Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood


The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, y’all. It was seriously just the sweetest thing. I’m going to be transparent and tell you that I didn’t think I’d be super interested in The Love Hypothesis when I first heard of it. I’m not a science person. Like, at all. But I am a Star Wars person, and I thought something about the cover looked familiar. When I heard that this book was originally Reylo (Kylo Ren and Rey) fan fiction, I could see it immediately in the cover art. I’ve always been a sucker for fan fiction in multiple fandoms, so my curiosity was understandably piqued. And I am so, so incredibly glad that I chose it as my Book of the Month pick, because it was absolutely delightful.

The Love Hypothesis is another one of those debut novels that completely blew me away. Hazelwood is an immensely talented author. Her background as a neuroscientist laid a phenomenal foundation for this story. You could really tell that she had experience in the setting she chose, which lent an authenticity to the story that I think is actually rare in the world of genre fiction. Speaking of, this is hands down one of the best rom-coms I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Hazelwood integrated a ton of popular romance tropes into this book, fake dating and forced proximity among them. But instead of feeling tired or trite, these tropes had new life breathed into them. They were fun and funny and enchanting, and I kept getting excited whenever a new trope would pop up.

However, those tropes would have been nothing without the wonderfully engaging couple at the heart of The Love Hypothesis. Olive Smith is a Ph.D. candidate who, in the first chapter of our story, locks lips with the first man she stumbles across out of desperation to convince her friend that she’s on a date. The lips in question happen to belong to Dr. Adam Carlsen, a giant of a man as infamous for being a hard-ass as he is famous for his genius. The two strike a bargain; they will pass themselves off as a couple for a few weeks, as they would both benefit from people believing they’re in a committed relationship. Of course, everything that can go wrong does, but that’s what makes it a fun story. Adam and Olive’s chemistry was insane. And their banter and inside jokes were absolutely adorable. I loved them so much.

This was a bit of a slow burn, but that made the payoff that much stronger. I’ve seen The Love Hypothesis proclaimed as spicy, which it is, but it’s in no way smutty. There’s really only one (admittedly extensive) sex scene in this book. But that scene was absolute fire. Again, it’s a slow burn of a romance, but the one aforementioned sex scene is about as open-door as it gets. I can read just about anything with a perfectly blank expression, but because of all of the buildup and banter, I actually blushed just a little reading this. And grinned the entire time. And reread an entire chapter because it was just that good.

I loved everything about The Love Hypothesis. I physically hugged this book when I finished it, I loved it so much. It was bright and sweet and funny and felt like a warm hug from a new friend. This might be the first book Hazelwood was written and the first I’ve read, but she’s immediately an auto-buy author for me, and I can’t wait to see what she puts out next. The only other author I’ve read who scratched this same itch for me is Emily Henry. If there were more rom-coms like The Love Hypothesis, it would undoubtedly be my favorite genre.

You can purchase this book from: Blackwell’s | Bookshop.org (Support Independent Bookstores)Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible | Libro.fm (Another way to support independent bookstores!) | Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)

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