Foul-mouthed, quirky, sharp-as-a-whip Hazel and her successful, reliable friend Josh try to help each other find love by setting each other up on blind dates—all the while deepening their own relationship.
Like so many of my favorite Christina Lauren books, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is equal parts charming, hilarious, and chock full of heart ... If I had to choose one word to describe a Christina Lauren book it would, without a doubt, be vibrant. Their characters are never short on personality, they never skimp on passion and affection, and they always radiate life and love in every way ... Ultimately, I just wish Josh and Hazel were real so I could invite them to every party I ever have ... Josh and Hazel are a brilliant light for this dark world and I would happily be fanning the flames to ensure their light never goes out.
Readers and writers of the ‘friends to lovers’ trope, take notice: Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is by far the best example I’ve seen of this trope being flawlessly executed. In general, I’m not actually a huge fan of this particular trope, but Josh and Hazel were just so damn wonderful ... There were no ulterior motives, not romantic scheming or unrequited feelings. It was refreshing as hell ... The secondary characters in the novel were quirky and fun, adding to the charm of the book ... Josh was, sigh, just a dreamboat. He was such a great contrast to Hazel’s wildness ... When the pair finally hooked up, it just felt so organic and natural. Though there was, understandably, plenty of awkwardness, the progression from friends to more felt well-paced and right for the couple.
In this exuberantly charming romance from Christina Lauren, the talented writing duo does the seemingly impossible. They take the classic, much-maligned stereotype of the 'cool' girl—the gorgeous, wild, sexually-liberated, adventurous madcap that men go crazy for—and they make her feel real and engaging ... In so many stories of this type, the journey is about the free spirit woman helping the more buttoned-up man let loose and learn to enjoy himself. And yes, there’s a little of that here, as Josh learns that pretty much everything is more fun with Hazel along for the ride. But Lauren deepens his character beyond the handsome straight man by exploring his experiences as the son of South Korean immigrants, and makes the canny choice of having his reactions to Hazel fall much more on the side of bemused affection, rather than an annoyingly superior disapproval.