Review of Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by [Lauren, Christina]

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Christina Lauren

September 4, 2018

Gallery Books

BlurbMost men can’t handle Hazel. With the energy of a toddler and the mouth of a sailor, they’re often too timid to recognize her heart of gold. New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (RoomiesBeautiful Bastard) tells the story of two people who are definitely notdating, no matter how often they end up in bed together.

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?


In the opening few paragraphs of Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, I had this awful feeling that Hazel and her looming adventure were going to be a schooling in disaster,  coarseness, and extreme raunchiness. However, thank all the unicorns, I was wrong.

Despite seeming to be not well put together, Hazel is the exact opposite. Self-aware Hazel delights in being who she is and is unapologetic about it. She knows she’s a lot to take in, not datable, and that men frequently lose interest in dating her because they grow weary of her eccentricities and just want her to be like the other girls. But her friends love her because she has a huge heart and lets everyone in.

Since her freshmen year of college, Hazel has adored Josh Im. Although she hasn’t seen him in years, it becomes clear that her adoration has not faltered when she sees him at her best friend, Emily’s party. It turns out he is Emily’s brother. He is the perfect man. But best of all, he gets Hazel. She can let her crazy loose around him, and he’s fine with it.

As you would expect with an eccentric character like Hazel in the mix, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating has many hilarious moments and some extremely touching ones and others, such as when Hazel is reintroduced to the first love-of-her-life, you say: you go, girl! Hazel is definitely an inspiring character because she makes it clear that we should all be who we are. Facades are tiring. They aren’t fun. And when in the world did we forget to have joy?!

Perhaps Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating doesn’t follow the typical constructs of a romance novel, but, hey, I’m frankly very okay with that. This novel and Hazel made me smile. And Josh was not a jerk–ever. It’s all so hopeful and happy, and it made me want to take my shoes off and dance in the backyard to rekindle all of the joy.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Buy link: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

rating: 4-and-a-half

4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies


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