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Sixteen-year-old Leila Abranel was born some twenty years after her sisters. Her elegant sisters from her father’s first marriage have lives full of work, love affairs, and travel. Leila doesn’t know either of them very well, but she loves hearing about them—details of Rebecca’s ruined marriage, Clare’s first job, and the strings of unsuitable boyfriends. When Rebecca kill Sixteen-year-old Leila Abranel was born some twenty years after her sisters. Her elegant sisters from her father’s first marriage have lives full of work, love affairs, and travel. Leila doesn’t know either of them very well, but she loves hearing about them—details of Rebecca’s ruined marriage, Clare’s first job, and the strings of unsuitable boyfriends. When Rebecca kills herself, Leila wants to know why. She starts by spending time with Clare and finally comes to know her as a person instead of a story. With Clare’s reluctant help, Leila tracks down Rebecca’s favorite places and tries to find her sister’s friends. Along the way, Leila meets Eamon. Eamon is thirty-one and writes for television. He thinks Leila is beautiful and smart, but he does not, he tells her, date teenagers. And yet, the months go by and Leila turns seventeen and learns that you can love someone you are not dating. Maybe letting Eamon love her back is a mistake. Maybe she’ll never know why Rebecca did what she did. Maybe, Leila, decides, most people have a hard time figuring out which way is left or knowing when to let go and when to stay.


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Sixteen-year-old Leila Abranel was born some twenty years after her sisters. Her elegant sisters from her father’s first marriage have lives full of work, love affairs, and travel. Leila doesn’t know either of them very well, but she loves hearing about them—details of Rebecca’s ruined marriage, Clare’s first job, and the strings of unsuitable boyfriends. When Rebecca kill Sixteen-year-old Leila Abranel was born some twenty years after her sisters. Her elegant sisters from her father’s first marriage have lives full of work, love affairs, and travel. Leila doesn’t know either of them very well, but she loves hearing about them—details of Rebecca’s ruined marriage, Clare’s first job, and the strings of unsuitable boyfriends. When Rebecca kills herself, Leila wants to know why. She starts by spending time with Clare and finally comes to know her as a person instead of a story. With Clare’s reluctant help, Leila tracks down Rebecca’s favorite places and tries to find her sister’s friends. Along the way, Leila meets Eamon. Eamon is thirty-one and writes for television. He thinks Leila is beautiful and smart, but he does not, he tells her, date teenagers. And yet, the months go by and Leila turns seventeen and learns that you can love someone you are not dating. Maybe letting Eamon love her back is a mistake. Maybe she’ll never know why Rebecca did what she did. Maybe, Leila, decides, most people have a hard time figuring out which way is left or knowing when to let go and when to stay.

30 review for Stay with Me

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gaby

    I didn't like this book at all. I think the blurb was misleading; it made the book seem really interesting, but within the first few pages, I was bored to death. I finished the book, thinking maybe it would get better, but it didn't. Since the book talked a lot about family history and stuff like that, it didn't keep me very interested in it. There isn't much to say about this lackluster book. It wasn't that good in my opinion, I just didn't like it. I didn't like this book at all. I think the blurb was misleading; it made the book seem really interesting, but within the first few pages, I was bored to death. I finished the book, thinking maybe it would get better, but it didn't. Since the book talked a lot about family history and stuff like that, it didn't keep me very interested in it. There isn't much to say about this lackluster book. It wasn't that good in my opinion, I just didn't like it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Stay With Me, by Garret Freymann-Weyr was a very enjoyable book. It wasn't just a sappy teen story but had depth and mystery as well. The story focuses on a girl named Leila Abranel who experienced a tragedy: the death of her step sister. Although she didn't really know her step sister that well, the death still hit pretty hard and the whole family was affected because of also the death of the sisters mother earlier that year. The book follows Leila's life after these tragedies and shows how she Stay With Me, by Garret Freymann-Weyr was a very enjoyable book. It wasn't just a sappy teen story but had depth and mystery as well. The story focuses on a girl named Leila Abranel who experienced a tragedy: the death of her step sister. Although she didn't really know her step sister that well, the death still hit pretty hard and the whole family was affected because of also the death of the sisters mother earlier that year. The book follows Leila's life after these tragedies and shows how she copes with the loss, one example being a slightly sexual relationship with a man two times her age. Altogether, after reading this book, i was satisfied with the development of the story line and felt like this was definitely a good read (no pun intended). I also really enjoyed the authors writing style because the writing made it seem like the author was talking right to you and also, the way the book was written made it a somewhat of an easy read. I also really liked the character of Leila Abranel because i felt like she was a very complex character whose story/ purpose came full circle by the end of the book. Overall, i would highly recommend this book to anyone because of its interesting content and great writing style

