Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Laura Steven

Publication Date: March 5th 2020

Physics genius Caro Kerber-Murphy knows she’s smart. With straight As and a college scholarship already in the bag, she’s meeting her two dads’ colossal expectations and then some. But there’s one test she’s never quite been able to ace: love. And when, in a particularly desperate moment, Caro discovers a (definitely questionable) scientific breakthrough that promises to make you irresistible to everyone around you, she wonders if this could be the key.

What happens next will change everything Caro thought she knew about chemistry – in the lab and in love. Is hot guy Haruki with her of his own free will? Are her feelings for her best friend some sort of side-effect? Will her dog, Sirius, ever stop humping her leg?

My Rating: ⭐⭐

(it’s taken me over a week to write this review cause I’ve been processing my feelings)

I didn’t know much about The Love Hypothesis before starting to read it but I was sure of two things: 1) It followed a bisexual science genius with two dads and a dog named Sirius, and 2) I was highly anticipating it and I was going to love it.

Sadly I was only right about one of those things. This book does, infact, follow a bisexual science genius with two dads and a dog named Sirius. Her name is Caro and at the beginning of this book she orders some pills online that promise to make her “irresistible” in hopes to get her crush to notice her.

Unfortunately I did not end up loving this book and I think there’s a few reasons why:

The writing and the humour: This book has the same writing style and type of humour as The Exact Opposite of Okay (Laura Stevens debut novel which I loved with all my heart) and yet I couldn’t connect with it here. I didn’t find it to be anywhere near as funny and witty and it left a bad taste in my mouth, hypothetically speaking.

The plot made me feel … icky: K. So like I said I didn’t know much about the plot before starting to read. I just thought science nerd falling in love. What actually happens is that Caro has a crush on a guy in her class who barely knows she exists and so she buys some dodgy pills online which “boost her pheromones” and suddenly she’s irresistible to the point where her crush asks her out.

This is where I started to feel icky because this guy is only feeling that way because of the drugs. Caro literally points out that he doesn’t text her when they’re apart because he’s no being affected by the drugs, and sure she realises the error of her mistake later in the book but, in my opinion, it’s too little too late. I was sat reading thinking “this is not it chief” the entire time.

My brain is too small to understand science. Not gonna lie the sciencey aspects of this novel were cool, I liked the talk about black-holes, however I understood none of it. I had to retake 3rd Chemistry + Physics in my 4th year of high school because I failed and I kid you not it left me sobbing on the bathroom floor. This is 100% a me problem and not the books fault but I wasn’t interested, the technical stuff went right over my head prompting me to skip over big chunks and loose interest.

Wish there’d been more development for Caro’s bisexuality and the endgame romance. It’s taken me a while to write this review due to procrastination, a lack of motivation and over-all not knowing how to feel about this book so I don’t remember enough to be able to elaborate on this point but I do remember reading and being like “eh, bit of a cop out” when Caro was realising her feelings for a certain character and this aspect was underwhelming to me.

So that was the stuff I didn’t like, moving on briefly to what I did like because I’m not a total negative Nancy:

Caro’s dads were the highlight of this novel. I loved them so much! I feel kind of bad saying this but I enjoyed reading chapters featuring them the most. They had so much personality both individually, as a married couple and as parents.

I enjoyed the elements of feeling insecure, I feel like everyone and anyone can relate in someway to feeling left out because you haven’t had certain experiences yet and not being confident in how you look and how you act so I enjoyed this being brought up (just not how the character went about fixing these feelings).

So yeah. This was disappointing. Maybe I had too high hopes. I don’t know. I am still 100% up for reading more by Laura Stevens though and I hope I like her future work more then I liked this:)

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