Book Clubbin’: 9 Discussion Questions for ‘The Hating Game’ by Sally Thorne

Our Book Clubbin’ blog feature has returned and this time we’re diving into a much loved listen with a highly anticipated big screen adaptation coming our way, and that listen would be The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

In this debut from Thorne, we follow Lucy Hutton, the nice girl working at this big publishing company. She gets along with everyone in the office and everyone loves her except her office-mate and rival, Joshua Templeman. As tensions rise due to a looming promotion that will go to either Lucy or Joshua, they push each other in ways they never thought possible between them and soon they find out that there is a fine line between hate and love.

The Hating Game film adaptation starring Lucy Hale as Lucy and Austin Stowell as Joshua hits theaters today and I know I’m itching to see this steamy listen come to life on the big screen. So, if you’re book club has decided to give The Hating Game a read before hitting the movie theater, we’ve got all the questions you need to spark a great discussion.

Keep reading for our discussion questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.


1) How did you feel about Danny as a love interest for Lucy? Was she ever actually interested in him?

2) Would you have preferred if this book was told in alternating chapters from both Lucy and Josh’s perspective?

3) Do you see any similarities between the two companies merging and Lucy and Josh falling for each other?

4) Do you think Lucy ever truly hated Josh?

5) Do you think Lucy would have stood up for herself without Josh’s influence?

6) Why do you think Josh hid his feelings from Lucy for so long?

7) Did you pick up on the hints Josh kept leaving that he’s always loved her? Were you surprised when he revealed that his bedroom was painted the same color as her eyes?

8) Were you surprised to find out that Josh’s brother’s wife was Josh’s ex-girlfriend? Why do you think Josh hid this from Lucy?

9) What do you think Lucy and Josh’s futures look like together?

Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.

New to Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Staff Pick: Shipped by Angie Hockman

Title: Shipped

Author: Angie Hockman

Narrator: Inés Del Castillo

The only media I want to consume right now is escapist comedy – no explanation necessary – and this brand-new rom-com meets travelogue by debut author Angie Hockman absolutely fits the bill.

Shipped is a quick, easy read centered around Henley, an overworked marketing manager at an adventure travel company. She’s up for a big promotion, but so is her rival Graeme, the remote social media manager whom she’s never met.

When their boss tasks them with taking one of the company’s cruises through the Galápagos (best proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos wins the promotion) Henley doesn’t expect to fall in love with the Galápagos – or with her hunky competition – but of course that’s exactly what happens.

I found comfort in that predictability and enjoyed the twists and turns the author added along the way. Shipped offers a great dose of armchair travel while we stay at home, and was sweet, smart and fun. Listening in audio made the armchair travel experience all the more immersive. Narrator Inés Del Castillo made me feel like I was really seeing the flamingoes on Floreana Island, feeling the sand on my toes during a wet Zodiac landing, or sighting wild tortoises in the highlands of Puerto Ayora.

Del Castillo also beautifully brought to life Hockman’s multi-dimensional characters – no one fit an overused archetype – and I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity in her cast. Hockman also brings an environmental angle to her plot, and gave me food for thought about the ecological problems and opportunities with the modern travel industry: not often the case with your typical rom-com!

With characters to root for, a romance to swoon for, and a setting to pine for, Hockman hits one out of the park in her first novel. Just be warned: you’re going to want to add the Galápagos to your travel bucket list after reading this book, so start saving now!

Publisher Summary:

The Unhoneymooners meets The Hating Game in this witty, clever, and swoonworthy novel following a workaholic marketing manager who is forced to go on a cruise with her arch-nemesis when they’re up for the same promotion.

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.

The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.

Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.

With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?

Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne, Shipped is a fresh and engaging rom-com that celebrates the power of second chances and the magic of new beginnings.

Read more and sample the audio →

New to Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

The Season of Love: Rom-Coms and the Newest Trend in Audiobooks

I love romantic comedy novels. Much like their movie counterparts, some people are snobby about them. But I love them. Why? Because they are comforting, and in a world that is always busy, and often scary, romantic comedies bring us escapism, passion, and most of all, a ton of fun!

Obviously, I’m not alone here. We at have noticed a surge in the number of rom-com titles, and no wonder! In 2018 we saw a big trend in movies and TV bringing back the rom-com in a big way (Crazy Rich Asians, Mamma Mia 2, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before), and so it makes complete sense we’d seeing this in the audiobook world too.

So sit back, get a bar of chocolate (or whatever your comfort food is), and stick on a few of these listens.

1. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne, narrated by Jayme Mattler

In the same vein as her last book (The Hating Game), Sally Thorne brings us a fun romantic comedy about a twin sister and brother fighting over an inheritance, and the sexy best friend who comes between them. Darcy, the main character of the book, has a massive crush on her brother’s best friend—who has always been off limits for her…until now. Now tasked with renovating and selling her grandmother’s house, Darcy has to concentrate on figuring out how to protect her inheritance, while also trying to figure out how to seduce her brother’s best friend. 99 Percent Mine brings lots of laughs, and Jayme Mattler‘s narration really brings Darcy—and her feisty attitude—to life.

Read more and sample the audio

2. The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May, narrated by Penny Scott Andrews

Have you ever felt like giving up everything, and moving to the middle of nowhere? Rosa Larkin, inherits a near-derelict shop in a quiet English village from an anonymous benefactor. She plans to sell it, but there’s a condition to ownership: she cannot sell the shop. So she either has to make a go of it, or give it away. So, Rosa decides to stay and run the shop, and much hilarity ensues! Add in a rugby player, a sexy plumber, and Rosa’s hilariously-named dachshund, Hot, and you’ve got a side-splitting combination!

Read more and sample the audio →

3. Accidental Tryst by Natasha Boyd, narrated by John Lane, Cassandra York

Did you love the movie You’ve Got Mail? If you did, or if you love a good opposites attract-type romance, you’ll love Accidental Tryst. Two strangers mistakenly switch phones at an airport. Trystan is a rich workaholic with an attitude. Emmy is a caring, sweet, free-spirited southern girl. On paper, it shouldn’t work…but it does! The fun and witty banter is intensified by John Lane and Cassandra York’s amazing narrations, which bring this novel to life.

Read more and sample the audio →

4. My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren, narrated by Shayna Thibodeaux and Deacon Lee

One of the great things about modern rom-com novels is the fact that the heroines are multifaceted characters. They have varied jobs and roles they fill and aren’t just two-dimensional traditional heroines. In this audiobook, Millie Morris is a professor who’s “perma-single.” She and her male best friends/colleagues make a pact to start online dating. However, straight after making the pact, Millie and her best friend, Reid, have a one night stand, which makes things awkward, so they agree to just stay friends.

After failing horribly at online dating, Millie decides to create a fake online account. Enter “Catherine,” Millie’s fictional persona, who…of course…gets matched with Reid…

Read more and sample the audio →

5. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, narrated by Carly Robins.

This is SUCH a cool listen. The heroine, Stella Lane, works in a well-paid, technical job, making algorithms that predict customer purchases. However, her social life is not as successful as her professional life. Helen finds it hard to be in relationships, which she attributes to being on the Austistic spectrum, as well as a lack of romantic experience. So she comes up with the idea of hiring an escort to get “experience with a professional.” This hilarious read can get pretty steamy, but it’s a great read from a unique perspective and a neurodiverse author.

Read more and sample the audio →

New to Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!