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

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

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Member Reviews

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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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!

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Amazing story! Such a sweet read. really enjoyed it! Great read for anyone looking to find a great one to curl up with!

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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*****

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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.

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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.

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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!

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So cute and funny! I've read comedy romances before and though they had funny moments, there were few that I actually made me laughed while reading. This one made me laugh...several times. Plus, I love the fact that Josh is actually Korean American! I'm not Korean, but I am Asian, and I love more Asian representation, especially in a decent and respectful way.

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In Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating, Christina Lauren have given us two characters you're going to fall in love with, and a story that will have you smiling throughout. This was my first ever read of Christina Lauren's. I must say, I think I picked a good one to start because I've now read more by them.

Josh and Hazel couldn't be more opposite but they each give one another something that completes them. Of course, they take their time realizing this. The dates they would set each other up with weren't ever right and you begin to wonder if they're doing it subconsciously because what they really want is each other. I also loved the family dynamics in this story. Josh and his family are very close and so is Hazel with her mom. I always like seeing great relationships between a mother and daughter.

I'm positive you'll end up falling in love with these characters and their story. I have not read such down to earth but special characters in a while. Fans of contemporary romance should highly consider going out and getting a copy of this ASAP!

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A fun, quick read with just the right amount of humor and romance. I love the diversity with the Asian American sexy Josh. I was a little over Hazel's impulsiveness which didn't seem super realistic. The ending was beautiful and surprising which I loved.

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I just can’t get enough of this writing duo. There stories are never predictable in any other way than you know that you are going to fall in love with the characters and the flawless writing style that makes each of their books unputdownable.

Hazel is by far one of the quirkiest characters I’ve ever read. She has no filter and no shame and absolutely no qualms about how it might make her look to other people. She is unapologetically accepting of who she is and has no plans to change for anyone. She also believes that this makes her completely undatable.

Josh is gorgeous and kind and “normal” and everything any woman could ever hope to fall in love with. Even if he wasn’t enough for his last girlfriend. He and Hazel had a few shared “incidents” in college but never really became friends until years later when his sister, just discovered to be Hazel’s best friend, decides that they need to be friends.

What comes next is a series of awful double dates, plenty of unfiltered fun and friendship. Though I found myself laughing through a majority of this book, it was also full of heartbreaking and emotional moments.. All of it building up to be one of my favorite stories of 2018.

I highly recommend that everyone read this book. Or any book from Christina Lauren because they’ve never let me down.

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Thank you to Gallery Books and Netgalley for this copy! Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christiana Lauren


Josh and Hazel. A few of my new favorite characters. This is a story about friendship, falling in love, and being proud of who you are.

My first experience with Christina Lauren was a few months back when I read Love and Other Words. They instantly won me over with their writing. Their stories flow so effortlessly. They suck you in before you even know that it's happening. So when I saw their next book was coming out, I knew I had to read it.

Guys, I loved Josh and Hazel even more than Love and Other Words, which says a lot. This book had me laughing out loud. The banter between the main characters was so perfectly witty and lively. I'm a sucker for good sarcasm. The beauty of this book lies in the acceptance the main characters have for one another. We're being taught that it's okay to be yourself. This is one of those books that I can easily see myself rereading very soon. I read it one day, which is rare for me. I couldn't put it down. If you're looking for a fun, contemporary read, I highly reccomend this one! ⭐⭐⭐⭐🌠's. Plus, it comes out tomorrow!

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Ever read a book where you wished you could be best friends with one of the characters? Where this is definitely one of the books and the character is Hazel Camille Bradford. She in absolute hoot and I simply adore her. She is fun, feisty and doesn't take crap from anyone. She knows she can be hard to handle, but what makes me love her even more is that he refuses to change for anyone. She is the way she is, and that's it.

Hazel and Josh met back in college. Hazel had a crush on Josh, but Josh thought she was a little too "Hazel." LOL Fast forward 10 years and Hazel runs into Josh again! LOL This time around, Josh can't get away from Hazel. LOL Plus, she tells him that they are now best friends and there's nothing he can do about it.

