Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Release Date:
September 14, 2021

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation.

Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof.

So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass.

Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend.

But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion.

And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope



I wish you could see yourself the way I see you.”

Interestingly enough, I avoided reading this book due to the hype around it. It’s so rare that I see a highly hyped up book that I end up loving. But the cover was so dang cute and the blurb sounded so good, that I decided to cave and take the chance. Sadly, reality won out, and I ended up feeling like I read a different book from everyone else. Such is my life. *Deep sigh*

It started out so strong. I was immediately hooked by the quirky and awkward Olive and the super grumpy professor Adam Carlsen. I love me a good fake dating trope, so there was that going for it. And quite honestly, I was riveted to the pages for the first 20% of the story, with a goofy smile on my face thinking I’ve found the book. Sadly though, that giddy feeling didn’t last for me. And while I didn’t necessarily dislike it, I just didn’t love it either. For me, it felt like a book a novice romance reader who’s just dipping their toe in the genre might enjoy. Now take that with a grain of salt. This is coming from someone that generally just doesn’t gravitate towards cute contemporaries, so this could very well have been the case of just me. And going off of reviews and just how many absolutely adored this book, I definitely feel like the black sheep here. But alas, it is what it is.

So let’s go with a good ole’ feedback sandwich here. I loved the STEM representation and the way it was written. I was afraid that the academia and science aspect of the story would bore me to death, but the author wrote it in such a way that it added to the story and kept even non academia readers engaged. I loved that about this. I also loved the trope and the quirky heroine meet grumpy professor aspect.

What was missing for me was the chemistry. I just didn’t feel it between these two. This is very much a slow burn, but the more time these two spent together, the less I felt it. The way they were thrown together into awkward situations by Olive’s friend Ahn, the more it felt that way…awkward. I also struggled with the way it was written. It was third person POV in Olive’s perspective, but it read like it should have been first person, if that makes sense. I still struggle to have a visual in my head on what Olive or any of the secondary characters looked like, there was almost no physical descriptions of them. As it was, all of the secondary characters just came across flat, rudimentary, and two dimensional. And it didn’t take long before the main characters came across that way too.

I did enjoy the ending and seeing Olive finally, FINALLY, stand up for herself and truly show growth as a character. I also loved seeing Adam’s fuzzy and soft side. There was some steam at the end that added, though not much for me, to the chemistry. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need steam to enjoy a book. But when the chemistry is already lagging for me, it just felt super lacking here.

So did I dislike it? No. Did I love it? Also no. Would I recommend it? Sure! It’s a cute, slow burn romance that I think plenty would love. I just wish I was one of them. So while it was an enjoyable read, it also won’t be anything I remember or come back to after finishing.

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