Published by Berkley on September 14, 2021
FINAL DECISION: This book is fun and light, like cotton candy. Even the “serious” storyline is really fluff because it lacks complexity. I liked the book, but I probably won’t remember it in a year. That being said, the book is perfect for someone looking for a fun rom-com.
THE STORY: Olive Smith is a STEM field Ph.D. candidate at Stanford. When Olive realizes that her best friend, Anh, is perfect for the guy that Olive is casually dating, Olive decides to help their romance along. Olive knows that Anh won’t make a move even after a breakup because of Anh’s loyalty to Olive. So Olive tells Anh that she has already moved on and is dating someone else. When Anh shows up at the lab when Olive is supposed to be on a date, Olive grabs the first guy she finds and asks him to kiss her. The man agrees, and Olive soon finds out that she has been kissing, Adam Adam Carlsen, a young brilliant professor, and a total jerk. Surprisingly, he also agrees to keep up the fake relationship facade telling Olive that he could benefit as well. There is an expiration date for the ruse, but Olive can’t help but find that the fake relationship feels more real every one of those days.
OPINION: I thought this was a sweet romantic comedy. Hazelwood’s writing style is witty, charming, and engaging, and her characters are lovable, relatable, and full of personality. Rather than presenting a traditional alpha male lead who bulldozes his way into Olive’s life, Adam is respectful, supportive, and willing to listen. Overall, this book is delightful and left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside. It’s the perfect book to curl up with on a rainy day, and it is a fun and lighthearted read that made me laugh and smile. The secondary characters and their romances made me smile as well. This book also has some grumpy/sunshine vibes as Olive teases Adam out of his being too serious and makes him see himself more clearly which I really loved. I also really liked that Adam is so supportive of Olive’s work.
The negative to me is twofold. First, I really didn’t like the happy-for-now ending. I’m not sure that these two won’t break up in a year. This is true especially because we don’t really learn anything about these characters having a deep relationship. Instead, everything is funny and light. Even the serious items we learn are not really the stuff that sustains relationships. Second, the entire story was pretty shallow, and everything could be predicted from the start. There is a harassment story that was clear a mile away including how it would obviously be resolved. So while I enjoyed this book, it lacks the depth that would make me come back to re-read.
WORTH MENTIONING: The pumpkin spice drink wars made me laugh out loud.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS is a standalone book.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.