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Monday, February 14, 2022

Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

BOOK review
Started on: 21 January 2021
Finished on: 2 February 2022

Title: The Love Hypothesis
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 352 pages / 384 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2021
Price: Rp 189,000 (

Rating: 3/5
"She had just kissed a random guy, a guy who happened to be the most notoriously unpleasant faculty member in the biology department."
Olive Smith was a rising third-year Ph.D. student in one of the best biology departments in the country. Olive got caught in a situation and she have to convince her best friend, Anh, that she's currently dating and well on her way to a happily ever after. To prove that, Olive decided to kiss the first man she sees when Anh walked by. That man is none other than Adam Carlsen—a young hotshot professor, who's well-known for being antagonistic and unapproachable. That's why Olive was utterly shocked when Adam agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend for the time being. As time goes by, their little experiment starts to feel dangerous; and Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.
"The crux of her problems—most of them, at least—was her moronic, harebrained decision to lie to Anh in the first place. To begin this fake-dating sham."
"A lie, after a lot of lies. So many lies she'd told, so many true things she could have said but never did, all because she'd been too scared of the truth, of driving the people she loved away from her. All because she'd been afraid to lose them. All because she hadn't wanted to be alone again."
First of all, I have to admit that I ended up reading this book because of the hype surrounding it. My interest grew when I look up the average rating on Goodreads and found that most of the reviews are positive. To be honest, I don't usually pick up romance books like this one (I mostly read romance books from authors I have previously read); but due to its immense popularity, I decided to give it a shot. Now that I've finished reading it, I'm sad to say that I was pretty disappointed and actually have several things that I don't like about this book. I had a pretty high expectation and was underwhelmed by the whole story. However, I still gave this book a 3/5 rating because there are some parts that I did enjoy—but overall it's just so-so 🤷.
"Because I'm starting to wonder if this is what being in love is. Being okay with ripping yourslef to shreds, so the other person can stay whole."
One of the things about this book that I find unique is the fact that it's a romance story with a STEM academia backdrop. The fake-dating trope though, is not so unique; and it happens between our main character, Olive Smith, and a young, antagonistic professor named Adam Carlsen. I won't go into too much detail about their fake-dating scheme to avoid spoilers in this review, but I'll share some things that affected my reading experience. Number one, I have to say that I'm not really fond of Olive's character, which led me to not caring much about her. Some of her physical gestures somehow makes me uncomfortable even just by reading it. I also find that most of her dialogues sounds rather insecure and I definitely struggled through them. I honestly could not relate to the characters in this book who keeps giving praise to Olive and exclaiming what a great person she is. I wish the author explored Olive's past a bit more—whether it's her loneliness or fear of being left alone, which I think would've added more depth to her character.
I have issues with Adam's character too; I feel like the author is trying too hard to describe him as a highly attractive person through his physical appearance—his black hair, skin like a slab of italian marble, etc. 🤷 Sadly, I don't usually fall in love with fictional character because of their physical appearance, but I do fall deeply for characters with great personality. There are moments when I do find Adam quite adorable for his sweet and thoughtful gestures, but his character feels shallow somehow. Aside from the characters, I also think the interactions between Adam and Olive felt somewhat cringy when it's supposed to be romantic. But maybe I feel that way because I'm not really invested in the characters to begin with, so that's just a personal opinion 🙈. Compared to the main character, I think I actually liked Malcolm (Olive's friend) and Holden's (Adam's friend) characters better.
"First, I have to figure it out on my own, why shielding myself with a bunch of lies seemed like a better idea than admitting even one ounce of truth."
The overall plot is quite predictable, that's why I wasn't completely intrigued by the story and was able to kind of predict how it's going to end. The story got a little bit more interesting when a conflict arise as Olive tried to get accepted in a bigger lab to support her research. It brings up the topic that women tends to be disregarded in STEM academia—which fascinates me because I literally know nothing about the world of academia. I also adore some of the science jokes that are thrown here and there, but they don't particularly add much to the plot.

As I've said earlier in this review, The Love Hypothesis is just an 'okay' book for me; it didn't leave a great impression on me that would make me want to read other books by Ali Hazelwood, but I still managed to get through it until the end. I seriously don't understand the hype surrounding this book and why people love it so much. Sad to say, I now agree with the 1-star reviews of this book on Goodreads more than the 5-star reviews. But if you're like me and want to see what the hype is all about, you can try reading it for yourself 😉. *For those of you who might be interested in reading this book, please note that this is an adult book and it does contain explicit scenes that are inappropriate for those who are underage.

by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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