BOOK REVIEW: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

BOOK REVIEW: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina LaurenJosh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
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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?

The way Emily describes it: when I meet someone I love, I become an octopus and wind my tentacles around their heart, tighter and tighter until they can’t deny they love me just the same.

AHHHHHH I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. Seriously by now I have come to the conclusion that these two literally cannot write a book that I will not like. They just keep getting better and better and at this very moment I can’t decide which one is my favorite between this and Love and Other Words. Either way it doesn’t really matter. You really should go out and read every single one of their books because I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

But at the end of the day,” she says, and puts her hand outside the open window, letting the wind pass through her fingers, “being myself is enough. I’m enough.”

I think I’ve actually figured out why I love their books so much, too. It’s because no matter how different and diverse the characters are, you will ALWAYS be able to find something relatable in each book. In this book is was a few little things. The first is that Hazel has a dog named Winnie that she treats like her baby. I ALSO have a dog named Winnie who is my first baby and I love her with all of my soul, lol. It just made me happy to see that someone else (even a fictional character) loves their Winnie as much as I love mine. The second thing is how Hazel knew and accepted that she could be a lot to handle, and also knew that she was never going to settle with being with someone who couldn’t handle that, or would want to change her. Now, I’m much more of an introvert but my ~thing~ or ~quirk~ is that I am obsessed with reading. Duh. I know most of you can related but seriously, if I find a book (especially a series) with a story and characters that I love, I go all in. I follow the author on every social media platform possible. I endlessly scroll GR, Twitter, and Tumblr trying to find related posts. I talk about them…A LOT. In previous relationships my boyfriend’s basically just didn’t care. I get that a lot of people just don’t like to read but they wouldn’t even really listen to me blabber on about my fandoms. My husband though has always been a different story. He may technically not care about the books either, but he cares about my interests. He cares that I care so deeply about these books and these characters and he listens to me when I just have to tell him about how I am basically over here pulling my hair out, waiting for the next Sarah J Maas book to come out. That turned into a pretty long winded paragraph but what I wanted to get across is that the characters in all of these books are so real and relatable and they make you feel like you’re home when you’re reading about them. I love it.

“But I was 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.”

Another thing I loved about this book was Josh in general but also the tidbits we get about his Korean heritage. I don’t know much about it myself but I enjoyed seeing their Korean names and reading about all of the yummy food they were eating—it really made me want to visit the one Korean restaurant where I love. Seriously though, I thought the progression of Josh and Hazel’s relationship was great. From their awkward run-ins in college, to their budding best friendship to falling in love, ugh I got all of feels. AND the best part is obviously that even though Josh knew that Hazel could be a little crazy, a little wild, he never once wanted her to change. I loved how even when they started their double dates they would look over at one another when weird stuff happened and just know what the other was thinking. It was magical.

Drunk giggly Josh is my favorite, but drunk confident Josh is my new religion.

Somehow, too, even though this books was full of typical romantic tropes, it seemed different to me. We saw them go from friends to lovers, we saw them drunkenly have (super hot)  sex and then try to pretend that it didn’t change their relationship, we saw them trying to set each other up while remaining “friends” and finally we saw them both falling in love with each other while not being sure if the other one felt the same way. It didn’t matter though. At all. That’s how you know you’re reading a damn good story.

He smiles, but it’s not a smile I’ve ever seen before. It’s a dangerous smile; he’s a movie villain, the seductive one, the one who robs you but fucks you real good first.

By now this has turned into a super long review and I don’t even care. I have read so many romances by now that it’s so refreshing when I find one that makes me feel this way. The ending too is just pure magic. Part of it is actually a well-used trope too but I didn’t want to give it away. Usually I don’t like when books go there either but in this one I loved it. GAHH. Believe me, you do not want to miss out on Josh and Hazel.

“Are you listening?”
“You are perfect for me.”

A star is born inside my rib cage. “I am?”
He nods, pinning me with his attention. “You are.”

**Huge thanks to Gallery Books and NetGalley for sending me an eARC!♥

Aaaaaand here’s one last quote that had me dying with laughter that I thought I’d leave you all with…
Sasha’s also left her hair down…I’ve never seen it all, and it completely freaks me out. It’s really long—as in several inches past her butt long—and with her window down for most of the drive, her hair ended up crawling all over me. When I closed my eyes to try no to freak out about it, it wasn’t any better; it was like being pushed in a wheelchair through a room full of cobwebs. I can now definitively check the no box regarding hair fetish.

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  1. T.H. Hernandez

    Oh, wow, this sounds like exactly the sort of quirky, fun characters I love!
    T.H. Hernandez recently posted…Release Day + Giveaway – FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS (Warrior Fight Club) by Laura KayeMy Profile

    • Arielle

      YES! Hazel is the epitome of lovable quirky lol. I highly recommend!

  2. Raven

    Great review! I’ve heard great things about this book. I’m planning to read it this month and I’m so glad to hear that you loved it. It sounds so much fun! I can’t wait to read it! 🙂
    Raven recently posted…Nightblood (Frostblood Saga #3) By Elly Blake [Review]My Profile

    • Arielle

      Thanks, I hope you love it too! It it such a feel good book. It put such a smile on my face so I hope it does the same to you when you get around to reading it!

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