The Love Hypothesis

Berkley. Sept. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780593336823. pap. $16. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
DEBUT Science must be proved. That’s why Stanford PhD candidate Olive Smith kissed the first man she found, to prove to her best friend Anh that she’d bounced back from a breakup. Fortunately, it worked. Unfortunately, the man was Dr. Adam Carlsen, the most arrogant, unapproachable, and downright mean professor in Olive’s science department. He’s not mean to Olive though, and he even agrees to be her fake boyfriend. As Olive spends more time fake-dating Adam, she sees another side to the professor who ruthlessly fails his students’ dissertations. With Olive, Adam is kind. He smiles. He listens. Unfortunately, Adam is in love with someone else, and there’s a looming expiration date on his fake relationship with Olive. This satisfying romantic comedy features smart, witty dialog and a diverse cast of likable secondary characters. Adam and Olive continually find themselves in awkward, adorable situations caused by their deception (and their meddling friends). The setting, in Stanford’s STEM program, is essential to the plot and allows the author to write on the obstacles faced by PhD students, especially women in science programs.
VERDICT A realistic, amusing novel that readers won’t be able to put down. Highly recommended for all collections.
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