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Stay with Me Paperback – September 13, 2012

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Griffin gracefully answers questions and solves mysteries, leaving us with hope and a smile without making things falsely shiny and bright." — The New York Times

* "A haunting story of love and heartbreak. Bittersweet, stellar, with genuine dialogue and drama, this book will appeal greatly to teens, especially dog lovers." — School Library Journal, starred review

* "Unique and genuine. This is romance but also true tragedy. Heart-wrenching." — Horn Book, starred review

* "Heartbreaking . . . extraordinary . . . vividly depicted through affecting prose and believable dialogue. Remarkable characters abound. Achingly, authentically emotionally resonant, this sad, never-saccharine tale will have absorbed readers reaching for the Kleenex. An outstanding love story." — Kirkus, starred review

* "Sweet, sensual, utterly engrossing, drawing readers in with engagingly authentic dialogue and fully realized characters." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

"Exquisite, unforgettable, an intense portrait of first love, family ties and the bond between man and dog." — The Sunday Herald Sun

"Realistic underlined. Will find its way to the 'favorites' shelf right next to S.E. Hinton's classic The Outsiders." — VOYA

"Authentic, painful, heartfelt. Griffin's gift shines in this moving novel of loss, acceptance, and the possibility of redemption." — Publishers Weekly

" . . . a strong title in the competitive teen romance genre. With tragic Romeo-and-Juliet elements, this is a fast,paced, refreshingly honest, and surprisingly realistic urban love story." — Booklist

Official selection — Junior Library Guild

About the Author

Paul Griffin lives, writes, and trains dogs in New York City. His novel, The Orange Houses was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults Top Ten, an International Reading Association 2010 Notable Book for a Global Society, a Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Book of 2009, and an Amelia Bloomer Project Award Winner.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (September 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142421723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142421727
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul wrote several young adult novels, Ten Mile River, The Orange Houses, Stay With Me, Burning Blue and Adrift. When Friendship Followed Me Home, a novel for middle grade readers, comes out June 2016. Marty, another MG novel, comes out in 2017. Paul lives in New York City with several crazy dogs (often featured in his stories) and one very patient wife, Risa Morimoto, who also happens to be his favorite moviemaker.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lucy (Reading Date) on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A well written and touching story, Stay With Me tugged at my heartstrings. This realistic coming of age book has a compelling story, vivid characters, and lovable rescue dogs. I was hooked on this emotional story immediately and found it to be a moving and inspiring read.

Our protagonists' story is told over 102 days. Céce (pronounced Chee Chee) and Mack are 15 and in the throes of first love. Even though they are from different worlds, they are drawn to each other and spend every moment they can together. Mack has a big heart but a troubled past. He comes from a broken home and struggles with anger management. Spending time with Céce and her brother Anthony, and working and training rescue dogs have helped him to stay out of trouble. His problems come back in a big way though and he and Céce must try to cope through it.

This author has a great way with writing characters. There is a wonderful cast of imperfect characters written with colorful details that make them come alive. My heart ached for Mack and I was rooting for him to succeed. His gifted way with training dogs is a treat to read. Mack struggles with anger, family drama, and a learning disability but has dreams to someday work training dogs professionally. Céce is an A-student who studies her vocabulary for the gifted and talented exam, indulges by sneaking pieces of cheesecake at her workplace, loves The Outsiders movie, and thinks she may have ESP. Together they have chemistry and mesh well together. I like that the story is told in alternating perspectives and I enjoyed each of their character voices equally.

The secondary characters are well drawn and help bring the story to life. Anthony is Céce's perfect beloved older brother and Mack's friend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Uniquely Moi Books on February 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What first interested me in this book is the synopsis. Looking for a great romance, I thought I had found the perfect one. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I don't think the synopsis fit the book well. If I had a better inclination of what it was about before reading, I might have a different thought perspective.

Mack lives with his father who could really care less about what goes on with him, unless he's been drinking and feels the need to let out a good rant. He has dropped out of school, has a bit of a criminal record along with a short temper when set off, and the only thing he has going for him is that he is crazy about dogs, and seems to have a rare skill where he connects on a whole other level with dogs. Everyone has told him that he can get paid much more than what he does if he would just go to training school. Sadly, Mack is lacking in self confidence. I mean, growing up the way he did and with a father who doesn't care, I can't say I don't blame him. Shoot, the boy feels like there is nothing left out there for him. Scrounging up a delivery job to work, along with the dog walking, yep, that's Mack's sad life.
Then there is Cece. This girl has set her head high, and aimed her goals there too. For a girl like Cece, this can be done, but with an alcoholic for a mother it just sucks sometimes. It's when Mack and Cece meet, and meet again, and then meet yet again that they finally get the idea that they really like each other. Hmmm, maybe if they would've listened to Cece's brother, who happens to be Macks best friend by the way, this could've happened a long time ago! But, I guess sometimes we have hard heads and things just take time.
The one thing that is different about Cece and Mack is that Cece does not like dogs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on October 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A hundred and two days is the time Céce and Mack have together. Being a journey about heartbreak, passionate love, friendship and trust, where Stay With Me will take us, we don't know. Mack Morse works at Vic's Too with his good friend, Anthony, and when Tony prepares to leave for the army, he enlists Mack with the job of taking care of his smart, younger sister, Céce. Sparks fly, but it's a shame that Mack is a high school dropout with anger management issues, a criminal record and a problem with looking people in the eye... This novel is incredibly emotional, realistic and moving, and I have no doubt that this emotion will stay with you for a very long time.

Mack has always had a gift with dogs and can render them harmless in a matter of seconds. Being bitten on the face as a little girl, Céce is terrified of them until Mack rescues a battered pitbull and teaches both girls how to love. While both are hesitant to be involved with each other in the beginning, a mutual understanding quickly escalates into full blown love. They understand each other in a way no one else can and know just what to do to comfort the other. I found their relationship to be so beautiful. Whether Mack is buying Céce cheap but thoughtful gifts, whether they're making love or whether their hearts are breaking because of terrible circumstances, it all hit me like a ton of bricks in the very best way. Griffin's writing is superb and always conveys all of the emotion he intends to. Just stunning.

One of the novel's best attributes is the surrounding air of mystery. Things that may seem insignificant or that don't make sense are explained as the story progresses through flashbacks.
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