14 Books Like The Hating Game Perfect For Fans Of The Sally Thorne Novel

In The Hating Game, we are introduced to Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman who absolutely despise one another.

14 Books Like The Hating Game Perfect For Fans Of The Sally Thorne Novel

In fact, Lucy Hutton would go as far as to call Joshua Templeman her nemesis, and that is what sets the scene of this enemies-to-lovers romance novel.

Working alongside one another as assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company, these two have no issue displaying their dislike for each other through passive-aggressive comments and actions.

This all comes to a head when they are both up for the same promotion as one another, with only one able to achieve their dream job.

The Hating Game is your classic enemies-to-lovers romance novel, with burning tension between the two as they tread the fine line between love and hatred.

This book was made into a movie starring Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell, and it has fans across the globe. So, if you were a big fan of The Hating Game, check out this guide for 14 of the best books like The Hating Game perfect for fans of the Sally Thorne novel.

If you love The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, then you’ll absolutely adore The Unhoneymooners, The Kiss Quotient, People We Meet on Vacation, It Happened One Summer, and Opposites Attract. Check out this guide for 14 novels like The Hating Game.

Themes In The Hating Game

There are several different themes explored in The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Some of these themes are minor, background themes, while others are integral to the plot of the book. Some of the key themes of The Hating Game include the following.


Competition is a theme that is key to the storyline of The Hating Game. This book is filled with competition between the two key characters, and this game of hatred between the two inspires the name of this novel.

The competition between Lucy and Joshua is something that is developed throughout the novel. It starts off small through passive-aggressive acts displayed by both characters to emphasize their hatred towards each other.

However, as the plot thickens, and the opportunity for progression appears, this competition only grows more intense.

Suddenly, Lucy has her arch-enemy posing as the only real threat between her and her dream job, and there is no way that she’s going to allow him to stop her.

As the possibility for promotion is introduced in the novel, the theme of competition only grows more fierce.

Enemies To Lovers

Perhaps the theme that is most integral to this novel is enemies to lovers. From the very start of this novel, the reader is made aware that Lucy despises Joshua, and that he feels the same way about her.

The book must start with them as enemies as this is the only way for the plot to develop.

Throughout this novel, the reader sees the main characters tread the thin line between love and hatred, and as this happens, the characters progress closer and closer to being lovers than to being enemies.

Hatred is a very intense emotion, and in order to feel that intense emotion for somebody, you must be able to love someone as intensely too.

That is the theme that is explored throughout this novel, and without this theme, the novel would lose its backbone.

Career Progression

Finally, career progression is another key theme in this novel. Both Lucy and Joshua are very career-minded individuals, and their dreams for progressing within the industry are critical for the plot of this book.

If either Lucy or Joshua had zero interest in progressing in their careers, then the introduction of the possibility of promotion would not add any fuel to the fire of hatred between the two.

Instead, the person interested in the promotion would go for it, and the other person would simply stay where they are. This would kill the storyline dead in its tracks.

But the interest of both in progressing their career ensures that the existing tension between the two is intensified.

The possibility of promotion acts like a plot line that drives this storyline in the right direction, and it is the catalyst that ultimately leads to these enemies becoming lovers.

14 Books Like The Hating Game

If you loved The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, then I’m confident that you’ll love the following novels. So, if you are looking for a book like The Hating Game, check out any of the novels below.

The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners

The Unhoneymooners was first published in 2019, and since then it has become a firm favorite among any bibliophiles that love romance novels. It is your classic enemies-to-lovers romance, with fake dating tropes and a dream location to boot.

So it is easy to see why so many people reach for this as a summer read. At the center of this novel is Olive Torres, a twin who is used to being down on her luck.

From recently losing her job, to her poor romance history, her life seems to be jinxed, and this is just further reinforced by the fact that her twin sister – Ami – lives a picture-perfect life.

But there is a twist of fate, when the entire wedding party gets ill at Ami’s wedding – all except for Olive. With a dream honeymoon up for grabs, Olive is eager to jump at her sister’s misfortune, there’s just one problem.

The Best Man didn’t fall ill either, he wants to go on the trip too, and he just happens to be Olive’s arch nemesis. Can they put their differences aside for this trip of a lifetime? Or will their differences lead to something more? Find out in this ultimate summer read.


  • A cute love story.
  • Incredibly similar enemies to lovers plot to The Hating Game.
  • A dream location.


  • Somewhat predictable ending.

Themes: Luck, Enemies to Lovers, Fake Dating

The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient is another book that has become very popular among online book clubs, Bookstagram and BookTok.

The main reason for this book’s spike in popularity is that it has a diverse cast with excellent representation of autism through the lead character. It is also very similar to The Hating Game, which is why you should check it out.

