The Love Hypothesis

Title: The Love Hypothesis

Author: Ali Hazelwood

Published: 14th September 2021

Genre: Romance, Chick Lit, Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Number of pages: 373

Start Date: 24th May 2022

Finish Date: 25th May 2022


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.


What a book! I honestly could not put it down. I love Adam and Olive. Two nerdy adorable characters who were pretending as couple: a rigid-a.hole but also charismatic 34 years old professor and sweet, quirky, gold hearted PhD student who tries to find the cure of pancreatic cancer! I’m sold!!!

Banters are nerdish, sexy, entertaining but I have to scream at hot professor Adam’s face at each time he calls Olive smart ass! I wish he may have called her something smarter, catchy, more affectionate maybe?

Olive Smith is an orphan, insecure, hard working, smart biologist spending the most of her time in the lab for her research and emailing colleges for funding to work on the cure of cancer with brand new method.

After losing her loved ones at young age she becomes insecure about relationships. She is happy with her research, spending time with her close friends. There’s nothing she cannot sacrifice for them.

As soon as she breaks up with her boyfriend she doesn’t even like, she realizes her bestie Anh likes her ex way too much. To prove a point that she already moved on her life, she decides to kiss the first guy passing through the corridor while Anh is watching so she can believe in her and date with her ex.

The plan was simple till the guy she randomly kissed turns out Adam Carlsen, a young, hotshot lab tyrant most of the students curse the day they met.

But interestingly he doesn’t get furious about her love triangle tantrum. Actually he agrees to pretend acting like lovers for his own reasons to get enough fund to finance his own researches. Both of the parties seem like benefit from this arrangement till Olive realizes she likes way too much their Wednesday coffee dates and don’t forget the fact that she keeps drooling over his six packs. Even though he’s named as professor from hell, he always treats her sweet, respectful and he seems like he also enjoys to spend time with her.

This was just a hoot and a half! A lot of romcoms manage to get the romantic part exactly right, but The Love Hypothesis hits the comedy bit out of the park too. Olive's dialogues are witty and snarky, and she pretty much cracked me up from beginning to end. I couldn't stop giggling and snorting, even while reading in public, which definitely got me some weird looks from strangers.

I absolutely loved that Ali Hazelwood chose a woman in STEM as her main character and highlighted the difficulties they encounter as part of this story. A lot of what Olive went through, including how intimidating it is to be in a field surrounded by men and how unsure she is of her worth and her ability, I am sure many women in the STEM industry understand intimately.

The romance between Olive and Adam developed slowly, with plenty of tension and sizzle. The premise to set up the trope of fake dating was a little silly, but once you get past that, the rest is nothing short of sweet and satisfying. Adam is reticent in the beginning, but he soon thaws and warms up to Olive's relentless cheer and good-natured teasing. His support of her in their shared field is particularly touching and it made me root even harder for this couple.

With romances, there's always the question of whether it contains explicit, open-door scenes. And whichever way the book chooses to go, it inevitably alienates half of the readership who wants it the other way. That's why I was particularly fond of the way it was handled in this book. All those scenes are in one contiguous chunk (spread across two chapters), so it's easy to skip if that's not your thing and you can still enjoy the rest of the story without having to worry about missing anything crucial.

This story totally checks all the boxes for me. It's sweet, smart, and uproariously funny, and it touched my heart and my mind. No doubt about it, anything Ali Hazelwood writes from now on will be devoured by me posthaste.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


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