REVIEW: Stuck With You by Ali Hazelwood

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Finding a perfectly comfortable position to read in is every reader’s mission. It’s not impossible but can sure feel like it sometimes. When I picked up Ali Hazelwood’s book hiding in my Kindle Paper White, I was pleased to not only be stuck with another book by her but to have found the perfect position to devour it in too. Well, less than 200 flipped pages later and some time to reflect on what they left me, it’s only fitting I share my thoughts with you. Needless to say, I have a few…

Upon diving into the pages of this novella, I already knew its author has a thing for writing about characters in the STEM field and has dedicated an entire series to this. Hence, wasn’t a surprise to me when the book opened with two engineers ~ literally ~ stuck in an uncomfortable situation.

The air is completely sucked out of the tiny elevator where Sadie and Erik find themselves. To Sadie, the space is probably smaller than it seems because all she can think about is ‘how – just how did I end up stuck in an elevator with Erik of all people?’.
She then moves on to imagine a series of nonsensical ways, maybe she might just be able to escape this god-forsaken situation somehow. Even the walls can feel the awkward energy building up each second the two remain trapped. The tension is palpable one could almost squeeze it because neither Sadie nor Erik can shake the memory from that day three weeks ago – or worse – what happened afterwards. 

Circumstances differ from that of three weeks ago. Back then they needed much less than a power outage to force them into close proximity with each other in order to strike a conversation. A terrible-tasting croissant, superstitions and purple underwear, football and dinner plans – these are some of the things Sadie and Erik know to use to break the walls between them, but in that elevator, the silence is just as painful as the idea of breaking it… 

I could tell you a bit more, but as to not give away its content in its entirety, I’ll stop here.

To Read Or Not To Read?

I do admit I read Stuck With You with a little bit of pre-installed expectations. It was a real reading drought I was in when I picked up the novella. A period where I desperately needed to find pages that would suck me back into a steady routine with reading so when I saw Ali Hazelwood’s name in my suggestions, I quickly jumped on it. It’s no secret, I thoroughly enjoyed The Love Hypothesis and hoped to feel the same way for another heartfelt romance novel. Sadly it wasn’t entirely the case.

Some things didn’t change from my first impression of Hazelwood’s writing style. I do enjoy the way she’s able to effortlessly draw vivid pictures with words. Simple, straight to the point, contemporary, and extremely witty. When reading a romance novel, the author must draw out fluttering emotions from the reader; I feel this is never missing. Hazelwood’s words are instantly gripping based on this alone and have the power to pull me in even when I’m not fully sold on the storyline.

Putting aside Hazelwood’s signature writing style, the book is one of the shortest I’ve ever read and can easily be devoured in one sitting. However, I was unable to do so.

I know approaching a romance novel to not search too deep for life’s answers, but something about this book was a bit too much fluff-and-no-substance I barely maintained my desire to get through it. 
Nevertheless, I read it fairly quickly, but I’d find myself putting it off at times too. There’s only so much one can do with a limited number of pages, that I do know, but Stuck With You was a tad too predictable for me to enjoy it for what it was. There wasn’t much I found shocking or even interesting, but the fact that I could easily predict from the start the reason behind their conflict left me even more disappointed. 

In the book, the main leads’ stories are told in two timelines. In the present where they are physically trapped in the same place; a stuffy elevator. And the past where the author allows us a glimpse into what led to the hostility between the two.

I found the characters to be a little too similar to Olive and Adam from The Love Hypothesis but without the extra charm. I didn’t like how easy it was for me to compare the book to her previous work, and it’s not like I had to go out of my way to do so. Change the name and setting, add on miscommunications (or lack of communication) and misunderstandings, then tighten the timeline so much the events feel hardly believable – then you get similar results. 

Ali Hazelwood sure does know how to write a great steamy encounter. As a reader, I get the feeling she too must enjoy writing them. They are never rushed within the storyline and hold a lot of impact in her books. 

I wouldn’t say I disliked Stuck With You terribly, but I knew I’d forget the few details decorating the plot in no time. Seems I wasn’t wrong.

Would I recommend it? Hmm, yes but mostly no.

if you’re looking for a super light and quick read without any major twists and turns, then this is the book to read. This novella follows almost every overused trope to the tee, but sometimes that’s just what you need to indulge in that desire for a whirlwind romance. 
If you’re searching for something with a bit more substance, then I’d pick something else from the TBR pile. 

I wouldn’t say never to another Hazelwood novel. I think she’s a fantastic writer and I look forward to diving into more books she’s written but sadly Stuck With You just wasn’t my cup of tea. 

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