This novel focuses on Stella Lane, a woman who is obsessed with math. She thinks that math is the one thing that can unite the universe, and she lives her life surrounded by numbers.

While she is very experienced with numbers, she lacks experience in the dating world, and this isn’t helped by her autism or the fact that she despises French kissing. So, to expand her experience in dating, she hires an escort.

This starts a partnership between the two where Michael – the escort – helps Stella learn all the essential information about dating.

But as she starts to enjoy kissing a little more, she starts to realize that this thing between them makes sense. That’s when things get complicated.


  • Excellent representation of an autistic main character.
  • Characters that aren’t your classic rom-com characters.
  • An adorable romance novel.


  • Gets a little repetitive in parts.

Themes: Enemies to Lovers, Childhood Trauma, Good Girl-Bad Guy Trope

Opposites Attract – Camilla Isley

Opposites Attract: An Enemies to Lovers Romantic Comedy (First Comes Love)

Everybody has heard the saying – Opposites Attract – and that is the premise of this book, except the opposites come differently from what you typically see in a romance novel.

Vivian is a single mom who has been burned by love before, and her job as a divorce lawyer has only reinforced her belief that men aren’t worth her time.

Instead of changing her mind, her new neighbor – Dr. Lucas Keller, a couples therapist – only makes her more certain. Especially when he starts stealing her clients, and repairing their marriages instead of allowing them to divorce.

Vivian sets her sights on chasing Lucas out of the office, but that doesn’t last, so he instead proposes an alternative. In a fierce battle of wits, they end up battling in the field of love, both set on proving that they are right.

Suddenly, things are a lot deeper than simply fighting over an office, and when family gets involved, things get even more complicated. In this short, yet sweet, novel, the reader really gets to see just how much opposites can attract.


  • The first book in a series.
  • Relatively short – less than 300 pages long.
  • Light-hearted romance.


  • The plot can feel a little rushed.

Themes: Opposites Attract, Enemies to Lovers

The Friend Zone – Abby Jimenez

The Friend Zone

The Friend Zone is an award-winning novel that really is perfect for any fans of The Hating Game. This novel is perfect for anyone who likes a little bit of realism in their romance novels as it deals with real-life issues instead of being a fairytale romance.

Kristin Peterson hates drama, she is fiercely protective of her friends, and she has no time for romance. She is also keeping a big secret. That is that she needs to undergo a necessary operation that will prevent her from having kids.

It’s something she is dealing with, but it becomes difficult when she is planning her best friend’s wedding, and she meets the best man – Josh Copeland. Kristin falls for Josh quickly. He is funny, sexy, unoffended by her sarcasm, and even her dog loves him.

They click instantly, but there’s one thing that makes things difficult – Josh wants a big family with lots of children, and Kristin cannot give him that. As she falls for him, Kristin tries to keep him at arm’s length because she cannot give what he wants most.

But that grows difficult. In this novel that will have you crying tears of laughter and tears of sadness, we see Kristin deal with the realities of infertility and its impact on her love life.


  • Sweet and emotional novel.
  • Deals with real-life issues.
  • A realistic romance novel.


  • Longer novel – nearly 400 pages long.

Themes: Self-Acceptance, Infertility, Budding Romance

The Meet Cute Method – Portia MacIntosh

The Meet Cute Method

If you love a cheesy Netflix rom-com, then The Meet Cute Method is perfect for you. This novel has all the classic romance tropes and I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed after reading it.

This novel introduces the reader to Frankie, a girl who doesn’t believe in love. It’s ironic really as Frankie is a relationship expert for a popular magazine. But it is ultimately her position in this magazine that has led her to not believe in love.

After all, she hears more about romantic disasters than romantic successes, so, understandably, her views are tainted.

Through her job, Frankie gets tasked with finding out whether, or not, meet cutes happen in real life, or if it is only in movies. Will she be whisked off her feet, or will her disbelief in love be proven true? You’ll have to read to find out.


  • A laugh-out-loud novel.
  • A unique spin on the classic enemies-to-lovers theme.
  • Characters that you instantly connect with.


  • Leaves you wanting more – less than 300 pages long.

Themes: Humor, Realism, Finding love in unexpected ways

People We Meet On Vacation – Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation

Emily Henry has quickly become one of the most popular romance authors across the globe, and it is easy to see why. If you are interested in reading one of her novels, I would recommend checking out People We Meet on Vacation.

This novel is a slow-burn novel that tells the story of two best friends who travel together every summer. They are polar opposites of each other, and for the majority of the year, they live totally different lives in totally different places.

But every summer, they reunite for a holiday, and that’s what they did for 10 years. Until 2 years ago, when they stopped speaking. Two years ago, something happened between the pair that ruined everything.

But Poppy manages to convince Alex to go on one more trip together, to put things right and fix what went wrong in their relationship.

