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The Love Hypothesis

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An LGBT romantic comedy with a twist from the Comedy Women in Print prize winner Laura Steven, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay. A hilarious love story with bite, for fans of Sex Education, Booksmart, Becky Albertalli's Love, Simon and Jenny Han's To All The Boys I've Loved Before.

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?

296 pages, Paperback

First published March 5, 2020

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About the author

Laura Steven

13 books468 followers
Laura Steven is an award-winning author from the northernmost town in England. She has published several books for children and young adults; her debut novel The Exact Opposite Of Okay won the inaugural Comedy Women In Print Prize in 2019, while The Love Hypothesis was optioned for TV by an Emmy-winning team. Her books have been widely translated, and her work has appeared in The i Paper, The Guardian and Buzzfeed.

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5 stars
168 (14%)
4 stars
393 (32%)
3 stars
392 (32%)
2 stars
172 (14%)
1 star
67 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 236 reviews
Profile Image for Alice Oseman.
Author 54 books67.7k followers
January 2, 2020
A sweet, funny, and delightfully nerdy queer rom-com about a girl, desperate to gain more romantic attention from her peers, who starts taking some probably dodgy pills off the internet that boost her sex pheromones and make her irresistible to everyone around her. Hilarity plus some sincere discussions about consent, sexuality, and science ensue. Plus some really excellent gay dads. Laura Steven's writing never fails to make me laugh!
Profile Image for Ellie.
573 reviews2,085 followers
March 19, 2020
A lot of my friends love Laura Steven. Like, love x 1000. And yet it's taken me this long to get to one of Laura Steven's books! Guess that happens when you have a wild TBR. But I do see why they love her as an author so much.

THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS is funny, sweet and thoughtful. It made me think a lot about myself, actually. I saw various aspects of myself in Caro and Keiko and Gabs, and the dynamics of their friendship were incredibly familiar to the ones I have. And at the heart of it, the novel was all about finding yourself and loving that, and how that's what makes you beautiful to others, really. And it was done in a way that wasn't cheesy, but comforting.

It's a short book and I read it in a few hours, but nothing feels skimped, underdeveloped or rushed. Not too hot, not too cold, just perfect.

> 4 stars

p.s. if Caro doesn't want Haruki Ito I most certainly do
Profile Image for Noémie.
156 reviews14 followers
September 7, 2021
I thought this was the book everybody talked on booktok ! And I was soooo disappointed because this book is shit !
Buttttt i read the « wrong » love hypothesis ☠️ (there is an other book called the love hypothesis by an other author)
Now I am going to read the « good » one 😅
Not hate against this book, just didn’t like it at ALL
See y’all
Bye bye
Profile Image for bookznerd.
161 reviews33 followers
June 7, 2022
The love hypothesis of Laura Steven focuses a lot on different friendships and accepting each other for who you are. That you don't all have to have the same interests in larger groups to be friends.
Also in this book lgbtq parents, adoption and lgbtq romance.
Caro is the main character who is insecure about herself. She is in love with a boy who does not see her at all. She buys pills online that make you attractive so he sees her now and go out together. The further in the book, the more Caro himself doubts. Her best friend Keiko also sees changes and has a lot to say about it.
This book claims to be LGBTQ, but it only really occurs in the last 90/95%. I would have liked this much sooner and therefore expected much more.
I found the story a bit odd and unique in a not the best way at times. I expected something completely different from this book
Profile Image for kate.
1,111 reviews922 followers
March 27, 2020
The Love Hypothesis has a classic rom-com movie feel, without the questionable rom-com movie morals.

I feel like the fact that someone who once literally got 1/60 on a chemistry test loved this book, is enough to convince me anyone will. (Me. I'm that someone. Not a single cell in my body has an aptitude for science…)

I love the way Laura writes. It’s quick in wit, easy flowing and so comfortable to read. Sure, a lot of the scientific aspects went way (and I mean, WAY) over my head but it didn’t matter because this book was funny, thought provoking, nerdy, adorable and, despite the fantastical plot, relatable. There were also some excellent discussions and explorations surrounding consent, friendship, family, substance abuse and sexuality making for a brilliant, all rounded read.