  3. 5 out of 5

    Wisteriouswoman

    The book was so different from the normal teen romance novel that deals with hot football players and bitchy prom queens and abused geeks that I continued to pick it up again after setting it aside. It definitely isn't the right book for chick-lit set. It thoughtfully moseys along weaving together a story that includes unusual family relationships and wisdom that is passed down from one generation to another. The basic message of 'trust yourself to know what you should do when the time comes' is The book was so different from the normal teen romance novel that deals with hot football players and bitchy prom queens and abused geeks that I continued to pick it up again after setting it aside. It definitely isn't the right book for chick-lit set. It thoughtfully moseys along weaving together a story that includes unusual family relationships and wisdom that is passed down from one generation to another. The basic message of 'trust yourself to know what you should do when the time comes' isn't necessarily good advice to give a naive teenager who can't even tell her left from her right, actually and figuratively. On the other hand the story explores relationships, love and sex in such a thoughtful way that many innocent teens will take away more knowledge about how to make their own decisions when the time comes. The book brings up the concept that love shouldn't be limited by age differences. The question is, does it seem more unacceptable if you are 17 and the other person is 31 rather than one person being in their thirties and the other person in their forties? Having sex with an experienced man is likely to be more pleasurable than having a relationship with an adolescent boy. I appreciated the author's honesty about Leila's feeling that sex was better by herself than when she was having it with her teen friend. That is closer to the truth than many authors are willing to admit. Teens are often fooled by overly romanticized views of a girl's first roll in the hay. Freymann-Weyr also explores the idea that you can ruin a friendship when you have sex with someone but it doesn't emphasis what an embittering experience it can be. We never understand what is going on in her teen friend Ben's head and Leila doesn't really seem to care enough to find out. He is made out to be a villain when he spreads rumors about Leila. It doesn't really let you know how emotionally painful the end of a friendship or sexual relationship might be. This is where the fragility of Leila's innocence may make adult readers want to warn her but fool teen readers into thinking too little of the emotional consequences of getting involved with someone. What I enjoyed most about the book was the description of Leila's continual struggle with dyslexia. Having a reading disability myself enabled me to appreciate what was going on in Leila's head. I haven't read too many other books that explain how a person can get confused even though they are smart in other ways. The book was reminiscent of an English novel. If the author hadn't made a point of saying it was in New York I wouldn't have known especially with her use of words like exam and ruin. The character names were not very American and I hate it when an author chooses to tell you that the main character's name is pronounce in a weird way. The writing style and subject would make this a good book-group novel for adults as well as teens.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    There is so much to love about this book: the cake metaphors, the interesting characters, the sad but hopeful mood. Leila’s favorite stepsister, struggling with bouts of depression her entire life, has finally made a successful suicide attempt, and 16-year old Leila is certain there has to be a reason for what her much older sister has done. Months later when her physician parents leave for Poland, Leila opts to stay with her remaining stepsister, the coolly elegant Clare, who assists with Leila There is so much to love about this book: the cake metaphors, the interesting characters, the sad but hopeful mood. Leila’s favorite stepsister, struggling with bouts of depression her entire life, has finally made a successful suicide attempt, and 16-year old Leila is certain there has to be a reason for what her much older sister has done. Months later when her physician parents leave for Poland, Leila opts to stay with her remaining stepsister, the coolly elegant Clare, who assists with Leila’s attempt to decipher the mystery that was Rebecca’s life. Leila begins to track down Rebecca’s favorite haunts, positive there are clues in the people she knew and the places she went. When she gets a job in the café where she last saw her sister, it’s not so much that she wants the job, but wants to be there when the man she saw her sister with walks in, to interrogate him. Only, she meets another interesting man there – 31-year old Eamon, who makes her senses hum as he gently flirts with her. Until he realizes she is way too young for him. And then, she decides she isn’t. Leila’s complexity is what makes this book real: her attunement to her body, her dyslexia, her relationship with the “boyfriend she was mean to,” her interest in theatre and set design, the ghost of 9/11 hovering in the NYC setting. This is a superior coming of age story about life lessons and figuring out what great love is. “I think of the things I’ve learned by accident--” says Leila, “when to accept jewelry and what to order--and know I’m glad to be learning how to negotiate the where, the when, and the importance of sex.” Supporting characters are as interestingly drawn. In spite of all the wonderful thing about Stay With Me, it’s going to be a book that puts censors on high alert: an adult develops a physical relationship with a seventeen year old that toes the edge. It’s tasteful, mature, carefully considered, and mirrors the real experience of some teens, but it will raise hackles. The book, which builds developmental assets though modeling planning & decision making, time spent constructively, and supportive family environments, should be able to stand on the unquestionably high quality of the writing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    Stay With Me is a highly satisfying read. Primarily it is about how Leila reacts to her older sister, Rebecca's suicide. Leila wants to know more about why her sister took her own life as well as wanting to know more about what she was like when she was still alive. She goes on quite a few adventures to research anything she believes will tell her more about Rebecca. During this time there a few different people who take Leila under their wing. One is her other older sister who she slowly grows Stay With Me is a highly satisfying read. Primarily it is about how Leila reacts to her older sister, Rebecca's suicide. Leila wants to know more about why her sister took her own life as well as wanting to know more about what she was like when she was still alive. She goes on quite a few adventures to research anything she believes will tell her more about Rebecca. During this time there a few different people who take Leila under their wing. One is her other older sister who she slowly grows closer to. There is one unexpected person who Leila connects to, but the two of them have a very complicated relationship. In fact, there are many times as a reader you want to yell at the characters and tell them they are making a mistake. This brings up an important topic from the book. Leila talks many times about how a person sees what they want to be true, rather than the truth itself. This reoccurs in the book a few times as Leila over study pieces of Rebecca’s life. This results in her finding blame or cause for Rebecca’s suicide in places where there is none to be found. Now, in my own life I notice situations where I think in this way. I feel that itself means the book has really affected me. Don't think this book is a discouraging read even if there is a focus on suicide because the story line is very complex, with many different sub stories after this principal one. I found the multiple plots kept the book appealing as well as fast paced. This also allows the book to reach a diversity of readers as there are parts that make it feel like a romance, drama, tragedy and mystery. Freymann- Weyr also seems to have done some great research before writing the novel. Leila is dyslexic, and the book captures many of the struggles and frustrations she has in school very well. Unlike other books it also displays the effects this has on her job, interests, and family life. I am dyslexic and I was able to easily connect to Leila, but all teenagers can relate to wanting to do better and being embarrassed by their mistakes. Stay With Me is the ideal book to discuss as you read, you are bound to connect to many of the characters and develop strong feelings about their lives. The story will stay with you well after the read. It is well worth picking up.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Raven

