Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren {Book Review}

Here we are with another Christina Lauren book review, the addiction becoming real as I grab more and more of their books. This is also the second post after I accidentally went on a two week blog vacation. Teaches me not to double check on the schedule during vacation and crazy life, lol. Definitely do not need another freak out like that for a while.

Going into the actual reason I have a blog, aka books, it does really feel like I’ve gotten addicted to this author duo’s books. Considering that, I’m going to try to tackle this one a bit differently to better highlight if you should pick up one of their books or as many as sound good. If that sounds alright and up your alley then proceed on and we’ll get this book/author review going!

Christina Lauren

First off, I’ve mentioned that this is an author duo, made up of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, who co-write this long line up of novels. Their books are adult romance, so don’t try finding them in the ya section at Barnes and Noble. If you want to see the lineup of books they’ve written then checkout this link here, or check them out on Goodreads.

So far it’s felt like picking up Christina Lauren novels has been a pretty safe method of getting some contemporary romance mixed into my reading challenge. Beyond the fact I don’t feel comfortable recommending to a younger audience (due to some PG-13+ material) the books are well written and work hard to give the best possible depth to its characters.

Synopsis

Hazel as the summary on Goodreads states is “a lot to take”, she doesn’t have a filter, doesn’t follow the concept of “normal”, and has a whole host of pets.  She is quirky and awkward personified, but that doesn’t translate directly into dating material.

Josh on the other hand, met Hazel in college and while she was nice, his memory is that of her puking on his shoes.  Not the best memory, especially coupled with Hazel’s awkward commentary/conversations, so when they end up meeting each other again it isn’t love at first sight, let alone bff vibes. Slowly though, the two become matchmakers for one another, setting each other up on well meant dates that hilariously end in some form of disaster, because the couldn’t date, right?  (Kind of wanted to spin the question they did at the end, did I do okay?)

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

So why 4 stars?

Since reading their latest book, the Unhoneymooners that one has remained my favorite, the characters felt like average young adults in a way; one well situated and the other trying to find their way in the business world. There are a lot of dramatic and sometimes far fetched scenarios but I felt like those two were possibly more relatable for me. Josh in this novel fits most of that same logic, but Hazel is part of a trope of women who are quirky to say the least and have not only no filter but added damage in conversations. It just didn’t make it easy to back her in the beginning and add in Josh as the one who had escaped it in college suddenly face to face with it again, poor man. That in the end was a small hurdle as I got more into the book.

Slowly Hazel’s quirks became more fun as the book got further into its plot line and Josh got sucked in to her antics.  Throw in the strange matchmaking and I was laughing throughout, mostly at the craziness running across the paper.  There’s a flood, exes who want to have it all, a cute doggy, and two friends who just can’t seem to get out of their strange friend zone.  This was a great quick read, and so much fun.  I’m already eyeing another one of their books coming out later this year, so I think this may be a new trend for me, which I can’t say I mind.

I suppose given everything  said here, one of the big strengths of this author duo is that they have written so many books with various types of characters.  As long as you aren’t upset about writing style, they always have other books to choose from and fall for.  This one may not have been at the top of my list, but I still really enjoyed it, and its characters.

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