May 23, 2014

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

And We Stay
And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
Series: N/A
Source: Netgalley (Thanks, Delacorte!)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
"In And We Stay, Jenny Hubbard treats tragedy and new beginnings with a skilled, delicate hand.  Her otherworldly verse and prose form a flowing monument to all the great storytellers of the past." --John Corey Whaley, author of the Michael L. Printz and William C. Morris award winner, Where Things Come Back

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

She had almost laughed at how absurd it all was, how water made mud of the ground. How hearts made mud of the world.

And We Stay is one of those books that's hard to explain - there was a lot of emotion and a lot of tragedy, but it's really hard to say why it hit me the way it did. I'm usually not a huge fan of poetry, but I really enjoyed Emily's. It flowed very well, and even the normal writing of And We Stay was beautiful and poetic.

But let's talk about Emily herself. I didn't really connect with her, but this is a different case than usual. It's not that she's flat. The reason that I couldn't connect with her was very simple - she doesn't connect with herself. She's so lost in her grief and even her solitude that it just kills her personality. And let me tell you, it's hard to read about someone who's dying inside. But she regains a little of her life throughout the book, and that's what's so great about it. You get to see her journey from one moment in her life to the next. And it's interesting.

As I said before, the writing was gorgeous, and it made it all that much easier for the past and the future to intertwine seamlessly throughout And We Stay. I never felt jarred or anything like that, which is very rare for me.

The biggest thing that And We Stay communicates is an overwhelming sadness - and honestly, sometimes it's great to be sad. I liked being sad for this book, and figuring out the mysteries of how and why that it left behind.

All in all, And We Stay is a good read. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's looking for a sad, heartfelt read.

The same sky that once held her dreams has stolen her story. And the stars will know just how to tell it: night after night, over and over.


The boy I loved had the veins of the ancient. He was eighteen, but also a hundred and eighty, Biblical and stubborn as stone lodged in the earth.

3 comments:

  1. Aly @ My Heart Hearts BooksMay 24, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Yay! I'm so freaking glad you liked this one. I was hesitant about the verse aspect of it, but I think it totally worked. I really liked Emily's journey. I think it's such a freaking wonderful story.

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  2. Wonderful Review! I agree with you that sometimes reading sad books is worth it if the story is good.

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  3. I haven't stalked you in so long! I'm so so sorry!!! I'm glad you enjoyed this book more than me. I could not connect to Emily at all and I didn't like the story itself.

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