    Leila Abranel is the youngest in her family. Her father is in his seventies and her mother is a little younger than him, while her two half-sisters, Clare and Rebecca, are in their thirties. Leila is a dyslexic teenager who is forced by her parents to act older and more mature. The only person her age she hangs out with, is her boyfriend Ben, who is becoming less of a boyfriend and more of a mistake. When Rebecca kills herself, Leila, who has a hard time figuring out the meaning of words in book Leila Abranel is the youngest in her family. Her father is in his seventies and her mother is a little younger than him, while her two half-sisters, Clare and Rebecca, are in their thirties. Leila is a dyslexic teenager who is forced by her parents to act older and more mature. The only person her age she hangs out with, is her boyfriend Ben, who is becoming less of a boyfriend and more of a mistake. When Rebecca kills herself, Leila, who has a hard time figuring out the meaning of words in books because of her dyslexia, is having an even harder time trying to figure out why her sister killed herself without saying goodbye to her. As Leila tries to unravel the mystery, her family starts to fall apart. Her parents become even more distant, and Clare, the sister she thought didn't love her, becomes her best friend. But even in death, Rebecca still haunts Leila's life. Soon, Leila becomes obsessed with finding out her sister's secrets and that's how she meets Eamon. The two flirt from time to time, but when things in Leila's life start getting more confusing, the two find themselves gravitating towards each other. And once they kiss, they know that they can not stay away from each other. Eamon is 31 and Leila is 16. A lot of people cringe when they see couples who share a significant age difference, but as I was reading this, I wanted Eamon and Leila to stay together. I just felt like these two characters belonged together and after a while, I forgot that Eamon was 15 years older than Leila. I liked their conversations. The way they looked at life. I finished this book in two nights, because I simply could not put it down. The words that the author used fit together perfectly, and some of the things that Leila said hit me. It's a powerful read and I highly recommend it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This was a book that touched me deeply having been affected by a friend's attempted suicide. In someways the topic was more taboo than if she had gone through with it simply because it felt like everyone wanted to attach blame -- yet absolving her of any guilt -- and then forget that it had ever happened. I don't condone all of the plot or character's choices or even the outlook of some of the characters but the shattering loss and coping mechanisms of each character were familiar and painful. I r This was a book that touched me deeply having been affected by a friend's attempted suicide. In someways the topic was more taboo than if she had gone through with it simply because it felt like everyone wanted to attach blame -- yet absolving her of any guilt -- and then forget that it had ever happened. I don't condone all of the plot or character's choices or even the outlook of some of the characters but the shattering loss and coping mechanisms of each character were familiar and painful. I read it to understand another person's viewpoint of such a topic, and Liela's character with her slightly removed innocence proved to be a very heartfelt account. I know that someone who contemplates suicide rarely would read a book about such a topic but I think that such a person should take the responsibility to see what affect their selfish actions could cause. In this way I would recommend this book to anyone who feels helpless and depressed as well as to anyone who has been affected by such a loss so they too might know they are not alone. We are not pages that can be cut out from a book but more of a thread in a tapestry. If ripped out we leave gaping holes, snags, and tears; leaving those around us weaker and wanting. Each person who knew them -- in passing or in deepest confidence -- would, if warned scream out those three simple words: Stay With Me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Once I started reading, I couldn't put this book down. It is a beautiful and compelling portrayal of a teenager trying to navigate her way through the "new now" after one of her much-older sisters commits suicide. Protagonist Leila is interesting and likable, and there's a good cast of well-fleshed-out supporting characters. It's a wonderful story of love and loss and family and learning to trust yourself. There is sex, but it's not graphic, and the focus is on the emotional aspects rather than t Once I started reading, I couldn't put this book down. It is a beautiful and compelling portrayal of a teenager trying to navigate her way through the "new now" after one of her much-older sisters commits suicide. Protagonist Leila is interesting and likable, and there's a good cast of well-fleshed-out supporting characters. It's a wonderful story of love and loss and family and learning to trust yourself. There is sex, but it's not graphic, and the focus is on the emotional aspects rather than the physical. There is also a romantic relationship between a 17-year-old and a 31-year-old, but it was so well done that I didn't actually disapprove (this is definitely something that I would almost certainly disapprove of in real life!). But perhaps it's not the best book to recommend to younger teens. Then again, Leila's process for making decisions, whether sexual or otherwise, is so wonderfully healthy that perhaps this is the perfect book for younger teens! She has some wonderful adults in her life, she goes to them for advice when she isn't sure what to do or how to do something, and they help her figure out her own mind. (Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher at an American Library Association conference. I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you, Houghton Mifflin!)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Miss Kitty

