Title: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 4 Sept 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads
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?
OMG, I seriously love Hazel, she is who I aspire to be even down to the quirky outfits for each theme in middle grade. I utterly, utterly adore her and want to be her bestie.
Hazel is wonderfully vibrant, a ray of sunshine to all of those around her but for some, it bothers them that Hazel doesn’t come with an off switch. Completely content in her idiosyncrasies, for the most part, Hazel adheres to live her best life every second of every day. The only thing that dims Hazel’s sparkle is not having anyone apart from her mum and animal family to share moments with. Despite Hazel generally giving zero ducks in the conformity department she does have an emotional barrier where her personality and relationships are concerned. Especially after witnessing the collapse of her parent’s marriage because of her father’s inability to embrace his wife’s whimsies.
Hazel and Josh first met in college, with a very memorable first encounter whereby Josh became Hazel’s ‘blueprint for perfect’. She idolized him from day one although they never really crossed paths very often throughout their time in college. However, in a strange twist of fate, years later when Hazel is an elementary school teacher and celebrating her new job with her best friend, Emily, does Hazel reunite with Josh, who just happens to be Emily’s brother!!!!
Hazel has a fabulous way of forcing people into friendship with her, although she believes herself and Josh are never destined to be more than friends because of their polar opposite personalities. Embarking on a ‘make Josh her bestie’ quest along with a series of dating experiments brings Josh and Hazel closer together.
Although Josh and Hazel have their differences, they balance each other perfectly. the entire story set a delicious warmth in my chest. It’s one of those relationships that make your heart go pitter-patter even if it does take Josh and Hazel a long time to figure out their business. Both have been badly burned before and reluctant to put themselves on the line for fear of rejection and the devastation it would cause them if that were the case, But we all know good things have to be fought for – and Josh and Hazel have each other as the top prize 💞💝😍