Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren: An Awesome Read

I think it's because of the freaking Valentine. I think it's the lovebirds' posts all over Instagram. But I blame it all on the chocolate I've been eating this week. Needless to say, my desire to continually consume anything rom-com is starting to frighten even me. After finishing three rom-com books almost sequentially, I bought another long-wanted one on my list: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. Like a man's craving for water in the desert, a few tastes turned out to be not enough. Intending to remedy that, I logged into my Netflix account to see How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and rewatch Holidate for the dozenth time afterward.

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating has proved that my intuition was right: there is another Christina Lauren's book that I love far more than The Unhoneymoonersguess it's time to shamelessly promote my review here (ha!). Following the story of the quirky, chaotic Hazel Bradford and the quiet, get-it-together Josh Im, this book starts with a thorough explanation about why Hazel and Josh are not compatible hence they never date. Having known each other since college, they accidentally meet again seven years later in a barbecue party at the Goldrich's residentwho knows that Hazel's new best friend, Emily Goldrich, is actually Josh's little sister?

When a cheating girlfriend leaves him for another man, Josh is devastated. To cheer up her new best friendsor so she hopesHazel sets him up with some of her friends, letting Josh do the same to her. Double blind-date night becomes a regular thing for them, and the next thing they know, they both become very comfortable with each other...

But relax, it's not like they date or something.

I have officially put Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating on the imaginary shelves inside my head specialized for favorites only. Everything about this book was hilariously entertaining. Hazel's point-of-view was a gemI liked it so much when she teased Josh by calling him Jimin. Josh was kind, respectful, and simply amazingfor real though, where could I find someone like him? And the double blind dates? Downright catastrophe.

It's hard not to love this book when all the important characters were precious. It's even harder to restrain laughter when Hazel had literally no filter whatsoever. Even though their little adventure in finding each other's potential date was the main aspect building their relationship, I felt like somehow this book also offered so much more. It had the right amount of comedy and seriousness balanced, and I couldn't have asked for a better way for Hazel and Josh to connect.

"The world seems full of men who are initially infatuated by our eccentricities,
but who ultimately expect them to be temporary.
These men eventually grow bewildered that we don't settle down into calm,
potential-wifey girlfriends."

It's not easy to point out what I liked about this book without really talking about the entire plot, so let's just say that my favorite part was every time Hazel reminded us readers that she wouldn't change herself just to become more datable to some. While society competed to showcase whoever was the closest to its standard, Hazel managed to stand unbothered. I had no words but admiration for her character.

In conclusion, I enjoyed this book so much that for a second there I was thinking about rereading it directly from the start. If you love finding a quirky character as opposed to a calmer, reserved one, this book might be good material for your next read. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did if not more.

Actual rating: 4.5