Author: Christina Lauren (Page 4 of 4)

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
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


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.

BOOK REVIEW – Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

BOOK REVIEW – Love and Other Words by Christina LaurenLove and Other Words by Christina Lauren
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


The heart may hide, but it never forgets.

The first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly teen friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco reading books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

It never occurred to me that love could be anything other than all-consuming. Even as a child, I knew I never wanted anything less.

WELL, WELL, WELL. Another freakin home run by these lovely ladies. I honestly had no idea that they had come out with another book until a few days ago when I was browsing Amazon, desperate for a book to read. I gave birth to my daughter TWO weeks ago today (!!!) but instead of having all this time at home to read, I seem to be a little preoccupied (lol go figure). However, when I came across this and read the synopsis, I knew that this would be the book to get me back on track….Surprise, surprise I read it in a day.

He’s my person. He’s always been my person. My best friend, my confidant, probably the love of my life. And I’ve spend the last eleven years being angry and self-righteous. But at the end of the day, he tore a hole in us, and fate ripped it wide open.

It’s a story of the past and present lives of Macy and Elliot. How they met and eventually would fall in love—to the present where we find out they haven’t talked or even seen each other in about ten years. They bump into each other in a random coffee shop and the rest of the chapters in the present are about them slowly reconnecting.

“You had to have known that I’d been here, waiting.” 

There were two major aspects to this book that I loved, especially because they were executed perfectly: the boy next door/ friends-to-lovers tropes and the flashback chapters. There have been so many romances that I’ve read with flashbacks that have been done horribly wrong. Either there just isn’t enough substance to them and I’ve felt like I have been left in the dark OR the major point of conflict in the past that leads to why the couple is having problems in the present is a stupid misunderstanding that I can’t believe is realistic in any way. That was not the case here. Without giving anything away, I found that Macy’s reason for getting the hell out of dodge when she did was entirely reasonable (even if it was heartbreaking and I wish for Elliot’s sake that it hadn’t taken that long for them to talk about it). I also just was obsessed with those past chapters in general. Ugh. I mean come on, how could I NOT fall in love with these characters who fell in love over READING. In a cute little nook. Packed with books. And they always ask each other what their favorite word is every time they meet up. I HOPE MY DAUGHTER FALLS IN LOVE LIKE THAT. I would literally die lol. 

I did also love the present chapters too, don’t get me wrong. It was so wonderful seeing these too reconnect after all those years. Macy is actually engaged to another man, too, but of course Elliot never crosses any lines and there isn’t any cheating. Basically, the two realize that it’s pointless being with other people when they can only give a fraction of themselves over. Macy struggles with it a little more because she’s seen her father lose her mother and how much pain that caused him. She doesn’t know if she can handle any more heartbreak in her life so she decides an easy, comfortable relationship is something she’d rather be a part of. That is, until she sees Elliot again…

I don’t know what else to do, so I simply mouth the word Yes. Yes, I’m yours. Yes, I’m ready. Yes, I love you.

Seriously, please read this book. It’s such a sweet story of two young people that are soul mates who have connected over books and words and who find their way back to each other even after tragedy rips them apart. I really think it would be impossible to be disappointed.

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