Lessons from Lucy by Dave Barry & Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren: Mini Reviews

Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry
Publication: October 23, 2018 by Simon & Schuster
208 pages
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From Publisher: Faced with the obstacles and challenges of life after middle age, Dave Barry turns to his best dog, Lucy, to learn how to live his best life.

My thoughts: I confess, I have an older dog, a black lab actually so when I saw this cover I immediately wanted to read this book. I assumed it would only be about Barry and his dog but it was so much more. Dave Barry is funny! He breaks the book up by chapters and each one is a lesson from Lucy. My favorite: the fourth lesson from Lucy, letting go of anger. I read this in a restaurant waiting for a friend (of course I had my kindle in my purse) and I was cracking up. Barry talks about his skill of having “a black belt in instantly hating strangers.” He details the many (funny) times he needs strangers to know he hates them including…

This is how I feel about you if you drive your car past a long line of vehicles waiting to exit an expressway so you can butt in at the front…Or if, when you stop at a red light, you immediately look down at your phone, and it apparently doesn’t occur to you to glance up at the light from time to time in case for some crazy reason – who knows, in this crazy world?- it might turn green again, which means that when it does turn green, to get you moving again, I – because I am always the driver behind you- have to honk, and in response you shoot me an annoyed glance in your rearview mirror, as if to say, Can’t you see I’m texting?”

Hasn’t this happened to everybody? I really enjoyed how Barry took his real life struggles and turned them into lessons his dog has taught him.  I found Barry’s writing  conversational, tongue in cheek , and sarcastic in the best possible way. What he says about dogs and living with them is so spot on, funny, and sentimental that I loved those parts as well. Overall, this was a wonderful feel good book that made me laugh and appreciate by best furry friend.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster via Netgalley for my copy 



Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Publication: September 4, 2018 By Gallery Books
309 Pages
Affiliate LinkBuy on Amazon

Single Sentence Summary: Hazel is quite the handful and Josh isn’t sure he’s up to handling her so they spend a lot of time going on double dates, just not with each other

My thoughts: Unpopular opinion review coming your way. I had been seeing such glowing reviews for this book and thought I’d give it a try, but I have to say this wasn’t for me. We’re first introduced to Hazel and Josh when they’re in college and from the first chapter I wasn’t connecting with the extreme quirkiness of Hazel. I’m all for eccentric characters (to a point) but she was too much…of everything. Fast forward several years and they’ve reconnected one summer day. While I liked Josh, I didn’t feel a connection with Hazel due to feeling slightly annoyed during her sections.  I will say that one thing I did like about her character though was her love of animals. That I appreciated.

I do have to say, I don’t think I was the right audience for this particular story because I don’t really enjoy romances that have the majority of the book revolving around the characters fighting their feelings or extended drama until the end like we had here. The amount of double dates these two set each other up on got to be way too repetitive in my opinion. I just don’t think this was a good choice for me from the get go. In the end, while I did like Josh’s character, I never felt his connection to Hazel, I just couldn’t find any chemistry between them. Overall, this wasn’t the book for me but it may be for you, especially if you enjoy lots of quirkiness and drama in your romances.

Thanks to Gallery Books via Netgalley for my copy




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10 thoughts on “Lessons from Lucy by Dave Barry & Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren: Mini Reviews

  1. I’m with you on romance in books. For me a novel can have romance, but I don’t like it when the main focus of the book is about the romance. I guess we like our romance on the side!

    The Dave Barry book sounds fun. (Unlike a lot of dog books that leave you in tears.)


  2. So funny, I have Josh & Hazel sitting in my pile to read, guess I’ll try a bit and if I feel the same as you about Hazel I’ll dump it early on. Re: Lessons from Lucy, I’m assuming since it is a Dave Barry book that the dog doesn’t die??? Cannot stand reading books that the animal is abused or dies, last one I think was The Art of Racing in the Rain. I bawled forever….


    1. I think we have similar reading tastes Pam so I’ll be so curious to hear what you think of Josh and Hazel! Be sure to let me know. And no the dog doesn’t die which I was so happy about. I liked that I could enjoy a dog book and the dog was still there at the end!


  3. The Dave Barry book sounds sweet. I also have an old (yellow) lab–he’s almost 13, but still acts like a puppy. I might have to look for it on audio–especially since it’s not sad!

    Josh and Hazel didn’t look very appealing to me, so I’m glad to have someone confirm that I was right! I need more than will-they/won’t-they to drive a story if romance is going to be a part of it.


    1. You’ll love the Dave Barry book! Labs have lots of lessons to teach I think, they just enjoy life don’t they?! You made the right decision on Josh and Hazel IMO:)


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