Both are single so it's only right for best friends to set each other up with blind dates. But not just an kind of blind date, no. They set each other on blind double dates. LOL Let me tell you, I cracked up with crazy dates. LOL They were such a hot mess! I was literally cracking up while reading. But little do they know that with each blind date, their attracting for each other only grows. They just, for some crazy reason, don't want to act on it. I know, I know! Believe be, I wanted to slap them both! But it all works out in the end, trust me. *wink*

If you are in the mood for a great romantic comedy book to read, Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating is the book for you. You will laugh and swoon so hard. And by the time you finish reading, you will want to be Hazel's BFF too! You are going to love it, promise!

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The writing duo known as Christina Lauren have whipped up a fresh, fun and sexy tale about two unlikely friends who fall in love.

Hazel Bradford is a silly, exuberant, fun loving grade school teacher who doesn’t believe in regret nor changing her ways to accommodate other people, much less a man. She knows she’s a lot to take in but is happy just the way she is, which is the perfect counterbalance to Josh Im’s calm demeanor even if it’s just as friends.

Josh met Hazel in college when she threw up on his shoes, she was too zany and unconventional for him though. Ten years later, after bumping into her at his sister’s, they form an odd bond over awful double dates in which they’re most definitely not dating each other because they’re totally incompatible, right?

Christina Lauren creates an appealing love story that pulses with humor, sexiness and intimacy. Anyone who has ever had one of those inopportune, record screeching moments will cheer and identify with Hazel’s brand of wackiness and fall in love with Josh’s appreciation of her fresh and unshakable confidence just as he falls for her.

The attraction between Hazel and Josh is full of warm-heartedness that pulled me in and kept me turning page after page, smiling and laughing, witnessing their growing friendship into more right up until the very end, which unfortunately wrapped up too quickly and a bit strange for my liking. I still had fun and enjoyed the majority of the book.

Josh and Hazel’s guide to Not Dating is a standalone contemporary romance by Christina Lauren , told from both points of view with a happy ending.

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I fell instantly in love with Hazel and Josh. I devoured the first part of the book. I was SURE that this would be my favorite Christina Lauren to date BUT. But. Hazel and Josh were so open with each other about EVERYTHING (I mean, I'm pretty sure Hazel is incapable of being anything but super open and honest about everything whether she should be or not), everything except how they felt about each other and that was SUPER frustrating and seemed out of character. Then there were the creepy ways they decided to get physical: 1. drunk and 2. sleep-induced. I felt icky about both and I felt icky about the mornings after. At about 70% I put aside the book and didn't pick it back up for months (five months to be exact). Still, I was determined to finish it. It was an ARC. I'd made it SO FAR. So I finished it. I did continue to enjoy the Josh and Hazel banter but the "conflict" (essentially their inability to communicate their feelings) continued to feel really forced and one of my least favorite tropes, one I avoid at ALL COSTS, reared it's head near the end. Now, how to I rate this? Josh and Hazel are probably one of my favorite CL couples but I really disliked their story arc and I can't see myself ever rereading it so, ultimately, I'm giving it 2 stars.

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Josh Im and Hazel Bradford are two of my favorite characters of the year. Hazel and her crazy ways are too much for everyone but Josh. This book is perfect for fans of Christina Lauren's other titles, Alice Clayton, and Jasmine Guillory.

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With this, I finish my epic binge of Christina Lauren books. I’ve now read all of their contemporary novels (aka everything but the two YA paranormal books which do not interest me in the least). I really didn’t expect to like Beautiful Bastard, but I loved it so much I proceeded to read all their adult novels and novellas in just over one month (I started July 5 and finished August 6.) The good news is that they publish a couple books a year, so the wait for more shouldn’t be too interminable. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is a fun romantic comedy, sort of New Girl on steroids, until the very much not me ending.

