Discover more from Tropes & Cheese
by Ali Hazelwood
Hello and happy Tropes & Cheese day! I realized I only did one entry for June, and this is my first for July, I must be slacking! Actually, it’s just because I’ve been reading way more non-romance than usual. But alas, Ali Hazelwood just had to go and release a delicious new book and you know I had to devour it asap!
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By the way, some of my favorite non-romantic reads lately have been Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies (a unicorn-level-rare personal development rec from me), Starry Messenger (my man NDT’s most important book yet, in my humble opinion), and The Storyteller (as if I couldn’t love Dave Grohl more than I already do, this book sealed the deal).
Okay, now let’s dig into the queen of steamy STEM’s newest adventure…
Book: Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
Genre: Contemporary STEMinist Romance
Spice Level: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🌶️💃🏻🥵👩🚒 (if you know Ali Hazelwood, you know.)
Content Warning: Some family drama, but nothing TOO major!
Tropes: Guy falls first, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, workplace romance.
If you’re not already an Ali Hazelwood fan, please allow me a moment to try and convert you. Hazelwood’s books always revolve around women who are wayyy smarter than anyone else in the room, fight like hell for their seat at the table, and always manage to make out with super-hunky, equally smart, dreamy dudes who (albeit, sometimes secretly) support the hell out of their female counterparts.
She writes about the world of STEM and academia in a way that makes you understand what’s going on enough to follow the story and care deeply about the protagonists’ research… even if you don’t know the first thing about, in this case, theoretical physics.
And if you’re a fellow writer, Hazelwood’s books are a masterclass in researching your topic. She has an academic background herself, but she’s on another level when it comes to mastering her topics. *imagine a Wayne and Garth “we are not worthy” gif here*
What’s It About?
Elsie Hannaway is a theoretical physicist stuck adjuncting at seemingly every Boston-area college and university… and making absolutely no money. (I immediately feel the need to apologize to every adjunct professor I ever had in college. I didn’t realize how bad it must suck.)
Suddenly, she’s up for the job of her dreams, and who is standing in her way? Jack Smith - the man who publicly criticizes her chosen field of study and thinks the very work she’s dedicated her life to is utter nonsense. Aaand of course, he’s extremely hot.
So ensues an enemies-to-lovers tale where, as promised, the heroine fights like hell for her well-deserved seat at the table, and the aforementioned hunk secretly supports the hell out of her.
Honestly, there’s nothing too heavy in this story. Elsie is diabetic, so that’s a major part of her story. Jack’s family is a hot mess, full of old secrets. Elsie and her amazing roommate are broke as a joke. But no crazy surprise cancer diagnoses or house fires or cheating scandals. So instead, let me tell you about super fun things that happen in Love, Theoretically!
There’s a pet hedgehog named Hedgizabeth Bennet.
Jack’s brother has emergency dental surgery, and his drug-induced antics are hilariously delightful.
Jack’s grandmother, Millicent, is one of the best characters I’ve read recently, and she’s in like, 2% of the book, max.
The pro-women-in-STEM and women-supporting-women vibes in this book are strong and extremely refreshing.
LGBTQIA+ representation galore!
Cheese is very important.
Now, how to make your reading experience a bit more fun?
🧀 Snack Pairing: As I mentioned, cheese might as well be a main character in this book, so it should come as no big shock that my snack pairing suggestion is a fabulous cheese board! Whether you’re using your old favorites or springing for the good stuff, enjoy!
👩🔬 Activity Suggestion: Ali Hazelwood’s books are all very science-centered, and you can tell she takes her research seriously. Now, I’m not suggesting you go get a degree in physics, but I AM suggesting you add IFLScience.com to your bookmarks and peruse it once in a while. While “science” may have gotten a bad rap thanks to your crappy 9th-grade biology teacher, or the fact that you had to dissect a pig (seriously, wtf?) exploring science is something that’s always worth doing, even if it’s just a casual browse while you’re in a waiting room, or trying to quit doom scrolling on Twitter. There’s so much to learn out there and I promise, at least something will amaze you now and then.
🦔 Etsy Listing: In honor of Hedgizabeth Bennet, I present you with this hedgehog planter. My husband got one for me last Christmas last year and it’s so cute I can’t handle it.
🎲 Game Suggestion: In the book, Elsie and Jack play the game ‘Go’ a few times. I confess I wasn’t familiar with this game, but after looking it up, it seems really interesting! According to the internet (so you know it’s true,) Go is one of the most complex games ever created, akin to chess when it comes to mastery. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, grab a Go board today! Good luck!
As always, I encourage you to see if Love, Theoretically is available from your local, indie bookstore. Don’t know where one is? Try this Indie Bookstore Finder! You can also purchase it directly from Ali Hazelwood’s website.
Your local library is also a great place to look for this and other books. And, of course, all the big-name booksellers will certainly have what you’re looking for.
If you’re new to Ali Hazelwood, I can’t recommend her other books highly enough. And if you’re already a fan, I know you’ll adore Love, Theoretically - partly because it’s great, and partly because Olive and Adam from The Love Hypothesis make a very fun and fairly lengthy cameo!
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!