2:30 pm EDT, September 4, 2018

‘Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating’ by Christina Lauren is the light we need in this dark world

Christina Lauren has done it again! The two ladies that make up this incredible duo have outdone themselves with the absolutely delightful Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating.

Like so many of my favorite Christina Lauren books, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is equal parts charming, hilarious, and chock full of heart. Before I get too far into gushing all my love for this novel, I should probably tell you about Josh and Hazel.

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Josh and Hazel met many years before the start of Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. Their first encounters include some not-so-flattering moments for Hazel, but as she’s never done anything but be true to her heart, Josh remembers those moments fondly…except for maybe the puke on his shoes part. Years later, a surprising connection brings them back to each other lives at the most opportune moment. The rest, as they say, is history.

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

If I had to choose one word to describe a Christina Lauren book it would, without a doubt, be vibrant. Their characters are never short on personality, they never skimp on passion and affection, and they always radiate life and love in every way. The distinctly vibrant covers that surround these wonderful stories are every bit as alive as the characters within them, which is just one of the reasons their books always call out to me from bookshelves, whether mine or the ones at Barnes and Noble.

I am always so grateful to see a new copy appear on my kindle or in the stack of books by my bedside. I know wrapped inside the vibrant shell of a cover is a story that will help me forget the difficulties and stresses of my day to day life. Hazel and Josh are the latest addition to their collection of incredible characters, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have their story in my life.

I am so absolutely fond of Hazel Bradford. She is a tornado of energy and good will. She doesn’t do anything halfway, and in a world where people are becoming more and more aware of the impact every encounter, social media post, and introduction can have on their lives, it is so refreshing to meet someone who is so resistant to reigning in her spirit. She knows who she is, and while she knows that her boundless energy can be wearing to the less enthusiastic, she manages to find people to surround herself with who value her effervescent qualities.

I love that Hazel has found her place in the world. She may not be rich in bank account, but her life is rich in every other way. She has a loving mother who happily dotes on every animal Hazel has welcomed into her world. She has good friends who look out for her. She has a job which allows her to use her lively personality to its best potential. She may start this story a little bit lonely, but her life is definitely a good one.

Josh Im is one hell of a hero. I found myself wondering throughout this story if I would have the patience and understanding to allow someone as vibrant as Hazel to run as free through my life as Josh does. He never squashes her joy. He encourages her to be herself. I cannot sing highly enough the praises of Josh Im, because I don’t know if I would be as open a person as he.

Ultimately, I just wish Josh and Hazel were real so I could invite them to every party I ever have. I want to watch them complement each other in every way. I want to see him holding her drink for a moment so she can run and show everyone how great her cartwheels are getting. I want to see her pulling him onto the empty dance floor because the radio just started playing her new favorite song. I want to be present for all the joy and love that their future will have. Josh and Hazel are a brilliant light for this dark world and I would happily be fanning the flames to ensure their light never goes out.

Make sure to grab your copy today from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Indiebound. And don’t forget to add it on Goodreads, too!

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