Sunday, August 14, 2022

Series Review: "The STEM-inist Novellas" by Ali Hazelwood

Series Title: The STEM-inist Novellas
Author: Ali Hazelwood 
Genre: Romcom
Reading Order & Individual Ratings:
  1. Under One Roof - 5/5 stars
  2. Stuck With You - 4/5 stars
  3. Below Zero - 4.5/5 stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars

I, like many people, read The Love Hypothesis because of the hype it received on BookTok. I, like many people, absolutely adored it. The Love Hypothesis, which is Ali Hazelwood's first book, is one of my all-time favorite romcoms. It was so funny and kept me engaged the entire read. But this isn't a review for The Love Hypothesis. No, today we're going to talk about three more Ali Hazelwood works!

The STEM-inist novellas, which include Under One Roof, Stuck With You, and Below Zero, are a trilogy following a trio of friends as they navigate romances in their lives. Each novella follows a different main couple, though the others do make their appearances, in a variety of situations. First publishing solely as audiobooks, the novellas were then released a few months later as ebooks, which is how I read them. 

Under One Roof is my favorite of the three, I think. It's an enemies-to-lovers-esque story about two characters who each own half of a house but neither wants to sell or move out. One is an environmental scientist and the other is a lawyer at an environment-destroying company. It's absolutely hilarious but also incredibly heartwarming following their reluctant relationship growth across the time they live together. By far I think it's also the best written, in terms of character development and story progression. It was just so cute and I couldn't stop smiling the entire time I was reading it. 

The second is Stuck With You which follows two engineers at rival companies who get stuck in an elevator a few weeks after having a whirlwind 24-hour romance that ended in betrayal and anger. The novella is told in a series of flashbacks to their romance and their present setting in an elevator. I enjoyed it, and it was cute, but it definitely didn't feel nearly as developed as the other stories. I think the main thing with this was that it was based around a miscommunication trope and I don't really like those much. It felt like there wasn't much story progression or plot from that except for them having an actual conversation and realizing they were both wrong. Because of that, I just didn't swoon as much as the others even if I still enjoyed it. 

The last novella is Below Zero and follows two NASA scientists with a hint of rivals-to-lovers. One is injured and stuck in a life-or-death situation and the other is coming to save them. This novella also switches between past and present but I felt like it did it in such a better way. The main plot for this also didn't feel like it was based around the miscommunication trope, though there was some of that. Instead, there was other stuff going on that made it a well-balanced story in my mind. It was quite cute and enjoyable seeing the potential relationship that has spanned years finally culminate in this novella.

One of my favorite things about Ali Hazelwood is the inclusion of science and academia in her books. While I studied humanities in university, I still took STEM classes and they always fascinated me. I also just think it's great to see science represented in romance books because I rarely ever see it. My ranking of these would have to go Under One Roof, Below Zero, and then Stuck With You. Each was quite different but they also all felt like Ali Hazelwood stories. I'm beginning to get a vibe for how she writes and I'm quite looking forward to the fact that I can reach for her books when I'm in the mood for these types of stories. I quite enjoyed this trilogy of novellas and think they've been great to hold me over until her next full-length novel, Love On the Brain, comes out later this month. I also am very much looking forward to the paperback bindup of these novellas that is coming out at the beginning of next year! 

Thanks for reading!

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