Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a cute and fun romance novel! Definitely recommend if you’re not opposed to the premise of teacher/grad student relationships.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on!

Premise (from Goodreads)

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.

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

Okay, I 100% feel the need to preface this review by saying I had no idea this was supposed to be a Reylo Fanfic; send help. Once I learned this, I simply proceeded pretending that I hadn’t. I honestly can’t stand the Reylo pairing (or that entire film disaster that was The Rise of Skywalker), so really that was the only way I had a hope of enjoying this book as it’s own product.

The Love Hypothesis is a fake dating workplace (academic) romance with a dash of hate-to-love. I know that the nature of the romance (grad student and tenured professor) will be off putting to some people, but I think the book handled that dynamic fairly well. It was only when there was a second pairing of this type featured in the book that I got a bit weirded out and skeptical about whether or not the author just secretly has a professor kink thing going on. If that kind of thing make you uncomfortable, you might want to give this one a pass for now.

That being said, I really enjoyed the characters in this book and the dynamic between them. As someone who has a Masters in a STEM field and is currently a PhD student (not in STEM), I was a bit worried about how things would be portrayed, but the author herself was a PhD STEM student, so I have no doubt that her experiences helped make the characters and plot realistic.

I will give a bit of a warning that this book does deal with sexism/misogyny and sexual harassment, but I thought Ali Hazelwood did a good job of not pushing that story arc too long or too far. It occurs fairly late and is resolved fairly quickly. I would definitely say the part I most enjoyed about this was the grumpy x sunshine dynamic and the strong friendships portrayed throughout. I admit that I’m still not sure how I feel about Adam’s character, being that he is a bit of a condescending jerkface and I’m not quite sure that he ever really learned this about himself, even by the end of the novel. I’ll just have to be satisfied with my headcanon that he got better.

Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

One thought on “Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

  1. The Crazy Bookworm May 12, 2022 / 10:22 am

    I just finished reading this book a week ago. It was good but it would have been great.


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