Hi! It’s me, calling out some problematic shit in the latest squeed-over bestseller!
- Title: The Hating Game
- Author: Sally Thorne
- Published: August 2016
- Source: Library
- Length: 384 pages
- Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Lust in the Workplace, Fat-Shaming
- Quick blurb: Office rivals compete for the same job while flirting and otherwise generally engaging in an HR nightmare of inappropriate workplace behavior.
- Quick review: If only….(see below)
- Grade: D
I had this on hold at the library for weeks, and did a little chair-dance at my desk when I got the notification it was waiting for me. I picked it up on my way home yesterday and read the whole thing last night.
It did live up the the hype for truly funny banter and bone-melting romance, so I in no way fault anyone for liking it.
1) Towards the end, the hero describes himself as “socially retarded.”
These are supposedly smart characters. Putting words like “retarded” in their mouths is lazy writing and it’s offensive to many readers.
It’s 2016 for god sake. FIND BETTER WORDS.
This is where I get really cranky.
2) The heroine’s boss – a chain-smoking anorexic – brings in doughnuts or cookies or something and jokes about “bringing on diabetes” in her short, fat colleague.
“Ha ha ha let’s make the pervy boss fat and sweaty and tempt him with cookies so he gets diabetes.”
And it’s even funnier because the hero is ripped and the heroine is a teeny-tiny!
FUCK OFF. Not funny. In any way. Ever.
I mistakenly assumed the offensiveness of this cringe-inducing bullshit was common knowledge as well, but apparently not, so let’s review, shall we?
A) Fat-shaming is not, never has been, and never will be funny.
B) Diabetes is not, never has been, and never will be funny.
C) Openly mocking a character by assigning these traits is GROSS and INSULTING and even lazier writing.
This book might have been one of my favorite reads of the year. But nope. I lost all trust in the author and will probably never read her again.
I sincerely hope she gets a better editor and better beta readers who have the compassion to actually notice this bullshit and the balls to call it out.