I would also do anything for Caro’s dads and Sirius the one eyed cockapoo.
Profile Image for Sabine.
160 reviews
June 24, 2022
3.75/5 stars
Very enjoyable, important themes (such as consent, lqbtq parents, adaption, lgbtq romance) but I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. And I can’t really put my finger on why??? Maybe because I found the main character a bit annoying? Idk man
Profile Image for Zoë ☆.
894 reviews180 followers
March 5, 2020
I had SUCH a good time reading The Love Hypothesis, it was so wholesome, cute and funny! 💗🙌🏻 (But to be honest I wouldn’t have expected any less of Laura Steven!) I could relate a lot to the main character in the first part of the book, and I really liked that because I didn’t really expect it to happen in this book! 🙊 Anyway, throughout the book I was a bit annoyed and conflicted with the way the main character handled certain things, BUT the end was absolutely worth it! I really liked how much the main character developed throughout the book! It discusses love, friendship, family, but most importantly finding yourself. Highly recommend it if you feel like reading a quick and fun contemporary! ☺️

Thanks again to the publisher for sending me a review copy!
Profile Image for Axellesbooks.
601 reviews125 followers
January 26, 2022
Oh my gosh, this story is so cute and nerdy. It has its flaws, but I even love that about it. I love how the diversity is normal in this book and that it's not a plot. Okay, love is kinda the plot (see the title lol) but it doesn't matter which sexuality it is.
I had a laugh with this book from time to time and felt along with the characters.
But mostly: I had a really good time and regret I haven't read this any sooner.
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,275 reviews280 followers
April 11, 2020
Add this one to your summer pile because it's wholesome, cute, romantic, witty and has an Austrian gay Dad that cannot garden but he's trying his best. The pacing was so good in this, I've been feeling that lately contemporaries stagnate towards the middle as you wait for the inevitable conclusion.

Caro is a great character, this story is just as much about her finding herself and her identity, being comfortable with everything that makes her Caro, as it is about the romance. I loved Caro's cool rocker band friend Keiko too, however I found cheerleader? (I think) Gabriella pretty forgettable.

A couple of issues I did have with the book - the cover is just one huge spoiler and not knowing what would happen would have really improved the story for me. The story itself is really problematic, while Caro did make amends later it did not make it any less uncomfortable that she essentially drugged someone to date her and make out with her.

The secondary romance, alongside Caro finding herself, was what made the book truly amazing - that and Caro's two Dads who are perfect opposites of each other but fit together so perfectly. I think I would have preferred if Caro didn't want to date someone, but just took the drug to see if she could find a partner that way.

Overall though, this is a really fun, lighthearted read and I would honestly buy a sequel featuring Crao's college adventures and mishaps immediately.
Profile Image for Patiopea.
237 reviews40 followers
May 23, 2021
Kilka razy podchodziłam do spisania moich wrażeń z lektury książki "Zauroczona zwariowana zakochana" i za każdym razem ciężko było mi się do tego zebrać. O ile normalnie przy słabym fantasy nie mam problemu z powiedzeniem, co mi się w niej nie podoba, tutaj jest mi trudno, bo mimo wszystko jest to dosyć urocza historia, ale niestety w ogólnie mnie do siebie nie przekonała i naprawdę boli mnie to, ale praktycznie nic mi się w niej nie podobało.

Cała historia bazuje na historii Caro, która od dawna wzdycha do Harukiego i chciałaby, żeby w końcu ją zauważył. W pewnym momencie odkrywa tabletki z feromonami wzmacniającymi atrakcyjność fizyczną i postanawia ich spróbować. I sam pomysł jest oryginalny, ale bohaterka już od pierwszych stron mnie irytowała swoim zachowaniem. Kłamanie, oszustwa, brak jakichkolwiek przemyśleń, nieracjonalne decyzje i wiele innych sprawiały, że po prostu nie jestem w stanie tolerować takiej bohaterki. Zresztą cała historia oparta jest na głupocie i upartości głównej bohaterki. Zwroty akcji były przewidywalne, końcówka nie tylko nie była dla mnie zaskoczeniem, ale też była bezsensowna, bo wiele fragmentów akcji sobie przeczyło.

