The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

“Because I’m starting to wonder if this is what being in love is. Being okay with ripping yourself to shreds, so the other person can stay whole.”

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis is a really wonderful and perfect, rom-com. I devoured it in two sittings, not wanting to put it down for anything. This is my first read by this author, but it definitely won’t be my last.

Olive is currently attending Stanford and is in her third year of a PhD program. She’s dedicated to her research, her friends, sometimes it seems like everyone but herself. Her best friend, Anh, has a crush on her ex-boyfriend, and Olive keeps encouraging Anh to ask him out, but she refuses, not wanting to break the girl code. Plus, to Anh, it doesn’t seem like she’s moved on, and she worries Olive might still have feelings for Jeremy.

Determined to see Anh and Jeremy dating, Olive lies and says she has a date so Anh will get off her back. But when Anh sees her that night working in a lab, Olive panics and walks up to the first man she sees and asks if she can kiss him right as she kisses him.

The person Olive kisses is Dr. Adam Carlsen. He is gorgeous, but also hated by most of the graduate students as he constantly fails them or tears their thesis’ apart. Olive’s own roommate, Malcolm, recently was subjected to similar treatment from Dr. Carlsen. Soon the other graduate students begin to gossip about them dating, and Olive wants to silence the rumors, even as she is reaping the benefits. The graduate students and professors are starting to treat her with more respect. Anh might actually ask out Jeremy.

After discussing it further, her and Dr. Carlsen decide to continue to fake a relationship because it benefits them both. And as they begin to get to know each other, they start falling for each other, despite Olive’s better instincts because she is someone who has closed her heart off for a long time.

I have a few favorite romance tropes. Fake dating is very high on the list (maybe enemies to lovers is the only one that beats it?). The Love Hypothesis gave me a glimpse into scientific academia that I would never have experienced otherwise, and it is a grueling, yet exciting place to be. I know all of Ali Hazelwood’s novels are set in academia (I think), so I’m excited to read the rest of her books.

I loved watching this story unfold. Olive is bright, beautiful, and spunky. She’s hilarious and had me laughing more times than I could count. Adam is gorgeous, smart, and brooding. It takes a while to really get to know him as a character, but he is an absolute gem, and I love him so much. I love them so much together. This was the absolute best and perfect book to start the new year with. It is such a feel-good romance.

Please feel free to share some of your favorite books set in academia settings. I’ve read a lot of books with fantasy school settings (like Ninth House, A Deadly Education and some of the Chrestomanci books are among my favorite), but I really love academia. There was a time I considered going for a PhD (though not for science, can you guess what? English, what a surprise!). And there’s something super cozy and warm about reading about learning and discovery. I’d love to read more books in this setting.

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