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Christina Lauren are so good at romance novels. Like, so good. I’ve shipped all the couples to varying degrees. Some I shipped mildly, but a number of them I ship with deep ferocity. Josh and Hazel fall somewhere on the less shippy end, but just understand that even that end is pretty good.

Hazel’s POV is easily the most unique out of all of the Lauren books I’ve read. There’s no other heroine remotely like her, and that’s not because all of Lauren’s characters fit the same sort of archetypes, because they really don’t. Hazel’s just one of a kind. I’m predicting mixed reactions to this book, since I have the feeling that in the real world as in the book some people may find her a bit hard to take.

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To picture Hazel, imagine Jess from New Girl. Remember the first few episodes when they really dialed up the manic pixie? I mean, they never take it a way, but Jess is demonstrably more over-the-top in the first few episodes (something that really struck me on a rewatch). Hazel’s like that, only she has no shame and often gets drunk enough to take her top off. But, like Jess, she teaches elementary kids. (Side note: I love that Hazel’s legitimately an awesome third grade teacher because she totally gets the kids, and they don’t judge her like adults do.)

I feel like this book is a commentary on the MPDG trope, because Hazel’s basically glitter given human form. This could very easily be an obnoxious POV to spend time in, but I bonded with Hazel pretty much immediately. She’s a lot for sure, but she’s so genuine. Like, you get the sense that this is just how Hazel is; it’s not for attention or because she’s damaged.

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Then, once you start to really like Hazel, you have to deal with the heartbreak of the way people treat her, and also the even more intense pain of knowing that you would likely do the same. That’s going to make me think for sure. See, Hazel drives people crazy and she embarrasses them. Even with a strong sense of self, thanks to the acceptance of her kooky mother, Hazel really doesn’t know if anyone could ever love her for real, because men in the past loved her wildness until they didn’t and wanted her to settle down and be normal. Oof, my heart.

The plot’s pretty rom com adorable for the most part. Hazel met Josh and college where she proceeded to embarrass herself in front of him over and over. When they reconnect because (serendipity) her best friend his is his sister (she didn’t know because married name), she determines to be his best friend, knowing there’s no way a put-together, perfect guy like Josh would ever date a hot mess like Hazel.

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It’s sweet how the fact that Hazel’s deemed herself unworthy makes her able to truly be herself and feel comfortable around Josh, but it’s also heartbreaking that she writes herself off that way. They become good friends when hurricane Hazel stays at his place when she’s forced out of her apartment by a maintenance issue. Initially, he’s overwhelmed and a bit horrified, but she’s so thoughtful in helping him deal with a bad breakup. They become friends for real, and it’s super sweet. The high point for me is probably the series of blind double dates they go on, which are comedic gold. Somehow they accidentally end up pretty much just talking to each other but that means nothing obvs.

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Also, I just love Josh. He’s very much not the typical romance guy; he’s in touch with his feelings, and he doesn’t do casual sex. A guy who actually loves commitment! And Hazel’s been the queen of casual sex. Aside from references to his cheating ex as a “skank,” the book’s really sex positive. It’s also funny how true it is when Josh thinks about how there’s this innocence to Hazel, because on the surface there’s not but I seriously think it all comes back to how genuine and honest she is.

The ending was not my thing, but, if it were, I would have loved this book whole-heartedly. I do think it’s well done for what it is, but I would have been happier with a different resolution. <spoiler>Hazel ends up pregnant, and I will forever wonder if it’s because she wasn’t good about taking the pill at the same time every day or if it was a complete fluke. What’s good about this is that a) they both realize their feelings pre-baby, so no one feels trapped by it, b) there’s no drama about her not having immediately told him; he’s understanding and excited, and c) they really wanted kids. What won me over a little bit, despite my distaste for babies, was the epilogue. They let their son dress up in princess costumes, and it’s really damn sweet. So. I kind of sort of liked it in the end, but I’ll admit I cringed through everything from the moment the pregnancy becomes apparent.</spoiler>

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Given that this story did a super not-Christina thing, I’m amazed how much I still like it. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is exuberant and charming.

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