Monday, June 19, 2023

Isn't It Romantic?

Love, Theoretically
 by Ali Hazelwood
Published by Berkley on June 13, 2023
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure. By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs.

Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig—until her carefully constructed Elsie-verse comes crashing down. Because Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and broody older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. And that same Jack who now sits on the hiring committee at MIT, right between Elsie and her dream job.

Elsie is prepared for an all-out war of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him? Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?

First, a song to set the mood: Are You With Me - Highnoon

I think Love, Theoretically has surpassed The Love Hypothesis as my new favorite Ali Hazelwood book.

When I first read the description of Love, Theoretically, I squealed with glee - the whole concept sounded so fun! This book definitely did not disappoint.

As is standard for Ali Hazelwood's work, this is a nerdy STEM romance - this time between two physicists of opposing disciplines - theorists and experimentalists. There are a lot of details on various parts of academia in this book, discussing topics like adjunct professorship, academic advisors, controversial interview practices, and more. It was really interesting to see how all these topics wove together in the story and how Elsie and the rest of the cast tackled those challenges.

Even with those more serious STEM topics, this book is chocked full of quirky details and romantic hijinks. I'm obsessed with Elsie and her love of cheese and Twilight movies - she really gets me. Elsie and her roommate, Cece, were totally roomie goals (well, except perhaps Elsie's contemptuous relationship with Cece's hedgehog).

What really made me love this story the most though was Elsie's personal journey. Elsie is a people pleaser who is extremely anxious in her relationships. I found a lot of the things Elsie struggled with to be really relatable, and it was incredibly satisfying to see how Jack helped pull her out of her shell and challenged her to be true to herself. I think this book falls a bit heavier on the character driven side compared to The Love Hypothesis and Love on the Brain, but the character development was so important and so intertwined in the romance - I was so invested in Elsie's growth and my heart absolutely broke for her as she was facing her fears throughout.

I absolutely loved every moment of Love, Theoretically - it was incredibly heartfelt and sweet while also filled with odd little details that made the whole thing a lot of fun. It was also so fun to see how Olive and Adam were doing in their little cameo. Ali Hazelwood delivered once again with a heartfelt, quirky, nerdy romance, and I can't wait for the next one!


Do you have a favorite cheese?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. Coming across a character who is so relatable (as Elsie was for you) can really put a book over the top for me, and shift it from good to great. You review really shows how much you loved this one!

  2. I cannot fathom how there can be issues with a hedgehog (they are precious), but I am excited to meet all these characters.

  3. I really need to try this author!

    1. I haven't read this one yet, but I have read multiple books from Hazelwood, and they lived up to the hype for me.

  4. Yay for cameos' those are the very best! Its also so beneficial when there is wonderful character development. Glad this worked so much for you. I know many love this author and had fun with this one.

  5. You are not the only one I've seen that has said this is a new Hazelwood fave. I absolutely can't wait to read it!! Fave cheese? Depends what it's going with. I really like colby-jack and provolone.

  6. That is cool you can relate to Elise. I loved this book. I think it's one of her best.

  7. Yaaaaay! This is my next read and it gives me such high hopes Sam!

    1. I didn't read it yet, but I trust Kiersten's judgement.

  8. I totally agree! I think this was my favorite so far. Happy you enjoyed it, too!

  9. I'm happy to see you loved this one. I've been seeing it and was curious. It sounds good! The character driven aspect may have me picking it up. :)