Book Review: The Hating Game (by Sally Thorne )

Book Details

Title: The Hating Game

Author: Sally Thorne

# of pages: 387

Link to Buy:

Author Profile

Sally Thorne is the USA Today bestselling author of the office rom-com The Hating Game (2016). It is her debut novel that has sold in over twenty-five countries and is being made into a major motion picture, to be directed by Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion and The Simpsons Movie director David Mirkin. It was named in the top 20 romance novels of 2016 by the Washington Post and was a top ten finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards romance category. The Hating Game has been cited as a book that has reinvigorated the romantic comedy genre.

Sally’s much anticipated second novel, 99 Percent Mine, was released on 29 January 2019 by William Morrow Books and debuted at #37 on the USA Today Bestseller List.


Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Non Review Rant

The last book I read was “Me Before You” by JoJo Moyes. It was so perfect. I needed to wash it off.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved it. But awake or asleep I only had Will Traynor on my mind. It kinda overwhelmed me.

I googled for “happy ending romance books” and downloaded the one that sounded best. It is this book that I am about to review.

Plot & Review


The book is about Lucinda Hutton and Joshua Templeman, the assistants of the CEOs of Bexley and Gamin Publishing. There is a hate game, as the name suggests. The two second in command do not miss any opportunity to tease, taunt and insult the other one.


What we have is a set of naturally flawed people trying to stay ahead of the rival. The backdrop of the story is publishing, but the general atmosphere is that of any corporate firm – meetings, departments, deadlines, politics, and what not.

The book is told from Lucy’s POV, and boy she talks and thinks a lot and thinks dirty. I lost count of how many times she applies lipstick using the wall as the mirror, because everything on that floor is shiny.

The banter between the lead characters was often funny, and that was the best part. Their bosses were also interesting characters. The story was quite predictable. Anyone can understand where it will finally go, and that Josh has been in love since the time he set his eyes on Lucy, and that his brother is getting married to his ex-girlfriend, that Josh will give up the fight for the position of COO. It is all given, even before it is finally revealed.

I liked the slight twist that Josh brings by announcing that he is joining the rival company.

The book was a quick, chick and predictable read. I would have enjoyed more if there was more banter and less physicality. It served the purpose though. I think I can move on from Will Traynor now. Maybe not, but not haunted as much.

Shabana Mukhtar

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