This is the perfect rom-com book for any time of year.
Hazel has always been a little quirky and hasn’t had success with dating because men just can’t handle her eccentric personality. Josh, on the other hand, has always been cool and confident and able to handle whatever life throws his way.
From the night they first met in college—when she hurled on his shoes—to when she sent him a mortifying email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh always considered Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, several years later, they run into each other again. A cheating girlfriend has turned Josh’s life upside down and hanging out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air. They decide to help each other get back in the dating game by setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates. But if they are dating other people that means there’s nothing between them…right?
Check out an excerpt from Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating!
Hazel Camille Bradford
Before we get started, there are a few things you should know about me:
- I am both broke and lazy—a terrible combination.
- I am perpetually awkward at parties and in an effort to relax will probably end up drinking until I’m topless.
- I tend to like animals more than people.
- I can always be counted on to do or say the worst possible thing in a delicate moment.
In summary, I am superb at making an ass out of myself.
At the outset, this should explain how I have successfully never dated Josh Lim: I have made myself entirely undateable in his presence.
For instance, the first time we met, I was eighteen and he was twenty and I vomited on his shoes.
Surprising no one who was there (and consistent with point number two, above), I don’t remember this night, but trust me—Josh does. Apparently I’d toppled an entire folding table of drinks mere minutes after arriving at my first real college party, and retreated to the shame corner with my fellow freshman, where I could drown my embarrassment in cheap alcohol.
When Josh tells this story he makes sure to mention that before I threw up on his shoes, I charmed him with a dazed, “You are the hottest guy I’ve ever seen, and I would be honored to give you sex tonight.”
I chased down the bitter taste of his horrified silence with a badly advised body shot of triple sec off Tony Bialy’s abs. Five minutes later, I was vomiting all over everything, including Josh.
It didn’t end there. A year later, I was a sophomore, and Josh was a senior. By then I’d learned you don’t do shots of triple sec, and when a sock is slid over the doorknob, it means your roommate is getting laid, so don’t come in.
Unfortunately, Josh didn’t speak sock, and I didn’t know he was rooming with Mike Stedermeier, star quarterback and the guy I was currently banging. Currently banging, as in that very moment. Which is why the second time I met Josh Lim, he walked into his dorm room to find me naked, bent over his couch, going for it on fourth and long.
But I would say the best example comes from a little story we like to call, The Email Incident.
Spring semester sophomore year, Josh was my Anatomy TA. Up until that point, I knew he was good looking, but I had no idea that he was actually amazing. He held extra office hours to help people who fell behind. He shared his old notes with us and held study sessions at his apartment before exams. He was smart, and funny, and laid back in a way I already knew I would never master.
We were all infatuated with him, but for me it went deeper: Josh Lim became my blueprint for Perfect. I wanted to be his friend.
So, I’d just had my wisdom teeth out. I was convinced beforehand that it would be simple: pull a few teeth, take a few ibuprofen, call it a day. But as it happens, my teeth were impacted and I had to be knocked out for their removal. I woke up later at home, in a pain-killer-induced sweat, with hollow aching caves in my mouth, cheeks full of cotton tubes, and the frantic recollection that I had a paper due in two days.
Ignoring my mom’s suggestion that she soberly send one for me, I sent the following email, which Josh currently has printed out and framed in his bathroom:
In class you sed that if we email you our paper you would look over them. I wanted to send you my paper and I put it in my calendar so as not forget. But the thing that happened is that I had a witsdom tooth out actually all of them. I have tried very hard in this clas and have a solid B (!!!). You are very smart and I nknw that I will do better if you help me. Can I have a few extra days???? I’m not feel-ing very well with this pills and please I know that you can’t make exceptions for all the pope but if you do it for me this one thing I will give all my wishes in a fountain for youfrom now on
i love you,
Hazel Bradford (it’s Hazel not Haley like you said it’s ok don’t be embearassed emberessed sad)
Incidentally, he also has his reply printed out, and framed just below it:
I can make this exception. And don’t worry, I’m not embarrassed. It’s not like I puked in your shoes or rolled around naked on your couch.
It was this moment precisely that I knew Josh and I were destined to be best friends and I could never, ever mess it up by trying to sleep with him.
Unfortunately, he graduated, and sleeping with him wouldn’t be a problem because it would be nearly a decade before I saw him again. You’d think in that time I would have become less of a hot mess, or he would have forgotten all about Hazel-not-Haley Bradford.
You’d be wrong.