Review: The Love Hypothesis

By Evis Zogaj.

My heart was stolen by The Love Hypothesis when it sneaked up on me. It was utterly seductive, erotic, addictive, and angry! I love the fake dating cliche, and it added a lot of emotional force to this novel in addition to making it a lot of fun. Contemporary romance readers will fall head over heels in love with this book since it features a brooding guy, a quirky hero, and a scientifically accurate narrative. 

“Have you considered getting a real girlfriend?” 
His eyebrow lifted. “Have you considered getting a real date?” 

The prologue drew me in right away. The meeting was not only incredibly sweet and unforgettable, but it was also filled with emotion. In chapter one, we made a time leap of two years and eleven months, when we discovered Olive feigning a kiss with an unknown man. What is going on, I thought. However, she did so in the vain hope that her best friend, for whom she had never felt anything, would witness her love someone else and begin dating her ex. She kissed the first man she saw to show her closest friend that she had moved on. And it was Adam Carlsen, a lecturer at her university who was a total jerk. There is so much more to the tale than this, but I enjoyed every minute of it! It resulted in them pretending to date. 

The fact that Olive is not helpless, though, is what I appreciate most about Hazelwood’s take on this cliche. In stories that explore the stereotype of dating an older professor, we occasionally witness a helpless lady who is “rescue” by a huge, muscular guy. This is not the case. Olive is a graduate student at Stanford who does intelligent, distinctive, and significant scientific work on her own, without Adam’s help. She is a Canadian immigrant, a woman in STEM, and she has struggled to overcome the obstacles she had growing up to participate in one of the most esteemed scientific programs in the world. Does dating a renowned, successful, tenured professor with millions of dollars in research money make her life simpler in certain ways? Yeah, I guess. but only sporadically. Like not having to ride her bike home from courses every day, and occasionally getting complimentary scones and pumpkin spice lattes on “Fake-Date Wednesdays.” 

Despite being initially highly awkward due to his role as a professor, the relationship between Olive and Adam does not function inside a framework of power imbalance. Olive is not one of his pupils. She just so happens to be enrolled in the same program as you. Adam does not take actions to increase Olive’s notoriety or career success. Naturally, Olive’s art speaks for itself. The writing for the two characters strengthens them both. As a woman in college, I appreciate Hazelwood’s careful awareness of women’s autonomy and authority in the workplace without a man’s interference. Hazelwood is extremely cautious regarding this part of the relationship. 

The fact that this novel had a romantic story to tell and by golly, it got right to it, is one thing I liked about it. I am not waiting for the relationship to materialize, for the situation to change, or for Adam to speak to Olive as a reader. It is present from page one. And to Ali Hazelwood, I want to thank her for that. I appreciate her providing me with a romance book that was concise and to the point. It felt revitalizing. But as a reader, it had some significance for me. 

I read the entire book without skipping over anything in search of the “really intriguing” bits. Since I did not have to, I did not do it. I refrained from doing this since the writing of the text, the characters, and the interpersonal interactions was done with care; I was gripped by every word until the very last page. I was noticing more things because I was reading every word. little cues, references, themes, motifs, and symbols. I found reading to be more pleasant as a result. 

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