Ja przepraszam, że podejdę do tego tak ostro, ale po prostu jak patrzę nawet na okładkę to czuję irytację. Mam wrażenie, że to historia na zasadzie "zrób bałagan, rób co chcesz i wyszalej się, a my potem poklepiemy Cię po rączkach". Takie dokładnie mam odczucia, bo im więcej wiedziałam, tym bardziej mnie to po prostu... odpychało. Książka jest po prostu w dużej mierze sprzeczna z moimi poglądami i nie byłam w stanie przełknąć narcyzmu i olewatorstwa głównej bohaterki. Jedynym małym plusem tej historii, który choć trochę ją ratuje, są tatowie głównej bohaterki, którzy byli przezabawnymi bohaterami i od razu mnie do siebie przekonali.
Profile Image for Willemijn jufwillemijnopallstars.
479 reviews37 followers
February 3, 2021
Wat een leuk verhaal over Caro! Ze is erg onzeker en wil graag dat haar crush verliefd op haar wordt. Ze koopt magische pillen op internet en plots zijn alle jongens van school op haar verliefd! Leuk verhaal met LHBTQ+ karakters.
Profile Image for Beth, BooksNest.
250 reviews474 followers
March 24, 2020
I picked up The Love Hypothesis because I needed an easy read that was funny and distracting, this book delivered exactly that! It was light-hearted, easy to follow and made me laugh. The pure absurdity of the plot, but in the best way possible, made me laugh a lot. Caro is a science nerd and I have great respect for the effort Laura Steven put into creating Caro's character, she is well crafted and knows her stuff. I like that we actually saw parts of her knowledge rather than just being told she was a science nerd. I also liked that this book broke down stereotypes a bit and did it's best to open doors outside of the status quo.

The stars of this book for me were Caro's dads, a very funny, comedic duo that had some of the best lines in the book. They had great chemistry (pun not actually intended) together and I really enjoyed seeing their dynamic with Caro. I don't think we see family relationships all too often in YA anymore, parents are more discarded to the side, so it was nice to get to know these two more.

This book focuses a lot on friendship and how we all change over time. I liked that the trio of friends didn't have to have the same interested to be friends and that's what made them click well together. I also think it looked at important issues such as what happens when you outgrow a friend, which is a sad truth. Relationships change over time and they take effort to maintain and this book presented this perfectly, I'd like to think it was more a story about friendship than romantic love...?

This book was cute and funny, which was exactly what I needed it to be. There wasn't a complex plot and it didn't fall down the predictability holes. I have to say though, the only reason I didn't rate it higher was that I found it all a little bit cringe towards the end. The way it ended felt a bit thrown together, so it didn't quite work for me. But the writing was super fun and has prompted me to buy more of Laura Steven's books, which I'm very excited to read!
Profile Image for Triston.
302 reviews42 followers
August 23, 2020
HUGE thanks to Penguin Random House South Africa for sending me a review copy of this!!

This was super fun, quirky and cute!! It was the perfect light hearted fluffy and extremely funny read I needed for the weekend!
Here is a list of why you should read it!!
- Gay Girls
- Nerdy Gay Girls
- Niche science references
- Representation of Diverse Family Structures
- Body Positivity
- Hilariously awesome German Gay Dad
- Sex Positivity
- Diverse Cast of Characters
- Honest Exploration of Identity
- Did I mention the Gay German Dad?
- Bizarre Pseudo-Scientific Plot!
- These two jokes: Boneapocalypse and ArmaWooddon
- Honest and Candid representation of relationships, friendships, crushes, love and lust!
- Girl Love!!
- F*ck the Patriarchy!!!

