Not recommended

The Love Hypothesis




A 3rd 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.


Controversial take, but I didn’t like this book.

It was very fluffy, cliche, Wattpad-esk fiction. You could not imagine how badly I wanted to like this book as a Star Wars enthusiast. But this book unfortunately does disappoint. However, I would like to preface this by saying, I don’t normally like romance centred books.

The Love Hypothesis relies heavily on cringy, wacky shenanigans that push the two romantic protagonists together. It feels very unprofessional and unrealistic. 

I think the clincher for me was the fact that Adam was a professor, a person in power over Olive. I don’t care that Adam isn’t Olive’s professor- he is a professor at her school. There is now this power imbalance between Adam and Olive and it feels morally wrong. I don’t know how no one is weirded out by this? I know it's fiction and both are adults but it's still a little creepy.

I also found it weird that Ahn was so adamant about Olive and Adam performing PDA. It was so hard to read through all of that. It gave off 2013-2016 Wattpad High School fiction. It was almost as if Ali Hazelwood wasn't able to find an actual reason to push Olive and Adam together and thus used Ahn as this device to force affection between them. 

Another issue I found with the book is that each character was very one-dimensional. They each had the depth of a kiddy pool. Olive is this 'quirky, I’m not like the other girls, I’m so broke haha' character. She is so obtuse and unaware it's honestly frustrating. She creates problems for herself and is surprised whenever repercussions appear. She refuses to listen to anyone and overthinks to the point of ridicule. She also really lacks communication skills, I don’t understand how difficult it is to be honest with Ahn. 

Adam’s entire personality is just big. He is a big man. He is massive. He is angsty but also huge.

They both have garbage communication skills and their relationship is a giant whack in the face of the Grumpy X Sunshine trope. I also hate the sex scene- I don't mind if it's tastefully done but this one was extremely graphic. 'He could fit her entire breast in his mouth. All of it.' gives off the same vibes as 'She breasted boobily to the stairs, and titted downward.' I could not take this book seriously, was this supposed to be hot? I may be a prude but I kept flipping the pages to see where it would end, but it just kept going. 

I am a huge advocate for Reylo fanfiction. I went in with the existing knowledge that this was a Reylo fanfic remake, however, it was not enough to make me like it. I thought that I would be the target audience for this book seeing that I both think fanfiction is fantastic and I am a fan of the Reylo ship, but I guess it just missed the mark for me. Despite all that, I am still so happy for Ali Hazelwood and all the support and love she has gotten. 

I understand that the whole point of this book is for it to be a-feel-good, fluffy romantic comedy, and that it isn’t really meant to be taken seriously. The Love Hypothesis didn’t work for me but it worked for a lot of people which is something I admire about Ali Hazelwood. She has made literature accessible to a large variety of people and maybe even got some to start reading more frequently. The book also has great ‘Women in STEM’ representation and the struggling in school rep (lol).

Also major tangent, many people have stated that they wanted to DNF the book or they felt the book was ruined when they found out it was originally fanfiction. I disagree with the notion, I think it’s awesome that people are so passionate about a piece of media that they decide to expand on it. I don’t think The Love Hypothesis should lose any value for its origin. Personally, I feel that sometimes I actually prefer fanfiction over new books- these writers feel passionately about these pieces of media and it's evident in their work.  I highly respect fanfiction writers (especially since they are writing for free! Isn’t that crazy?) Besides, writers all start from somewhere, and I think fanfiction is a great place to practise your craft. You can get real time feedback and support from people who enjoy your writing. Not even mentioning how you can build a fanbase that is going to be eager to read your future works, including when it goes to print.

It's not a book I loved, but I know many do. If you are looking for a cliche, fluffy and kinda cringy book to mindlessly read, this one's for you!

Book Details

Not recommended
Published: 14 Sept 2021
Page Count: 356 pages

Not recommended

Content Warning Summary

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Content