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Publisher's Summary

The Instant New York Times Best Seller

A BuzzFeed Best Summer Read of 2021

When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman's carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.

As a third-year PhD 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.

©2021 Ali Hazelwood (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Contemporary romance's unicorn: the elusive marriage of deeply brainy and delightfully escapist...The Love Hypothesis has wild commercial appeal but the quieter secret is that there is a specific audience, made up of all of the Olives in the world, who have deeply, ardently waited for this exact book.” (Christina Lauren, New York Times best-selling author)

“This tackles one of my favorite tropes - Grumpy meets Sunshine - in a fun and utterly endearing way.... I loved the nods toward fandom and romance novels, and I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!” (Jessica Clare, New York Times best-selling author)

"With whip-smart and endearing characters, snappy prose, and a quirky take on a favorite trope, Hazelwood convincingly navigates the fraught shoals of academia.... This smart, sexy contemporary should delight a wide swath of romance lovers." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Love Hypothesis

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Funny. Snarky. Intelligent. Real.

I devoured the book in one day (in-between family gatherings and kids). I couldn't put it down.

Then a few days later I inhaled the audiobook. GOD I adore Callie Dalton. Hands down my favorite female narrator (not an intentional nod to Mariana Zapata but I'll leave it there to honor the slow burn queen 😂)

Olive is the best kind of mess. She's frazzled from her PhD. She's grieving the loss of her mother to pancreatic cancer (which is fueling her research into easier/cheaper screening methods). She adores her friends and will do anything for them... which is how she ends up kissing Dr Adam Carlson.

Adam is the resident grump/beast - instilling fear into graduate students (but all in the name of scientific excellence, of course). He agrees to a mutually beneficial fake dating relationship with Olive after the whole kissing-incident.

Both Olive and Adam are navigating the challenges and obstacles of academia in their own unique ways - research, funding deficits, grants... i.e. lots of work, questionable returns. But science! Meanwhile juggling their fake-relationship and not at all (!!!) catching feelings.

Cancer is a near and dear topic to me (my mum died of cancer and i am currently fighting cancer) so I was gut punched during several scenes that this was discussed.

The banter and incredible one-liners in this story are perfection. Funny. Snarky. Intelligent. Real.

The relationship between each character and their individual friends is beautiful. The development of their relationship together feels *just so good*.

Read if: you're traumatized from academia and/or a STEM nerd, if you love Mariana Zapata & Helen Hoang, if you love sharp and funny banter, if you like a delicious slow burn with a fun twist on some classic tropes, if you're wild for sunshine/grumpy books.

I'm so so excited to see this book climb the bestseller list. I know its going to be (frankly it already is) a total hit.

Overall score: 5++ (this is my new bible. I will study it religiously)
Smut score: 3.5/5 (slow burn, explicit but not super kinky other than *one* thing that had me going "ohhhh" 🥵🌶)

10 people found this helpful

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frustrating

I was looking for a light funny romance because I love a good love story and sometimes I just don't have the energy for anything heavy. This book was so frustrating because the storyline follows what happens after the F MC tells lie after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie! She was just so weak that she could never reveal the truth to the M main character. The author is smart so why give us a whimpering, indecisive lead F? There was an HEA, which I always need, but it took so long to get there, and it wasn't fulfilling.
Side note, I love this narrator and the side characters were hilarious.
Would I recommend this book? Not if I want my friends to value my book opinions.

5 people found this helpful

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Such a frustrating plot

I wish I could enjoy this book but honestly I just felt frustrated with the characters the entire time. It had incredibly adorable scenes but the entire conflict is just miscommunication/lack of communication so I it gets to the point where you just want the book to end.

3 people found this helpful

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Sooo good

It is so good , I did not want it to end. Hoping for a sequel!

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Pretty Woman (movie) Appeal

Loved the ease to romance without the huge push for intimacy scenes to interrupt the story.

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Perfect balance

Strikes the perfect balance between love & humor with such relatable characters. Didn’t want the story to end! The narration was exceptional! Can’t wait for more for Ali Hazelwood!

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yearly read

Callie Dalton is always amazing. I'll listen to anything she narrates.

spoiler alert****" 4.5* It would have been perfect if she'd told Adam about Tom right away instead of "ending" their relationship, but it's short lived. This book made me giggle and have all the feels. It's a wonderful book that I see myself reading at least yearly.

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Amazing! 💙

This was an excellent story! I love seeing women in STEM. There was humor, spice, and so many tropes that it made me smile. I was kind of sad there was actually two beds! Thank you so much for this wonderful work. The narration was great, too!!

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Absolutely perfect.

Please tell me she has more books… Its like the Frasier of romance novels. You don’t understand the highbrow joke but you know it’s supposed to be funny.

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Delightful!

My short and sweet review: Every aspect of The Love Hypothesis is wonderful — the characters, the story, the narration. I only wish I could listen to this book again for the very first time.

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  • Gemma
  • 09-16-21

Oh wow.

I loved this book so much. Finished in a day (and a night… it is 5am and I still have not slept). I’ve never smiled and laughed and kicked my legs about madly (out of embarrassment for Olive) whilst reading another book. This is one of those books I wish I could read for the first time again and again.

I went into this with high book standards. I had just finished the hating game, me before you, and series of other 5 star reads - so for me to love this book so much after that cloud nine book marathon should say something.

At first, I definitely thought “oh… this would never happen” or .. “this is too Typical a cringe rom com trope”. But the characters were so aware of that, that it became amazing. And by the end, everything was so plot twisty and satisfying that every cringe moment was smoothed out and justified and just made sense.

Read. This. Book.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-20-21

loved it!

I got so invested in this novel and the stem backdrop is awesome! She leans into the fake relationship trope with wit and the characters are endearing. Very enjoyable light holidays read.