Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Goodreads: The Love Hypothesis
Publisher: Sphere
Published: 27 September 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman’s carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.

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 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.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, 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 big 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.

TL;DR: I honestly don’t know what else to say about this book other than to keep gushing about how swoony the romance was and how happy their interactions made me. I’m so glad that I finally shook off the nerves and dove into this romance because it was amazing. The only regret I have is that it’s over and I already can’t wait to read it again at some point because this has fast become one of my favourite romances—and definitely one of my top reads in 2021! All I can say is READ IT! 

I wasn’t planning on reading this book through the night and being a zombie in the morning but y’know what? Olive and Adam are more than worth the dark circles and red eyes! I’m ngl, I went into this feeling more than a little nervous cos the hype is absolutely wild around it, but I’m beyond chuffed to say that it was *chefs kiss* and definitely lived up to all the hype! The academic setting, the endearingly awkward moments, the witty and cheeky banter, the CHEMISTRY! And sex wild Dr. Adam Carlsen? HELLO! It was unexpected (not sure why cos the man is fine) and it was hot AF. So wow (so wow)! 🥵 Like, I don’t know if I can even form coherent and non-rambly sentences for this review because I loved it so much? I’m gonna try though but also who am I kidding? This is going to be rambly and gushing and probably a mess but I hope it convinces you to read the book! 😂

You know when you start a new book and almost immediately know, within the first few pages, that you’re going to love it? That was this book for me! Hazelwood’s writing is so easy to read and full of quirky and humorous moments that made it so difficult to put this book down. I was surprised to find that I also really enjoyed the academic setting and I liked that it wasn’t just a ‘background’ aspect to the story but an integral part of it. Although I’m not familiar with the academic world myself, I could tell that Hazelwood was and that came through clearly in the writing and it was immersive. It’s a cutthroat world and the misogyny is rampant, as evidenced by Olive’s and Ahn’s experiences, and I appreciated that Hazelwood doesn’t shy away from the harsh reality of what it’s like to be in academia in general but specifically to be a woman in academia, in S.T.E.M.

While the setting was great, it was the characters that won me over and I adored every single one of them. This book had such a fantastic cast of characters and I loved that the side characters felt well fleshed out too! I was immediately charmed by Olive’s slightly chaotic and anxious but entirely adorable nerdy energy. She’s wickedly smart and super passionate about her research into pancreatic cancer, but she’s also witty and absolutely hilarious! She’s a literal ray of sunshine and I loved being in her head so much that it was so easy to root for her success and happiness. I adored her friendships with Ahn and Malcolm, her ride or dies, and their friendly banter had me constantly laughing out loud (so much so that my sister asked me what I was reading that was so hilarious)! They were such a great group of friends and I loved seeing them achieve their dreams and finding their happiness alongside Olive. Now let’s talk about the grumpy star of the show, Olive’s long-time secret-admirer, asshole extraordinaire and everyone’s favourite nightmare: Dr. Adam Carlsen. He’s an absolute genius who takes his responsibilities as a science mentor very seriously and cares about his students and their success despite maybe not vocalising that in ways that people prefer. Underneath his gruff and intimidating asshole exterior, he’s loyal, so freaking cheeky and a total sweetheart, especially when it comes to Olive. I can’t even describe the way my heart swooned at all the ways he was a simp for her but I am grinning big just thinking about it right now! Also, listen. I’m a big fan of hugely nerdy men that are hulkingly built (the contrast tho) and what can I say? This man was everything! And I mean, I already mentioned how knee-quakingly hot Adam is when he’s unleashed in the bedroom so… I mean, I guess I’m just a fool for this man. 🙃

Although their fake dating kicked off pretty early in the story, the progression of their romance from strangers who tolerate each other on weekly fake dates to tentative yet adorable friends to swoontastic lovers was immaculately done! Watching them slip into easy, comforting, and totally cheeky banter the more they spent time together made me ridiculously happy. There’s no doubt that Hazelwood does the slow-burn build-up extremely well and the more they got to know each other and found themselves in relationship-esque situations that had me squealing and giggling with utter delight, the more invested I became in their relationship. I mean, there was hand-holding, lap-sitting, sunscreen applying on naked backs!!! And I. Pls. I swoon. I cannot. I loved it so much and it’s rare that I immediately want to go back and read the swoony bits the minute I finish a romance, but I immediately want to go back and read the swoony bits in this book already! 😂

Also, I thought I’d share some content warnings below because there are some topics and events that may be triggering for readers, so please read with care ❤️ CW/TW: Sexual harrassment, mental abuse (between mentor/mentee, recounted), death of a parent (pancreatic cancer)

Have you read The Love Hypothesis or is it on your TBR?

13 thoughts on “Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

  1. I felt the same way about this book—and I read it completely by mistake! I thought that it was The Kiss Quotient, and I kept being very confused that Olive was not on the spectrum, as advertised. I was probably 20% in when I realized my mistake! I mean, they have VERY similar covers and titles!

    Anyway, I also LOVED this one (and The Kiss Quotient, if you get to it, was also amazing).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s one of my faves of the year, too! I am already wanting to reread it. LOL! The only thing I didn’t love was how it ended. I wanted to see further into their future. I honestly just didn’t want it to be over. I need a sequel! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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