by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books on September 4, 2018
Format: ARC, Ebook
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I received an advance copy of this book from Edelweiss.
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?
Can you believe that this is my first Christina Lauren book ever? I’ve had them on my TBR literally for years and even had the pleasure of meeting them at Apollycon 2018 (they’re lovely!). But this is my first read by them. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is a fun, super cute love story. It took a turn for me at the end, which is why it’s a 4-star read for me, but overall I enjoyed it.
Elementary school teacher Hazel Bradford is a force of nature. Most would describe her as eccentric, quirky, and a little too much. Hazel’s friends love her for the wild yet wonderful person she is.
Physical therapist Josh Im is steady, reserved, and reliable. In other words, the complete opposite of Hazel. When Hazel and Josh first meet in college, she promptly throws up on his shoes (it’s a long story). When they meet again years later, Hazel declares that they’re meant to be BFFs. Josh remains unconvinced—at least at first, but Hazel soon wins him over.
Much of the book is the establishment of Josh and Hazel’s friendship while arranging blind dates for the other person. They proceed to go on a series of double blind dates—some more disastrous than others. And through it all, Josh and Hazel begin to realize how perfect for each other they actually are.
I LOVED the book up until almost the end! The story takes a twist and there’s a huge surprise I wasn’t expecting. I don’t want to spoil the story, but it’s something I felt was unnecessary because the book was nearly perfect up until that point.
Also, I waffled back and forth, trying to decide if Hazel annoyed me or not. She’s ~quirky~ and I almost never like that type of character in books because it always seems like a caricature. In addition, I definitely got strong Manic Pixie Dream Girl vibes from her. Ultimately, I warmed up to Hazel, but certainly had moments where she got on my nerves a bit.
In the end, I did enjoy the book. It’s a fun read and the majority is lighthearted while exploring what happens when friends become lovers. The writing style really appealed to me, so I’ll definitely be picking up more books by Christina Lauren in the future.
Rating: 4 stars