Exploring “Stuck with You” by Ali Hazelwood | Summary and Review

Ali Hazelwood, known for her unique and quirky romance novels, brings readers “Stuck with You,” a delightful addition to her STEMinist Novellas series. 

This novel gives readers a vivid experience of the world of STEM professionals, where love and science intertwine, and opposites attract while rivals ignite sparks. 

Ali Hazelwood Stuck with you

Let’s look at this charming tale of second chances and unexpected connections.

A Synopsis

The story centers around Sadie, a talented computer programmer, who finds herself stuck in a tiny New York elevator with the man who broke her heart, Erik. 

As a woman of STEM, Sadie believes in variables and change, and she’s determined to burn the bridge that once connected her to Erik. Their encounter is far from ideal, and Sadie’s initial resentment towards him is evident. 

However, as they spend hours together in the elevator, the novella takes a turn, and Sadie begins to wonder if there’s more to Erik than meets the eye.

The Structure

One of the notable aspects of “Stuck with You” is its narrative structure. The story is cleverly told through a combination of flashbacks and present-day events. 

This approach allows readers to delve into the source of Sadie and Erik’s misunderstanding while piecing together the puzzle of their relationship. Ali Hazelwood’s storytelling technique keeps the reader engaged and curious, making it a quick and enjoyable read.

A “Hazelwood” Romance

Ali Hazelwood’s writing style is well-known for its quirkiness, uniqueness, and a touch of nerdiness. “Stuck with You” doesn’t disappoint in this regard. 

The characters and their interactions capture that distinct Hazelwood charm, making it a compelling addition to her body of work. While novellas are typically shorter and more surface-level, this one retains the essence of a full-length novel while offering a quick and satisfying reading experience.

The Exploration of Opposites and Rivalry

The novella delves into the theme of opposites attracting and rivals igniting passion. 

Sadie, a woman in STEM, has a set of beliefs that she holds dear. But while facing Erik, her polar opposite in that elevator, she begins to question her own biases and assumptions. 

This exploration of contrasting personalities and the evolution of their relationship adds depth to the story.

The Power of Forced Proximity

Forced proximity is a classic trope in the romance genre, and “Stuck with You” employs it effectively. Being trapped in an elevator with the person who has caused so much resentment gives rise to moments of tension and emotional connection. 

The novella skillfully leverages this tension to create a story that’s easy to devour in one sitting.

Character Analysis:

Here are the character analyses of both main characters:


Background and Personality: 

Sadie’s profession plays a significant role in shaping her character. She’s portrayed as a strong, independent, and logical woman who excels in her field as a computer programmer. 

Her logical and analytical nature is evident in her approach to life and relationships. She’s a no-nonsense person who relies on science and logic to make sense of the world.

Emotional Complexity: 

While Sadie may initially come across as cold and distant, beneath her logical exterior lies a complex emotional landscape. 

Her emotional journey is a central focus of the novella.

When she gets stuck in an elevator with Erik, the man who broke her heart, readers witness the layers of her emotional turmoil and the walls she’s built to protect herself.

Growth and Development

Throughout the novella, Sadie experiences significant growth. Her encounters with Erik in the elevator force her to confront her biases and reassess her judgments.

She evolves from a woman determined to sever all ties with Erik to someone willing to consider that there might be more to him than she initially believed.

Conflict and Resilience: 

Sadie’s internal conflict, driven by her past experiences with Erik, is a central element of the story. 

Her resilience and ability to face this conflict head-on are admirable. It’s her internal struggle that propels the narrative forward and adds depth to her character.


Background and Personality: 

Erik is initially introduced as a civil engineer, and his profession contrasts with Sadie’s STEM background. He is described as a man with “steely forearms” and an athletic appearance. 

While he might seem like a stereotype of a construction worker at first glance, there’s more to him beneath the surface.

Complexity and Ambiguity: 

Erik’s character is intentionally shrouded in ambiguity. We only see him through Sadie’s perspective, and her biases and judgments color our perception of him. 

Throughout the novella, readers are encouraged to question their initial impressions of Erik. His character is a puzzle that slowly unravels as the story progresses.

Redemption and Change: 

Erik’s character arc is about redemption and change. He’s the man who once broke Sadie’s heart, and his efforts to apologize and make amends are central to the plot. 

The novella explores whether people can change and whether second chances are possible.

Forced Proximity and Tension: 

Erik’s character is key to the forced proximity and the resulting tension in the story. Being stuck in the elevator with Sadie provides a unique opportunity for both characters to confront their past and rediscover each other in a new light.

Chemistry and Attraction: 

Erik’s character is designed to create a strong sense of chemistry and attraction with Sadie. 

His ability to soften and be vulnerable around her adds depth to their interactions, making the romance and character dynamics engaging.

Background Information about the Author and Her Other Works:

Ali Hazelwood is an accomplished author known for her works in the romance genre, particularly those that revolve around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) themes. She has gained recognition for her unique approach to blending scientific elements with romance, carving her niche in the literary world.

A few of her notable works include “The Love Hypothesis” and “Love on the Brain.” “The Love Hypothesis” is a full-length novel set in an academic environment and features a grad student named Olive who embarks on a fake dating experiment with a fellow scientist, Adam. 

