• The Hating Game

  • By: Sally Thorne
  • Narrated by: Katie Schorr
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Now a film starring Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell, globally bestselling author Sally Thorne's hilarious workplace comedy is all about the fine line between love and hate.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman sit across from each other every day...and they hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. 

Lucy can't understand Joshua's joyless, uptight approach to his job and refusal to smile. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy's overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and desire to be liked. Now they're up for the same promotion, and Lucy, usually a determined people pleaser, has had enough: it's time to take him down. 

But as the tension between Lucy and Joshua reaches its boiling point, it's clear that the real battle has only just begun....

This best-selling, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy is an unmissable treat, perfect for fans of Christina Lauren's Unhoneymooners or Emily Henry's Beach Read.

©2016 Sally Thorne (P)2016 Little, Brown Book Group
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

Critic Reviews

"Charming, self-deprecating, quick-witted and funny." (The New York Times)

"The next Sophie Kinsella." (Bustle)

"A smart and funny modern romance." (Good Housekeeping)

What listeners say about The Hating Game

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Sweet, fun and awesome story

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves romance. It was so sweet and delicious to listen/read to. Ack, I want more!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Best book I’ve listened to

The story was not overly filled with sexually explicit narrative rather used storytelling to develop the most lovely, loving relationship between two people.well done. And beautifully told.

1 person found this helpful

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Simple Amazing!

I had read this book before but needed to revisit and fall into Lucy and Josh’s world again. Listening while reading has been my new favorite thing to do and to finish off 2018 when this gem was priceless.

The story is one of the best slow burns I have read.
The narrator captures Lucy’s persona brilliantly.
The only thing better would have been if Josh had is own voice, but it won’t make me rate it any less.

If you have heard the hype on this one, and you love your romance to be authentic, grab this one.

1 person found this helpful

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Average narrator

The narrator was extremely annoying, it sounded like she was swallowing every time she got through a sentence. Love the book, dislike the narrator

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I loved it

Honestly I loved it especially when Lucy stood up for josh it was literally so awesome.

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I want more.

I thoroughly enjoyed it because I like romance. If you like something like 50 Shades (I haven't read the books but I saw the movies) you will like this I think but it's just a love story of co-workers. I want another similar kind of story like this one.

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Me gustó

Un libro bastante tierno. Una historia simpática. Una narrativa ligera y placentera para quienes somos románticos.

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Definition of Perfection

the narrator could have been better but I loved this book. it was so detailed I felt like I was there

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-06-19

So incredibly cheesy I almost enjoyed it

I've never read/listened to anything like this before. I desperately needed something light after the ordeal that was A Place of Greater Safety, but this was massively too far the other way!

Without a shadow of a doubt this is the most predictable, cheesy, contrived and cliched book I have ever read/listened to, by miles.

I was in actual physical pain for much of it. However, for the last hour or so it got so cheesy I actually started taking a perverse pleasure in it!

In spite of the above, for some reason I just couldn't turn it off. Part of that was masochism I think. Part of it though was that I thought surely there has to be a clever twist at some point, but there wasn't even a hint of one, totally predictable throughout!

On a more serious note I did find the book really shallow. In particular I thought the obsession with looks and appearances was pretty unenlightened.

More than anything I just felt like I was listening to someone's sexual fantasy, which is fine I guess if that's what you are looking for, but I was hoping there would be more to it than that.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Dani Reviews Things / Love in a time of Feminism
  • 04-01-18

This may have ruined hate-to-love romances for me!

I AM IN A PUDDLE OF FEELINGS. GAAAAH.

I finished this book days ago, and I still can't deal with the fact that it's over. I both regret and don't regret the binge-reading (finished in less than 24 hours...mid-work week). I'm just glad I have this in both audio and Kindle format so that I can read/listen again and again whenever I want because THIS WAS TOO GOOD. (The audio is done really well, FYI.)

I love love love hate-to-love romances, and this one is done so well and so uniquely. We've got forced proximity on a daily basis, glorious banter, and oodles of sexual tension. OODLES.

