Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
by Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: Sept. 4, 2018
Genre: Romance

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?



Have you ever read something so genuinely heartwarming that you can’t help but smile the entire time? Well, that was J&HGtND for me. I found myself smiling fondly throughout the story and it all had to do with Hazel and Josh. Both of these characters were so amazingly well-written and felt so real, that it was hard not to become smitten with them. But first let me back up a second.

The whole story is this adorable whirlwind of will they/won’t they between Hazel and Josh. We get a little history lesson on these two and how Hazel knew Josh from college when she was dating his roommate. She also sort of had a crush on him towards the end but he graduated college and moved off to bigger things. Fast forward almost a decade later and Hazel is meeting her best-friend’s brother… who just so happens to be Josh. Small world, right? Anyway, these two strike up an unlikely friendship, and pretty soon try to help each other out by setting up blind dates for the other person. A blind date that they plan to do via a double date. We sit back and watch as these two go on one disastrous double date after another, meanwhile trying desperately to keep their feelings for each other at bay.

I’m sure one thing everyone is going to walk away with from this book is how awesome Hazel is. She’s over the top, crazy, fun, light-hearted, and optimistic. She was a breath of fresh air. I loved her character and wish I had a Hazel in my life. She was so much fun and I just wish I could experience life the way she does. So, I could totally see how Josh fell head-over-heels in love with her. I could also understand how upset he’d get when blind date after blind date was turned off by Hazel’s personality. So what if she likes themed clothing? He found her knack for dressing for the occasion adorable, sometimes odd… but adorable. I guess I could sort of relate to Hazel’s quirkiness because I tend to “march to the beat of my own drum”, something my mother’s told me before. So I loved that Hazel gets excited to meet a blind date who breeds ponies and decides to dress up in this cowgirl outfit. It’s kind of similar to something I did a handful of years ago. I once went shopping for a cowboy outfit just to attend a country concert I was going to… and I don’t even listen to country music! But there I was wearing my new cowboy boots, cowboy hat, plaid shirt, and a shiny new sheriff’s badge. So… I guess I can totally relate to Hazel.

But Hazel wasn’t the only amazing character in this story. I adored Josh, too. He was so supportive of Hazel. He called her crazy, but then encouraged her to be her. He’d do things that would make her smile and lift her spirits, and I’m not talking about just buying her a bouquet of flowers and calling it a day. Even though he was this straight-laced guy, he embraced Hazel’s quirkiness and allowed her to be her without making her feel like she was being weird. Josh got a lot of props from me. Plus, I loved that during all of these blind dates, he never gave any of the women a second glance. He was always focused on Hazel throughout it all, and I really liked that the author’s didn’t add any unnecessary drama for these two.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is an adorable read. I loved the characters, loved the story’s progression, and I just wish that these two were real so that I could be friend’s with them. Whenever I see a new Christina Lauren book coming out, I always get excited because I know that I’m in for a good time. However, this quirky love story is by far my favorite of theirs.


Favorite quote…

“I realize that finding the perfect person isn’t going to be easy for me because I’m a lot to take,” she says, “but I’m not going to change just so that I’m more datable. At the end of the day, being myself is enough. I’m enough.”




6 Thoughts on “Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

  1. Woo hoo, yours is the second VERY positive review for this book I read today, and I’m just SO happy! If I wanted to try this one before, now it’s A MUST 😀 Thanks for reviewing it, Kristin!

  2. aww I really need a book like this one in my life!!! I love those feel good books that leave you happy like this.

  3. I love when a character grabs me and won’t let go.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. I don’t always like their books but this one is freaking adorable! I’m reading it now and should finish it today.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  5. bookwormbrandee on 12 September, 2018 at 9:40 am said:

    Omigosh Kristin, that quote is awesome! I’m so happy you had such a good time with Josh and Hazel. I’m looking forward to meeting them. 🙂

  6. Lauren Becker on 16 September, 2018 at 8:56 pm said:

    I NEED to read this. It just sounds so good, and I’m pretty sure I’d love Hazel too.


Jump in on the discussion: click on the notify button below to follow along

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Post Navigation