Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Books I've read: Joash & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating


Some weeks I hit the weekend and I just don't have the energy or brain capacity to read anything too heavy.  This last weekend was one of those, so I picked up a frothy romance from the library so I had something fun to read.  

This was a fun one because the two central characters were, at least on the surface, so unmatched in terms of personalities.  Although despite Hazel constantly telling us how unconventional she is, I didn't think she was actually that OTT.  She was kind of flighty and chaotic, but I know people who are much worse than Hazel is, and they still manage to function in the world.

I have to say, I'm really not a huge fan of main characters telling the reader that kind of thing about themselves.  If they are really that kind of character, their actions and the reactions of those around them should show you.

But I digress... 

Josh has known Hazel since college, but they've never really been friends.  So much so that it's a total surprise to Hazel when she discovers her new best friend from work is Josh's sister.  And after meeting again at her house, The pair seem to keep crossing one another's path.

When Josh breaks up with his girlfriend, he needs a shoulder to cry on and Hazel just happens to be there to take the role of new best friend.  Together they support one another to get back out there and start dating again, each setting the other up with someone for a string of increasingly awful double dates.

And why should they keep putting themselves through that torture when the best thing about them is debriefing with each other afterward?

This was fun and predictable and followed all the tropes of a satisfying romance novel.  If it hadn't been for Hazel's annoying habit of telling us how nuts she is, I would have had a thoroughly good time with this one.  Interesting supporting characters, some good sex scenes that never veered to close to erotica and a couple that seemed like they should be together.

So I'd recommend this one if you're looking for something really un-challenging for an easy weekend read.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

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?

1 comment:

  1. Frankly reading "she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge" just makes me go, "Oh, so she's an average woman then."