Cover Image: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Christina Lauren writes great characters, sexy scenes and plots that you can connect with all while keeping you flipping the pages.
Was this review helpful?
For as long as I can remember, authors Christina Lauren have always made it onto my “highly anticipated” TBR each year. That being said, it doesn’t take much to get me on board with a book that has their names attached to it.

When I heard about their upcoming standalone with the striking cover, and a colorful cast of characters, I just knew I needed to get my hands on it ASAP.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating was a wonderfully paced, and well-rounded tale of two college acquaintances-turned-friends, who later become quasi-roomies-turned-matchmakers-turned-lovers. So in other words, I’m here for it.

Are you keeping up? Good. 

Written in dual POV (which I freaking love), we follow Josh and Hazel throughout a series of unfortunate date nights (many of which are double dates for both of them), as they each try to find meaningful(ish) relationships.

What I loved about this was that while both Josh and Hazel had the best of intentions for the other, somehow throughout the course of the train wreck pairings they’re brought closer together as friends, and eventually, lovers.

At the risk of sounding cliché, the connection between Josh and Hazel was so perfect and pure; I found myself cheering for them to finally realize that everything they were looking for could be found in each other. With Hazel’s character being super eccentric and quirky, I found myself completely smitten by the chemistry her and Josh shared.

For lack of a better term: HEART EYES FOREVER.

The progression of their romance felt organic and genuine, and I found that even once the story was done, I still wanted to know ‘where are they now?’!

I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a sweet, fluffy(ish) romance, with pops of humor and some feel-good moments. Also, if you’ve read Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Player book (which is my all-time fave of theirs), you’ll absolutely love Josh and Hazel.

This book was flirty, fun, and blissfully romantic. It checked all my boxes as a romance reader, and left me greedy wanting more!

This is a solid 4 stars!
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars - A sweet & funny friends-to-lovers romance!

Okay, so. Wow. This is my first Christina Lauren book. Somehow. I've had friends reccing me their books for YEARS so I don't know why it took me so long. But you know, I'm actually incredibly glad Josh & Hazel was my first--because I LOVED it.

This is a friends to lovers story with an eccentric girl and a solidly nice guy. Hazel was funny and kind and so unapologetic about being herself it was awesome. And Josh is...well. A totally sweet, cinnamon roll man. I loved both of these characters so much.

Together! Together, Josh & Hazel are hilarious and cute and so much fun. I easily FLEW through this book because I was enjoying their dynamic so much. And their relationship growth was beautifully crafted. From acquaintances in college to friends to best friends to more, it was 100% well done and totally my jam.

The two small things making me rate this 4.5 stars instead of 5 are:
1) There was a point in the story where Josh & Hazel are kind of torn on what their next step together will be. They're both trying to sort their heads and feelings out and blah blah blah no spoilers. I feel like my enjoyment wasn't as high at that point--I was mostly reading quickly trying to get through it. HOWEVER, now that I've read it and know I have nothing to fear (in regards to my own tastes) I think I'll like that portion of the novel more upon re-reading.
2) The ending. Namely, how the last chapter ends and then we get an epilogue. It's not a bad epilogue. And I was highly caught up in the events before the epilogue. But that's my problem--I didn't like the jump between those two chapters. I wish we'd gotten to see more with them of that situation instead of hearing about it in summary (kinda) in the epilogue.

All that said, Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating is sweet, funny, and everything I want and more in a friends-to-lovers romance. I loved this book so much--it may have been my first Christina Lauren book, but now it definitely won't be my last. And, quite honestly, I'm thinking this may be one of my favorite books I've read this year. It's definitely a contender at this point!
Was this review helpful?
unsurprisingly i loved this book. I found that even though im not typically a romcom fan i absolutely love anything that CL writes even if its not my typical genre!
Was this review helpful?
Probably one of the most hyped and recommended books is Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating and I was hesitant to start it. This is one of the cases where I was wrong! The HYPE is real! Josh and Hazel is charming and sweet and everything everyone said and more!

But let’s be honest. I seriously had a hard time getting into Josh and Hazel. I mean, she was a pretty unusual character. In fact, it took me a while to realize that Hazel is actually a “manic pixie dream girl.” She is indeed an unusual character and probably one that took a while for me to like. I ended up feeling for her as the story went on, though. But you must admit, she was very endearing!

There were also a few cringe-worthy moments that had me laugh out loud. This helped me come into terms with her personality. She really is quirky but, in the end, she endeared herself to me which made me like her!

Josh was a character that I could relate to. He is the stuffy stereotypical Asian guy (and I know a few) who was perfect for Hazel’s weird and quirky character.

