Time seems to be simultaneously faster than ever and also beyond molasses-in-winter thanks to the ongoing never-ending-pandemic, but somehow, next week is the official release of Stuck With You.
I know. How?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let’s start with the blurb, shall we?
Two frenemies become lovers in this story of Queer joy and playful romance.
Stuck With You is a story of Queer joy and a playful teen romance, following two frenemies as they fall for each other while stuck in adjacent seats on a day-long train trip.
Ben is on a train back to Ottawa after a visit with his dad in Toronto when he runs into the last person he wanted to see: Caleb, the handsome, confident boy who recently and accidentally broke Ben’s phone. Preoccupied by worrying about whether he should take a gap year, Ben has little time for Caleb’s jibes.
But when the two start talking, not only does Ben find himself won over by Caleb’s roguish charm, but he also learns his seatmate is bisexual.
Stuck With You discusses important issues facing teens as they contemplate their futures within the context of a light-hearted romance plot with witty dialogue and charming interplay, almost all taking place within the space of a single long train trip.Stuck With You, by ‘Nathan Burgoine
I’m really, really chuffed I got to take part in the Lorimer Real Love Series, which is a queer themed hi/lo line. (If you don’t know what hi/lo is, don’t worry, neither did I until I first bumped into one—they’re high-interest and low reading complexity. Meaning, they’re for readers who maybe don’t have a high reading level thanks to having fallen behind, learning English as a second language, reading disabilities, or any other factor, who still deserve stories about people like them with plots that are interesting, but paired with a comprehension level that’s accessible).
At its heart, Stuck With You is an upbeat, fun YA queer rom-com, though it also includes how ridiculous it is to be 17 and expected to know where your life is going, gap years, cute boys, impact-vs-intent, biphobia, apologies, and the horrifying realization you want to kiss the boy you thought was so annoying four hours ago.
Ben gets on the train home to Ottawa hoping to put a horrible March Break with his father behind him, only to find the person who’d made that week all the more horrible—Caleb Khoury—will now be sitting beside him for the next four and a half hours. It’s the worst.
Until it’s not the worst. And then, maybe, it’s not even bad. Wait. Is Ben enjoying Caleb’s company? What is even happening?