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

Welcome to my review of the ONLY Christina Lauren’s novel I’ve ever liked ๐Ÿ™‚

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Early on, life taught me that it would be fucking helpful to separate people into two groups:

Then as a teacher the “people I could like” perpetually end divided again into three groups:

People : Hazel is SO immature, she’s stereotypical and really such an over-the-top annoyance, UNREALISTIC OHMYGOD
Me : ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚
People : -and she’s a teacher? What the fuck with that? I’ve known teachers, I went to school, so you can trust me when I say that they would never
Me : ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚
People : -and she’s what, twenty-seven? Lmao that’s outrAGIOUS-
Me : ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚ fuck you maybe

“I’ve learned to be,” she says, and then pauses for a moment. “Do you know how many guys like to date the cute wild girl for a few weeks before expecting me to chill a little and become more Regular Girlfriend?”
I shrug. I can sort of imagine what she’s saying.
“But at the end of the day,” she says, and puts her hand outside the open window, letting the wind pass through her fingers, “being myself is enough.
I’m enough.”

I’m sorry but it’s hard to be annoyed by a “stereotypical character” when she’s so relatable you’re a bit scared the authors spied on you. I’m not saying that I am Hazel (because that would be creepy), but so many parts of her resonated in me that when I read all those reviews dismissing her, I struggled not to take it personally. Which is ridiculous. I know. But I am ridiculous, could you follow a little here?

First of all, she was such a realistic teacher.

Anyone who knew me in college might be horrified to hear that I ended up employed as an elementary school teacher, responsible for educating our wide-eyed, sponge-brained youth, but in truth, I suspect I’m pretty great at it. For one, I’m not afraid of making a fool of myself. And two, I think there’s something about the eight-year-old brain that just resonates with me on a spiritual level.


I mean…

Making your boyfriend do clay at home because you have to try once before doing it with your class? โœ”
Wearing fun costumes at work because you can? โœ” (I was an elf in December — you’re jealous, admit it already)
Getting weirdly intense when August is running towards its end? โœ”

Everything rang true, really, and that’s actually pretty rare. I loved that.

The world seems full of men who are initially infatuated by our eccentricities, but who ultimately expect them to be temporary. These men eventually grow bewildered that we don’t settle down into calm, potential-wifey girlfriends.

Secondly, from someone who have no chill whatsoever: THANK YOU, HAZEL. Strangely enough, I don’t usually enjoy characters who are designed to be quirky, but with hindsight it’s often because by the end of the book, they have to change in order to find love. I hate that shit. Doesn’t that sound wild anyway? We’re living in a depressing world filled with wars, racism and selfishness but people are gonna hate on goofy characters because they don’t, what, take life seriously? I don’t get it. I never did. Jumping around, being overtly excited about stuff we care about and ignoring social rules doesn’t mean we have no soul, that we’re never hurt and that we’re superficial or worse, selfish.It just means that we experience life differently, and we deserve people who love us for who we are. Never settle for less, my friends. NEVER.

I realize my review is starting to look more like a personal rant than anything else, so here are the reasons why I think you should give Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating a chance :

โœ” I tried reading Beautiful Bastard once and had to rage-quit = authors do evolve;
โœ” Josh, the love-interest, is a Korean-American precious cinnamon roll and never EVER asks Hazel to change = instant stan;
โœ” It’s genuinely so fucking funny = I laughed OUT LOUD a lot and it’s been forever since it last happened to me;
โœ” The sex scenes really did it for me? Like it’s so rare? But? I loved them so much?
โœ” Fun family and friendship scenes = the heroes aren’t living in a romantic bubble, thanks a lot;
โœ” There’s a fish named Daniel Craig.

Josh’s eyes soften, and he gives me such an adoring smile, it’s nearly painful. “You look ridiculous in that. I hope you wear it all day.”

My only complaints come from a rather ridiculous trope used in the last 30% to add unecessary drama (but I didn’t hate it as much as I would usually do) and a rushed ending (but maybe I’m just greedy). All in all, it uplifted my mood and I really, really needed it. The best compliment I could give it, though? I’m sure I’ll reread it.

CW – homophobic slur, sex scenes, death of a loved one (in the past), cheating (not the main couple)

10 thoughts on “Book Review – Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

  1. This is SUCH a wonderful review! I read the first book of Beautiful bastard and enjoyed it but it wasn’t a favourite but I did read The Unhoneymooners by the authors which I LOVED! I had heard great reviews for this book but since the friends to lovers trope isn’t really my thing I was hesitant to pick it up. It’s always a little freaky to see when an auhtor paints a character that resonates so much with you that you’re convinced they spied on you haha. All of that to say that your review is so good that I’m going to give this book a chance! Thank you! ๐Ÿฅฐ

  2. ooooh this was a great review!!! I love it when you find a book where you resonate with the characters so much and you just CONNECT with the book on another level โ€“ also i keep seeing Christina Lauren EVERYWHERE and desperately need to pick up her books and after reading your review will have to bump it up on my tbr (Especially since im on such a romance kick rn lol) Awesome post ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Me too, she was such a breath of fresh air ๐Ÿ’• Sigh, for me too. I’ve tried the Unhoneymooners and DNFed it around 60% because I felt like I wouldn’t stand the rest (and from the spoilers I’ve read, I’m positive I would have hated it ugh)

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