The Love Hypothesis


Written by Ali Hazelwood
Published by Berkley Books, September 14th, 2021
My rating – 3 stars


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.


I wanted so badly to love this! In fact, I was so convinced this was going to be a 5 star read that I chose it as my first book of 2022. All the people I’ve seen talk about this one were head over heels in love. Sadly, it missed the mark and I was left unsatisfied.

It wasn’t all bad though (in case you were lighting the torches and preparing the march of the lynch mob…). I loved that we have women in STEM! Yes! More of this please! I loved the element of women feeling as though they need to prove themselves a little more than the men. And there’s also the lack in numbers when it comes to women in STEM. As fas as students goes, there was only Olive and her natural best friend Anh. Even professors and conference panel speakers were few and far between. I also loved that Olive knew exactly what she wanted to study and what she wanted to do with her life. It gave the plot a finite direction to move towards opposed to a general “i’m studying science because science is cool.”

I also liked that there was a whole support system and learning how the Ph.D program works. All the long hours, research projects, testing, approval, and so on. I’ve always admired people who went into fields of science but I never had the brain for it. I had many goals to follow a career in STEM but when I could barely reach passing grades, I realized it wasn’t in the cards for me.

I also love the story line and plot. A girl randomly kisses the first guy she sees because she wants her friend to leave her alone in the dating department and get off her back so she can find a relationship of her own. This, of course, spurs on a “fake dating” scenario which I was all in for. Each side of the fake relationship had something to gain. I loved that the lines would blur into this mushy grey area where they would get confused as to what was real and what was for show. I love fake dating tropes and this one was well done actually!

Here’s where the book went downhill for me…. the characters. I’m going to be brutally honest here, so please, don’t murder me! I just felt like the character development was non existent. I knew literally nothing about Olive or Adam as people. I couldn’t get enough information to gauge their personalities, and I felt absolutely zero attachment to them. They were both so flat and boring.. and it ruined the whole book for me. Olive apologized more than any other character I’ve ever read!!! I get it, she’s Canadian, and we are notorious for apologizing… but when a character apologizes SO MUCH that it annoys a Canadian… that’s too many “I’m sorry’s”!! She seemed like the verbal diarrhea type who speaks first and thinks later. And her mom passed away. That’s all I know basically. Adam was just as much of a mystery. I kept reading and hoping that I would care about them later on down the line; that time never came. I actually felt more attached to her roommate Malcolm! He was far more fleshed out and I got a grasp of his personality, likes, dislikes, and back story. His romance got very little time on the page but I liked that more than Olive and Adam!

So yeah – I loved the individual elements of the story. The women in STEM aspect, the “fake dating” trope, the professional dating a student drama (he wasn’t HER teacher so don’t get too weirded out), and so much more. I loved the pacing of the story and the writing as a whole. But I needed so much more from the characters in order to love this. I’m almost positive this is a debut so I’m going to read the next book in the series. I have faith the author will up her game and produce something magical!

Until next time, happy reading!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I also felt like the characters were extremely flat, except for him being a dick to everyone. This book was definitely. Maybe if I didn’t know that it was Reylo fan fic based, I wouldn’t have disliked it as much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was so sad. Kept waiting for the characters to pick up a bit…. Never happened. Chloe Brown is coming soon! You liked that one so I think I will too!


  2. I gotta tell you, someone just posted on Facebook a picture of one of the pages of this book and I wanted to tear my hair out! WTF? She thinks thirty-somethings have one foot in the grave? The page talked about Olive not taking a chair when this guy offers her his, because maybe he has a bum knee, and is probably only a few years short of osteoporosis!!! Insanity. Is this considered YA romance? It is SO badly written…


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