Book Review – The Love Hypothesis

Hi everyone! I’ve barely finished a book since August due to the new constant stress of being an Associate Teacher. Between planning lessons and getting over the fear of facing 30 teenagers during the week I have been slowly getting things read. I said slowly because in October I only read one book, The Secret History, and that was awful. I was in a slump. I didn’t want to be because I wanted to come home from school and have something to look forward to. There was only one real solution in my mind – Romance. A good romance good would pull me out of the pit of bad reading that I found myself in.

Fast forward to me standing in Waterstones looking at the front table. I was scanning over titles and there it was. The TikTok sensation (the annoying non-removable sticker told me) The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. Now, I had not heard anything about it. As I lover of TikTok I’ve clearly been watching too many cooking videos and teacher classroom tours to notice this blowing up online. I picked it up though, because the synopsis intrigued me.

Taken from the blurb:

As a third year PhD 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 on her way to a happily ever after was always going to be tough; scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting woman, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

The man is none other than Adam Carlson, a young hotshot professor and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when he agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a science conference goes haywire and Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support (and his unyielding abs), their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion.

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

I went into this book knowing nothing. I didn’t know why people love (or hate) it. All I knew was it was a grumpy-sunshine trope Romance and it was set in STEM. I love it when books are set in university and having a woman at the centre in a STEM subject was refreshing. I will say that there were instances where the female characters like they were there as posters for women in STEM, especially Anh who is a woman of colour. The representation, when it was natural, was great but at times veered into performativity.

I wouldn’t class this Romance as enemies-to-lovers as Olive doesn’t actually know Adam properly at the beginning and only talks about him being an ‘ass’ due to other people’s experiences. It is clear from the beginning as well that Adam is besotted with Olive. Adam is a grump and his character does develop throughout and the way he treats Olive is fantastic. I really loved that this book was written in the third person. Olive’s personality shines through but I was glad that we didn’t have her voice from the first person as I do feel that it would have become repetitive.

One of my favourite things that happened in this book was the discussion of Rom-Com tropes. Olive is a big lover of romcoms and I enjoyed her discussion about the bed situation when they reach the conference. I was thrilled when there wasn’t just one bed. I feel like that would have missed the point and was glad of how the relationship progressed from that point.

I should note that although 90% of this book is gorgeous and is a fun fast-paced read that I absolutely love there is a serious instance of sexual harassment. The foreshadowing was there but I wasn’t expecting what happened and it really changed the tone of the novel. It was jarring especially as in the beginning Adam and Olive actually joke about inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. However, the resolution of this plot point was satisfying.

Overall I loved this book. Definite improvements could have been made, for example at times characters felt a little flat especially in the supporting cast. Also, some of Anh’s behaviour is juvenile as is some of the miscommunication throughout. However, despite those flaws I would give The Love Hypothesis 4.5 stars. It was just what I needed and I loved it.

  • The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
  • Page Count: 352
  • Published by Sphere (UK)
  • Content warnings: sexual harassment, sexual content, sex, language.
  • Star Rating: 4.5/5

Published by Allie About English

I am a 21 year old student who loves reading books which helps because my degree consists of reading books and writing essays.

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