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If ‘mirrorball’ by Taylor Swift were a person, it would be the character, Elise Hannaway from Ali Hazelwood’s latest novel, ‘Love, Theoretically.

There are many versions of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway. By day she is an adjunct professor, juggling her workload between three universities. By night, she offers her services as a fake girlfriend and molds herself into the personality that best matches what her client needs.

Her two worlds collide spectacularly when her fake boyfriend’s annoying brother, Jack Smith, is on the hiring committee for Elsie’s dream job: a tenured position at MIT. He is also the same experimental physicist who undermined the reputations of theorists everywhere and ruined her mentor’s career.

This is Hazelwood’s third novel and her most developed work yet. Her books get better with each one she writes. The author gets a lot of criticism for writing “similar kinds” of books. I argue that she just has a formula that works.

Elise is a Type 1 Diabetic in the novel. Hazelwood does a good job of representing a person with a chronic illness.

This STEM academia romance novel is funny, sexy and cute. The main character is relatable and her inner monologue is equal parts hilarious and heart-wrenching. The banter between the characters is witty and the book contains several nods towards various fandoms.

 Hazelwood also incorporates feminist theory in the rom-com, which made it better.

This novel explores self-doubt, anxiety, working through people-pleaser tendencies and the struggle of professors having to deal with students.

Elsie is a character who quickly becomes one of my favorite protagonists. There were moments reading the book where it felt like Hazelwood was seeing right through me. Being in Elsie’s brain many times reflected mine.

Jack is my favorite love interest Hazelwood has written so far. He is also one of my favorite characters ever; the way he carefully helped Elsie come out of her shell, but also comforted her, was swoon-worthy. 

In my opinion, this is Hazelwood’s best work yet. I personally rated it 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend this book to anyone who simply enjoys reading a good romance. 

To my fans of ‘The Love Hypothesis’ our favorite characters, Olive and Adam make a very special appearance in this novel. 

‘Love, Theoretically’ is a perfect read when you want a light-hearted good book. Some trigger warnings include explicit scenes, cursing and the death of a parent. 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.

“Have you considered that maybe you’re already the way I want you to be? That maybe there are no signals because nothing needs to be changed.”

Jack, ‘Love, Theoretically’

“I’m a mirrorball, I can change everything about me to fit in. You are not like the regulars. The masquerade revelers”

Taylor Swift “mirrorball”

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