Feb 22, 2013
February Genreflecting: Giveaway & Stay With Me by Paul Griffin review
An urban romance that will capture your soul, break your heart, and restore your faith in the human spirit
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.
That summary does this book more justice than I ever could. Stay With Me was powerful beyond words. Incredibly well-written and perfectly paced, this book had me hooked from beginning to end. Mack is a sensitive and misunderstood teen. Despite his personal difficulties he is determined to make something of himself if only to be able to enjoy a nice, quiet life. A life he decides he wants to share with Cece, the personable and brilliant waitress at Mack's job.
While Mack is initially "assigned" to take care of and look after Cece in her brother's absence at boot camp, the two come to mean more to one another than either one of them ever hoped. You find yourself imagining just how great and easy life could be for them if everything worked out. But since this is kind of like a typical romance in reverse, all the great stuff happens before the difficult thing that rips them apart.
The language and imagery used in this book are done in such a way that you hardly notice that not a lot is necessarily going on. Taking place over just 102 days, time means nothing and everything. There are so many characters and layers to their stories that you still don't quite see the whole picture until the very end. And what an ending! Truly a must read!
With respect to it's genre, Stay With Me has all the classic elements. The whole story revolves around this young couple's love, not only for one another, but also for the people and animals in their lives. Tracking their romance is how the story moves forward and progresses. There is a myriad of emotions ranging from vitriolic hatred to unquenchable adoration experienced by our young lovers as they grow and evolve together. And this book definitely follows the pattern of truth in love. This isn't a fairytale ending because this book is about real love. That's not how it's always supposed to work, but sometimes it's better this way.
I really enjoyed reading a romantic book. In comparison to a realistic fiction book, this one just gives me so much more to look forward to! The emphasis isn't on the experiences that these teens have, but on their love. While that may sound contradictory, it's really not. Being based around the teens' emotions provides a different avenue of interacting with readers. I find it can be a deeper connection for me most of the time because I am attracted to love. While not always easier to relate to, I find it much more enjoyable.
Now onto, the fun part! As part of the Genreflecting feature, each month I will be giving away a book in the genre I explored. As this month is Romance I have chosen to give away Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway! The giveaway is open from now until midnight on Thursday, February 28th to US residents over the age of 13. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway