BOOK REVIEW: The Love Hypothesis (The Love Hypothesis #1) by Ali Hazelwood

BOOK REVIEW: The Love Hypothesis (The Love Hypothesis #1) by Ali HazelwoodThe Love Hypothesis (The Love Hypothesis #1)
by Ali Hazelwood
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn't believe in lasting romantic relationships--but her best friend does, and that's what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor--and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford's reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive's career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding... six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.


His hand closed into a fist on the table, jaw clenched tight as he nodded. “Awesome. We could chat about how nice this place is—” “It’s appalling.” “—or the taste of the sushi—” “Foot.” “—or the best movie in the Fast and Furious franchise—” “Fast Five. Though I have a feeling you’re going to say—” “Tokyo Drift.” “Right.” He sighed.

No words can truly describe what I’m feeling right now. Surely they’re inadequate-or repetitive-since all I’ve done is gush about contemporaries for weeks now, but there’s something more, I fear, to be said that hasn’t before. I don’t quite know what it is, but in all the books I’ve read within the last month, they’ve all had such an intensely unique quality so embedded into them that you couldn’t possibly take away their ability to reach deep into your soul…if that is, in fact, what you were looking for. But no, The Love Hypothesis didn’t necessarily knock any of my other new discoveries out of top place, only…joined them. But I’d be lying if I said the word I was looking for wasn’t ‘special’. This book was special. And I think the damnedest thing is this-it’s special simply for coming into existence, and special because of the wonderful things it made me feel.

“Though, I’ve been thinking about this a lot.” He waited patiently for her to continue. “And I think that it would be best if we laid down some ground rules. Before starting.” “Ground rules?” “Yes. You know. What we are allowed and not allowed to do. What we can expect from this arrangement. I think that’s pretty standard protocol, before embarking on a fake-dating relationship.” He tilted his head. “Standard protocol?” “Yup.” “How many times have you done this?” “Zero. But I am familiar with the trope.” “The . . . what?” He blinked at her, confused.

Cut the melodrama and what you really have here is just a perfectly imperfect romance book that busted through my not-so-intact-at-the-moment crusty exterior. It really just slid into it’s place beside The Spanish Love Deception and You Deserve Each Other like it belonged and…that’s not wrong? It’s scarily accurate how happy this book made me. That’s not to say it didn’t have its flaws that did poke at me, but, in a way, they were so minute, so worthless a flaw that I really struggle to even bring them up.

“You put in expired contacts?” He sounded personally offended. “Just a little expired.” “What’s ‘a little’?” “I don’t know. A few years?” “What?” His consonants were sharp and precise. Crisp. Pleasant. “Only just a couple, I think.” “Just a couple of years?” “It’s okay. Expiration dates are for the weak.” A sharp sound—some kind of snort. “Expiration dates are so I don’t find you weeping in the corner of my bathroom.”

Did it perhaps have too many amazing tropes? Did the love interest fall right into the category of enemy turned ally turned friend turned ‘oh wait he is and was always into me’? Was Olive your typically dense about who the hero is into heroine?

Yes. The answer is all of the above. But here’s the kicker-where some may label these weaknesses, they are actually their strengths. (Yes, this whole paragraph was a love letter to Michael Scott.)

I like tried and true tropes. They are just….I’m sorry-if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But, like, do it better? And did the author do them ‘better’? I don’t know, really, but what I DO know is that she did them well. And, I’m just going to say it here: I freaking LOVE the inexperienced heroine trope. SUE ME. I DO NOT CARE. When done right…that shit is

And here…it was just…okay: admission time. My weak little fantasy heart about burst every minute of every part of these last few books because of the-ahem-intimate scenes because I. DO NOT. READ. MANY. SEX SCENES. So. All these contemporaries I’m devouring at once (unintentional but I’ve leaned into it)? They are sending my libido into a spiral because she is not used to using the red hot sweaty emoji…and I have sent it to Arielle no less than…hmmm….30 times between these three top books I’ve read? I can’t even.

Like I said, I’m goo, and I’m a sucker for these tropes and I will clearly die on that hill, but-I digress-back to this particular….thing. This was done so well. So NOT cheesy. So NOT uncomfortable or weird or out of the park that not once did I kind of pause and think about how to digest that sentiment (lol) or that move, or that moment. It was perfect. It was adorable. It just totally made the book. It made me so giddy and so happy and gave me the most butterflies. And….this is the first time I’ve ever (in recent history, perhaps I did years ago) addressed sex in my review. I steer clear of that but this-It feels important, ya know? And, oddly, I hold it near and dear to my heart, clutched closely within my talons.

It was an even fancier hotel, and Olive rolled her eyes, wondering why people felt the need to waste thousands of dollars in lodgings for Adam Carlsen when he barely paid attention to his surroundings. They should just give him a cot and donate the money to worthy causes. Endangered whales. Psoriasis. Olive.

BUT. ANYWAY. Enough of writing about sex like a creep-Olive. Olive was that heroine that you find yourself so protective over. I’ve read quite a few contemps in this abomination of a binge and I’ve rolled my eyes a LOT at the naivety of these MCs. AS IF YOU COULD NOT TELL THESE MEN ARE IN LOVE WITH YOU- COME. ON. But Olive. She’s-again-special.

