This book was the talk of the romance world a few months ago and I finally took the time to read it for myself! I admit I first found the book interesting because I was told it was based on a Star Wars fanfiction, and as a fanfiction writer I find books that started as fanfics absolutely fascinating. While there are a few tells that this book evolved from something else, it’s a great standalone read on its own.
First off, if you are a romance fan who isn’t a fan of workplace romance or even teacher/student romance, this is not the book for you. Hazelwood does a good job making the situation around the couple messy enough that it didn’t bother me, but if you’re someone in the science field you might be offended by a workplace romance in a setting like this. Olive, our main character, is a research graduate student working toward getting access to a bigger lab to research the cancer that killed her mother. Adam, the man she fake dates, is a doctor and scientist within the science department, but he is not someone she directly is taught by, advised by, or even knows at the beginning of the novel. All her dealings with him have been through word of mouth as he is the advisor for several of her colleagues, but she and Adam have no direct workplace crossover in a professional capacity.
Fake dating is my favorite romance trope and man does this book deliver on that promise. Olive is working one night and is dealing with the fact that her best friend Anh has feelings for a guy she herself dated a few times. She adores Anh and has no feelings toward Jeremy, the guy she dated, but Anh won’t ask him out because of girlcode. In order to convince Anh that it’s fine, she tells Anh she’s been secretly seeing someone and kisses the first guy she sees. The guy happens to be Adam Carlsen, the young, handsome but incredibly cranky and rude scientist everyone is wary of. After a chat, he agrees to be her fake boyfriend as he needs to show he has “roots” at Stanford in order for the dept head to agree to fund his research.
From there it moves into your typical fake dating romance where they begin to have real feelings for one another, there’s tension in the workplace and between them sexually, and they must decide who their true friends are and how people judge them differently now because of their relationship. I found the writing to be very fun and conversational, and I really liked the dialog between the couple. I felt like the plot moved at a good pace and I was never bored or skimming paragraphs, which is a miracle for me. I liked all the side characters in this as well and would love for any of them to get their own story in the future.
As far as the Star Wars element, I never even noticed. The only thing that’s glaringly obvious is that the character of Adam is based off the actor Adam Driver, at least in terms of physicality. He is described as looking 100% like Adam Driver, which I honestly didn’t mind because I visualize everything I read in my head as I’m reading so having a perfect description of someone made it easier for me to imagine my way through the book. I will however say I am not a Star Wars fan and I know basically nothing about the series so there may have been things I missed that went over my head.
I really enjoyed this book. I’m super excited for the next book in her women in STEM series and for it being her first novel I felt like Hazelwood knocked it out of the park.
Title: The Love Hypothesis
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Three Descriptors: Witty, Amusing, Fun
Some Kind of Magic by Mary Ann Marlowe
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
Well Matched by Jen DeLuca
How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams