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Stay Hardcover – June 10, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 192 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Larkin debuts with a funny and touching story about love, loss, and dog ownership. Twenty-something Van Leone, fresh from serving as maid of honor at the wedding of her childhood best friend and the man Van's been in love with since college, impulsively buys a German shepherd puppy on the Internet while drowning her sorrows in vodka and a late-night Rin Tin Tin marathon. Van's surprised to discover, however, that the little ball of fuzz she's expecting is an enormous Slovakian police dog that she names Joe. The expected furniture-destroying and neighbor-terrifying antics ensue, but Joe quickly becomes Van's family, chief confidant, and romantic catalyst. The fresh start Van had envisioned turns out to be more complicated than she'd hoped—particularly after the newlyweds return from their honeymoon—but Joe nudges her ever forward. Though the support cast could be trimmed and the love interest lacks satisfying depth, Van's conflicts feel authentic, and her emotional frankness is refreshing. Cute story, nicely told. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Delightful! Both dog lovers and the pooch-free will enjoy this novel of friendship, love, and healing."
-Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of What I Did for Love

"With humor and exceptional charm, Allie Larkin's story of a heartbroken young woman and the arrival of a clumsy four-legged friend who brings new meaning to her life is simply wonderful. Stay is a treat of a novel that must be shared with every girlfriend who has ever loved and lost."
-Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

"I cannot wait to read more from Allie Larkin-an effervescent new voice in fiction. Witty, sweet, and strikingly real, Stay is for any woman who has ever experienced heartbreak or loss and needed a friend to lean on. I loved every word!"
-Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous and Hope in a Jar

"I'm madly in love with this big-hearted, charming keeper of a debut about love in all its forms, including the four-legged kind. Allie Larkin has a special and original voice."
-Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date and The Secret of Joy

"Wow! This book blew me away. Sharp. Smart. Observant. Buzzing with romance, friendship and heart. Most of all, incredibly well written. Stay is sure to become the new favorite among Emily Giffin fans. Enjoy!"
-Sarah Strohmeyer, author of The Cinderella Pact and The Penny Pinchers Club

"Charming, witty, and surprisingly touching, Larkin deftly examines what it means to be family. A pleasure from start to finish, but buyer be warned: after closing the final pages of this compulsively readable novel, you might just find yourself ordering a one hundred pound German shepherd from the internet."
-Julie Buxbaum, Author of The Opposite of Love and After You


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (June 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525951717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525951711
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jodi VINE VOICE on May 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Being a dog lover, this book immediately caught my attention....although one doesn't need to be a dog lover to enjoy this book, an appreciation for the canine species would certainly help. That being said, here are my thoughts on this book:

I loved it!! Savannah Leone stands by as the maid of honor in her best friends wedding, while her best friend weds the man that Savannah has been secretely pining for for the past 7 years. While she desperately tries to be happy for both of them, this proves to be a difficult task and she drowns her sorrows in vodka and Kool-Aid. One night while watching a Rin Tin Tin marathon and being plastered out of her mind, she goes online and orders a German Shepherd puppy from Slovakia.

Enter said puppy.

The tiny little ball of fur that Savannah ("Van") is expecting turns out to be a hip-high, seemingly mutant version of some sort of wolf hybrid. "Enormous" doesn't quite adequately describe the size of this "puppy". Van is stunned, to say the least, and quickly learns that not only does this dog only understand commands in Slovakian (for wihich the sellers have considerately supplied a list of these commands for the new buyer), but the dog also has been trained to "search the building" and "find narcotics". Ha! Ha! Ha!

The first half of the book is filled with humor as Van tries to adjust to life with a dog (she's never owned a dog in her life) and I found myself frequently laughing out loud as Van rearranges her life to accomodate this overgrown ball of fur. Anybody who has ever owned a dog will surely understand how easy it is to lose all sense of reality when trying welcoming a fluffy, four-legged creature into one's life.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It would be very simple and convenient to classify Stay: A Novel into the chick-lit genre. It would also be quite easy to dismiss this book as just one more book about a twenty-something woman struggling to find "the one." It'd be easier still to classify this book as that book about the dog who helps a woman find true love.

The fact of the matter is that "Stay" is a book that embodies all three of those characteristics; it's a book that prominently features a dog on its cover and details the circumstances surrounding a woman's acquisition of a dog and her subsequent understanding of who she is as a person.

It would be simple to dismiss this book as being a lesser book because of the aforementioned characteristics. However, that would be a mistake. Allie Larkin manages to embrace those characteristics and, by incorporating them into her first novel, it's as if the author is saying that she knows that this book is meant to entertain. Larkin doesn't want you to dismiss her, yet, she doesn't want to be taken too seriously either.

The story of a woman who accidentally purchases a dog from Slovakia over the Internet and then falls in love with her puppy's veterinarian isn't going to win a Pulitzer Prize, but it's not meant to either. Larkin's debut novel is a quick read, with humor-filled passages. "Stay" belongs on your bookshelf with those rare chick-lit books that you treasure, right next to the other rom-com books that don't take themselves seriously but provide you with hours of pleasurable reading. "Stay" can hold its own on the shelf right next to Helen Fielding's "Bridget Jones" novels and it wouldn't be entirely out of place there.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I think in all honesty, this book deserved a more average rating of 3 but I was inclined to go with a 4 out of 5 because I enjoyed meeting Joe and watching a bond grow between Van and Joe, her new "puppy."

Van has been in love with her best friend, Peter, since college. Unfortunately, he has been in love with her best friend, Janie, and now, they have just married. It's a standard chick lit type storyline basically. Van does the wallowing thing and in that wallowing, amidst some alcohol and Rin Tin Tin, she decides to order a German Shepard puppy off the internet. And oh yeah, this puppy is coming from Slovakia. $6,000 later, Van is in for a shock because her puppy is definitely not a cute ball of fur. He is a growing German Shepard who obeys Slovakian commands.

Let the hijinks begin! Joe, as he is christened, becomes the cause for many changes in Van's life, including meeting a new guy. But he is also the best friend she has, her only family. Then of course, Peter comes back into her life. The story then falls into some well known plot points making it fairly average in the will she or won't she, what will she really do, type of chick lit style.

What I liked about this story was the relationship between Van and Joe, even though he is a dog. I enjoyed Marley & Me and well, most dog stories so really, if you don't like dogs, you are not going to like this story. However, I did feel like he helped Van move forward a bit. It was kind of a one step forward, two steps back, but she was trying to change, trying to find her own path in life rather than wishing she was Peter's Janie. And frankly, I really liked how rude Janie was. She wasn't afraid of mincing words.
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