Title: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Category: New Adult
Part of a series?: No.
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?
I was in a really bad reading slump recently. I spent over a month reading Two Dark Reigns because I just couldn’t get myself to open a book. I was also really busy to even think about it, tbh.
I saw Whitney @ WhittyNovels mention this in a video where she was recommending New Adult books, and I was immediately interested because of the synopsis. Plus, it’s written by Christina Lauren, whose books I really like. And hence, I went ahead and got the book online.
Hazel Bradford is weird, quirky, quite hippy and is a little too much of everything. She hasn’t had a successful relationship yet where the guy did not want her to change herself, be a little less loud, a little less embarrassing. Hazel also really looks up to Josh Im from their college days.
One day, Hazel meets Josh at her best friend’s party (turns out he’s her best friend’s brother?!) and decides to be best friends with him. She just knows that they’ll be great best friends.
Josh Im is the perfect, immaculate, handsome guy that every girl wants. He knows how Hazel is. To quote him,
Everyone in college had a Hazel Bradford story.
After dealing with a cheating girlfriend, Hazel and her wild life is the perfect thing to bring his mood up.
They end up double dating, setting up each other’s dates, and start having feelings for each other in the process.
My thoughts on the book:
Here’s a list because lists are awesome.
- I LOVED HAZEL CAMILLE BRADFORD. I enjoyed her days, which were always wild and fun. Her house was a mess, with her flower vases kept in the oven, but everything makes sense. She has four pets and loves all of them.
- Hazel has a really good relationship with her mum, who is also like her in personality. Hazel has learnt from her mum to not change herself for a man, and I love that.
- She’s a third grade teacher and it’s perfect for her. She really likes teaching. The second graders are too young and still require help in the toilet sometimes and the fourth/fifth graders are old enough to realize that Hazel, with her messy ways, isn’t the perfect teacher. But eight year olds are her jam because even if she wears her clothes inside out by mistake, they roll with it and have fun.
- I really liked Hazel and Josh becoming best friends. It was really cool. I loved their chemistry, the way they took care of each other and simply hung out. You can see right from the beginning that they’re perfect for each other even though they don’t have romantic feelings for each other.
- Important fact—Josh and his sister Emily are Korean. Their parents came to America when they were young. Josh’s Korean name is Im Jimin. Considering that this was the first book I properly got into after the slump during which I completely fell in love with BTS songs, this was funny. I can’t get away from BTS wherever I go.*
- The book is a fun, entertaining read which game me lots of feels. I loved watching Josh and Hazel fall in love. I loved their chemistry. I loved them as individuals.
- I especially loved the ending before the epilogue, which I will not talk more about ‘cuz spoilers but just know that the book is worth it.
*if you don’t know, BTS is a Korean boy band who are, right now, the biggest boy band in the world with a bloody huge following. One of the members is named Jimin.
I absolutely loved the book. Will definitely reread it at random times, when I’m sad or just when I want a comfort book. Absolutely recommend it for any romance lovers, and people looking for good New Adult books.