The Love Hypothesis Review – Does this rom-com live up to the TikTok hype?

I will admit, I originally picked up The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood because it was originally a Star Wars fanfiction featuring the ship Reylo. The academic rom-com premise on top of that was enough to get me to purchase the book on my very first Kindle. However, I was not prepared for the story that was waiting to be told or how it got me out of my year-long reading slump. In this review, I’ll be going over the story of Olive and Adam in The Love Hypothesis. Would this STEM rom-com have a spot on my favorite books shelf?

Short answer, yes but not without its faults. 

Plot

This book was my entry to book rom-coms and it does an excellent job of being my entry into the genre. I was genuinely giggling at some scenes and Ali Hazelwood’s writing is so zestful and vibrant. With how she writes each scene, I can’t remember any time during the book I was bored in any manner.

However, how the main premise of this book starts, the fake dating trope is a little silly. 

Olive casually dated Jeremy, a guy Anh is really infatuated with and vise versa. Quite the opposite of how Olive left about him. Despite Olive’s efforts of telling Anh it was really nothing serious, she refuses to start something with him due to being Olive’s best friend. She really wants Anh to be happy with Jeremy so she randomly kisses Adam, a young, grumpy professor who students think is a tyrant. Adam has something to gain by pretending to be Olive’s fake boyfriend thus, starting the fake dating premise. 

They have a little contract of sorts with boundaries being discussed beforehand, which was a nice touch, and they come to an agreement of pretending to be in a relationship until a certain date. The date is significant to Adam’s reasons for beginning the charade. 

However silly the opening to the main conflict in this book is, it fits really well and doesn’t feel out of place. It is a rom-com after all and I expect there to be a tad bit of unrealism to this genre. Which, I feel like Ali Hazelwood handled with utmost care to not make it seem out of place. 

The pacing was top-notch with a fine mixture of fluidity and tension. It didn’t feel full of fluff and the soft moments felt like the story was continuously moving forward. The sweet moments between Olive and Adam felt meaningful to the story and not just thrown in, something I can really respect in a romance book

Characters

Although Adam is a professor, there are no weird power imbalances here and the book makes that crystal clear. And, he isn’t her professor. I felt like Adam was a tad static throughout the story. I wouldn’t call him one-dimensional in the slightest, but I would have liked to explore his character a bit more. Overall, I enjoyed his character a bunch and was rooting for him and Olive.

Olive was a character I think anyone could relate to. A bit childish at times but it wasn’t enough where I found it to be obnoxious in the slightest. She adores her friends, enough to start fake dating the lab tyrant. The fear of everyone she loves leaving is deep-rooted in her, and understandably so once you learn Olive’s backstory.

The way Ali Hazelwood writes all of her characters in this book is wonderful and I loved the interactions between Olive’s friends.

The Cover

I’m a huge lover of illustrated covers and this cover is stunning! Covers with logos and designs don’t really have the same appeal for me. Featuring the main couple in illustrated form, this cover is exceptional in my book. It goes back to its roots and depicts Olive and Adam’s designs that were originally Rey and Kylo’s. The Star Wars fan in me is shrieking with excitement. 

Final thoughts on The Love Hypothesis

This is the book that really rekindled my love of reading. Adam is a swoon-worthy love interest and just because his character isn't fleshed out in a way we know everything about him, it doesn't mean he isn't a good character nonetheless. I enjoyed the love story between Adam and Olive and it would be criminal not to rate this book any less than 5 stars. Sure, this book can have its minor hitches but for me personally, it was very easy to look past that. It will be very easy to see me rereading this rom-com for years to come. Thank you, Ali Hazelwood, for an amazing STEM romance. And, thank you for reading my review of The Love Hypothesis!

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Rom-com

Tropes: Grumpy/Sunshine, fake dating, enemies to lovers, slow burn
CW: Terminal illness, past death of a loved one, sexual harassment
Rating: 5 stars

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