Book Review: Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren

Posted September 13, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren
Genres: Romance, Chick Lit
Published by Gallery Books on June 6, 2017
Pages: 350
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Beautiful Player, Sweet Filthy Boy

Chick lit in a standalone novel about two powerful talent agents in Hollywood.

My Take

Are there degrees of humor? For Dating You / Hating You does qualify as funny, but not memorable funny. It’s more ho-hum than anything else. I must say that I expected more of the Christina Lauren team.

I suspect it’s supposed to be funny with Evie and Carter’s interactions and how they react to events as the merger settles itself out — heightened by Lauren using first-person dual protagonist point-of-view, so that we see events unfold through both Evie’s and Carter’s eyes. I do wish Lauren had done a better job of notifying the reader when she was switching perspectives. I had to read for a bit to figure out who was speaking. I also found it annoying with how quickly they leap against each other. Evie does have more of an excuse given her experiences as a woman, but still.

Yeah, as a woman. That leads to the theme here of gender discrimination. It takes awhile for Carter to see it, but it’s encouraging how outraged he is.

There is a funny undercurrent of Evie envying people who have achieved a permanent status in life — homeownership. It first shows up with that tarnished cherub *grin* at Mike and Steph’s. Of course, I did enjoy the pranking as well — poor Carter and his need for coffee… Carter’s big thang is traffic in L.A. It’s not easy no matter who or what he’s going up against. Another side theme is Jonah’s brush with reality.

I like how Lauren handles the text messaging (although I wish there had been greater contrast between the darker background and the text…old eyes…sigh…). And I do adore that ending, with Abbey & Aaron.

Those who “shout” the loudest always seem to be the ones doing the dirty deed.

The Story

It’s an unexpectedly good “blind date” that Halloween, that raises up a fire between Evie and Carter, rival talent agents. But then their firms merge and all bets are off.

Only one of them will stay at the end of their contract, and who will it be?

The Characters

Evelyn “Evil” Abbey is one of the premier talent agents at Price & Dickle. Unfortunately, she’s a woman. A flop, Field Day, is what Brad holds over her at every possible turn. Jess is her great assistant. Evie’s dad was an electrician for Warner Bros.; her mom did hair and make-up at almost all the studios.

Daryl Hannah Jordan and Amelia Baker are two of Evie’s best friends and also work at Price & Dickle. Daryl is a talent agent in the TV-Literary department and has an obsession with perfection that she indulges in at the clinic her uncle, Dr. Elias Jordan, runs. Eric Kingman is Brad’s nephew and a recently injured UCLA quarterback. Interesting conflicts about this guy. Amelia works in HR and has a twelve-year-old son, Jay.

Price & Dickle is…
…a major talent agency in Hollywood. The sleazy Brad Kingman is Evie’s hated jerk of a boss, and he’s head of Features. Kylie Salisbury is his assistant. Brad’s wife, Maxine, is an executive at Warner Bros. who stripped to pay for college. Bear is their dog.

Other agents include Rose (Features), Donald (Accounting), the nasty John Fineman (Features), Angela (Literary), Esther (Legal), Ashton, Steve Gainor was in Television, Timothy, Aimee, and Joanne Simms is a senior agent on the TV side. Jake is a guard in the lobby. Jared Helmsworth is its CEO. Tom Hetchum had been head of Legal.

Evie’s clients include Tyler, a Broadway actor (Bea is his very young daughter); Adam Elliott is America’s favorite aging hottie; Sarah Jill; the nightmarish Marian Isaac, a model-turned-actress; Keaton Avery; Seamus Aston from YouTube; and, Trent Vanh.

CT Management is…
…P&D’s major rival, Creative Talent and Media. Carter “Scooter” Aaron, a TV-Lit agent, is one of their best and recently transferred from New York. Becca is his very efficient assistant until he gets assigned Justin. Jonah Aaron is his artsy, diva brother who made it big with his photography. Dinah is their mom who thinks the sun rises and sets on Jonah. Aunts Doris and Dolores are twins, the Double Ds. Nick is Jonah’s roommate.

Blake and Kurt Elwood (Features) are fellow agents. Lisa is in the HR office of the New York branch.

Emil Shepard is one of their clients. Alan Porter is one of Carter’s, and he’ll be adding Dan Printz, an up-and-coming star (Caleb Ferraz is his manager); Jett Payne; Jamie Huang is a reality show darling (Allie Brynn is her manager); Alex Young is a singer-songwriter; and, Zach Taylor is stage-to-film (Avya is his wife and they have a son, Josh).

Michael Christopher “Mike” and Steph, a talent agent, are friends with a toddler, Morgan. Wyatt is Steph’s chubby twenty-two-year-old cousin. Anna is Steph’s assistant. Ken Alterman is Steph’s boss at Evie’s old agency. Ed Ruiz also works for Alterman.

Elsa “Bone Collector” Tippet is a talent agent interviewing. Gabe Vestes is an A-list movie star who hates Kingman. Dave Cyrus is Evie’s entertainment contact at the Hollywood Vine. Ted Statsky works at Variety. Libby Truman is a party planner. Kai Paialua was Evie’s date at Homecoming. Jason Dover is a lead in a film. Meredith is the birthing class teacher. Frank Nelson has a script for a Michael Bay production. Gwen Talbot had been one of Carter’s early girlfriends.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a white background with the author’s name at the top left and the title at the bottom right. Both are embossed and filled with a purple to yellow gradient. To the left of the title and “holding up” the author are Evie and Carter, back-to-back in silhouetted profile, although Evie has her head turned to us with a smirk on her face.

The title is more Evie than Carter, but each is still Dating You / Hating You.

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