“Carlsen. Is he blackmailing you? Did he find out that you’re an aberration and pee in the shower?” “First of all, it’s time efficient.” Olive glared. “Second, I find it oddly flattering that you’d think Carlsen would go to these ridiculous lengths to get me to date him.” “Anyone would, Ol. Because you’re awesome.” Anh grimaced before adding, “Except when you’re peeing in the shower.”

She has this thing where she doesn’t process emotions, doesn’t really fall too deep, doesn’t…feel things. I don’t know. She’s been alone in the world, so she doesn’t want to cross any lines to lose the ones she DOES have in her life (excusing a few missteps, I’d say), and her social cues are okay at best. And instead of it annoying me when she assumes things and doesn’t quite get it-or understand-what’s going on, it’s endearing (to me), precious. You want her to see but…then again…you LIKE her NOT to see because you know that payoff will be, again…

SPOILER ALERT: It was. It was SO worth it. My lord.

He studied her for a few seconds. “Does that seem like a likely scenario to you?” “About as likely as me fake-dating you.” He nodded, as if conceding her point. “Okay. Black, I guess.” She snorted. “Figures.” “What’s wrong with black?” He frowned. “It’s not even a color. It’s no colors, technically.” “It’s better than vomit green.” “No, it isn’t.” “Of course it is.”

And then Adam-Dr. Carlsen. Can we just take a moment to appreciate all these special men Chelsea has decided to horde in her closet? There’s enough room, it’s a walk-in. I gave them each their own shelf for when I’m feeling low (tonight is one of those, I wonder who I’ll visit? (ADAM)). Joking (Not really). But Adam. Dear, sweet Adam. Man, what an ass. What an absolute ass to not care what people think of him. To not care they might judge him because he is dating a student. What a JERK to jump right on board to help Olive out, to always be there for her and to provide her with days worth of food because she really can’t afford it herself. Man. I just can’t. I can’t believe this asshole, always looking out for Olive. (See. See what I did there?)

“Adam? Are you okay?” He stared at her cup and took a step back. “The smell of that thing.” Olive inhaled deeply. Heaven. “You hate pumpkin spice latte?” He wrinkled his nose, moving even farther away. “Gross.” “How can you hate it? It’s the best thing your country has produced in the past century.” “Please, stand back. The stench.” “Hey. If I have to choose between you and pumpkin spice latte, maybe we should rethink our arrangement.” He eyed her cup like it contained radioactive waste. “Maybe we should.”

All jokes aside, Adam was that silent guy, the eat your feelings guy, the one who inevitably has unrequited love for a girl who doesn’t see him as anything other than the most highly acclaimed professor at her university and most notably known jerk and know-it-all. But you can see, always, what he is doing for her, how he is always there for her when she needs it, when she’s low-always encouraging her and her biggest support. And when she is breaking his heart with her words, I LOVED this author for highlighting those moments, letting us see the jaw clench (yesss), the shuttered eyes of disappointment (ohhh boy), and the swallows-oh those tortured male lead gulps of ‘I’ll take whatever you give me but damn if you’re not breaking my heart’ (mmmmmm OMGGGGG combusting). As you can see, I am not impartial and I am biased. Take of this review what you will.

“I wish you could see yourself the way I see you”

All this being said, I’ve only really gushed and only really talked about things in a super spazz manner (There is a reason I wait a couple days after finishing to write a more coherent review) and probably haven’t convinced you one way or another-your loss-other than deciding I’m off my rocker and you really now know I am certifiably crazy, you’ve confirmed this (though, to be fair, I’ve warned you many a time). But, I like to think that the happiest moments are what will drive a reader to WANT to try a book. When I see a quote I love from a book I don’t know, and I get those INSTANT butterflies…I know I’m in for, at minimum, at least that one epic moment that the quote was derived from. And, ya know, that’s really what reading is about. Yes, a couple things bothered me, and it took a while for me to decide I loved it…but when I did? It was magical. And I hope it’ll be magical for you, too.

“I’m starting to wonder if this is what being in love is. Being okay with ripping yourself to shreds, so the other person can stay whole.”


Guys. Guys. My heart. My heart. I cannot form words. I cannot form sentences. I’m laying here in a pile of goo feels and I don’t WANT to be whole again. This book was so perfectly imperfect and just…all the best tropes. I want to cocoon myself in these feelings and never let go…but that’s not how it works and I’ll just have to find a way to hold onto this feeling for as long as possible.

For now? Rereading all my favorite parts. They include Adam, of course. And…well, it’s all the parts. I wana re read ALL the parts. Lord help me.

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  1. Sam@wlabb

    I don’t think there’s ever too many tropes for me. I am feeling those feelings I had when I finished this book, and they are some good feelings. Adam was such a closet sweetie and loved uncovering his layers along with Olive
    Sam@wlabb recently posted…Isn’t It Romantic?My Profile

    • Chelsea (Peril Please)

      YES-This book covered ALL the best tropes without smothering us with them somehow! I could read this book over and over again and never get sick of it. Ever.

      So glad you loved it, too! 😀

  2. Danielle Hammelef

    I saw the title of your post and quickly skipped to the last paragraph to see if you loved this one because I just got my copy yesterday and want to go into it without knowing too much. It’s up next on my TBR !

    • Chelsea (Peril Please)

      Oh, I LOVED IT. That doesn’t even put a DENT into how I truly felt-I hope you love it, too!! 🙂

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