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The Love Hypothesis

Typing the title makes me gag. I literally only read this book because my sister asked me to annotate her copy (she also hated it). Her little musings in the margins were better than the story.

I hate this trend with the romance covers. They look dumb.

Olive doesn’t believe in love, but she has to convince her friend Anh that she does. The obvious solution? Kiss the first man she sees. Adam is a professor and an asshole, so when Olive locks lips with him, they’re both surprised. But when he agrees to her elaborate fake-dating plan that will benefit them both, something real might brew between them.

If you didn’t already know, this is Reylo (Rey and Kylo Ren from Star Wars) fanfiction, which - ew. And naming Kylo Adam? Come on. I’m surprised Olive isn’t names Daisy.

Listen, I’m usually here for a fake-dating scenario, but Jesus Christ. Having gone to grad school in a prestigious program where I specialized in DNA, and getting my undergrad in biology, this was painful.

Maybe it’s just my experience, and the experience within my circles of friends and family, but all the grad and PhD programs I know of from my or my friend’s first hand experiences are not…whatever the fuck this is. I have one friend thriving in her STEM PhD program that gave her a livable stipend and a house, and another working two teaching jobs while she’s in two different programs, and I was able to afford food, housing, and care for my three pets AND have a social life outside of my STEM grad program (to name three examples), but again: maybe that’s just us. I recognize everyone has their different experiences in life, I’m just saying that according to my experiences, Olive and her classmates are just ridiculously annoying.

The whole premise of the book makes me so icky. A professor? Dating a student? Gross. I still can’t call my prof’s by their first name, even though we’re now within the same field. It doesn’t matter that Adam has nothing to do with Olive, her education, or her research, or even if the dean “doesn’t see an issue.” He still holds a position of authority within her department, and it’s inappropriate. No. And the joking about Title IX and everything? Makes me sick. He probably wasn’t joking in the beginning, but when it became “their joke” it made me so incredibly angry, because I’ve been through the Title IX process with friends. It fucking sucks, and it really isn’t something to joke about.

Adam. He is tall. And apparently an ass. He can push a truck up an incline all by his lonesome, the tall stick he is. And broccoli is mentioned six+ times in conjunction with him. He may or may not be Jewish. And he’s a computational biologist, but fuck you if you want to know what he researches. But my main problem is his height. Olive is 5’8” (which is TALL. I’m 5’5” and average height. 5’8”? Tall for a woman), but constantly talks about how Adam *towers* over her. She has to stand on her toes to kiss him, she’s eye level with his pecs, but he’s ONLY HALF A FOOT OR SO TALLER THAN HER. She says that, somewhere near the beginning, but the height thing is so ridiculous. If we’re going off of the actor’s heights, Olive is actually an inch taller than Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver is 6’3”. In pictures, Rey is as tall as Kylo Ren’s mouth/nose. Which is eye level with his neck/collar bones, NOT his pecs (???). It’s like Hazelwood wanted Olive to be this small, waiflike thing, but then constantly reminds us how arguably tall she is, which makes every man that comes into contact with Olive a fucking giant and it’s RIDICULOUS. That, and I tested some of the things she was saying, because my boyfriend is 6’. He is more than half a foot taller than me. You know how I can kiss him? Simply by tilting my head up, no toes involved.

Also the amount of times Adam’s described as an “asshole” or a “dick,” but then he isn’t? It’s all second hand from people who don’t seem to listen to what Adam’s saying and instead take it personally. Writing a good book is about showing, not telling, and this book is all about telling. And the broccoli thing? I don’t know where that came from, but it got old very fast. Adam is boring and a cardboard cutout of a character.

Speaking of boring, that smut really wasn’t it. I can absolutely find better stuff on Archive of Our Own, so I don’t know what TikTok was talking about when they called this book “spicy.” The sex was painful to read, and I wanted to throw up every time I read the word “lips” or anything that had to do with Olive’s vagina. Gag me with a spoon.

A fun drinking game: take a shot every time someone says academia or academic. And then read the book. I imagine it’d make the experience a lot better AND you won’t remember in the morning! A win all around.

The miscommunication plot is tired. And old. And fucking stupid. Stop writing it.

Anyway, Olive was flat, boring, and a very “I’m not like *other* girls” character. Adam has a whole paragraph above. Everyone else serves only to progress the plot (Anh) or be the gay best friend (Malcolm). Don’t waste your time on this book.

A better recommendation that has science, romance, and beautiful writing? Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. Mermaids, ocean science, a diverse cast (including bi and autistic main characters!) and no miscommunication plots! Huzzah! See my review for this book here.

Trigger warnings: sexual harassment, sexual content, death of parent, cancer, bullying, cursing, terminal illness


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