Love Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

Read Time:3 Minute, 43 Second

Elsie Hannaway, a theoretical physicist with a double life, finds herself in a complicated situation when her fake girlfriend persona clashes with her academic ambitions. Her carefully constructed world crumbles when she discovers that Jack Smith, the older brother of her favorite client, is the same man responsible for her mentor’s downfall. Jack, a renowned experimental physicist, holds the key to Elsie’s dream job at MIT. As they engage in a scholarly battle, Elsie is unexpectedly drawn to Jack. Will she risk everything to explore her true feelings and put her theories on love into action?

Book review of Love Theoretically

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood is a delightful romance that takes readers on a whirlwind journey from enemies to lovers. The book offers a refreshing twist by featuring a protagonist who is a diabetic, without making her entire storyline revolve around her condition.

While the academic side of the story is given significant attention, it manages to captivate readers without becoming overwhelming. Compared to the author’s previous works, such as Love on the Brain, the academic aspects are more engaging. As someone familiar with the academic world, I appreciated the realistic portrayal.

The exploration of mental health is another aspect that stood out. Elsie’s struggles are relatable, even if not everyone experiences them at the same intensity. Thankfully, the focus on mental health never becomes overpowering, but rather an important element of the story. The tough love aspect between the main characters is handled well, avoiding any discomfort or unease often associated with such dynamics in other romance novels.

I felt truly seen in Elsie’s character. Her struggles with chronic illness and navigating a male-dominated field resonated deeply. The banter, wit, and nerdy references were on point, showcasing well-paced character development and avoiding the cliché of instant love. Ali Hazelwood consistently crafts believable and relatable worlds filled with self-discovery, making Love, Theoretically a worthy addition to her impressive repertoire.

Ali Hazelwood’s writing style brings modern characters to life with a fanfiction-like vibrancy, yet polished and refined. The contemporary references occasionally threw me off, given their recent nature, but it added to the authenticity of the narrative. The growth of the characters, particularly Elsie’s transformation throughout the book, is notable and distinguishes Love, Theoretically from The Love Hypothesis, the author’s beloved previous work.

Overall, Love, Theoretically may not have resonated with me as strongly as The Love Hypothesis, but it was a wonderful read. I found myself laughing and experiencing a range of emotions while devouring the book in one sitting. It had a cozy and comforting quality, reminiscent of the COVID-quarantine period. Ali Hazelwood’s skillful storytelling continues to capture my heart, and the audiobook narration perfectly captures the essence of the characters.

Final verdict

If you are a chronically ill romance reader, someone grappling with people-pleasing tendencies, or a woman fighting to fulfill STEM dreams while challenging the patriarchy, this contemporary feminist romance is for you. Love, Theoretically is a captivating tale that embraces relatability and empowers its readers. Ali Hazelwood’s writing continues to entertain and educate, leaving a profound impact on those who delve into her work.

Our Score


  • Diverse Representation: Love, Theoretically shines with its representation of a diabetic protagonist navigating the world of academia. It’s refreshing to see a character with a chronic illness whose story isn’t solely defined by it.
  • Engaging Academic Aspect: The book strikes a balance in exploring the academic side of the characters’ lives. While it may have been slightly excessive for some readers, it remains captivating and adds depth to the story.
  • Realistic Character Growth: Unlike the author’s previous work, Love, Theoretically presents distinguishable character growth throughout the book. Elsie’s transformation is evident, making the narrative more compelling and relatable.


  • Slow Start: The story takes a bit of time to gain momentum, and some readers may find the beginning slow-paced, which might make it challenging to fully engage with the plot.
  • Predictable Romance Tropes: While the enemies-to-lovers trope is initially exciting, the romance tends to follow predictable patterns, making the overall plot somewhat foreseeable.
  • Excessive Contemporary References: While the use of recent references adds a modern touch, it can occasionally feel overwhelming or disconnected from the story, potentially distracting readers who aren’t familiar with them.
Love, TheoreticallyPublisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (June 13, 2023)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593336860
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593336861
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.5 ounces
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.48 x 1.06 x 8.23 inches

About Article Author

Jenna Carter

Jenna Carter spends most of her time immersed in the imaginary worlds that authors construct. Her favorite place in the world is a library full of old books where she hopes to one day find a hidden door to the world of Narnia.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Subscribe now and join our community of avid readers

Get exclusive access to the latest fiction book news, reviews and features by subscribing to Kritica Magazine today. Stay up-to-date with the hottest releases and receive a monthly dose of awesome content straight to your inbox.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x