Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis
by Ali Hazelwood
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Sept. 14, 2021
Genre: Romance

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.


Okay. This is a super cute read and if you know me, you know I do NOT hand out 5’s easily. I’m actually very stingy with my 5’s. However, I could see myself rereading this book and relishing in everything all over again.

So about the book… Olive is going to school for her Ph.D. Which is not an easy thing to do for a scientist. Her goal is to try to prevent and cure pancreatic cancer. Her mother passed away from it since there’s no real early detection methods for it. So, a good portion of the book is Olive trying to do her labs and studies and to try to find someone to fund her research. The other half of the book is Olive and Adam’s fake romance. When Olive tries to convince her best friend that she’s not interested in a guy she dated, so that her friend could swoop in and take the man of her dreams, Olive grabs onto the first man she sees in the moment and kisses him. Unfortunately, it turns out to be Adam Carlsen, the most hard ass, unemotional, professor at the school. He’s known for making people cry and resulting in them dropping out. So, needless to say, this is not as simple as just picking a rando at a bar and moving on. However, between Olive needing to convince her friend that she’s not into the previous guy she dated, and Adam needing to convince the board that he’s not looking to transfer to a different lab and will in turn release the funds he needs to continue his research, they decide to team up. I mean, what can go wrong between two people pretending to fake date?

I really like the pairing of these two. Like I said, Adam is very monotone. He doesn’t seem to show much emotion, he doesn’t beat around the bush, and he’s not seen as being social. Most everyone dislikes him or fear him due to his brutal assessment of student’s work. However, when he’s with Olive, you see him soften. He becomes more animated and his personality shines through. You realize that he’s not trying to be mean to the students, but rather pushing them to do and be better. They’re not looking to do 9-5 desk jobs. They are looking to be scientists and to do great work. So, he’s not going to sit by and pass along mediocre work. Let’s just say that I had mad respect for the guy.

Olive was your typical 20 year old. She was kinda spastic at times and just your average happy young person. She likes pumpkin spice lattes and she loves to tease Adam mercilessly. She quick to make hard sacrifices for those she cares about. She was just a really nice person and I loved that she brought Adam out of his shell. I mean, let’s be honest, this book was ALL about Adam. Not that Olive wasn’t great, but I mean, ADAM!

I did like that the author took time to show the characters in their work setting, even if it all kind of went WAY over my head. It was nice not seeing them always separated from that life since that was their whole life. We got to see them in the lab, they talked about their research, and we even go with them to a conference. I appreciated that the author took the time to really give us these characters their whole story, rather than just showing us the romance. It made them and the secondary characters more fleshed out.

The Love Hypothesis was an amazing read. I can’t believe it’s the author’s debut novel. After finishing this book, I went to go see what else she’d written so that I could add it to my Goodreads list, which is when I realized that she’s brand new to the scene. What a way to come out the gate. I highly loved this story. It was adorable, awkward at times, and I found myself rooting for them for the very first page. I stayed up WAY too late trying to finish this book with the typical “I’m just going to read a chapter” excuse and then before I knew it it was 1am. This is definitely an author to keep an eye out for. If you like romance, especially characters that are smart and not bumbling all over the place, than this is the book for you. I can not wait to see what this author has in store for us next.

2 Thoughts on “Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

  1. I’m glad to read you found a book you really liked. It does sound good.

  2. So happy to see that this one worked out so well for you. I am on the fence for this one because of some things I have heard about the dialogue.

    But so happy to see it worked out so well for you here!

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