Movie Monday: The Hating Game

Movie Mondays: On the occasional Monday, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this edition’s offering:

Book Cover | Movie Poster

Book: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (2016) | Movie: The Hating Game (2021)

Which did I read/see first? the BOOK

Author: Sally Thorne
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Office Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: August 2016
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook


I had had this book on my TBR for a long time but it wasn’t until I was on an extended road trip with a friend that I decided to pick this one up as an audiobook. The movie had just been released so it was fresh in my mind. I had actually hoped that the audiobook would be like listening to a rom-com and it seemed like a good book to binge for our day of driving.

We had such a blast listening to this! It was fun and funny but also had deeper moments between the two leads. I loved the banter between these two; they’re the definition of a “fine line between love and hate”.

Lucy is charming and quirky. I love that she says whatever is on her mind instead of playing games. Josh is the perfect counterpart with his many layers. Their chemistry is so palpable!


It was a great read to binge on a road trip!

Rating: 5/5


Were My Expectations Met?

Absolutely! I thought the movie really captured the spirit of the novel and did a fantastic job bringing the story to life. And that sexual tension between the leads was once again the highlight.

How Close is it to the Book?

Despite my best intentions, I didn’t get a chance to watch this movie until nearly a year after I read the book. So while I don’t remember some of the finer details, I do know that the main plot points are all there. I would have liked to watch more of their “hate” scenes for the comedy, but as I said before, the spirit of the movie was captured nicely with the few little bantering clips we got.

The one thing I did noticed they changed was one of Lucy’s plot-points with a co-worker. But I actually liked how the movie navigated that more than the book did.

Did I Like the Cast?

YES! I thought everyone was cast perfectly. I sometimes think Lucy Hale (Lucy) plays the same sort of roles but I really don’t know who else could have been Lucy. She was great with her humour and feistiness. And her chemistry with Austin Stowell (Joshua) was amazing.

Originally, Robbie Armell was supposed to be Joshua. I think he would have been great based on what I remember of him in The DUFF. But Austin did a great job being the frosty Joshua while conveying his true–yet subtle– feelings for Lucy. He can smolder.

thewinneris wintie

I really think you can’t go wrong with either version. The audiobook reads like a rom-com and the movie is charming and captures the book perfectly.

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for The Hating Game (from Goodreads):

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


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