Stay With Me

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4.5 (2)
 
4.5 (2)
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Stay With Me
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 08, 2011
ISBN
978-0803734487
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Fifteen-year-olds Cece and Mack didn't expect to fall in love. She's a sensitive A student; he's a high school dropout. But soon they're spending every moment together, bonding over a rescued dog, telling their secrets, making plans for the future. Everything is perfect. Until. Until. Mack makes a horrible mistake, and in just a few minutes, the future they'd planned becomes impossible. In this stark new reality, both of them must find meaning and hope in the memories of what they had, to survive when the person they love can't stay.

From award-winning writer Paul Griffin, Stay with Me is both heartbreaking and uplifting, filled with characters (both dog and human) that will forever change the way you look at the world.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Haunting love story that I could not put down.
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
I happened across this book at the library and just picked it up for fun. Oh my goodness, I am so glad I picked it up. At first I wasn't sure I could get into it because the writing style is a bit different, and honestly Mack's character is a bit difficult to follow, but I caught on quickly and then could not put the book down!

Mack and Cece are not your average 15 year olds. Mack is way ahead in his years and Cece thinks she has ESP. When they meet they are instantly drawn to each other and quickly fall in love. Even though they are so young, their love is believable and real. The way Mr. Griffin writes these characters is flawless. Mack has a learning disability and has a hard time making eye contact with people, yet he is incredibly smart. His character takes awhile to get used to, but the reader can't help but root for him the entire book. He makes mistakes and has to pay for them and it's heartbreaking to read. But, I really enjoyed reading a love story that wasn't cookie cutter cute and perfect, but real. Cece is extremely smart and falls for Mack right away. And honestly, she seems like a bit of an over eater (at least with cheesecake) so I could totally relate to her! Cece has a not so normal life herself. Her older brother is the local hero and her mom is an alcoholic. Yet, her family is still very close and make time for each other. I really appreciated that. Her family could have been selfish, but even with all their problems their love for each other still came out in the story.

I don't want to give away the tragedy of the story, but if you enjoy reading love stories that aren't "perfect" and have quite a bit of drama and heartache, this is your book. I had never read anything by Paul Griffin before, but I will be on the look out for his other books because I really enjoyed his writing style.
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A Brilliant, Different Sort of Read
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Wow. There are really no words to explain my feelings for this amazing book! Raw and real, Griffin delivers an emotional read that will stick wither readers.

The first 50 pages or so were a bit slower paced, and I wasn't as in to the story. All at once, I fell head over heels in love with it and didn't want to put it down! Stay With Me is a very different kind of story, and the experiences the characters had were very interesting to read about, as it was a completely new world to me.

Griffin's writing wove together a perfect story. Stay With Me was simply beautifully written. Every detail felt true, and I was transported into Cece and Mack's world. There are a lot of raw, sadder moments, but they are perfectly balanced with moments of sheer happiness that will make you smile. Mack's way with dogs and using it to save some of the less fortunate dogs made me smile.

The characters felt very authentic, and their voices true to their ages and what they had lived through. There was a wide range of characters that were all very different from one another. None of the characters were perfect, and finding out their flaws and insecurities was part of their charm. The characters all had different views on life, and seeing how they put them to use was very cool. Vic was so understanding and willing to give second chances - he is the kind of person we need more of in the world, so reading about him was a charm. I would put Anthony in the same boat, and say we need more people like him in the world as well.

The ending was one of the best parts of the book. The entire book was amazing, so I was worried about the ending and whether all the strings would be tied up. Griffin ends Stay With Me in the perfect way, bittersweet and full of hope.

Stay With Me is a book that needs to be read. It's a book whose characters and lessons they learn will stick with you. Stay With Me is real and I book I couldn't more highly recommend.
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User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
4.5(2)
Characters
 
4.5(2)
Writing Style
 
4.5(2)
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Review From Blkosiner's Book Blog
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
This is a very fast paced story that deals with tough but real life issues. It is gritty, and I recommend for mature teens. The characters are very believable, down to earth and authentic, and even though I didn't relate a whole lot with some of their circumstances, I really felt for them and wanted for them to come out on top.
Tony and Vic are two of the minor characters who really got to me.. Their ability to see the best in people, work to bring it out, and selflessly give really impressed me and I loved seeing their hearts.
The main characters Cece and Mack, true to the back cover's description are two very different people, and it is awesome how they see the best in the other and how they are able to connect on that real level. Because of this and the nature of teenage relationships, quickly formed and deeply felt, I am able to buy into the fast paced nature of their physical relationship as well as the attachments they feel.
This book doesn't give the rosy happy ending... but it feels so authentic and heart-breaking while at the same time feeling the buds of hope for real change and possibilities for the characters makes it perfect and fitting.

From Blkosiner's book blog at http://blkosiner.blogspot.com
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beautiful story
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Oh. My. Goodness. This book had me laughing and crying all at once. It was so believable. I don't even know where to start...

CeCe and Mark are great. But then, so are Vic, Tony and CeCe's mom. Every character was so well written. I felt like I knew them-- like CeCe and Mack could have been my students. All of the characters are broken in some way, which makes them that much more amazing. They all deal with real issues and have to learn to live with their imperfections. It was so honest and heart breaking.

Mack has a record and has dropped out of school at 15. CeCe is a genius with a lunatic alcoholic for a mother. Together, they are to epitome of young, star-crossed lovers.

Let's start with why Mack is amazing. He's honest. He loves dogs. Despite what others' think, he is gifted. He has a loser father and a mom that has been AWOL since he was 8 or so. He is stereotyped by most of the people he meets and labeled "retarded" because he has a neurological processing disorder. Oh how my heart breaks for this kid because I knew a boy like this once. Reading this story was like reading his life story. Tragic and full of hope at the same time.

Then there is CeCe... she's a riot. Brutally honest and insecure. Plus she has a love of cheesecake that I can relate to. Her favorite book to movie adaptation is The Outsiders, which makes her awesome. Her relationship with her mother is "different." The mom seems like the child at times, which leaves CeCe having to take care of her. I know that child too.

I could talk about the plot, but it's complicated. Every character has a vital role in the story. On the surface you think the story is about CeCe and Mack (and it is), but it's more than that. Tony's role is HUGE-- and heartbreaking. I really am having a hard time finding words for this review. It was so beautiful.

Obviously, I think everyone should read this one. That should be a given at this point. Why should you read it? Why break out of your normal genre(s) of choice to pick up this book? The answer is simple. It's a beautiful story of love, loss, and redemption. I wish I had enough copies of the book so I could loan it out to everyone I know. But, I only have one and I'm guarding it with my life. This book will be a treasure for one of "those kids" that are hard to reach. I know I'll get them hooked with this book.
Good Points
beautiful writing
believable characters
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