But if they want to do that, they’ll have to be honest about the one thing that’s been between them all this time. And it could fix their relationship, or ruin it forever.


  • Opposites attract in this novel.
  • Classic Emily Henry romance.
  • Incredibly well-written.


  • Very much a slow-burn novel.

Themes: Second Chances, Taking Risks, Grief

Maybe Not – Colleen Hoover

Maybe Not: A Novella (2) (Maybe Someday)

Maybe Not is a short novella by Colleen Hoover that is part of her Maybe Someday series. However, this novella can easily be read as a standalone novel, and it is made for fans of The Hating Game.

In Maybe Not, Warren has the exciting opportunity of having a female roommate which seems like a good idea. However, when Bridgette moves in, he quickly realizes that it wasn’t the best idea.

Bridgette despises him, and they struggle to spend any time in the same room together.

But, Warren figures that if Bridgette can hate with such passion, she must be able to love with the same amount of passion. So in this classic tale of enemies to lovers, Warren tries to win her heart.


  • Fast-paced writing style.
  • Excellent character development.
  • Satisfying ending.


  • Very short – a novella.

Themes: Falling in Love, Communication, Enemies to Lovers

It Happened One Summer – Tessa Bailey

It Happened One Summer: A Novel (Bellinger Sisters, 1)

If you are a big fan of the TV show, Schitt’s Creek, you have to read It Happened One Summer as the author has openly referred to this show as her inspiration for the novel.

It Happened One Summer tells the story of Piper – a wild child who lives a wild life and finds herself in prison after one too many champagnes.

Sick of bailing her out, her father ships her off to live with a relative in a dive bar in Washington, and that’s where Piper meets Brendan. A man who is adamant Piper won’t last a week in her new home.

Adamant to prove Brendan, and her father, wrong, Piper throws herself into her new life. But around every corner in this small town, she comes face to face with Brendan and an attraction forms between the two.

But as summer comes to an end, and Piper is allowed to return to her flashy LA life, she needs to decide if that’s what she really wants anymore.


  • Perfect summer read.
  • Very funny.
  • Satisfying ending that makes the book worth reading.


  • Somewhat unrealistic – like a lot of romance novels.

Themes: Growing Up, Facing Reality, the Beauty of Simplicity

The Bride Test – Helen Hoang

The Bride Test

If you loved The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, I think you’ll also be a huge fan of The Bride Test. The Bride Test tells the story of Khai Diep, a man with no feelings.

He isn’t heartless, he has autism, and this makes it difficult for him to feel big emotions in the ways that others can. Khai thinks he’s defective, but his family knows better, which is why his mother returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

In Vietnam, his mother finds Esme Tran and gives her an opportunity that she can’t refuse. So she follows Khai’s mother back to America in a bid to become Khai’s wife.

But her attempts at seduction don’t seem to be working, and the only one falling in love seems to be her. Can Khai move past his self-doubts to fall in love with this woman? Or is Esme doomed to fail the bride test?


  • Excellent representation of real-life mental health issues.
  • A sweet and adorable storyline.
  • Characters that you root for.


  • Leaves you wanting more.

Themes: Finding Love in Unexpected Ways, Opposites Attract, Mental Health

Make Up Break Up – Lily Menon

Make Up Break Up

Make Up Break Up takes romantic novels into the modern day with two characters that have created mobile apps all about love. Annika Dev’s app is called Make Up, and it has been credited as the “Google Translate for failing relationships”.

In contrast, Hudson Craft’s app is called Break Up, and it’s been referred to as the “Uber for break-ups”. So in every sense of the word these two are opposites.

After a brief fling in Vegas, Annika hoped she’d never have to see Hudson again, but those hopes are quickly dashed when he moves into the office right next to hers, and she has to see him every day.

Things between the two only grow more intense when they end up competing against each other for a bid for their apps. As the two clash time and time again, they start to question if this thing between them is hatred, or if it is really love.


  • Diverse cast with excellent representation.
  • Sweet plot.
  • The perfect ending.


  • Not the most interesting front cover.

Themes: Second Chances, Fairytale Ending, Falling in Love

Fix Her Up – Tessa Bailey

Fix Her Up: A Novel

If you loved It Happened One Summer, then you really need to check out Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey. This novel is made for anyone who loves a home renovation show as the main character’s family runs a successful home renovation business.

Georgette, however, chose to be a children’s party planner, rather than joining the family business. And she has been the butt of the family jokes ever since.

In a bid to get her family to take her seriously, Georgette approaches Travis Ford – an ex-baseball player turned house-flipper who just happens to be her brother’s best friend – and proposes a wild scheme.

They fake a relationship for her family to take her seriously, in return, she secures him a job in the family business. But will this scheme have more consequences than they ever could have imagined? Find out in this book.


