“The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood

“The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood is a captivating romance novel that delves into the world of academia, exploring the complexities of love, relationships, and identity. With its witty dialogue, relatable characters, and engaging plot, this book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a good love story.

"The Love Hypothesis" by Ali Hazelwood
“The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood

Main Characters

The central characters in “The Love Hypothesis” are:

  • Olive Smith: The protagonist, a third-year Ph.D. student in biology, who is determined to prove that love is nothing more than a myth. She is driven by her past experiences and a desire to succeed in her academic pursuits.
  • Adam Carlsen: A young and charming professor in the biology department, who becomes Olive’s love interest. He is confident, kind, and genuine, but also has his own set of insecurities and fears.
  • Jeremy: Olive’s best friend and confidant, who provides comic relief and support throughout the story.


The main conflict of the story revolves around Olive’s hypothesis that love is a mere illusion. To prove her theory, she concocts a fake relationship with Adam, but as they spend more time together, their feelings become increasingly real. As Olive struggles to reconcile her emotions with her scientific beliefs, she must confront her past and her insecurities.

The plot develops as Olive and Adam navigate their pretend relationship, facing challenges and obstacles along the way. They must contend with the scrutiny of their peers, the pressure of academic expectations, and their own personal demons. As the story unfolds, Olive’s hypothesis is put to the test, and she must decide whether to stick to her scientific convictions or embrace the uncertainty of love.


The story takes place in the present day at Stanford University, California. The academic setting provides a unique backdrop for the characters’ struggles and triumphs, highlighting the pressures and competitiveness of higher education. The setting also allows for a diverse cast of characters, exploring the experiences of women in STEM fields.


The novel explores several themes, including:

  • Love vs. Science: The tension between rationality and emotion, as Olive grapples with the idea that love may not be quantifiable or explainable.
  • Identity: Olive’s journey to self-discovery, as she navigates her academic and personal life, and learns to embrace her true desires and passions.
  • Relationships: The importance of building genuine connections with others, whether romantic, platonic, or professional.
  • Gender and Power Dynamics: The novel touches on the challenges faced by women in academia, particularly in male-dominated fields, and the impact of gender roles on relationships.

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“The Love Hypothesis” is a delightful and engaging read that will capture your heart. With its well-developed characters, witty dialogue, and thought-provoking themes, this novel is a must-read for anyone who enjoys romance, academia, or just a good story. Ali Hazelwood’s writing is fresh, relatable, and authentic, making this book a standout in the romance genre. So, grab a copy, get cozy, and be prepared to be swept away by Olive and Adam’s love story.

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