Saturday, September 3, 2011

Book Review: Stay With Me, by Paul Griffin

Stay with Me is a teen romance, but it’s also a story about the power that dogs can have to change lives. I’m a real dog lover, and the book gives some insight into dog behavior that was very good.

Mack is a teen age drop out, working in a restaurant. But what Mack really loves is to rescue and rehabilitate pit bulls. Anthony is Mack’s friend who works with him and Cece is Anthony’s sister. Anthony has enlisted in the army and wants Mack to look after Cece while he is away. Mack has a horrible home life, and doesn’t think Cece will find anything attractive about him. But, Cece is attracted to Mack, and a relationship develops. There was quite a build up to the romance, which was good. No “instalove!” Mack is shy and has very low self-esteem, and Cece is a bit overweight (not like the girl on the cover, apparently) so it took a while for things to heat up.

The relationship is sizzling. Anthony has left for overseas duty. Mack has a pit bull that is doing great and he wants to give it to Cece.  Then an “awful thing” happens. Everything falls apart. The relationship is over, and Anthony has been injured in the war, is now crippled, and Mack’s life is forever changed.

I’m going to be honest with you here. I started skimming through the middle of this book. Not because it was a bad book, it just wasn’t a good fit for my semi-centenarian outlook. First of all, I found it very predictable, once the scene was set. Secondly, the book is written in a colloquial voice that I found annoying. The book is narrated alternately by Cece and Mack, and not just the dialog, but the entire narration is like stream-of-consciousness in short, choppy, sentence fragments. I just didn’t enjoy the rhythm of the writing.

Given that, it’s still a great read for teens. It’s a sweet book that has some romance and lots of drama. The ending isn’t all happy and rosy, although it is hopeful. Recommend this one to kids who enjoy books such as Elkeles’ Rules of Attraction.

Published by Dial, September 8, 2011
ARC provided for review by LibraryThing Early Reviewers
291 pages

Rating: 2.5/5

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1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm I'm curious about how I'll like the voice in this one.

    I love the pet aspect! I'm more of a cat person but I like dogs too, and any book with animals I seem to automatically like more, haha.


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