ARC Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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ARC Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

2 Stars

Book Info

Released: September 4, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 309
Format: eARC

“This book made me want to commit murder of a fictional character and that’s just not the feeling I’m looking for.”
~ Under the Covers

Here comes an unpopular opinion.  I’ve only seen rave reviews for this book by bloggers before release and I admit I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it so I kept putting it off.  After it released, even more amazing reviews popped up so I thought at least I should like it.  I only read one other Christina Lauren book before and it was because it was a different genre than their usual.  So, I tentatively gave this a try.  As soon as I cracked this open I knew it was going to be a struggle.  JOSH & HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING was so irritating and frustrating to read, it actually started to make me angry.

Lets talk about the things that bothered me.

  1. My biggest issue of this book was the heroine.  I see that the authors were going for an awkward, quirky heroine.  A lot of authors write this type of character and I can enjoy them.  Hazel was way too Hazel-y for me.  Not just to the point that I didn’t like her.  She annoyed me constantly, almost every time she opened her mouth.  I was soooo irritated and so annoyed I wanted to punch her just to make it stop!  And that was basically my feeling throughout reading this whole book because she doesn’t have an off button.
  2. Some of the things about her character were portrayed as giving this image of independence and female empowerment and to me she was anything but that.
  3. I found the hero to be kind of bland, cookie cutter and I don’t think I really got to fall in love with him.  His only redeeming quality is the fact he was sweet to Hazel when she was being so outrageous.  His actions toward her where the quality that made me like him but there wasn’t much more about him that makes him stand out for me.  I also felt bad he had to go through coming out of a cheating relationship and getting Hazel as a prize.
  4. The romance…. I didn’t buy the jump from friendship to love.  Was it a forced proximity thing?  Because I can’t see these two working in the long run, no matter how the authors try to make me think that they did.
  5. The ending was so fast and rushed.  I don’t think we got to see them enough as a couple and then all of a sudden that epilogue comes from nowhere after leaving the last chapter hanging.  I thought maybe they cut out at least one more chapter there to tie that a bit better.

All that being said, as you can see, this book was just not for me.  I’m rating this a 2 instead of lower because there some scenes (very few) I enjoyed so it wasn’t all bad.  But this just proves once more that I don’t think this author is right for me.  This book made me want to commit murder of a fictional character and that’s just not the feeling I’m looking for.  I know this was a lot of people’s favorite, but I guess I’ll just stand by my unpopular opinion on this one.  Obviously it’s not you, it’s me.



What did you think of our review?
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About Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates and brain-twins, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, NYT/USA Today/#1 International bestselling authors of several Young Adult and Adult Fiction titles. Some of their books have kissing. Some of their books have A LOT of kissing.


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Wow, you know it’s bad when you want to commit character-cide. If she is that annoying I won’t waste my money, so thank you.

Sophia Rose

Yeah, I’ve had a few hit me just the same way. I can’t stand the heroine so, in turn, I can’t buy into the romance. I haven’t read this author team yet. These light romcoms are not my usual. At least you gave their work a second shot.

Monique D

Thank you so much for your honest review! All the reviewers/bloggers are falling over themselves, I read the blurb and reviews, and I still wasn’t interested. Now I know that I would have reacted the way you did.


Sorry this one wasn’t for you! I’ve had that happen. Rave reviews everywhere and I’m like, “Am I even reading the same book?” I hate when it happens tho.


Sorry this was a dud for you Francesca

Jane Vogler

I loved this book. I had to warm up to Hazel. I prefer her character to the heroine that thinks she’s Kick-A** and has a license to be a b*tch.. I might feel differently in real life. I do believe that there is room for all different kinds of personalities. Opinions are subjective. I had to really look into Hazel’s character. I have to say that the type of personality that really bothers me is “The Cold Fish” No feelings. I would never think that I have the right to punch someone in the face. I feel bad for people… Read more »

Kathy Valentine

Your review may not be popular ,but it’s your opinion Francesca,not every book is going to be liked by everyone,your being honest that’s what I like about you.if you only gave great reviews then somethings wrong. Shared on all my socials!!??

Amy R

Bummer, I’m on the waitlist at the library for this. I might just skip it.