    Whoa, this was way better than I thought it would be. I read After the Moment and while I thought it was well-written, with intriguing characters, and involved a serious subject (like an Afterschool Special but actually good), I thought it kind of dragged and didn't keep my interest. I had to make myself finish it. I would say that the pacing of this novel is similar. I can call After the Moment snoresworthy but I'll be nice about Stay With Me and say it's deliberate or careful. Freymann-Weyr de Whoa, this was way better than I thought it would be. I read After the Moment and while I thought it was well-written, with intriguing characters, and involved a serious subject (like an Afterschool Special but actually good), I thought it kind of dragged and didn't keep my interest. I had to make myself finish it. I would say that the pacing of this novel is similar. I can call After the Moment snoresworthy but I'll be nice about Stay With Me and say it's deliberate or careful. Freymann-Weyr deserves super brownie points for taking a potentially really nasty subplot of our 17 year old heroine falling for and having sex with a man who's 31. Honest, it didn't make me queasy at all because F-W is such a kick-ass writer who very carefully describes their meeting, subsequent twitterpation (to use a word from Bambi), angst over their age difference, and resignation that sometimes a good thing is too wonderful to pass up. Yay F-W! I'm going to the library tomorrow to get all her other stuff.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    I liked the writing itself, the way Leila's dyslexia translated into a metaphor for the difficulty in understanding relationships and people around one - especially in adolescence. I wasn't particularly a fan of Leila or her sister Clare. I was curious to know more about Rebecca, but it felt like the author gave up on that mystery towards the end of the book - as Leila fell more in love with her 31-year old boyfriend. (I also wasn't so much of a fan of the 17 year old/ 31 year old relationship. I liked the writing itself, the way Leila's dyslexia translated into a metaphor for the difficulty in understanding relationships and people around one - especially in adolescence. I wasn't particularly a fan of Leila or her sister Clare. I was curious to know more about Rebecca, but it felt like the author gave up on that mystery towards the end of the book - as Leila fell more in love with her 31-year old boyfriend. (I also wasn't so much of a fan of the 17 year old/ 31 year old relationship. It feels like too much of a gap in life experience, as well as maturity.) It was an interesting read, but not one I'd go back to.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    i dont normally write reviews on here, but this novel really touched me. this is a story of a 16 year old who has 2 half-sisters from her fathers prior marriage. the sister that she is close with commits suicide, and the girl spends a lot of time questioning why, and trying to find a deeper meaning behind her sisters death. there are also very genuine family moments, and a great love story. it just really hit close to home, and i loved it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Tedious, annoying, and not a single conclusion was made by the end of this book. None of the characters were likable, not even Leila's 31 year old boyfriend who decided to blissfully ignore the law and have sex with his underage girlfriend. What the hell did I just read? Was this novel full of metaphors and symbolism or was it just a bungled mess? I'd ask you to be the judge but I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Tedious, annoying, and not a single conclusion was made by the end of this book. None of the characters were likable, not even Leila's 31 year old boyfriend who decided to blissfully ignore the law and have sex with his underage girlfriend. What the hell did I just read? Was this novel full of metaphors and symbolism or was it just a bungled mess? I'd ask you to be the judge but I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    All I can say is amazing. It's so different from what you think it'll be and yet so perfect. The ending, while seemingly incomplete, was great for the book. All I can say is amazing. It's so different from what you think it'll be and yet so perfect. The ending, while seemingly incomplete, was great for the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Loretta