  • Contains lots of the best romance tropes.
  • A main character that you connect with.
  • Easy to follow writing style.


  • Leaves you wanting more.

Themes: Contemporary Romance, Opposites Attract, Fake Relationships

99 Percent Mine – Sally Thorne

99 Percent Mine: A Novel

If you loved The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, then I’m confident that you’ll love 99 Percent Mine by the same author. At the tender age of 8, Darcy met Tom Valeska for the first time, and she fell for him instantly.

Since then, she’s traveled the world and can say for certain that no man matches up to Tom. But she’ll never be able to call him hers because when they were 8, her twin brother saw him first and claimed him as his.

And so, Darcy has spent her life having to settle. But when Darcy and her twin brother inherit a run-down cottage from their grandmother, Tom comes to help, and it is the first time in decades that Darcy has seen him be single.

So she sticks around to help with the renovation, just to spend time with the man she can never have. Soon, sparks start to fly between the two, and Darcy decides she’s had enough of Tom being her brother’s – she’s going to make him hers.


  • Written by the same author who wrote The Hating Game.
  • Well-established characters and character development.
  • A classic romance novel.


  • No plans for a sequel.

Themes: Taking Chances, Chasing Love, Courage

Shipped – Angie Hockman


If you loved The Hating Game and The Unhoneymooners, then I’m confident that you’re going to be a huge fan of Shipped by Angie Hockman.

Shipped is a novel about Henley Evans, a woman who works an intense day job with evening classes to achieve her MBA in hopes of achieving her dream job at a cruise line.

She has no time to herself, spends very little time with her family or friends, and has zero time for dating. But when she is shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, everything seems worth it.

The only thing standing in her way is her arch-nemesis – Graeme – who is also up for the same promotion. A man who she has also never met.

Up against one another for this promotion, they both have to draft proposals of how to increase visitors to a dream holiday location in the Galápagos. As part of this, they have to travel there together, and so they meet for the first time.

But Graeme is nothing like Henley imagined, and as they explore this beautiful area together, the line between love and hate starts to blur.

With her life’s dreams finally in sight, Henley is left questioning if it is really worth it. If you have nobody to love.


  • Relatable plot.
  • Very similar to The Hating Game and The Unhoneymooners.
  • Packed with classic romance tropes.


  • Leaves you wanting more.

Themes: Work vs Play, Relaxation, Falling in Love

The Trouble With Hating You – Sajni Patel

The Trouble with Hating You

Finally, if you were a big fan of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, I would recommend checking out The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel. This novel is perfect for lovers of romance who like a little depth to their novel, as well as fluff.

The Trouble With Hating You is a classic enemies-to-lovers novel, as the title suggests. At the heart of this story is Liya Thakkar, an extremely successful bio-chemical engineer, who loves takeout food, and lives her life happily as a single woman.

On a visit to her parent’s for dinner, she is ambushed by the guy who they’ve tried to set her up with. So she quickly bails and expects she’ll never have to see the man again. Except, that isn’t the case.

One week after that disastrous dinner, the guy who her parents tried to set her up with turns up in her office, and he’s just as displeased to see her as she is to see him.

These two aren’t off to a good start, and despite the fact that they both find each other very attractive, they also find one another incredibly infuriating. But that doesn’t stop them from falling for one another.

Can Liya be honest about her past for her future? Or will she stay single forever? Find out in this novel!


  • Connects the past with the present with a complex and well-planned backstory.
  • A main character that you root for.
  • An excellent plot line that develops throughout the novel.


  • Part of a series so fairly opened ended.

Themes: Second Chances, Opposite Attract, The Effect of the Past on the Present

Final Thoughts

The Hating Game is an excellent novel because it contains so many of the different tropes that make rom-com movies popular, and this translates really well in the novel.

If you loved the movie adaptation of this book, I’m confident that you’ll love the novel because they really are so similar.

If you were a fan of The Hating Game, then the 14 books that I’ve discussed in this novel will be an excellent choice for you to read next.

They’re all similar to The Hating Game, with their own unique storylines that make them incredibly enjoyable. So be sure to check them out.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Was The Hating Game Released?

The Hating Game was first published in August 2016 and is available in hardback, paperback, e-book, and audio formats.

Has Sally Thorne Written Any Other Novels?

Yes, Sally Thorne has written other novels. The Hating Game was her first novel to be published in 2016, however, at the time of writing this guide, she now has 4 books published.

So there are plenty of other novels of hers to check out, including 99 Percent Mine which we have spoken about in this guide.

When Was The Movie Adaptation Of The Hating Game Released?

The movie adaptation of The Hating Game was first released in December 2021, and it stars Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell as the main characters.

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Noah Burton