Book Gush: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

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? 

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I’ve been looking forward to reading more Christina Lauren since I read The Unhoneymooners last year (gush here!). I also had a milestone birthday in June, and celebrated it here, here, and here–and with a book haul that included no fewer than THREE Christina Lauren books! Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating was the first I read, because I could not help myself after starting the Kindle sample–and I kept that feeling right to the very last page.

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N.B: this is not intended as a fair or balanced review, but a totally biased and unabashedly enthusiastic squeal on all the things I loved about the book. This is pure, unrestrained fangirling! 

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❗️Mild spoilers ahead!❗️

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❤️THINGS I LOVED❤️
❤️ I had such a giggle with Hazel, all throughout. I laughed at her word vomit, at her delight with her pets and jobs, at her strange mix of crude sweetness–I know this book is a few years old now, and the ~quirky girl~ has fallen out of fashion in Romance, but Hazel sure made me miss it.
❤️ From the first page, I believed in Josh and Hazel. Will-they-won’t-they romances are an annoying waste of my time–of course they will, or what’s the effing point?–so I like to know from the get go that it’s only a slow burn matter of time. I felt that from the start with these two–they were adorable and every shade a perfect match from their first interaction, and that made it so much more enjoyable to read. (Also the dual POV. Dual POV always helps.)
❤️ I also love that neither Josh nor Hazel changed for each other–and that Josh came to think of Hazel every bit the ‘blueprint for perfect’ as Hazel had always thought he was.

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💖THE THING I LOVED BEST💖
💖 Here’s my favourite thing in a book I already adored: the repetition of Hazel not changing for any potential boyfriend. She constantly stated her refusal to become a ‘tame girlfriend’ for men who were embarrassed when her quirks turned out to be her personality, not some Manic Pixie Dream Girl phase–and I loved that.

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🌟THE HIGHLIGHTS🌟
🌟Favourite character: I genuinely cannot decide between Hazel and Josh. Can’t do it.
🌟Favourite quote: “Delight fills me like sunshine.” What an amazing way of putting it.
🌟Favourite moment: Josh and his cheesy hat, and mad dancing Hazel, at the least likely music festival in the world.

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This book is:
A standalone🔶Part of a duology🔶Part of a trilogy🔶Part of a series

It’s also:
Action-packed🔶Charming🔶Clever🔶Comforting🔶Creepy🔶Dark🔶Emotional🔶Funny🔶Gripping🔶Haunting🔶Heartbreaking🔶Intense🔶Mysterious🔶Powerful🔶Quirky🔶Romantic🔶Sad🔶Scary🔶Sweet🔶Tear-jerking🔶Tense🔶Touching🔶Twisted🔶Violent🔶Witty

It’s:
Middle Grade🔶YA🔶Adult

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