    The prose in this novel is beautiful. Elegant, crisp writing and lovely story telling. The story is about how a family copes with a suicide as told through the view of a teenage girl. Through a self-inflicted death (her sister gave up on life), the baby of the family helps the adults heal a bit in the "new now". It's a coming of age novel where Leila explores her sexuality and copes with learning, trying her hardest in spite of her dyslexia. She learns to love reading for great stories, not beca The prose in this novel is beautiful. Elegant, crisp writing and lovely story telling. The story is about how a family copes with a suicide as told through the view of a teenage girl. Through a self-inflicted death (her sister gave up on life), the baby of the family helps the adults heal a bit in the "new now". It's a coming of age novel where Leila explores her sexuality and copes with learning, trying her hardest in spite of her dyslexia. She learns to love reading for great stories, not because it'll make her father or tutor happy. The only issue I had with the book is the age difference between the protagonist (who I consider a baby) and the man she falls for. I know he's a "good guy" but it made me uncomfortable. At one point in the book, Leila asks her sister if the suicide destroyed her great love. For me, I believe the suicide impacted the teenager's decision to become romantically involved with a 31 year old man. Some say age is just a number and perhaps since her father is much older and so are her sisters, Leila feels older but still, a fourteen year age gap is a big deal to me. Overall, I found this book delightful to read. I enjoyed it! Here are some of my favorite lines: "Maybe great love is simply the love that fits...It wasn't ruined because it ended. It ended when they no longer fit each other." - Leila "But being the great love doesn't mean being the love who lasts." - Leila "Don't settle for anything less. Never give any part of yourself to someone who is unkind." - Julian Abranel (Da's real name) "If Da thinks I deserve kindness from someone I love, then it stands to reason that anyone who loves me deserves the same." - Leila "My body gets up every day and falls asleep when it's had it. It's my best self and mine to keep or share." - Leila "Love's hard. Be careful." - Clare

