Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Love Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
Narrator: Therese Plummer
Published by Berkley, Penguin Audio on June 13, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 12 hours, 34 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
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.
I’m all in for a stem world. The academics and politics fascinate me. Ok, the misogyny and treatment of women also infuriates me. The world in Love, Theoretically, is connected to some of the author’s other books, which was only recognizable in a very brief mention near the end.
Elsie loves her work and she has a real talent. But she’s starving herself and without health insurance because she’s just an adjunct professor. She has no health insurance and she needs it. So she and her roommate also have jobs as fake dates to supplement their incomes. Suddenly, she gets and interview for a job she really wants at MIT, and the older brother of one of her fake dates is on the hiring committee.
Elsie is manipulated by her family, and her mentor, and works really hard for everything. If she’s a little tired and used to putting on an agreeable face to the world, well it’s what she needs to do to survive.
The annoying older brother, Jack Smith, is unreadable to her. (Jack Smith – lol) He knows so much more than he can tell her and he may have an easy road as a white male but he’s not unfair. While Elsie battles him fiercely, he takes steps to protect her. While I dislike a situation where the woman is down on her luck / money, and the man has lots of money and influence, it is often the way it is and certainly shows how strong and capable the woman is.
I found this to be such an emotional ride as Elsie learns some truths about herself, and being herself. Of course, she and Jack are so compatible and the sparks lead to such a good relationship in the end. It was heart-warming. I loved all the feelings here and look forward to much more in this world.
I love this narrator. She’s fantastic. Most of her titles are in a different genre, as far as the ones I have heard. I love the emotions inspired by her performance. Elsie has a more emotional tone to her voice; Jack is more straightforward, more neutral in tone. I listened at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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