Title: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
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?
It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a Christina Lauren book. Not because I don’t love them, but because when the Beautiful Bastard series ended, it put me in a bit of a funk to know we were forever done with those characters and I wasn’t ready to move on. But when I read the synopsis for this one, and then snuck in the first few pages in the middle of Target, I knew it was time to come back to them.
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating starts off strong and had me laughing within the first few pages. Hazel is quirky, with a strong personality that is anything but normal. She’s got a plethora of pets, a tiny apartment with a big pile of shoes, and a penchant for dressing like Ms. Frizzle. But her third grade students love her, and she loves her life. Back when Hazel was in college, she met Josh Im. Josh Im was like her unicorn. She wanted to be his best friend, but he always ended up being in the middle of all of her most embarrassing moments. Years have gone by when she runs into Josh again at a barbeque, and through circumstances not her own she ends up being his temporary roommate. And the adventures in not dating begin.
Hazel is absolutely hilarious. She is by far, the best character that Christina Lauren has ever written. She’s basically a big weirdo, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Her and Josh go on a number of double dates, and every single time something goes wrong. I laughed so much in this book, I cried. I had to wipe the tears from my cheeks, and fan my face to cool down. At one point, I laughed out loud in the middle of work when I was on my lunch and everyone turned to look at me. But I couldn’t help it. This book was just so funny.
Josh Im is at a place in his life where he needs a friend like Hazel. He needs someone to take the pressure off and to show him how to really enjoy life again. What he doesn’t think he needs is someone to fall in love with. So he humors Hazel with her (non) dates, and sets her up with one date after another. And after every date, he finds himself just a little more enamored by Hazel.
I smiled throughout every single page of this book, and I would recommend it to ANYONE that is looking for a light, quick, and humorous read. This is by far, my favorite book by Christina Lauren and I cannot wait to see what else they come out with!