REVIEW: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
TITLE: The Love Hypothesis
AUTHOR: Ali Hazelwood
PLOT: 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 book starts with a quite uncommon encounter: Olive has an interview at Stanford university for a Ph.D. program at their biology department, but she is wearing expired contacts (because she’s a student and therefore she’s “poor”) which are hurting her eyes; she enters a casual room to clean her eyes a bit… and here he is: an unknown huge male figure with a low and comforting voice. She’s also a bit unsure about her possibility to access the program and he gives her the best possible piece of advice: academia is worth it if you have a reason, a question that you want and need to answer. And – as we find out later in the book – Olive has a really good personal reason: her mother died of a late diagnosed pancreatic cancer and Olive wants to find a way to detect it earlier.
Two years go by and here starts the current story. For totally unselfish reasons, Olive finds herself involved in the typical rom-com fake dating thing… and the novel gives us every cliché of the genre: secret agreements, rules like “no sex” and an expiring date, fake coffee-dates and the inevitable falling in love process. Even if the plot is quite predictable, The Love Hypothesis is still a very pleasant reading, well-written and absolutely romantic. Some pages even gives you butterflies.
Olive is the typical romance female protagonist: very shy and unconscious of her value, but also smart, nice and – in this case – very scientifically gifted.
Oh… I’m sorry, I almost forgot to tell you about the male protagonist of the story: he’s name is Adam Carlsen and he’s a professor at the Stanford biology department… Tall, with dark hair and a low voice… I’m not giving you any more details, but I think that you can make two plus two by yourself… He’s quite charming, I must admit it.
The “cast” is completed by some of Adam’s and Olive’s friends, each of them with their own distinguishing features: Anh, feminist and bipoc activist, Malcohm and Holden, the funny gay best friends, and Tom, the shady one…
What is new in this romance is the setting: a biology department is quite an innovation, don’t you think?
The Love Hypothesis is a very enjoyable reading, with a lot of funny and romantic moments… but I warn you: do expect a bit of drama, too… it wouldn’t be a real romance if there wasn’t any, would it?