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katrina Sharp

    Based on the preview, I thought the book would be better. I’ve had loved ones very close to me die from Suicide so I honestly thought I’d enjoy this book more. But it was very very disappointing. The writing was all over the place, it held nothing in the aspects of finding out more about her sister. It felt like the story had absolutely no meaning behind it. The main character’s personally was immature. I hated that she kept referencing to her dyslexia and sex the way she did. And don’t even get Based on the preview, I thought the book would be better. I’ve had loved ones very close to me die from Suicide so I honestly thought I’d enjoy this book more. But it was very very disappointing. The writing was all over the place, it held nothing in the aspects of finding out more about her sister. It felt like the story had absolutely no meaning behind it. The main character’s personally was immature. I hated that she kept referencing to her dyslexia and sex the way she did. And don’t even get me started about her dating a 31-year-old. That’s disgusting in my book. What would a man of 31 see in a child of 16? It was extremely off putting. Plus, her family didn’t even give a shit that she was seeing a 31-year-old. Horrible book. The worse one I’ve read in a long time and I absolutely hate giving bad reviews. It was a waste of time and energy. Horrible. Simply horrible. 😔

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dee Fallon

    This is the Stay with Me by Garret Freymann-Wyer. It seems odd it's ok to title your book with a title already taken... I didn't know until I finished it that this was written for young adult readers, but I won't hold that against the book. Since I personally dealt with a suicide, I was interested to see how the author ended up handling it. I found what was written about suicide in the book to be familiar, accurate and sensitive. Different people react differently. Some want to search for explan This is the Stay with Me by Garret Freymann-Wyer. It seems odd it's ok to title your book with a title already taken... I didn't know until I finished it that this was written for young adult readers, but I won't hold that against the book. Since I personally dealt with a suicide, I was interested to see how the author ended up handling it. I found what was written about suicide in the book to be familiar, accurate and sensitive. Different people react differently. Some want to search for explanations, thinking they will get closure, others don't. I was glad that the main character's search for a reason didn't take over the whole book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Freymann-Wyer, Garret Stay With Me, 238 p. Houghton – 16 year old Leila is trying to cope with the suicide death of her much older half sister and her guilty feelings for not knowing her other family better. While trying to track down a mystery man she saw with her sister at a coffee house, Leila takes a waitressing job and ends up involved with 31 year old man. As I sit writing this review, I feel like the whole premise of the book is pretty weak. I actually enjoyed watching Leila and her exten Freymann-Wyer, Garret Stay With Me, 238 p. Houghton – 16 year old Leila is trying to cope with the suicide death of her much older half sister and her guilty feelings for not knowing her other family better. While trying to track down a mystery man she saw with her sister at a coffee house, Leila takes a waitressing job and ends up involved with 31 year old man. As I sit writing this review, I feel like the whole premise of the book is pretty weak. I actually enjoyed watching Leila and her extended family deal with their grief, but I could never get over my revulsion to the May-December romance which was so acceptable to Leila’s entire family – including the sex. NO

  18. 5 out of 5

    Devon Munn

    This was a pretty decent read, but I am still hung up on While it wasn't too present, the bits of Leila's relationship with her kinda boyfriend? Ben showed some signs I thought were problematic 1. He says too her something along the lines of 'if you date someone, I must be the first to know" and I was like That's not your business and 2. When Leila goes on a trip somewhere (I think Egypt) he calls her everyday there, which seemed a little excessive When Leila find out reflects back on a memory of This was a pretty decent read, but I am still hung up on While it wasn't too present, the bits of Leila's relationship with her kinda boyfriend? Ben showed some signs I thought were problematic 1. He says too her something along the lines of 'if you date someone, I must be the first to know" and I was like That's not your business and 2. When Leila goes on a trip somewhere (I think Egypt) he calls her everyday there, which seemed a little excessive When Leila find out reflects back on a memory of her late stepsister, she tells her other stepsister Clare about something about it and Clare doesn't have much of a reaction to it While it has its faults, its a pretty decent read

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Insightful and steady in its exploration of love and relationship in the aftermath of family tragedy . For me, it was a look at a different social and cultural mindset , how it is molded, and how it encourages behaviors in young people. It showed a different life experience than my own. I think it can have a wider audience than YA.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    3 stars not because this book was bad but because it was so out of place. There were some things that add up and other just a waste of time. I did enjoy part of the story but there some problems. Like why the main character couldn't stop obsessing over (spoilers )? 3 stars not because this book was bad but because it was so out of place. There were some things that add up and other just a waste of time. I did enjoy part of the story but there some problems. Like why the main character couldn't stop obsessing over (spoilers )?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christy Ngo

    I wish that I had this book when I was younger. There are lots of good advice which would have been useful to my younger self.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alanis Haik

