We are back with another book review. This time it’s Ali Hazelwood’s Love Hypothesis. I believe this is her debut novel and it’s relatively new, considering it was released a little over a month ago.
On the overall, I like the novel. As a graduate student myself (though not Ph.D., and the possibility of graduating still unsure), I understand a little bit about Olive’s predicament–specifically how inversely proportionate money and hard work is when it comes to graduate work. Not only that, I also have to say that the author nailed the display of politics in such an extremely competitive environment. Olive, as a student, is at the bottom of the university food chain.
The narration is humorous, relatable, easy to understand, and straight to the point. Compared to previous novels I’ve read, this will not confuse readers in terms of whose point of view is being portrayed as one goes through the story. I would love to read more about Adam’s perspective, but Olive is a spirited, likeable character, so her side is more than enough to keep me reading.
Olive Smith meets a mystery man on her first visit to Stanford. She’s unable to get his name, nor see his face because at the time she’s struggling to keep her eyes open–a side effect of using long-expired contact lenses. After her brief encounter with the mystery man, Olive left more determined to enter graduate school and accept Stanford’s offer. Fast forward three years and she is now doing her research work under the Biology Department, serves as a TA, and continues her study on pancreatic cancer–a subject very close to her heart.
Adam Carlsen is one of Biology Department’s terror professors. His reputation of being strict, harsh, and unrelenting is one of the many reasons why students do their best to stay out of his way. But Adam, despite his unapproachable personality, is a brilliant and incredibly talented scientist. A wunderkind dedicated to creating amazing scientific discoveries. Because of his outstanding contributions in the field for years, Adam is continuously being courted by many scientific organizations and universities all over the world. For this very reason, Stanford wants to keep him at all costs. However, always putting his career first made Adam unable to put down roots which, in turn, made university administration wary of his future plans with the organization. Basically, their line of questioning goes: Is he going to pack up and leave anytime soon? Maybe when someone else makes a more generous offer?
Olive and Adam’s story begins when Olive suddenly kisses Adam one night at the lab. You can see the book cover for a quick reference, haha. In her defense, Olive wasn’t thinking at the time and was doing her friend a favor. But we have to remember, our actions have consequences–this one Olive learns drastically after The Night.
I give this book 4 stars. There’s the fake relationship trope, which I noticed would be either a hit or miss, depending on the characters and the story development. This one got it right, so rest assured. There’s also the mystery man concept–one I’ve seen in other romance novels. It’s more of a meet-cute scene for me. I also enjoyed the dialogues, not only between Olive and Adam, but also between Olive and her closest friends.
As for the ending, it’s okay but a little underwhelmed, in my opinion. Though that doesn’t really change my rating for this read because the story progression and character development are both good and well thought of. I have to say the author did her research about the academic setting, which makes the story details more convincing. I absolutely recommend this one, especially if you like contemporary romantic comedy novels with a scientific twist.
Oh! Please also do not miss the science references. It’s rare to see those in these kinds of novels. See you on the next one!
- Title: Love Hypothesis
- Author: Ali Hazelwood
- Year published: 2021
- Publisher: Berkley Books
- Total number of pages: 352
- ISBN-13: 978-0-593-33682-3