So yes, go get your copy and read it now! Thank me later!!
Profile Image for Jodie✨.
72 reviews3,382 followers
March 13, 2020
I really enjoyed this book! It was such a lovely cute read. The aspects of physics made it so interesting and gave it much more depth. I could definitely tell that a lot of research had gone into this book and I actually learned a thing or two about some scientific theory ha! The representation in this book is also a really good thing about it. The main character was so fun and well written and the innuendos added so much more humour. I also liked how the book had some good emotional elements and was a story showing a young girls journey to self discovery and sexuality. I really adored both her dads especially Vati he was a hilarious character! A book that I read with ease and thoroughly enjoyed. 3.5 stars!
Profile Image for Strangely Laura .
121 reviews7 followers
March 8, 2020
Man Laura Steven just hits it on the head again!!!!!! Omg. This woman can do no wrong.

This book has everything I needed: awesome but relatable characters. THE REPRESENTATION. Seriously Laura is so good with that. The dads are quite possibly the best thing that has happened to YA Literature in a long time and they win best side character on all fronts.

I am bad at writing reviews but yea YOU SHOULD ALL READ THIS. If you want a nerd who is trying to figure out the science of falling in love, LGBT representation, POC representation and just generally an AWESOME book you should read this.
Profile Image for Bine.
628 reviews96 followers
February 19, 2022
Sehr schöner, leichter und doch tiefgründiger Roman über Liebe, Identität, Freundschaft und... auch noch Wissenschaft! Wie immer bei Laura Steven bin ich verliebt in eigentlich alle Charaktere (hier waren es vor allem die Dads, Haruki und Keiko) und ach, es war eine schöne Zeit mit allen. Mit dem Ausgang bin ich hier leider nicht ganz so zufrieden. Und das Element mit den Pillen... damit hadere ich auch noch ein wenig. Also bin ich hier nicht vollends begeistert, aber ich würde das Buch immer noch so vielen Leuten weiterempfehlen!
Profile Image for Ella.
14 reviews2 followers
February 12, 2021
It was bad.

Historia miała potencjał, jednak sposób w jaki została przedstawiona daje duzo do życzenia..
Profile Image for Jo Anna.
128 reviews44 followers
March 21, 2021
Świat szkoły średniej zdaje się mieć z góry ustalony porządek. Jedni są popularni od pierwszego aż do ostatniego dnia liceum, inni stanowią jedynie chwilową rozrywkę. W tej rzeczywistości dość dobrze funkcjonuje Caro Kerber-Murphy. Choć dziewczyna chodzi na zajęcia z zaawansowanej fizyki i ma materiał na tyle opanowany do przodu, że może czytać na lekcji już tylko artykuły naukowe, a zaraz potem biec na kółko szachowe, to wciąż przyjaźni się z popularnymi dziewczynami. Jedna z nich właśnie rozpoczyna swoją karierę wokalną, druga śmiało mogłaby cały dzień spędzać w gronie cheerleaderek. Czy przyjaźń tak skrajnie różnych charakterów przetrzyma nie tylko próbę czasu ale i eksperymentu?

Jak wiele dziewczyn także i Caro cierpi z powodu nieodwzajemnionego uczucia. Sprawa dotyczy chłopaka imieniem Haruki. Bohaterka przekonana jest, że światło zagina się w jakiś magiczny sposób, gdyż mimo uczestnictwa w tych samych zajęciach z fizyki praktycznie nie zamienili ze sobą nawet słowa. Niemożliwość zmiany tej sytuacji powoduje, że Caro decyduje się na udział w eksperymencie. Kilka tabletek (zawierających feromony) ma zwiększyć jej atrakcyjność fizyczną w oczach innych, a w konsekwencji także doprowadzić do tego, że ktoś się w niej zakocha. Nie myśląc dużo o skutkach ubocznych dziewczyna łyka tabletki i następnego już dnia burzy ustalony porządek licealnego świata.

"Zauroczona, zwariowana, zakochana" miała swoją premierę na cztery dni przed Walentynkami. Była więc reklamowana jako idealna propozycja na ten czas. I może właśnie dlatego pojawiło się w mojej głowie kompletnie inne wyobrażenie o jej fabule.