    I really liked this book, and books that are alike to this one. There's the right amount of things going on at the same time to keep you interested but not so many to where you're confused. I also like this book simply because of the story line, reading this book was one of the books I have actually enjoyed reading the most (because it's hard for me to find books that I really enjoy). There's not much that I didn't like about this book, only that some parts are a bit sad but nothing too bad. It' I really liked this book, and books that are alike to this one. There's the right amount of things going on at the same time to keep you interested but not so many to where you're confused. I also like this book simply because of the story line, reading this book was one of the books I have actually enjoyed reading the most (because it's hard for me to find books that I really enjoy). There's not much that I didn't like about this book, only that some parts are a bit sad but nothing too bad. It's nice to have a book that brings out your emotion in different ways. People that are interested in mystery and romance may like this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone actually. I think that the main message in this book is that just because you are not with a significant other, doesn't mean you can't fall in love with them. This book was fun to read and i very much enjoyed it. :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    The book Stay With Me is a wonderful story about love and loss and how one can lead straight to the other. Leila Abranel feels that she has been left behind when her much older sister, Rebecca, decides to take her own life. Rebecca was 20 years older than Leila and they had just truly begun to get to know one another. Leila was beginning to feel like she could talk to Rebecca about things that she couldn't talk to her parents about and then she overdosed on pills and ended any chance of a relati The book Stay With Me is a wonderful story about love and loss and how one can lead straight to the other. Leila Abranel feels that she has been left behind when her much older sister, Rebecca, decides to take her own life. Rebecca was 20 years older than Leila and they had just truly begun to get to know one another. Leila was beginning to feel like she could talk to Rebecca about things that she couldn't talk to her parents about and then she overdosed on pills and ended any chance of a relationship Leila thought they might be able to have. In the midst of the mourning and grief, Leila's parents decide that it might be best if they went ahead as planned and moved to Poland for a year, only with a slight change. Since Leila is only 16 she was going to be staying with Rebecca while they were gone but now they must ask her other sister, Clare, if she could take care of her while they are gone. Leila never really felt like she fit in with her other sisters but she felt like she fit more with Rebecca because Clare was more the smart, workaholic type. Leila is dyslexic and so has always had trouble fitting in and feeling like she belongs but once she moves in with Clare, they start to learn new things about the other and form a close, sisterly bond. Raphael also helps take care of Leila while her parents are in Poland. His mother was married to their uncle before she met his father and so he is their semi-cousin. Raphael and Clare once had a relationship but it didn't work for reasons that weren't really mentioned. Shortly after Leila moves in with Clare, Clare breaks up with her boyfriend and then once again starts a relationship with Raphael, forming a type of family for Leila to rely on. While, Leila has tried to move on from her sister's death, she still feels like she is missing something and decides that she should try and find the reason Rebecca killed herself. In her quest for answers she gets a job at Cafe Acca, the last place she saw Rebecca. In a way Rebecca led Leila right to Eamon. Eamon is a 31 year old writer for TV shows and he immediately takes an interest in Leila, not knowing that she is only 16. Throughout the book Leila and Eamon go through many different phases and finally settle on dating even if other people think it is wrong of them. In the end, Leila realizes that maybe Rebecca didn't really have a reason for killing herself, maybe she just gave up. She knows that what Rebecca did was selfish and inexcusable. Rebecca was only thinking of herself, not the people she would be leaving behind. Leila finally learns that she doesn't really need to know everything about her sister but that in her own way Rebecca led Leila right to her love, if not her great love then her great love for now. Stay With Me is a story about coping with the sudden death of someone you love and how maybe you don't get over that, maybe you just find new ways to shape your life around it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Preet

