Review of Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

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I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

3.5 Stars

3.5 Stars

I saw a review on Malanie Loves Fiction for Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating and she made it sound so cute and adorable that I needed to get my hands on it ASAP. Since the book wasn’t out when I read that review, I decided to venture a glance at NetGalley to see if it was available for request. It was! And I miraculously got approved! Which was wonderful. I tend to push off on review copies, so I decided that I’d get ahead of myself and start reading the day I got it. Well, it’s 2 days later and I’m finished and ready to write my review.

If you don’t know, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is about Hazel Bradford and Josh Im, who originally met in college when Hazel threw up on his shoes. A great first impression, obviously. But honestly, that’s at the bottom of the list of Hazel Stories™ that are out there. Hazel feels like she’s undateable long term because of her quirkiness, and so when she reconnects with Josh years later she decides to put aside his good looks and make him her best friend. And being best friends means you want to see them happy, so a series of double dates occur and hilarity ensues. There. Now you have a synopsis.

I have feelings about this book. I had such a fun time reading this, and honestly was reading it whenever I had the chance. This was one of those books where I’d promise myself just 1 chapter as a break from the work I have due, and then a half hour later I’d remember how aptly this blog was named and curse myself for falling into the trap of procrastinating by reading once again. This reading year has gone pretty terribly for me and the books I end up reading fall into 2 categories. It either takes me 2-6 months to finish a book, or I finish it in 3 days, there is rarely any in between. As I mentioned, this was one of the latter and I had to hold myself back from staying up until 3 AM to finish it.

What made this book so great and readable were the relationships in it. I normally get frustrated by slow-burn romances because I don’t like all the build-up that goes nowhere until halfway through the book. I didn’t have this issue here because of how cutesy Josh and Hazel were even before they dated. They were each other’s best friend (even though Josh wouldn’t admit it for way too long) and were always hanging out and thinking of one another. I honestly liked that they didn’t get together too early because it gave the characters time to work through their issues and to be in the right places to officially start dating.

However, even though I adored the relationships, I had a bit of an issue with the characters. I feel as though Hazel’s only characteristic was as someone zany and different. She was well developed, but in terms of her defining characteristic, it was beaten over the head that she did not conform to society IN ANY WAY. Over the course of the book there are countless stories told of Hazel’s wild escapades, but to me such antics were unbelievable to the extent that they were mentioned. Along with that comes my inability to understand how Josh and Hazel ever became friends. Once they were solidly friends I had no problem, but the initial process of going from meeting each other once after 10 years to hanging out every day, just didn’t work for me. I was surprised at how well Josh put up with her antics before they had actually become friends. While I eventually got over this, that stumbling block really bothered me for the first half of the book.

Despite all that, the relationships (friendships too!) and the eventual romance totally won me over and I have to sing this book’s praises as well. I enjoyed reading it and would love to read another story comparable to this one. (Any recommendations?) I’ve been hit or miss with Christina Lauren, but for me this was definitely a hit!

TL;DR: Awesome book. Super cute relationship. Set a day aside to read it.

Have you read it? Do you plan on reading it? Do you have any recommendations for other cute books similar to this one?

3 thoughts on “Review of Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

  1. OMG I’M CRYING BECAUSE YOU READ THIS AND I’M SO HAPPYYYYYY. c”’:
    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I agree, their insta-friendship was a smallll bit unbelievable, but I was so in love I just went with it, and JOSH WAS SO CARING AND SWEET. ++Christina Lauren is hit or miss for me too!!! I love Autoboyography, but I couldn’t get into Roomies. I want to try her other books but I don’t know where to start???!! I feel like nothing will ever be Josh and Hazel again. oh god I’m in such a book slump over themmmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I told you I’d read it!! I’m so glad I read your review!! And SAME! I loved Autoboyography but reeaaallllly disliked Sweet Filthy Boy. I’m sad to hear Roomies wasn’t as good. Oh, have you read The Kiss Quotient? It’s really good and gave me lots of the warm fuzzies that this book did with its cuteness.

      Liked by 1 person

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