Book Review: Stay by Allie Larkin

 The protagonist of Stay, by Allie Larkin,  Savannah “Van” Leone has a problem – the man (Peter) that she’s in love with just married her best friend, Janie. It’s more complicated than that however, not only is Janie from a privileged family, but Van grew up in her carriage house. Her late mother, Natalie, was the housekeeper for Janie’s family (and also Diane, Janie’s mother’s best friend.) Yes. Her life is complex and not free of drama.

And it didn’t help any when, rather than drunk-dialing or drunk-emailing Peter, Van wound up drunk-dog-purchasing. Instead of the cute puppy that she thought she was ordering, the $6,000 (oops) dog that arrived from Slovakia was 100-lb purebred German Shepherd who only understands commands given in Slovak. Yikes.

Do you need me to mention that her condo association doesn’t allow dogs over 50 lbs, and that she has exactly 30 days to either move out or find a new home for Joe, the aforementioned German Shepherd? I’ll give that one a double-yikes.

Needless to say, a cute vet and his quirky elderly friend manage to save the day.

Now, before you go and write this book off as chick-lit, let me just say that it’s well-written. Every word in this book was delicately put into place, giving it depth. Each character might sound like a cliché, just based off of the quick descriptions that I gave them above, but they are not: every character in this book is multi-faceted and the drama that takes place only solidifies them as seemingly real people. By the time this book ended, I almost expected to run into them downstairs.

I only hope that the author comes up with an equally good sequel, because Stay left me wondering what happens to Van and Co. next!

Stay is published by the Penguin Group, is available on paperback starting July 26th.

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