, and let us draw our own conclusions. I also appreciated that she is a fierce feminist with a lot of opinions that she gives very freely.
Overall, this is one of the most enjoyable audiobooks I’ve read. Scrappy Little Nobody would make a fantastic holiday gift for anyone who enjoys Anna Kendrick’s work, or anyone who loves humour.*****Aimee and the Heartthrob
Author: Ophelia London
Find the author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Publication date: April 14th 2015
Source: Series purchased from Amazon.com
"Fun, sweet, and so, so HOT! This is my teenage dream come true!" -Rachel Harris, New York Times Bestselling author of The Fine Art of Pretending
Miles Carlisle is every teen girl’s fantasy. His rugged good looks and exotic British accent have helped catapult his boy band, Seconds to Juliet, to super-stardom. But after two disastrous and very public breakups, Miles isn’t interested in dating just any girl; he wants The One. And the only girl he’s interested in is not only his best friend’s little sister—and off-limits—but won’t even give him the time of day...
As a kid, Aimee Bingham had a huge thing for Miles...until he made fun of her for always tagging along. Now that she’s outgrown both him and her pigtails, the prospect of spending two weeks on tour with the childhood crush who broke her heart isn’t exactly enticing. Except now Miles seems interested. Very interested. And no matter how hard Aimee tries to resist him, her crush is definitely making a comeback.
But everyone knows that falling for a heartthrob is a backstage pass to heartbreak...
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains references to drug use, drinking, some sexual content, and lots and lots of kissing. Its swoonworthy hero may ruin all others for you.
Each book in the Backstage Pass Series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order. Series Order:Book #1 - Aimee and the HeartthrobBook #2 - Mia and the Bad BoyBook #3 - Daisy and the Front ManBook #4 - Anya and the Shy GuyBook #5 - Abby and the Cute One
I bought Aimee and the Heartthrob as part of a sale on the entire Backstage Pass series from Entangled Teen (99 cents for all five books!). Each book of the series features a different member of a boy band. I was really into Backstreet Boys back when I was a teen, so the whole thing resonated for me.
Aimee and the Heartthrob is exactly the kind of book that Teen Me would have loved – full of angst, quick love, and a boy band member falling for a normal. It reminds me of the Love Stories series that was popular when I was a teenager: paperback juveniles all about the romance. So I get why people like this book: it’s fast, cute and dramatic, with the kind of fairy tale romance that I dreamed of as a teen.
The problem is, I’m not a teen anymore, and Adult Me was cringing most of the way through this book. The characters were archetypes who had weak development (did anything happen where Aimee wasn’t whining or Miles wasn’t brooding? And the brother!), and the book was SO immature. When words (and spellings) like “dafuq” “pix” and “OMFG#%*^&” show up, I pretty much want to vomit. The uneven writing didn’t stop there, either: Miles is British, so his slang felt right, but sometimes the other (American) characters would have weird moments where they used British slang as well.
The whole thing read like fanfiction, which I guess is part of the story and voice of Aimee. Honestly, though, it just made me wonder what I was reading. There were a lot of moments when I felt like Aimee and Miles were super young teens (the way they talked read so young). Then the steamy moments would come in and I would think I was reading a New Adult novel. Total whiplash. There were also moments when I was told that so-and-so was a great person, but I didn’t really SEE it. In fact, most of the characters spent a lot of time lying and not communicating.
I honestly feel like Aimee and the Heartthrob could have been a lot better with a hard edit; the concept is compelling and the swoony moments are good. But hey, it’s a steamy, fast romance that teens will probably eat up. If you’re an adult, though, don’t expect anything other than mind-numbing fluff.
Have you read The Hating Game, Scrappy Little Nobody, or Aimee and the Heartthrob? Are you into celebrity memoirs? How about really romance-y fiction? Boy bands? Let me know in the comments!