The book has garnered attention for its humor, quirky characters, and academic setting, making it a beloved choice among readers who enjoy romantic comedies with scientific elements.

“Love on the Brain,” another novella by Ali Hazelwood, delves into the world of neuroscience and psychology, exploring the role of the brain in matters of love and attraction. This novella, like “Stuck with You,” combines academic themes with romance, showcasing the author’s consistent fascination with the intersection of science and love.

Context and Significance of “Stuck with You”:

“Stuck with You” by Ali Hazelwood was written as part of the STEMinist Novellas series. The novella series is known for its focus on female protagonists who are part of the STEM fields, highlighting their experiences in science and technology.

Ali Hazelwood’s decision to write a novella in this series is significant because it continues her exploration of themes related to STEM and romance. 

The novella presents an opportunity to tell a concise yet emotionally charged story within a limited word count. It showcases the author’s ability to craft engaging romances that resonate with readers while delving into the lives and challenges faced by women in STEM careers.

In “Stuck with You,” the author weaves a tale of redemption and second chances, emphasizing that people can change and that past mistakes can be forgiven. 

The significance of the novella lies in its character-driven narrative and the exploration of emotions and personal growth. 

It serves as an example of how Ali Hazelwood brings a unique blend of scientific themes and romance to her works, offering readers an engaging and heartfelt experience.

The novella also stands out for its use of the forced proximity trope, which adds a layer of tension and surprise to the story. This trope, combined with the characters’ backgrounds in STEM fields, creates a distinctive and compelling narrative.

Comparative analysis

“Stuck with You,” “The Love Hypothesis,” and “Love on the Brain” have their own unique characteristics and themes. Let’s compare these works to see how they differ and what makes each one special:

“Stuck with You”

Genre and Format:

“Stuck with You” is a novella – shorter compared to full-length novels like “The Love Hypothesis.”

STEM Theme:

This novella is part of the STEMinist Novellas series, emphasizing themes related to science and technology. It explores the world of STEM professionals, showcasing the author’s passion for STEM fields.

Forced Proximity:

The novella utilizes the forced proximity trope, with the main characters, Sadie and Erik, getting stuck in an elevator. This element adds tension and surprise to the story.

Redemption and Second Chances:

The central theme revolves around redemption and second chances in love. It explores whether people can change and whether past mistakes can be forgiven.


The focus of “Stuck with You” is primarily on the character development and emotional journey of Sadie and Erik. It’s a character-driven romance with a limited word count.

“The Love Hypothesis”

Full-Length Novel:

“The Love Hypothesis” is a full-length novel, providing more room for plot development and character exploration.

Academic Setting

This book is set in an academic environment, with the protagonist, Olive, a grad student. 

The academic setting is a central part of the story, as it features elements of academia and research.

Fake Dating Trope:

The plot revolves around the fake dating trope, with Olive pretending to date a fellow scientist, Adam. This adds a layer of humor and complexity to the story.

Humor and Quirkiness:

“The Love Hypothesis” is known for its humor and quirky characters. It combines elements of romantic comedy with scientific themes.

Strong Friendships:

The novel also places a significant emphasis on friendships and the support network of the characters.

“Love on the Brain”

Academic and Research Themes:

Like “The Love Hypothesis,” “Love on the Brain” is set in an academic environment and features characters engaged in research. It explores the intersection of science and love.

Neuroscience and Psychology:

This novella delves into neuroscience and psychology, focusing on the brain’s role in love and attraction. It’s a unique and specialized theme.

Character Diversity:

“Love on the Brain” introduces diverse and relatable characters, each having unique quirks and challenges.

Romantic Elements:

While the novella has a strong focus on science, it also incorporates romantic elements, making it a blend of romance and academia.

Similar books: 

If you want to explore a similar book to “Stuck With You,” below are our top recommendations:

  • “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood: If you liked “Stuck with You,” you’ll likely enjoy Ali Hazelwood’s full-length novel “The Love Hypothesis.” It’s set in an academic environment and features a grad student engaging in a fake dating experiment with a fellow scientist.
  • “Love on the Brain” by Ali Hazelwood: This novella by Ali Hazelwood, like “Stuck with You,” explores the intersection of science and love. It delves into neuroscience and psychology, providing a unique perspective on the role of the brain in romance.
  • “Beach Read” by Emily Henry: This novel combines elements of romance and writing. It follows two authors who are experiencing writer’s block and decide to swap genres for the summer. It’s a blend of humor, romance, and literary exploration.
  • “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne: This enemies-to-lovers romance is a delightful read. It features witty banter, workplace rivalry, and a slow-burning romance between the main characters.
  • “Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston: If you enjoy contemporary romance with unique themes, this book offers a charming love story between the First Son of the United States and the Prince of Wales. It explores themes of identity, politics, and love.

“Stuck with You” by Ali Hazelwood: A Captivating Blend of Romance and STEM

Ali Hazelwood’s “Stuck with You” is a captivating novella blending romance with STEM themes. With engaging characters and a forced proximity trope, it’s a character-driven narrative that exemplifies Ali Hazelwood’s talent for crafting heartfelt stories. 

For fans of her work and character-driven romance, “Stuck with You” is a memorable addition to her collection.

Once you have had enough romantic books and want to explore a different genre, head over to the fiction book reviews page.

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