Ali Hazelwood

Books: Romance

The Love Hypothesis (2021)

The Love Hypothesis (2021)

The Love HypothesisThere are things I quite like about The Love Hypothesis–first and foremost all the science and academia bits.

I'm a grad student living in Stanford, California. I make less than thirty thousand dollars a year. My rent takes up two-thirds of my salary. I've been wearing the same pair of contacts since May, and I go to every seminar that provides refreshments to save on meals.

Tom's report was about a third done and sitting tight at thirty-four pages single-spaced, Arial (11 point), no justification.

"Are there actual studies?" Jeremy asked.

"Mmm?" Anh was pulling her hair up in a bun.

"On the link between freckles and skin cancer."

"I don't know."

"Feels like there would be."

"True. I wanna know now."

"Hold on. Is there Wi-Fi here?"


There were also issues.

I'll start with the one I noticed while I was reading.

Olive's entire life is finding an early detection test for pancreatic cancer.

She took another deep breath. "I think I have found a set of biomarkers. Not from tissue biopsy— blood biomarkers. Noninvasive, easy to obtain. Cheap. In mice they can detect pancreatic cancer as early as stage one."

A blood test. So with her experimental mice, she should be drawing blood.

But then there is a scene with her actually working with her mice.

The knockout mouse had been hanging from a wire for a length of time that should have been impossible, considering how it had been genetically modified. Olive frowned at it and pressed her lips together. It was missing crucial DNA. All the hanging-from-a-wire proteins had been erased. There was no way it could hold on for this long. It was the whole point of knocking out its stupid genes.

Why? Why would Olive be conducting this type of test? Why would she be knocking out those types of proteins in her mice? What does that have to do with blood biomarkers? Is this even Olive?

Then there is the asexuality bit. Olive is clearly written as demisexual. But the sex scene… Even doing a lot of skimming, parts just felt wrong. She rarely feels sexual attraction, but she feels it towards Adam. But then when they finally get around to doing it, it reminded me nothing so much as those books that made me think I hated romance as a genre. Where the female character was cold and frigid but the hero's magic sex made her multi-orgasmic and everything was perfect and not awkward and just… ugh. At one point she makes a comment along the lines of "why are you into this, I'm just lying here" and that was my thought exactly. Why was he into that?

Then there is the sexual assault–and lets be honest, that's precisely what it was. Olive is well-aware of Title IX. She is also aware that aside from Title IX, what was happening was wrong on all levels. So why on earth did she not do anything about it? Her excuse is that she didn't want to upset Adam (wut?) but she'd be okay with letting a PREDATOR get off scott free when she had the means to stop him from ever taking advantage of another young grad student?

What the hell Olive? Why would you do that?

And now I've actually talked myself into liking this book less than I thought I had. Because the weird and uncomfortable presentation of asexuality was problematic, but her actions and reactions regarding the assault made no sense to me. Because she wasn't embarrassed by the assault, and that was why she kept quiet, she was upset that he insulted her intelligence and her ability. She had the ability to take action, but she simply… didn't.

Ugh. Now I'm all mad. Better go find something cozy and funny as an offset.

Publisher: Berkley

Rating: 5/10