If you’re on TikTok, Instagram, or basically any type of bookish social media, then you’ve probably heard of The Love Hypothesis. Ali Hazelwood’s debut romance was one of the most universally loved books I saw folks reading last year and honestly, the hype is absolutely deserved. I had some reservations going in—I’d heard it was based on a Kylo Ren x Rey fanfic and I just do not get that coupling at all—but that didn’t end up being as noticeable as I’d thought it would be and The Love Hypothesis ended up being one of my favorite romances I read last year.
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.
You know you’ve struck gold when you wake up early to read a book, despite having stayed up late reading that same book. The Love Hypothesis is absolutely worth the hype and I had the hardest time putting it down whenever I had to.
I wish we’d gotten more about Adam and learned more about him, but it’s a testament to the strength of the book and his character that despite not getting his perspective or too much information on him, it is absolutely impossible not to love him. And that’s not just my opinion, that is an irrefutable fact. I, too, am a lady of science now.
I took issue with Anh’s behavior in the beginning of the book, especially with how she kept forcing Olive into these inappropriate situations despite being an advocate for women and BIPOC women in STEM. Still, by the end, I enjoyed her character and appreciated how she and Malcolm rallied behind Olive.
The Love Hypothesis is delightful and fun and so sweet. The way I feel right now—the giddiness, the butterflies—is exactly what I’m looking for whenever I read a rom-com, and this delivers in spades.
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