If you follow me on Twitter or have read other reviews by me, you might know that I am not a fan of the short and petite heroine thing. Not every damn heroine needs to be a tiny redhead. So I wasn't impressed at first when, lo and behold, Lucy is only five feet tall. Pair that with Josh, who is over six-foot. Authors tend to write these stereotypical pairings without thinking of the logistics; if you take a moment to think about it, making out with a height different of over a foot is going to be uncomfortable at best, and possibly even quite painful. BUT NOT SALLY THORNE. Sally actually thought this one through and acknowledged the difficulties. Lucy has to climb at times, Josh has to bend down or pick her up (to put her against a wall!!!!!!!), there's a lot of "I think you're too big for me"... Thank you so much, dear sweet Sally, for not just ignoring real world problems. (P.S. I want Anna Kendrick in this role right now.)

Lucy was a great character in general. The whole story is narrated from her point of view, and I really felt like she was real. She was hilarious, but also snarky and unsure and flawed. She knew and liked who she was, but she also struggled with self-doubt at times. It drove her absolutely mad that she could get on with everyone except Josh. But, like I'm sure a lot of people can relate with, her desire to be liked by others often meant she was taken advantage of. By everyone...except Josh. Oh, Josh, you were clearly what Lucy needed.

I would have found Josh annoying, too. He's very clearly a Smart Guy, but also sooooo serious. Unlike Lucy, he doesn't try to make friends with everyone, and the reason for his standoffishness is revealed later. What was refreshing was that he was Ridiculously Good-Looking, but he hated being objectified. When Lucy remarked on his looks, it put him on edge. I'm not used to seeing that, especially from a hero. He could be quite direct, but Josh showed he cared when it counted. I especially loved a part in the middle where he had to take care of Lucy; there were so many wonderful and funny moments in that, as well as a few that showed a deeper side to him.

Yes, I loved just about everything about this book, but I really loved was how we didn't have to wait until the very end for things to sizzle. Sally introduces the physical fun relatively early on through some super sexy make-out sessions. The sexual tension runs constantly as the two stare at each other across their desks, and, being an office romance, there are of course moments when the tension gets to be too much and a few not-so-original hiding places are utilised. That being said, it never gets too explicit. And really, their banter is hot enough as it is.

Full disclosure: there is a bit of a love triangle in this. Josh doesn't consider himself a "nice guy". In fact, he's a bit bitter about the whole nice guy thing. And Lucy is a nice girl, at least outwardly (she has a bit more spunk on the inside...hahahahaha). She wants a nice guy, and she tries to be interested in a nice guy, but the niceness cannot compare to the intensity of her "hatred" for Josh. He even encourages her to try it with the nice guy, dares her to be with him, in fact. This was maybe the only time I felt a bit off about the book.

The style of writing and voice were very witty and well-paced in general. Time was shown to pass without unnecessary fillers and enough drop-ins to scenes here and there that truly added to the story and the development of feelings. Honestly, that's one of my biggest issues when reading: unnecessary fillers or there not being enough time for feelings to really develop. But no, these two have worked together for a few years, and the book covers a few months, so I could 100% believe the eventual love between them.

There's a reason I finished this within 24 hours, despite having to work/sleep/etc. It was just so damn good. I'm genuinely worried that it's ruined other hate-to-love books for me for a while, as I've never read a hate-to-love done this well, and I've read quite a few great ones! I will admit that while I'm eager to see what Sally writes next, I'm a little bit nervous that it won't live up to the greatness of The Hating Game!

9 people found this helpful

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  • S J
  • 11-06-20

Abusive not romantic

I've never wrote a bad review before because books are subjective, but this made me feel embarrassed and ashamed to listen to it.
I understand that in hate to love romances we need to start off thinking that the man is a jerk and then discover it was a misunderstanding, but this took the bad boy thing too far.
She's repeatedly physically scared of him yet continues to follow his controlling commands. After intimidating her he actually says 'I love how small you are' which left me very uncomfortable.
The author even makes a joke that she the main character must have Stockholm syndrome, which is the only expiation for this behaviour.
I love romance, but a controlling relationship passed off as romance is very unsettling.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-08-21

Porn

just boring lady porn, no plot no character development. Questionable use of people for just their bodies?

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Christina Schneider
  • 04-30-20

shallow and stupid

who reads this stuff? no story whatsoever, pretty lady falls for controlling, abusive guy - rubbish!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Beth Chown
  • 09-08-19

ALL MY LOVE!

Holy hell. This book is everything I didn't know I needed in life. Totally predictable in places, in the BEST way possible. The plot, the characters, the narration, everything was perfection. I went on an emotional rollercoster throughout this novel and I was Truly invested in Luce and Josh from the off and their journey. Well worth a read, or a listen!