Z jednej strony jest tutaj masa przeróżnych ciekawostek naukowych i przedstawionych teorii. Czy to prawda, że tylko osoby o tym samym poziomie atrakcyjności będą się łączyć w pary? Jak mocno chemia naszego mózgu wpływa na emocje i czy manipulacja tymi wartościami jest w stanie doprowadzić do wytworzenia się romantycznego uczucia? Co jeszcze sobie cenię w tej książce to odwołania do fascynującego świata astrofizyki. Zjawiska są objaśnione prostym językiem, ale jednocześnie w sposób, który działa na wyobraźnię i każe dodatkowo zainteresować się światem odległych gwiazd.

Z drugiej jednak strony tak wiele scen było tutaj (nawet skrajnie) przerysowanych aby pokazać pełne spektrum działania tajemniczego specyfiku w tabletkach. W zamierzeniu śmiesznych i mających stanowić źródło humoru, często jednak groteskowych. Takich, których nawet po lekturze wyrzucić z pamięci już za bardzo nie można. Jeśli ktoś zaś wciąż liczy na typowy przebieg wątku romantycznego, to też nie ta opowieść. Laury Steven podkreśla mocno wątek przemiany na ścieżce do akceptacji samego siebie. Czy to przyjaźń a może już miłość? Pierwsze skrzypce grają tu wątki LGBT.

"Zauroczona, zwariowana, zakochana" to opowieść w jednym tomie, którą z łatwością można by było sobie wyobrazić jako ekranizację. Bohaterowie szukają nie tylko swojej przyszłości (komu powierzyć serce), lecz i odkrywają swoją przeszłość (Caro została adaptowana i wychowana przez homoseksualne małżeństwo, nie wie jednak nic o swojej biologicznej matce). Pasja do nauk ścisłych posłuży tu pomocą by odpowiedzieć na jedno z najważniejszych pytań: czy wystarczy dostatecznie mocno wsłuchać się w siebie aby wiedzieć, co jest dla nas właściwą ścieżką w życiu?

Recenzje zawsze na Zakładka do Przyszłości
Profile Image for Jessica.
604 reviews22 followers
April 21, 2020
This was a great love story...alright its not REALLY a love story per-say, but a exploration of Caro's burgeoning sexuality and self esteem issues. Throughout the book Caro attempts to analyze love/attraction in her hyper scientific (and genius mind), but its just a loose explanation of her own struggle and feelings. Any time she feels uncomfortable she scientifically analyzes it to make sense, so yes there is quite a bit of science in this story, but that's what makes it so fresh and unique. Not to mention its just down right hilarious and has extremely likable characters. It's been so, so long since I found a story that made me laugh out loud. This did it.
- I have read LGBTQ stories before, this one is different though its a steady build-up between characters. It starts out as a sweet friendship that the feelings developed over time and I loved that. Its not often you find romance (contemporary or YA) that does that.
I loved, loved this story and I just cant get over the chemistry. This will definitely not be the last story I read by Laura Steven.
Profile Image for Kevin.
1,454 reviews34 followers
October 1, 2021
Enjoyed this quite a bit, I love a book about a nerd especially a science nerd. The physics parts were interesting. The way that
Profile Image for Markéta Balíčková.
57 reviews2 followers
February 27, 2022
Tuhle knížku jsem si vybrala jenom podle obálky a úplně nejlíp jsem nevybrala. Je to velice jednoduchý příběh. A také můj problém s tím byl (což je jenom můj problém), že to byl LGBT román a ty mě prostě moc neberou.
Profile Image for Franzi.
129 reviews62 followers
April 1, 2020
First of all, I really loved this book. I liked that Caro was a science nerd and that she eventually grew into being proud of it instead of being afraid to bore people with it.

What had me knocking off a star was that this is marketed as an LGBTQ+ book which it is, but I would’ve liked to see that a little earlier in the book. Caro spent 90% of the book chasing a guy. I didn’t mind that at all because it was a wonderful story of her finding herself and realising she’s in love with her best friend. But I expected more LGBTQ+ rep going into it.

