The Hating Game is Sally Thorne’s debut novel and had recently been adapted into a movie. If you’re debating on picking up this book, continue reading for my review. The book was written from Lucy’s perspective and is one of the most well-known contemporary enemies-to-lovers stories floating around the internet/BookTok.

The Hating Game Official Summary

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.”

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The Hating Game Book Review

Overall I enjoyed The Hating Game and would recommend it. I first watched the movie which then inspired me to pick up the book and dive back into the world Sally Thorne created. I found the book easy to read. It was captivating, to the point, yet the story didn’t feel dry. I didn’t want to put it down!

The two complaints I have of the story are that by the end of the book we don’t see what happens next or catch a glimpse. I would have liked one more chapter or an epilogue to make the story feel more complete instead of an abrupt ending.

Second, I didn’t appreciate how many mentions there were of one of the character’s bodies. At one point, character A calls character B out on objectifying. While I enjoyed character B’s boundary and calling character A out on it, I would have preferred to see the lines and pages where the objectifying was happening, instead used to wrap up the ending more.

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Content Warning

There are sexual scenes and innuendos mentioned within the book. If you are not comfortable reading those, this may not be the book for you. While it does not detail intimate scenes like other romance novels, it does mention it and includes that in a small capacity.

Character Development

I enjoyed the progression and evolution of both Lucy and Josh’s characters. The author managed to subtly include big realizations without coming across as preachy or cringeworthy. There were also moments where as a reader I would say “I can’t believe you did that!” which made me feel like the character’s journey was realistic instead of built on perfectionism. I enjoyed watching as the characters were awkward at times. I enjoyed the moments of inner dialogue where Lucy caught herself mid-sentence and then changed what she wanted to say. I appreciated how we saw normal questions, mistakes, and corrections along with apologies played out in a way that didn’t glamorize pain or ignorance.


Overall, this was a great enemies to lovers book because it didn’t play into the dark side or toxicity sometimes associated with this trope. I recommend picking this as a vacation read or as a book to break up what you’re reading now. The Hating Game helped me get out of my reading funk.

Is The Hating Game on your TBR list? Don’t forget to check out the movie adaptation, too!

Buy From: Bookshop | | Kindle | Audible | Paperback | Stream The Movie

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