I promise this will be the last of the Christina Lauren books for a while! The next Friday Fun Review will be from an indie author (like me!)

Dating You / Hating YouDating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’ve been following my Friday Fun Reviews on my site (or my reviews on GR for the last 2 months), you’ll know that I had Dating You / Hating You on my TBR list for 2 YEARS. It took me picking up My Favorite Half-Night Stand by coincidence to jumpstart my voracious consumption of everything Christina Lauren (writing duo Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings). Still so glad it happened!

Premise
In true CL fashion, this is a hilarious romcom with an amazing couple (both written as gorgeous) and a bunch of New Adult drama. It reminds me of the Netflix romcom “Set It Up” in parts, except Carter and Evie are the agents (execs), not assistants. However, this one also has a serious undercurrent.

Again, I’ll let them do the premise. [from Bookbub] “Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge–causing the pair to vie for the same position–all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals–so why can’t they act like it?”

Along with their antics is a boss that has problems with powerful women–and more than a few secrets, Carter’s family, including an artist brother that’s right out of an “Uncensored” episode on TV One, and a host of friends and assistants that provide substantial amounts of hilarity.

Characters
Just like in MFH-NS, these characters are so relate-able. This is a dual 1st person POV Carter/Evie, but their friends and family will steal the show. All have the memorable personalities of a CL ensemble cast, and as a writer, I’m in awe of how they put them all together without getting them mixed up and giving each a unique voice. It begs for a movie so you can see these characters in action (or just get more of them.)

The story/The sex/The reviews
What steals the show romcom-wise is their “war” on each other and the “shots they fire” in a specific series of slapstick moments (trying not to create spoilers here.) Some thought it was over-the-top; I thought it was awesome!

Also notable is the lack of sex in this one. Having just read Beautiful Bastard where there was not much more than sex, I found DY/HY refreshing. However, if you are reading this hoping for the same amount of sex that you usually get in a CL novel (a la the Beautiful series), then you may be disappointed. I wasn’t. The story was so engaging and fun that I enjoyed it and didn’t notice the lack of sex in every other chapter. Sometimes, you just need a break!

Another difference is the hint of serious social discussion on female inequality at work. These agents are pitted against each other by a boss who’s obviously from the 60s. Don Draper has nothing on this dude. Some reviewers were turned off by Evie’s treatment in the office, and the inequalities of women in this story. While I am too, I also understand how REAL this is in an office. On top of that, these are Hollywood agents, so EVERYTHING is ramped up 100x more than in a regular office. If this scenario angers you, don’t blame CL, blame these male execs and companies who are shortchanging women! CL portrayed this in a real and eye-opening way. It should make you mad enough for action against the oppressive system, not CL for showing it.

Overall
This is a great story. It’s very much on the Women’s Fiction/chick-lit side of CL’s romance spectrum but still has a great couple dynamic. I haven’t thought about a movie cast for this one, but it could do well as a Netflix Romcom.

If you’ve read this one, what do you think about the movie cast? Comment below.

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