cover image Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Christina Lauren. Gallery, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6585-6

In Lauren’s hilarious standalone, hot mess Hazel Bradford and blueprint-perfect Josh Im are definitely, indisputably not dating. Hazel, extremely eccentric and lacking any filter, has more in common with the third graders she teaches than the exquisite genius Josh, a successful physical therapist. After a series of embarrassing encounters in college, Hazel is certain that she has proven to Josh that she’s completely undatable, but, when they meet again seven years later, she hopes they can be friends. When it turns out Josh’s girlfriend has been cheating on him, Hazel and Josh begin setting each other up on disastrous blind double-dates as an excuse to spend time together. Hazel is wild and unapologetic, and her yearning for love and family is perfectly blended with her refusal to settle for anyone who doesn’t appreciate her quirks. Though the novel is predictable at times and full of convenient mishaps that throw the pair together, Lauren (Roomies) finds the perfect balance between charming moments and sultry episodes. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Sept.)