3 people found this helpful

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  • miss a khan
  • 08-16-21

Should come with a caveat 'trashy romance'

For anyone out there who thinks this book has any thing to do with real life or 'true love', you are sadly mistaken. Applying the ideologies in this book to real life romance would be like trying to shine a mirror by spraying it with raw egg. A few words of caution:
- if you are 5 foot tall, eating ice-cream, cake and cheese will result in excessive weight gain, not a 6 foot 4' hunk lusting after you
- the person you love, becomes the most beautiful / attractive person to you until you have to pick up their dirty socks/pants off the floor, everyday, because they can't be bothered to
- deep, real, true love transcends all boundaries; they say love is blind - it really is; it is not limited to those with a six pack and piercing blue eyes
- the happiness love brings lies in your ability to give, not receive; Lucy could have tried to understand the power dynamics that caused a rift between Josh and his dad, she could have empowered Josh to stand up to his dad rather then hi-jacking the situation
- shouting at your partner's parents and humiliating them in front of family will NEVER get you applause; you will be labeled 'a pycho to be avoided at all cost'.

The excellent reviews for this book are misleading. I couldn't actually finish the book but there were some humerous bits I enjoyed. Josh's character was very cliche and Lucy is really hard to like, the words 'white privilege' come to mind when I think of her.

Hope my future searches for romance don't lead to completely predictable books like these, where the same Mills and Boons story is repeated for the billionth time!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mandy
  • 09-07-19

Loved this book

Couldn't stop listening, great story well narrated. Lots of laugh out loud moments and I was hooked to know what would happen next

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah Marshall
  • 08-15-19

Funny, lovable story

Really enjoyed this read. Have to admit took me a little while to get into the writing style that at first I found slightly annoying, but didn't take me long to get my head around it and loved it!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-07-19

great book

love it. The story is well written and characters well developed. Read it u will not regret

2 people found this helpful

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  • xelfi
  • 05-22-18

You make me smile! Thank you so much

I’ve listened to this book twice, smiling to myself as I walk to work. It makes my world full with smiles and happiness as I listen on how Lucy and Joshua talk to each other. It’s sooo cute!!!!! My eyes are now heart shape and I’m filled with warm happy feels. Please moreeeeeeee!! *fan gurl sqeeel*

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-15-21

Don't overthink it!

It follows all the rules, predictable in the right way. It ended a little abruptly and could have followed through with, and answered a major plot point driving the context of the narrative. otherwise, enjoyable fluff needed after work.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-13-20

My heart💓💓💓

Wow, I’ve Devoured hundreds of romantic novels, but this one is a standout.
My body is tingling with so much emotion; love, laughter, sadness, happiness and the most delicious butterflies in my stomach. The Quirky Zany and absolutely adorable female lead is an pure delight, I was hanging on her every action.
I truly loved this book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-21-18

saucy and engaging

VERY well written and read. I don't think I rolled my eyes at all :)

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-15-21

A classic rom com set up, easy listen

Is it a groundbreaking, unique plot? No. Is it an easy listen with an nice, predictable ending? Yes.
The only thing that bothered me was the author's repeated return to weight, calories, "fat", diet, eating, etc. I really don't know what the author's fixation on fat is about, but it occassionally makes the read weirdly uncomfortable. Other than that - a fun listen. As a side note: the narrator uses the same voice for male and female characters (not deeper/more masculine for the male character)

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jules
  • 03-13-21

Pretty good

Sometimes a bit hard to tell what is verbal and what is thoughts. But a good fluffy book to help you sleep

2 people found this helpful

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  • Laura Pearce
  • 06-17-20

Loved this!

Funny, witty. Actually truly laughed out loud. Finished it in a flash. Wasn’t a bit bored. Loved the characters. Will be reading more of Sally Thorne.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-17-20

Thoroughly enjoyed!

Really enjoyed this book overall! It was cute and very steamy!
At times the main characters were a bit immature though. Also I don’t love the theme that a boy shows he likes a girl by teasing and being quite mean to her, it’s not a good message to women and quite old school thinking. I would recommend to anyone who likes chick-lit/rom coms with happy endings.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-26-20

So much love

I binge-listened to this book in a day! Absolutely adorable, and one of those books that make me feel so warm inside!! Definitely recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-19

So good

This is the best enemies to love romance I’ve ready /listened too .

It’s funny and heartwarming, it’s so well written and the characters unfold so well you fall in love too

Ant wait for Sally Thorns next book

2 people found this helpful