Unless if you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, this book has been absolutely everywhere. I have to say, I am pretty susceptible to a TikTok hype, and BookTok is no exception, so when I saw this on a 99p Kindle deal, I snapped it up.
Olive is a PhD student who, in an effort to prove to her best friend that she is in a relationship, kisses the first man she sees.
This man is no other than Dr. Adam Carsen, a hot young professor known to be a bit of a dick. But he needs to prove to the university that he is not a flight risk in order to gain some funding on a research project.
And so begins their fake-dating story. But their little experiment becomes much more complicated than their original hypothesis could predict…
“It was an epically bad idea. The worst idea ever entertained in the epically bad history of bad ideas. Except that it really would solve this current problem of hers, as well as some of Adam’s.” (Pg.49)
Oh my god, I absolutely loved this book. It has everything a great escapist romance needs: amazing characters, tongue-in-cheek moments, and plenty of chemistry. By no means does this book do anything ground-breaking, but I think this is what is so great about it, it does not try to be anything beyond what it is, it laughs at its own conventionality, and is self-aware. I honestly think it is a really great romance novel. It is fanfiction meets academia meets women's uplit fiction. It is totally feel-good, uplifting, and joyful.
Olive and Adam are amazing main characters. I loved them both so much and really rooted for them, both individually and together. They follow the classic ‘grumpy meets sunshine’ trope which is one of my favourites to read.
“Possibilities. Thats what Adam’s presence felt like. Of what, she was not certain.” (Pg. 205)
Speaking of tropes, this book has so many: fake dating, years of pining, a lack of communication to complicate things, the list goes on! But there’s something so lovely about all of these tropes; you ultimately know the end destination but it is all about enjoying the ride.
“It was frightening. Frightening, how good this felt. How easy it would be to never stop. To let time stretch and unbend, forget about everything else, and simply stay in this moment forever.” (Pg. 305)
As with every other romance book I have reviewed recently, I have to mention the sexual tension and chemistry in this book. Not only is their chemistry sizzling, but this book tackles sex in quite a different way to many romance books. Consent is a priority (which is not always the case in books and films), and women's pleasure is shown in a more realistic way (AKA the woman is not 'ready to go' in one second, I hate when films and books do that!). I really enjoyed reading these aspects and found it so refreshing and important.
Beyond this, there really isn't much more to say except READ THIS BOOK. If you want something with loveable characters, light themes, and something that is guaranteed to make you smile, Ali Hazelwood has you covered.
Thanks for reading!
Quotes from the book that I liked:
“Have you ever considered getting a real girlfriend?” His eyebrow lifted. “Have you considered getting a real date?” “Touché.” (46)
“HYPOTHESIS: the more I mention an attachment in an email, the less likely I will be to actually include said attachment.” (153)
“I wish you could see yourself the way I see you.” (255)
“Because I’m starting to wonder if this is what being in love is. Being okay with ripping yourself to shreds, so the other person can stay whole.” (302)