Book Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

17797364My Rating: 5 stars

Date Read: June 8, 2014

Source: Purchased ebook

Publication Date: January 28, 2014

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genres: Young adult, contemporary, poetry

Summary (taken from Goodreads): 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.

Review: This book amazed me. The writing is gorgeous and the plot is deep and tackles some very difficult subjects. The characters felt real, especially Emily and Paul – which had to have been hard to accomplish, since he was dead from the beginning of the story.

The parental figures frustrated me so much throughout the story, especially towards the end. It was the one thing to bother me about the book, however they weren’t around except in Emily’s memories, so it was tolerable.

I adored the way Emily Beam’s life was compared to Emily Dickinson’s, and the format this was written in. Between chapters were poems written by Beam, and it really added to the story.

Although I loved this book, I did read a review prior to reading that said it wouldn’t be for everyone. I believe this is true. If you enjoy poetry and are a somewhat patient reader (as I do feel the writing was a bit thick and slow to read through), I do recommend giving this one a try. It is deep and emotional, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

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