In fact, I liked that their relationship developed really slowly and started as a friendship. Now that I think about it, Josh and Hazel do follow the typical “manic pixie dream girl” trope to a T. But despite that, I absolutely enjoyed it.

It probably helped that I listened to the audiobook version. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have finished it. I do have thoughts on the audiobook narrators. I absolutely LOATHED the narrator reading Josh’s POV. Todd Haberkorn is a horrible male narrator! I mean, he uses the typical “high pitched” annoying female voice that I absolutely LOATHED! I mean, can’t male narrators just use their normal voice like how others do?!

The female narrator Jayme Mattler, is really a good narrator. And if this wasn’t read by two narrators, I would have DNF’d this book and sadly, not appreciate the quirkiness that is Hazel.

I would also want to note that after listening to the audiobook, I seriously HAD to have Korean food! In fact, I drove to Koreatown in Los Angeles to have some K food! It was absolutely delish!

Unfortunately, this book follows the new Christina Lauren trend of being a little woman’s fiction and does not have the steaminess of the previous Beautiful Bastard books. I seriously miss this, by the way.

I recommend Josh and Hazel but unfortunately, I can’t recommend the audiobook version. If you’re like me who cringe at awful narrators, you will avoid the audiobook like the plague. I’m even surprised that I was able to finish the whole audio!
Was this review helpful?
This was an entertaining read. I liked the writing style and I enjoyed both the characters and the plot.
Was this review helpful?
My first book by these authors, and I’ll definitely be back for more! Josh and Hazel were so funny and sweet together. Their series of setting each other up on terrible blind double dates was hilarious. At first I was a little nervous because Hazel has some manic pixie dream girl in her DNA. But she doesn't exist solely to help Josh on his journey, and she has her own story arc--and she's mostly just quirky. (If I knew her in real life, she would be way too much, but she works as a character because we get to know what's going on in her head.)
Was this review helpful?
For the most part, I loved this book and then here's where this book failed me as a reader....They threw in the "we have to have some fake conflict at the end to make it worthwhile to the reader."  NO, THEY DIDN'T!!!!  We don't need that.  We can read a book without angst or conflict and it is perfectly wonderful and great.  I liked it up until that point and then it started to become a four-star novel to me.  I hate angst.  Everyone knows this.  Otherwise, this would have been a five.
Was this review helpful?
Christina Lauren gutted me with Josh and Hazel's friends-to-lovers story. This is the duo's writing at its best: a sexy rom-com with hilarious wit; clever, snappy writing; and aching, twisting emotion. Josh and Hazel have that deep connection that can only be cultivated by their genuine love for each other turned more, a steady, rising heat as the relationship between the two of them overshadows every blind double date they try to embark on with other people. From Hazel's pets to the thrown-together forced roommate situation to her wild chaos versus his calm order to one hysterical dating experience after another, this book has everything. I love the heat and heart found in a Christina Lauren romance, and they've hit their stride somewhere between YA, contemporary erotic, women's fiction, and rom-com. This right here, though? This is their sweet spot.
Was this review helpful?
Most of it was really great, until the unnecessary conflict at the end. Hazel was so quirky while Josh was so grounded, and they balanced each other out very well. The ending was the downfall of this book because it just made everything else seem frivolous.
Was this review helpful?
During an especially rough book slump last year, on the recommendation of a couple of trusted reading friends, I listened to the audio version of Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren (the dynamic writing duo consisting of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings); not only did I discover that romance novels make for great entertainment during long runs in bad weather and crappy work commutes, but I also became hooked on their work and will now be a forever fan. 

"We were all infatuated with him, but for me it went deeper: Josh Im became my blueprint for Perfect. I wanted to be his friend."

I’ve been hanging on to my copy of Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating for another slump-y occasion and it recently presented itself; this is my third Christina Lauren novel and it did not disappoint. Josh and Hazel are delightful characters and could not be more different from one another; they met during their early college years and have been unexpectedly reunited through Hazel’s best friend. 

Throughout this novel, and it only took me a few reading sessions to finish, I found myself laughing out loud uncontrollably; please make note of this when considering your reading environment. During one of these occasions I was around other people (and probably should have been paying attention to something else); I’m sure they wondered what I could possibly have been laughing about at that particular moment. 

"The top scoop of my ice cream slides off an lands on the sidewalk with a sorrowful splat. I stare at it, forlorn.
’I can see you working out whether it’s okay to pick that up and put it back on.’ He rests a hand on my arm. ‘Don’t do it.’"

