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Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

By: Christina Lauren

My Rating:


I have picked up a few of Christina Lauren’s work and by far Josh and Hazel’s Guide to not dating has been my favorite. This is a classic best friend to lover’s trope that I have officially adopted as my favorite trope.

Now, I did listen to this book on audio and felt that the male narrator was not really good at portraying female voices. Because of Hazel’s personality, he made her seem like she was twelve instead of her age. Once I got past that, it was fun to listen to the audiobook.

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Hazel in the beginning came across super cringey and it took me a hot minute to even like her as a character. But I felt that the way Christina Lauren wrote the character made you fall in love with Hazel eventually. Hazel fully accepted herself as the cringey person in the social circle. She loved who she was, and you felt it. I love the confidence that this character brings that is so refreshing.

This story takes place in a series of six months where an unlikely friendship blossoms between Josh and Hazel. In college is where they first meet, and Hazel did not make the best first impression.

When they reconnected after Hazel accepted a teaching position for 3rd grade, she instantly knew at that point that Josh and she would be best friends. 

Josh at the time, was in a long-distance relationship that he suspected that his girlfriend was cheating on him. With Hazel’s encouragement, he should go and confront the situation.

After an unfortunate event of Hazel’s apartment flooding, Josh offered his apartment while he is gone so she has a place to stay with her pets. 

Josh’s long-distance relationship wasn’t meant to be when he came back within two days of his trip and came back super early. During that time of them living together, they started to build a strong friendship.

In that friendship, they decided to set up hilarious double-blind dates for each other. Which it turns out at the end of each date, they end up hanging out with each other and enjoying each other’s time. That is where they start to develop feelings for one another.

I love how this romance wasn’t instant love but a friendship that was thicker than mud that turned into a genuine love for one another. Where they felt full acceptance of one another and could be themselves.

Like I said, this is so far my favorite read from Christina Lauren. The way this story was written was so heartfelt that you fell in love with the characters as you read on.

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