Another thing that bothered me were the German sayings literally translated into English. I know it’s meant to show her “Vati” talking like that but honestly it was a little annoying to me personally. And there were some grammatical errors in the German sentences that were used. I wish someone would’ve checked those.

But all in all it was a quick, funny read and I enjoyed every second of it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for vic.
306 reviews
March 27, 2020
actual rating: 3.75/5

i really wish the author would've at least bothered to give two of the main supporting characters (who were poc) some background because u can't just slap on a latinx/asian name and go about ur day that's not how this works sjsjsjsj 😭
i also think the act was very clearly divided in acts and there wasn't really that much of a smooth transition for caro's character development 🤔
Profile Image for My Yorkshire Litmosphere.
314 reviews15 followers
April 21, 2020
Ahhh this is so cute and fluffy - it would be such a cute 90s teenage romcom movie!

I actually loved this - which is surprising as I am by far the worst human at science...honestly it does not compute with me at all. I adore science but I super struggle with it!

So this was a beautiful book for two reasons: 1. i got a cute AF romcom boom about a girl learning about love and friendship and 2. I got huge sweet amounts of nerdy science info 😂

Honestly if you want a light happy book - this is a cute place to start! Also I love the name Caro. Also I love her dads - so much 💕
Profile Image for _swiatksiazek.
98 reviews79 followers
March 11, 2021
Przyjemnie przy niej spędziłam czas. Ma kilka wad, ale podobała mi się. Porusza też tematy akceptacji siebie, homo i biseksualizmu, etapu dojrzewania, a także poszukiwania siebie . Całość osadzona w naukowym klimacie. Pochłonęłam w dwa dni i nie żałuję. Potrzebowałam lekkiej pozycji, od której nie będę dużo wymagać. Po prostu spełniła swoją rolę:)
Profile Image for ZIARNE.
23 reviews
September 11, 2021
ok so the funny thing is i meant to read a different book called the love hypothesis and i didnt realise till i was 75% of the way through this one so its lowk funny lolz. BUT it turned out that this book was actually really good - its like lgbtq romcom stuff and some sciency stuff and the vibe is great at first you think its going to be a romcom movie vibe but it is a lot better than that
Profile Image for ciekawe.czytanie.
165 reviews1 follower
March 23, 2021
3.25/5 🌟

Szczerze totalnie oczekiwałam czegoś innego. Przez połowę książki nie mogłam się wkręcić w ten świat i dopiero później coś się dzieje i mi się powiedzmy podoba. Główna bohaterka przez pierwsze 200 stron (to jest 3/4 książki) mnie denerwuje. Dopiero później można powiedzieć, że nastąpiła u niej taka zmiana. Styl pisania autorki nie za bardzo mnie przekonał. Żarty tak samo mnie nie przekonały. Podoba mi się tutaj pokazanie pamiętania o swojej wartości. Uwielbiam ojców głównej bohaterki. Końcówka jest ok.
Profile Image for realistyczne.spojrzeniee.
136 reviews9 followers
October 1, 2021
2 (moooże 2.5) 🌟
Po 100 stronach chciałam zrobić dnf tej książki, jednak stwierdziłam, że dam jej szansę.
Cieszę się, że to zrobiłam, bo książka była naprawdę w porządku.
Ma dużo wad według mnie, ale wciągnęłam się i przeczytałam w ciągu jednego dnia.
Nie jest to coś co zostanie na długo w moich myślach lub coś co polubiłam, ale całkiem dobrze spędziłam z tą historią czas.
Profile Image for thebooksthief_ Ania ✨.
367 reviews111 followers
March 9, 2021
Lekka młodzieżówka, bez żadnego wow. Taki „wakacyjny” romans. Bohaterka lubi fizykę tak jak ja, więc za to plusik. Książka posiada przekleństwa. Podobają mi się te wiadomości pomiędzy bohaterami.
Książka z wydawnictwa Media Rodzina.
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