Saturday, January 20, 2018

Mini Reviews [1] The Hating Game & The Baller

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne,
Katie Schorr (Narrator)
Synopsis (via 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. 

“I want to know what’s going on in your brain. I want to juice your head like a lemon.”
I didn't love The Hating Game. Lucy and Joshua really frustrated me as characters, and I didn't understand their reasons for the games they played. If you hate a coworker with every fiber of your being, it makes more sense to remain professional and pretend they don't exist. 

It was clear that their games were thinly veiled flirtations, but neither of them admitted their feelings, and the progression of their relationship was painful. It also didn't feel realistic to me. Lucy had the potential to be a quirky-cute character, but a lot of her actions and conversations were childish. 

I didn't mind listening to this in the background, but I wasn't too worried if I missed something. I'm sorry if you recommended this to me! I know it's disappointing when a friend doesn't like a book as much as you did.

The Baller by Vi Keeland,
Mackenzie Cartwright (Narrator),
Sean Crisden (Narrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men's locker room.
It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.
The famed quarterback decided to bare all.
And by all, I don't mean he told me any of his secrets.
No. The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question.
On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby--screwing with me.
When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw
with me, to wanting to screw me.
But I don't date players.
And it's not because I'm one of the few women working in the world of professional football.
I'd date an athlete.
It's the
other kind of player I don't date.
You know the type. Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.

Brody Easton was the ultimate player.
Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.
But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.
Turned out, I was that girl.
Simple right? Let's face it. It never is.
There's a story between once upon a time and happily ever after...
And this one is ours.  
“They say blood is thicker than water, but that doesn’t mean shit. Everyone needs water to live.”
The Baller is my first book by Vi Keeland. It was a fun story that provided a nice break from what I routinely read. The language was occasionally too much, but it wasn't unbearable. (I'm not against swearing, but it seemed to be the bulk of Brody's vocabulary.)

I liked their story well enough, especially the ending (adorable!), and thought Brody's relationship with his ex-girlfriend's ailing grandmother was sweet. It allowed us to see a different side of him. However, the addition of Brody's ex-girlfriend was odd at times and didn't always flow with the rest of the story. She wasn't there, then she was, but then she had her own perspective for a few chapters...

If you're looking for something short and entertaining to read, this might be worth looking into! It was enjoyable, but not very memorable. 


  1. I actually enjoyed both these books. Neither were 5-star reads, but I was entertained. I think I expected more from The Hating Game, however, I really ended up loving Josh and thought there was a lot of great banter.

    1. I thought they were entertaining, but I had issues with both. In THG we learn a lot about Josh at the end, but he was often cruel to Lucy before then. Lucy was equally mean, and they were constantly competing. I didn’t find that aspect enjoyable.

      The Baller was good, but not memorable. I’m glad I read it once, but it probably won’t be one that I read over and over again.

      They weren’t my cup of tea, but I’m happy you were able to enjoy them!

  2. I liked the Hating Game, but I didn't have that "OMG best book ever" feeling that a lot of readers seemed to have. I felt that Josh was sort of mean to Lucy and vice versa. And I remember them being really fixated on the way each other looked. Like really really. Maybe I went in with expectations that were too high....
    Jen Ryland Reviews

    1. I know what you mean. A few of my friends told me I needed to read it as soon as possible because it’s one of their favorite books, but it just didn’t work for me. That’s okay! Every person is different and enjoys different things.

      Yes! I felt like they were very fixated on clothes and how they looked. I liked the book, but a lot of things about it irked me.

  3. I felt the same about The Hating Game. It was okay but I read it at peak - THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER phase - so I was expecting a lot and was disappointed. I found Lucy, especially, to be super unprofessional.

    Happy weekend L!

    For What It's Worth

    1. I agree about Lucy! Both she and Josh were extremes. He was always impeccably overdressed, she wore things that showed her panties. Joshua would stew in silence, she had diarrhea of the mouth. I think their bosses were aware of the situation, and I know HR was, but they were allowed to carry on with their nonsense. I ROLLED MY EYES SO MUCH, KAREN.

  4. Ohno, I really loved The Hating Game. Sorry it wasn't a good one for you. And I really liked Baller too! Vi Keeland's books are also my go-to's whenever I'm in a slump. :)

    Blessie @ Mischievous Reads

    1. I was enjoying it at first (THG), but then... I don't know. I started to get annoyed and frustrated with the characters.

      I can definitely see Vi Keeland being an author I default to when I don't know what to read next! It was light and fun, just not mind-blowing for me. I'm really glad you enjoyed them! I love that we all have different tastes and can kindly discuss what we thought about a book. If only the world could be this civil, lol.


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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless