Thursday, August 15, 2019

Book Review: Stuck with You (The First Kiss Hypothesis #3) by Christina Mandelski

Stuck With You
By: Christina Mandelski
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
Release Date: September 2, 2019
Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
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When Caleb Gray heads to the Texas coast to mentally prepare for a future he isn’t sure he wants, the last person he expects to see is Catie Dixon. Yeah, their mothers have been planning their wedding since they were born, but he and Catie are most definitely not friends. He can’t see her as anything but the annoying kid who followed him everywhere. Except, it’s really bothering him that everyone is staring at her in that bikini…

Catie got over her crush on Caleb ages ago. So why can’t she see past his ripped body or how unsettled he seems? She’s got her own problems, though. Her future has been set for years and now she’s dreaming of pulling the plug. A week at their families’ beach house is just what she needs to pull herself together, and she has no intention of letting Caleb back into her heart...which would be a whole lot easier if he’d put on a shirt.

But a forced week of togetherness full of beach parties, waterslide mishaps, bonfires, and roller coasters sparks more than an understanding. What do you do when the person standing in the way of your future is the one person you grew up hating...but now don’t?


My Thoughts:

Stuck with you is the first book that I've read by Christina Mandelski, but it certainly won't be my last.  This story was so sweet, romantic, and heartfelt. It had all of the elements that I look for in a young adult contemporary romance!  

I didn't realize that it was a part of The First Kiss Hypothesis Series, and now I can't wait to go back and read the two previous books, because I know that I'll be in for a treat!  Nevertheless, this book can be read as a standalone.  I was not  lost in the least, and what I gathered from this story was that the two previous books were about the male lead's best friends.

Katie Dixon and Caleb Gray were inseparable as kids.  Their parents were best friends, owned a flooring and tile business together, and vacationed together in the beach house that they co-owned.   Then, they grew apart in middle school.  Katie followed Caleb around and had the hugest crush on him, but to all appearances she annoyed him, and they ended up distancing themselves from each other.  

Caleb resided in Florida with his parents for the last six months of his senior year in high school, while they opened up a new location for the business. Catie and her parents stayed in central Texas.  Caleb ends up deciding to stay at the beach house for two weeks before he begins his freshman year in college, because he is unhappy with his decisions regarding college, and needs some quiet time to think and reflect.  Katie goes to the beach house with her two best friends to have a good time.  Neither Caleb nor Catie are aware that the other person will be there....

I enjoyed learning about Caleb and Catie's feelings and history regarding one another.  It was fun watching Catie and her friends interact and have a good time, and made me reflect on how fun and carefree it was to be a teenager.  The romance between Caleb and Katie was extremely slow burn, authentic, and I adored every minute of it.  I loved watching Caleb struggle with his feelings for Catie, and enjoyed his self reflection regarding how his feelings for her went from loving his best friend, to thinking Catie was annoying and bossy, to realizing that he had been in love with her all along.

Katie and Caleb were opposites as far as first appearances went, but once they both dug a little deeper, we got to see that they had some of the same struggles concerning their futures, and weighing what they wanted to do with their lives and were passionate about, versus the weight of family expectations, obligations, and responsibilities.  Katie was a bit more chill than Caleb realized, and he was more serious and intense than the image he had always projected. 

Something that warmed my heart was the relationship that Catie shared with her grandfather, who suffered from M.S.  Even though it didn't get a ton of page time, everytime these two interacted it brought tears to my eyes.  Catie's friends Sunny and Ainsely were fun and provided me with a few laughs throughout the story.  Caleb's dogmas a fun part of the relationship as well, and was very attached to Catie.

Stuck with You was a story that I was totally engrossed in.  It made me reminisce, brought out laughter, ands smiles, as well as the sense log happiness that a reader gets from reading a feel-good story.  It had depth, but was still a light, and charming story full of warmth and the good type of "feels!"

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About the Author:

When I was a kid, I loved to read and write, and I loved going to the library. It was in the children's departments of the libraries I frequented that my dream of becoming a writer took hold. I'd find the place on the shelf where my name would fall, put my finger in that spot and say "that's where it'll go." 

After quite a few detours, my dream of having a book on that library shelf is finally coming true this May. My first young adult novel, The Sweetest Thing, published by Egmont USA will be released. 

It's a story that's dear to me, about a girl who is passionate about creating art. Here's a little synopsis:

Sheridan is happy making phenomenal cakes in her safe little world. All she needs is for her mother to come home and everything will be perfect. But when her super chef father gets his own reality TV show in New York City, Sheridan comes up with a desperate plan to find her mom and convince her dad to stay put.


  1. The relationship between Katie and Caleb sounds really good and something I would enjoy. Lovely review!

  2. oh it looks like it is a good one and it is a new one to me!

  3. Sounds like it was cute, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I had read the first two books in the series, and especially loved the first one.

    1. I'm so glad to hear that Sam! I can't wait to go back and read the first two!

  4. Awww this sounds adorable Lindy!! I love when other relationships are brought into romances. Especially grandpa!! Even if it doesn't get a lot of page time I feel like it makes the characters feel more genuine. ❤️ I'm so glad you enjoyed her book!

  5. Aww this one sounds great. Thank you so much for sharing. I hadn't heard of this author before so I'm excited to try her books. I have to say I always have a soft spot for enemies to lovers and slow burn love stories. Glad you enjoyed this one. I'll be adding it to my TBR pile!! Great review as always!

    Sharrice @Reese's Reviews

  6. not my normal fair, but between the blurb and your review, the characters won me over
    sherry @ fundinmental

  7. I love the best friends as kids and then they fall in love trope. This one sounds like such a sweet read and I'm glad you enjoyed. Great review!

  8. Aw, I love a good slow-burn romance. I'm glad you enjoyed these, and that you now want to read the others in the series (though it's great this can be read as a stand-alone). It might not a ton of page time, but I like hearing that one of the characters has M.S., just because I don't see that a lot and my brother has MS


    1. Thanks Lauren. Now that you mention it, I can't think of any other characters I've read about having M.S. in the stories that I've read. I was glad that the author included it too, and the portrayal was very realistic.

  9. Glad jumping in with this one worked out for you. The pains of growing up and the joy of discovery when they give each other a second look makes this one sound pretty good.

  10. I don't know what it is about them, but I love a good slow burn romance. Maybe because they seem more, as you said, authentic. I really like the sound of this one and think I might like it.

    1. I'm glad I could put this story on your radar :)

  11. I love a feel-good story, especially a friends to lovers one. The set-up, with them both showing up at the beach house sounds fun, too. Love it when a couple is kind of forced to spend time together. :)


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