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“The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood is a beautifully crafted story that follows Olive, a scientist who reevaluates everything she knows about love, after she gets pulled into a fake relationship with a fellow scientist and learns about the force of attraction and love. 

Olive is a a third year biology P.h.D candidate at Stanford University who falls into a fake relationship after she panics and kisses the first man she sees, who happens to be Dr. Adam Carlsen, the hotshot professor known for his jerk-like behavior around the science department. After an unexpected rumor spreads about Olive and Adam’s kiss, they pretend to date each other knowing it will be mutually beneficial to both of them. Olive soon realizes that her carefully constructed hypnosis may need to be reevaluated. 

Buzzfeed Best Summer Read of 2021 and September Book of the Month pick, “The Love Hypothesis” is a swoon-worthy contemporary romance. Hazelwood delivers the perfect debut in this funny, sexy, cute and nerdy STEM academia romance novel. This book has everything you could possibly want from nods towards various fandoms and rom-coms to  witty banter, swoon-worthy movements and a main character who is not only funny and extremely relatable, but totally anxious outside of it. 

This novel explores anxiety, self-doubt, working through imposter syndrome, the sheer nutritional value that bananas give as a meal and how extremely sleep deprived one can be from being a Ph.D. candidate. 

Although it was not explicitly mentioned in the book, it’s heavily implied Olive is demisexual, which is also carefully handled in the book and makes for good representation. 

“The Love Hypothesis” is a well-paced story filled with nerdy ramblings and snappy prose.

In a tweet thread, Buzzfeed books mentions that “The Love Hypothesis” gives off the same vibes as the hand flex scene in  Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice (2005). 

This is the perfect light-hearted read that will not only make your heart happy, but also quickly become a comfort book. 

I personally loved the book and would rate it 5 out of 5 stars. I consumed this book like it was the oxygen I needed to breathe. Olive and Adam are now forever ingrained in my heart. If you are looking for a book that feels like getting a bear hug then this is the book I would recommend. I will leave you with this quote from the book and a song lyric that will convince you to read the book if I haven’t already. (Honestly, the Pride and Prejudice hand flex vibes indication did it for me.)

“Her voice was barely audible in the chaos going on around them, but it was what got through to him. He turned to look at her, and there were entire worlds in his eyes.”

“I don’t wanna look at anything else now that I saw you. I don’t wanna think of anything else now that I thought of you.” – Daylight, Taylor Swift 

TW: (Mild spoilers). Death of a parent in the past due to cancer, workplace sexual harassment, misogyny, abusive professor (off-page but described) explicit scenes, cursing, and there is a power differential (Adam is a professor and Olive is a student, they are cleared by the Dean for their fake relationship so no powerplay is in place).

Photo courtesy of Penguin Random House Publishing LLC

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