Josh and Hazels Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Contemporary Romance. Standalone.
This summer I seem to hit the reading jackpot. I have loved the last two books I read by Christina Lauren, but Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is totally a new favorite. I love kookie, quirky heroines, and Hazel was all that and more. And I just adored her.
“…he got a goofy chatterbox daughter who wanted to raise chickens, sang Captain and Tennille in the shower, and worked at the pumpkin patch every fall since she was ten because she liked dressing up as a scarecrow.”
Hazel knows she is different. She is just like her mom and marches to the beat of her own drum. She is a perfect “Ms. Frizzle” to her third graders, she’s loud, fun, messy creative and adorable.
“I realize that finding the perfect person isn’t going to be easy for me because I’m a lot to take,” she says, “but I’m not going to change just so that I’m more datable. At the end of the day, being myself is enough. I’m enough.”
The first time she met Josh Im was in college when she threw up on his shoes. She was crushing on her gorgeous TA but all she did was embarrass herself more and more around him. Now it’s years later and she is at her new best friend Emily’s party and it turns out Josh is Emily’s sister. After another embarrassing encounter, Hazel decides she is going to be Josh’s best friend. As much as she has a crush on Josh, she knows she isn’t compatible with the calm, strait-laced, neat Korean man.
“Do you know how many guys like to date the cute wild girl for a few weeks before expecting me to chill a little and become more Regular Girlfriend?”
Because they are friends now, Josh and Hazel decide to set each other up on dates.
“What if I set you up with someone, and you set me up with someone, and we went out together?”
“Seriously. No games, no expectations. Double blind date. Just for a laugh.”
The series of dates was so much fun! You can feel the love between Josh and Hazel start to morph from friendship to maybe something more.
“But was I right?”
She’s breathless, hair wild and face flushed and how has nobody seen how crazy and fucking amazing she is? I decide right there to make sure somebody does. “Yeah, Haze. You were.”
I loved how Josh never tried to change one thing about her. Never tried to tamp down her energy and exuberance. He was like the calm to her storm and these opposites were perfect for each other.
“You’re second only to a unicorn as far as best friends go, Josh Im.”
This may be one of my favorite friends-to-lovers books ever. I loved all of the characters and just picture Emily and her husband watching these two dance around each other from the sidelines. I also loved the family aspect. They both have great moms, and I loved how Christina Lauren wrote about his traditional Korean mom without making a big deal about it.
“I tend to be too chatty, too silly, too exuberant, too random, too eager.” She spreads her hands. “Too Hazel-y.” She is all of these things, but it’s actually why I like her. She’s entirely her own person.
- My cheeks hurt from smiling the whole book.
- Hazel was quirky and fun and so freaking lovable.
- Josh’s close Korean family.
- You really felt the friendship build and the mutual love develop.
- Hazel is just one of those people who is ALWAYS adorably happy.
- She makes no apologies for having 20+ sexual partners.
- She knows exactly who she is and won’t change for anyone.
- Their blind dates just kept getting better.
- Josh was never a man-whore.
- Some good sexy times to balance it all out.
- Awesome epilogue.
- There was a twist right at the end that just seemed so unnecessary and almost didn’t fit in this book, then it was resolved very abruptly.
The Down and Dirty:
Rating: 5 Stars, 4 Heat
Purchase Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of longtime writing partners Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. They are New York Times, USA Today, and #1 international bestselling authors of the Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Sublime, The House, Dating You/Hating You and the critically acclaimed Autoboyography. Roomies (released December 2017), has been optioned for film by Jenna Dewan’s company Everheart Productions, with Christina and Lauren set to write the screenplay.