This breath of fresh air was just what I needed when I read it; these two authors deliver charismatic characters and an entertaining, thoughtful story every single time. Make sure to add this one to your list for dreary days, times when you need a pick-me-up, and a quick read; I think it’s perfect.
Was this review helpful?
Christina Lauren has released a hilarious romance read that it will fill you up with laughter and heart-swooning moments. They have done it again by releasing more addicting character that you want for yourself. And who doesn't want Josh or Hazel? I know that I do.
Josh and Hazel's Guide To Not Dating start off with a bang (figuratively). Josh and Hazel have previously met each other before they were reunited again at Josh sister party. They had a lot of embarrassing moments yet entertaining moments when they met in the past. But that set the tone for them and pave out their journey. 
Josh and Hazel may have been surprised to see each other again but it was totally meant to be. They get to start off their greatest best-friend status but you know that will definitely change as they spend more time with each other. 
Josh and Hazel are adorable for each other but it is going to take some time for them to realize that. They both spend most of their time setting people for each other but the reality is that they like each other. They are getting to know each other than they realize. They have horrible dates but they always have entertain between them that it makes the dates less horrible.
There will be surprise along the way. But I think it's the best surprises. I definitely will not spoil them for you.
Josh and Hazel's Guide To Not Dating will bring you laughter throughout the day but it will also swell up your heart. 
Five Stars!
Was this review helpful?
I don’t often give Christina Lauren books a 5 star rating. The highest to this point has been 4.5 stars. It isn’t because I don’t love them and enjoy my reading experience. It is mostly because there is that one thing in the story that ends up bugging me and taking away from the whole feel. Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating didn’t have that one thing. It was perfect, and I don’t know what else to say about it. I have been trying to gather my thoughts since I finished in mid2018 and I just can’t do it. What I can say is that I loved everything about it. I loved hos crazy Hazel was and how dumb Josh was. I loved their friendship and their not friendship. I loved there chemistry. Basically, I loved it and that is what it comes down to in the end.
Was this review helpful?
I had this book on my radar for a while, but once I picked it up, I was hooked. Hazel is an extremely unique character who knows she is extremely unique. It was interesting getting in the mind of someone like that and realizing the hurt and anger that can come from everyday words like 'crazy' or 'embarrassing'. 

I flew through the first couple hundred pages very quickly. The story flowed but at the same time was interesting and kept me wanted to continue. I loved getting Josh's point of view too for the story. 

The only reason I didn't love it was the last chapter and epilogue. I won't spoil it, but it wasn't what happened that I didn't like, just how it was handed. I felt like the last two chapters didn't wrap up the Josh and Hazel story I just read. 

Even with an ending that wasn't my favorite, it was still a really really great read
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. Hazel reminded me so much of myself and other girls I know. Trying to live our lives but at the same time not knowing what that really means or what you intend to get out of it. Josh is my FAVORITE! He was so genuine and really didn't know what he wanted until it (she) was right there in front of him. This story would have still been great if we didn't get the ending that we did... but the sweet "flash forward" into their lives in the future made this one of the best books I read last year. 

I like to read all kinds of fiction, but a sweet romance is just want I needed at the time I came across this one!
Was this review helpful?
Amazing story! Such a sweet read. really enjoyed it! Great read for anyone looking to find a great one to curl up with!
Was this review helpful?
Like every other book by Christina Lauren, I absolutely loved this one!

The writing duo just have this awesome way of writing new and fresh characters, and such fun and romantic stories.

And this just gave us so much of all of those. Hazel and Josh were just fun characters that you kinda want to roll your eyes at because the chemistry is so strong between them, and you see it so far ahead of them seeing it for themselves. But then cheer and laugh when all the romance finally starts.

Plus they just have so much dimension in my opinion. I feel like these characters are ones that could just walk off the pages. They have so much personality and are just so well written, it's like seeing characters from a movie playing out in front of you.
But that also says a lot to the story development too. That Christina and Lauren can create such an amazing world on pages, that you can have them pass by you like scenes from one as well. That ability to create such wonderful mind images while you read is one of my favorite things an author can do. And they did that tenfold in this book.

I honestly loved everything about this read, and highly suggest you go pick a copy up if you haven't yet.

*****5 Stars*****
Was this review helpful?
This is a writing duo that knows how to write a fun romance. One that knows how to bring out all the stops you could want in a good novel. The characters were quirky and fun. I had a hard time letting them go when the book ended. That’s how it usually is at the end of a christina lauren book though.
Was this review helpful?
Be still my heart- a Korean love interest?!  Yes please!  I couldn't put this one down-I think this duo's writing keeps getting better and better. Hazel was pretty quirky-and clearly I am waaaaay older than these characters, but I still loved the story and the snappy dialogue.
Was this review helpful?
Oh my gosh! I loved this book! If you’re looking for a fun, quirky, put-a-smile-on-your-face-and-keep-it-there rom-com, this book is it! I was immediately hooked from the first page and stayed glued to my kindle until the end. It was the most fun I’ve had reading in a while! Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating was a refreshingly different take on friends to lovers and I loved every adorably quirky page!

