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The Love Hypothesis is a Feel-Good Read

November 21, 2022

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The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood is a love-hate romance which features grad student Olive Smith as she battles with her self-worth and inability to rely on others while trying to get through being a woman in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). While trying to convince her best friend, Anh, that she is in a committed relationship and that Anh should date Olive’s ex-boyfriend, she spontaneously kisses Adam Carlsen, a professor known for being harsh with students who don’t fall in line. After a series of events, Olive and Adam begin a life of fake dating and emotional turmoil.

The Love Hypothesis has to be one of the best books I have ever read. It’s full of emotions and turns that kept me reading and later rereading. This book manages to capture both the lighthearted and serious aspects that come with life. A trope is a plot device that is commonly used in literary works and Hazelwood uses many classic tropes readers seem to love, such as grumpy meets sunshine, fake dating, and the classic “he falls first.” The plot also toys with the “one bed” trope and how it always seems to happen in hotel rooms.

My only real criticism of this book would be the difference in age of the characters. As said before, Adam is a 34-year-old professor at the university, while Olive is a 26-year-old student, leaving an eight-year gap between the two characters. Even though Adam never teaches Olive directly, the fact that he teaches at her school is brought up in the book on a few occasions, but always dismissed because they were “in love.” While their age-gap is not strange, considering that many people have an age-gap in their relationship, the fact that Adam is a professor at her school is the part that seems weird. Early on in the book you learn that Olive’s roommate, Malcolm, was taught by Adam and often talks about how horrible of a teacher he was.

Each character has such diversity with their personalities and their beliefs that the book never once becomes boring. Anh, who is mainly the comic relief character, keeps the reader on their feet with her constant witty remarks and jokes. Adam, Olive’s complete opposite, talks sarcastically and the only time he ever seems to joke around is about filing a Title IX complaint (a formal charge against a student or a professor based on discrimination) against Olive. Each character manages to keep the story fun and exciting while making the more somber moments seem less serious.

Though the author recommends The Love Hypothesis for ages 16 and up since it has multiple scenes that are for a more mature audience, it is a good read when you want something that seems lighthearted, but delves into problems people face in their everyday lives. If you enjoy this book and want to read more by Ali Hazelwood, check out her newest books Love on the Brain and Under One Roof.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Morgan Drumheller
Morgan Drumheller, Journalist

Morgan is in 11th grade and her second year of Journalism. She plays on the field hockey and lacrosse team. She has 3 dogs, 2 turtles, and 1 guinea pig.

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