The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 352
Release Date: September 14, 2021

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. 


The Love Hypothesis is a fake dating and grumpy/sunshine romance set in the world of STEM. Fake dating is one of my all-time favourite tropes, so I had to give The Love Hypothesis a go and I’m glad I did. 

The grumpy/sunshine is not my favourite trope, but I don’t avoid it. I find that this trope doesn’t allow the grumpy love interest much personality other than grumpy. The Love Hypothesis almost falls prey to this lack of personality. Readers are told that Adam is antagonistic and unapproachable, however his interactions with Olive tell another story. Though their interactions are awkward and strained, they’re incredibly cute and endearing and reflect the personalities of the characters.

I’ve never read a novel set in the world of STEM and it won’t be my last, especially from this author. It was refreshing to read a romance protagonist who was studying something other than psychology which is saying something considering I majored in psychology so I love to see it represented.

The Love Hypothesis was a slow burn romance that delivered in the end. This isn’t a novel that delivers on the spice, but instead focuses on the intricacies of Olive and Adam’s growing relationship in the setting. 

The reason I rated the novel four stars instead of five is because of Olive’s decision at the end of the novel that needlessly created more conflict for no reason. There was already enough conflict and miscommunication between them to begin with. However, I do understand its importance in regards to the real life implications of women, especially women of colour, in the field. 

If there’s one thing to take away from this novel, it’s “carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man”.

Overall, The Love Hypothesis is a cute and slow burn romance that showcases Hazelwood’s strength as an author in this genre and setting. The Love Hypothesis is hyped for a very good reason.


Have you read The Love Hypothesis? What did you think?

One thought on “The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s