It’s cool.” I wave an extremely casual hand. “Josh has already seen my boobs.”
The party stops. Air stills.
“I mean, not because he wanted to see them.” My brain desperately tries to fix this. “They were forced on him.”
A wind chime rings mournfully in the distance.
Birds stop flying midair and fall to their deaths.

Josh and Hazel first met in college when she threw up on his shoes at a party and proceeded to have a few more fun run ins when he was her TA. A particular favorite of mine was the email she sent him while hopped up on pain killers after having her wisdom teeth removed. Suffice it to say Hazel is the sort of woman that makes a lasting impression. She’s adorably different with her borderline manic personality, and I loved how comfortable she is in her own skin. This is a woman that knows she’s different, and she makes no apologies for it. She is who she is, and she accepts that about herself. She knows that she can be a lot to take and she won’t settle for anyone that will make her feel like she should be embarrassed about herself. I absolutely LOVED that about her.

Sorry. I’m being too Hazel-y.”
I watch her wash the dishes and manage to clean up the kitchen quite capably while I pick at my breakfast. She isn’t pouting, and it doesn’t seem like I’ve hurt her feelings—she honestly just seems to have heard something in my tone that I didn’t intend.
“What does that mean,” I ask, “ ‘being too Hazel-y’?”
Turning with a dish towel in her hand, she shrugs. “I tend to be too chatty, too silly, too exuberant, too random, too eager.” She spreads her hands. “Too Hazel-y.”

Hazel was simply adorable with her brood of equally quirky pets. There’s Winnie the poodle, Vodka the parrot, Janice Hoplin the rabbit, and the fish Daniel Craig. I mean, seriously! This is rom-com magic right here. But I digress. Hazel knows what her faults are, and she knows that she’s doomed to short lived relationships because of it. Men seem to think that her over the top personality is cute at first, but then they expect her to settle into being a ‘normal’ girlfriend. And when she doesn’t, things end.

Josh Im is Hazel’s best friend’s brother. And as fate would have it, they stumble back into each other’s life years after college. Hazel takes one look at Josh’s calm manner and unassuming personality, and immediately decides they’re going to be best friends. She makes no secret of the fact that she had a huge crush on him in college, but she knows that they’re simply not suited for each other. And when Josh’s current relationship comes to a crashing end, they make a bid on setting each other up on blind dates until each of them find ‘the one’. What ensues can only be described as one hysterically bad date after another. I was eagerly turning the pages just to read the next laugh out loud disaster of a date they’d inadvertently line up for each other next. And as the dates continue, Josh and Hazel’s unlikely friendship blossoms.

I can’t believe I’m encouraging this conversation, but you were telling me about your gynecologist snubbing you and I’m actually curious to hear how it turned out.”
“So I stopped in the middle of the gymnasium and smiled at him—not my courtesy smile, but my real one—and he just walked by.”
“Maybe he didn’t see you.”
“He definitely saw me—and don’t get me wrong, I run into guys all the time who’ve seen my vagina and pretend not to know who I am. Things don’t work out and that’s fine. But I paid this guy.”

I adored Josh. Where Hazel was a refreshingly different heroine, Josh was definitely a refreshingly different hero. He’s a serial monogamist that doesn’t sleep around. He’s sweet, serious, and in any other book he could have been entirely forgettable. But Christina Lauren made him one of the most lovable and memorable characters here; with Hazel being the perfect kooky balance.

Your turn.”
“Me?” I honestly have no idea how many guys I’ve been with, so I pull a lowball number out of the air. “Maybe twenty.”
His eyes go wide and he coughs as he swallows. “Twenty?”
“Actually probably more? Let’s say thirty.”
Josh shakes his head and laughs. “Wow, okay.”
This response is not an improvement.
“Don’t do that.” I point a finger at him. “Don’t act like I’ve crossed some magical threshold of appropriate numbers for a woman. If I was a dude and said that, you’d reply, ‘In high school, right?’ and then high-five me and call me brah.”

This was easily my favorite rom-com I’ve read all year. It was absolute perfection that kept a goofy smile on my face the entire time! I couldn’t get enough! I adored everything about this book and the characters. If you’re looking for your next read, look no further. Because this book is simply not to be missed!
Was this review helpful?