The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Publication Date: September 14, 2021 (TUESDAY!!!)
TW: Cancer, death of a parent (off page), misogyny, sexism, emotionally abusive mentor (off page, but described), sexual harassment (workplace setting)
Plot: Olive, a third year PHD student, is trying to convince her best friend that she is over a guy (so her friend doesn’t feel guilty about dating him) and in a pinch ends up kissing the first guy she sees. Who happens to be Dr. Adam Carlsen, a professor who has a reputation for being harsh and rude. When a rumor that the two of them are dating runs through the Biology Department, they decide to keep up the ruse and fake date for their mutual benefits.
Look I have been hyped about this since it was announced. I followed the author on Twitter before it was announced since she wrote fanfiction. So, when I realized that she was getting one of her fics published…I was so excited for her (and for me because her fics are very good) and then the cover looks just like Rey and Kylo Ren (from Star Wars) and it’s illustrated by an artist who has done a lot of Reylo art…I’ll let you put together the pieces.
Also, I made an Instagram reel for this book and spent like 2 hours looking at stock images of people kissing and lab techs so if you would like to give it some love…I would appreciate it. You can find it here.
WHAT I LOVED
- Everything lol
- I literally have already reread it.
- I am trash for fake dating and I loved how it played out here. You got the meddling friend, the friend that knows it’s fake, the rando people who witness the whole thing, & more.
- I’ve read a ton of fanfic of this pairing and there are common themes/side pairing in them, and it was fun seeing what the author chose to include in this. I also sort of knew how this was going to end because of a common trope in many of these fics, but as a result, it almost felt like a comfort read even though I had not read it before.
- A big part of the reason I love fanfic is that as a reader, you’re invested in the characters before you even read the fic. So going into this, I almost felt that feeling with Olive and Adam. I loved them very quickly even though they were still being introduced to me.
- The banter between Olive and Adam is amazing. We have grumpy/sunshine and “I hate everyone but you” tropes going on which are a lot of fun.
- This whole book is just full of tropes and I am not mad about it.
- Olive is very self-aware of the fact that “fake dating” is a rom com trope and it was refreshing.
- Also, when they go away together she is like “THERE IS ONLY GOING TO BE ONE BED” and Adam is like, “No…I booked the room…there are two” and Olive responds with “THERE IS ALWAYS ONE BED” and Adam is just ???? Literally amazing.
- I love the representation of a woman in STEM and the academia world on page. The author has a PHD and is now a professor, so I am assuming it is pretty legit.
- There is a subtle Pride and Prejudice (2005) hand touch moment which killed me. At least I am interpreting the hand touch as inspired by the 2005 film based on how often the author posts memes from the film.
- Adam is literally so funny. I highlighted so many of his lines bc I was dying!!
- They both are so smart and are both super proud of each other which is cute. There is also some science talk in here that I was like…okay yay science!
- Olive has a lot of imposter syndrome and seeing her work through it was pretty cool.
- I loved when her and Adam talked about their work and when he worked with her to make her slides better.
- I liked the discussions on academia. From funding to professors retiring to lackluster lab equipment to grad students having no money.
- There is an excellent dry comment by Adam when he offers to pay for her food that had me LOLing.
- This novel is tightly plotted! It flies by and stuff happens quickly.
- I never felt like the plot slowed and the ending worked for me. Often endings of romances drag for me and I’m just waiting for stuff to get patched up, but I enjoyed seeing this ending play out.
- This is a slowburn, but doesn’t really feel like it since things go quickly.
- But, FYI the sex scene is at like 70 ish percent.
- How Olive’s friend calls her Kalamata
- I just generally loved Olive’s friendships.
- The parallel moments between Adam and Olive. She will think something and then he says the same thing out loud.
- But also, the moments where they are opposites. Like his favorite cover is black and hers is white.
- There is a moment that is so freaking sweet that has to do with Olive’s love of chocolate and Adam’s dislike for it that had me like the crying emoji.
- The picnic scene and the sunscreen moment was amazing.
- Like this whole scene from when they are driving to the event to the end was perfection.
WHAT I DID NOT LOVE
(note these were my dislikes the first time I read this, by now I don’t really care lol)
- I wasn’t the biggest fan of the prologue and how they played out, I did not think it was needed and it was weird?
- Although I did like the conversation they had so maybe I did not hate it??? It just felt a bit farfetched.
- There is a lot of lying which is not my favorite thing in romance, the characters do apologize and feel bad about it so it did not detract from my enjoyment, but at times I was just like OLIVE STOP LYING.
- There was a conversation that walks around asexuality that I did not think was handled super well. It sort of implies that Olive thinks something is wrong with her because she doesn’t feel sexual attraction often. In the end it seems that she is demisexual, but that word is not used. I wish they had a bit more of a nuanced conversation on this topic. However, I am not ace, so I don’t want to imply that I’m right about this, it just felt a bit off to me. I think the author has said on her Insta that Olive is demisexual, but it is not expressed on page.
Overall, this is one of my favorite reads of the year and probably one of my all time favorite romances! I highly recommend for fans of contemporary romance. 5/5 stars
*thanks to the publisher & NetGalley for the eARC; all thoughts are my own*