Stay With Me by Paul Griffin
September 8, 2011
Received from Publisher for review
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.
All I have to say is--WOW. I am still in awe of how beautifully crafted Stay With Me is. It is such an emotional roller coaster ride! The love between Céce and Mack is so raw and powerful. What I love best about this book is that there are serious issues that Céce and Mack have to deal with and I was never certain whether or not they could be worked out. If you are looking for a lovey-dovey, typical romance, this is not the book for you. But if you want a story that has a love that is pure and true between two broken characters, you are in for a heck of a ride!
Mack is a very conflicted guy who has a huge heart. I fell for him from page one! There were so many times that I just wanted to run into the book and give him a great big hug for all that he suffers through. Luckily, Céce is there to help him heal and give him a life worth living. Let's not forget Boo the pitbull whom Mack takes in. I do love a guy that has such a soft spot for dogs!! I was so heartbroken for both him and Céce when he made such a HUGE mistake that ruins their chances for a future with each other.
Céce has just as tough a life as Mack does but at least she has her brother. Her moments with Mack make her feel more alive and she falls hard for him. I can totally see why she would fall in love with Mack. While he does have a record, he doesn't pretend not to and is determined to be someone who Céce can feel proud to be with. Mack treats her like a princess and I loved that. Céce and Mack were perfect for each other.
I really can't describe just how much I adore this novel. Some truly terrible and sad things happen to Céce and Mack but the way they handle them is admirable. And their love for each other radiated from the pages. Griffin has written a wonderfully complex story that will leave you guessing at what happens next.