Friends with ARCs: The Love Hypothesis

Olive Smith is determined to show her best friend that she's moved on from her last romantic relationship. If Anh requires proof, she'll get it - and that's how Olive finds herself in a panic-induced kiss with the first man she sees. The man in question just so happens to be Adam Carlsen,  the hot young professor who has a reputation for being an asshole... and the last person Olive ever expected to agree to a proposal for a mutually beneficial fake relationship. As they spend more time together and getting to know each other, it turns out there might be something real between them after all... And that is what The Love Hypothesis is all about (with an additional element of academia and scientific studies in there too).

Ali Hazelwood's debut novel is an enjoyable contemporary romance! I'm always curious to see how I'm going to get on with a debut romance author's writing style, and I'm definitely pleased that Hazelwood is a potential promising new addition to the ranks of authors whose romances I consistently enjoy. Her writing is incredibly readable, and she did a great job weaving humor and heart into her story. (Listen, the shenanigans that Olive finds herself a part of had me positively cackling. And the sweet moments she shares with Adam most definitely made my heart hurt in a good way.) I immediately clicked with Olive and Adam from the start, and that made it all too easy to be rooting for them to actually fall in love and be happy together. (And really, at the core, this is the basic desire I have whenever I start a new romance read: to be rooting for the main couple wholeheartedly.) Throw in the fake dating trope, well-meaning friends, academia and scientific research elements, and it's no surprise that I devoured this one so quickly.

Even though there are pretty solid reasons for it happening, I was still frustrated by the deliberate ignorance and lack of communication/miscommunication between our main couple towards the latter portion of the novel. I'm normally the type to accept these sorts of things in romances, but it just rubbed me the wrong way here and affected my feelings about the book.

Despite my misgivings about that particular aspect of the romance, I'm still of the opinion that The Love Hypothesis is worth the read if you're a contemporary romance fan. It's a strong debut that sets a love story against the backdrop of academia and science, and I'm sure many readers will enjoy seeing the shenanigans that ensue as Olive and Adam figure out their feelings and what to do about them. This novel is Hazelwood's initial offering to the romance world, and after reading it, I'm looking forward to seeing what she writes next.

If you went to grad school, what would you want to major in? I likely would have chosen to pursue creative writing, though I'll admit that I entertain the thoughts of studying literature and history.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Pub Info: September 14, 2021 by Berkley Books
Source: ARC received from the publisher for review


  1. That miscommunication thing always irritates me in romances, but I've just heard so many good things about this book, and it was my BOTM pick for September, so I can't wait to get my hands on it. Great review!
    Lisa Loves Literature

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