The trope of haters turned into lovers is not anything new in the realm of romantic comedies. Take classics such as When Harry Met Sally or Pride and Prejudice. Everyone loves a brooding male lead and a spitfire heroine who’s not afraid to stand up for herself. That’s exactly what you find in The Hating Game by Aussie newcomer Sally Thorne, but it’s a refreshing take on a timeless tale.
The novel features Lucy and Josh, colleagues who are vying for the same promotion open to only one victor. It’s a battle of wits, and their constant quick-fire discord lends itself to the humorous dialogue in the novel. A workplace environment is the perfect backdrop for the slow burn of tension between Lucy and Josh. And when the embers burn into flames, the romance between them sizzles.
Thorne captures the transformation of Lucy and Josh’s rivalry in an entertaining way. But what’s most satisfying about this pair is the emergence of a great friendship and the care they show for one another. The sweetness is as romantic as it is funny. Lucy is a truly funny character and her interactions with Josh are laugh out loud entertaining.
Lucy and Josh are characters who grow in this novel, which is what sets Sally Thorne apart as a writer. With each other’s support and help they find their own paths; their individual character development is crucial to the well-rounded plot. The story is more than Lucy and Josh’s romance and it’s good to be able to cheer our protagonists on.