    What would be your first reaction if you received the news that a loved one has just been the victim of suicide? In the fictional novel, Stay With Me by Garret Freyman-Weyr, sixteen year old Leila Abranel not only endures the shock of losing her half sister Rebecca, but the questions and mystery she leaves behind as well. Why did she take her own life? Did she show signs of what she was planning to do to herself that were ignored? Why didn’t she even say goodbye? These intriguing questions beco What would be your first reaction if you received the news that a loved one has just been the victim of suicide? In the fictional novel, Stay With Me by Garret Freyman-Weyr, sixteen year old Leila Abranel not only endures the shock of losing her half sister Rebecca, but the questions and mystery she leaves behind as well. Why did she take her own life? Did she show signs of what she was planning to do to herself that were ignored? Why didn’t she even say goodbye? These intriguing questions become the forces that drive the novel forward. Right after the suicide, Leila is forced to withstand a series of changes. Her parents need to get away for a while in order to cope with the devastating loss, so they go to Poland for a year where they’ve both been offered jobs. Leila is then forced to move in with her other half sister, Clare, who is much more constrained when it comes to sharing her emotions. She’s also taking some time apart from her lifelong friend and boyfriend Ben, which is enough of a loss on its own. On top of all this, Leila conludes that she needs a bit of a break from her true passion of tech theater, and begins a job at a local coffee shop. With all of these changes in her life, Leila patiently begins sorting out the puzzle pieces that Rebecca bestowed upon her before the suicide. The man vs himself conflict is a pivotal part of the novel, because the entire novel is driven by this concept. Leila’s quest to understand the mystery of her sister’s suicide not only helps her understand her sisters and her background, but she discovers pieces of herself as well. As she tries to configure exactly what her sister wanted in life as well as what she’s left left behind, Leila matures in several ways, for she’s more receptive to the people around her and capable of understanding the complex relationships that have consumed her life. It is often best to cope with a loss by taking another step forward and continuing one’s life. Nuances of this reoccurring theme are portrayed through different characters. Leila is the person who is trying to fight this inevitable truth as she continuously attempts to find a different cause for the suicide instead of just letting it go, as Clare has decided. Because of the writing style of this novel, it was an enjoyable, yet insightful reading. Written from a sixteen year old’s point of view, it was easy to relate to and brought up several deeper questions that would make me stop to ponder for a while. I happened to randomly pick up this book when I was browsing the books at the public library, and I’m glad I did. I recommend this novel to anyone who would like to step back from the details of their own lives and read about what real traumatic events are and all of the effects they may cause in one’s life.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com When Leila's much older sister, Rebecca, kills herself, it changes the lives of everyone who knew her, and many people who didn't. But did anyone really know Rebecca, or just the face she showed them? This is just one of the questions that Leila can't help but ask herself in the months after her sister's death. Did she know Rebecca? Or did she only know Rebecca through her interactions with other people? Leila knows her father. She knew her father's Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com When Leila's much older sister, Rebecca, kills herself, it changes the lives of everyone who knew her, and many people who didn't. But did anyone really know Rebecca, or just the face she showed them? This is just one of the questions that Leila can't help but ask herself in the months after her sister's death. Did she know Rebecca? Or did she only know Rebecca through her interactions with other people? Leila knows her father. She knew her father's first wife, Janie, who died before Rebecca. But if she had really known Rebecca, if anyone had known Rebecca fully, wouldn't they have been able to figure out Rebecca's reasons for doing what she did? It's for that reason that Leila is searching when she meets Eamon. At first he's only a customer in the café where she once saw Rebecca with the mysterious T., a man she thinks might know something of the reason Rebecca had for committing suicide. Later, though, he becomes something much more. Clare is Leila's surviving older half-sister. Clare has her own life: a boyfriend, a career, and an apartment--suddenly one occupant short. Rebecca lived there, and now that Leila's parents are moving to Poland for the year, she will move in with Clare. During this year, Clare and Raphael, their unrelated "cousin," will become much, much more important in Leila's life. She will get to know them, maybe in the way she never got to know Rebecca--the way she is still trying to get to know Rebecca, even after her death. STAY WITH ME is a very powerful, moving story about love, loss, and life. It's about the way life keeps going on, even after a tragedy. Since it takes place in New York and since Rebecca dies right after the attacks on the city on 9/11, the characters are healing from their own personal tragedy, but also, along with everyone else in the city, from the attack on them all. That's not the focus of the novel, but it's definitely a part of it. Garrett Freymann-Weyr is brilliant at creating wonderful, three-dimensional characters. I've read two of her previous novels (MY HEARTBEAT and WHEN I WAS OLDER), and that's something that can be seen in all of her work. It's a talent, and I was glad to see it shows just as much in STAY WITH ME as in the other two novels. We learn plenty, even about the characters only glimpsed in the novel. The character I felt I knew the least was Leila's mother, but she was not really a part of this story. She hardly knew Rebecca, whose death is what sets off the whole story (though Leila chooses to start the telling of it with her visits to Janie, her father's first wife). There are so many parts to this story, but Rebecca, her life and death, is what ties it all together so marvelously.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    Overall, I thought this was a really good book. It was quick and easy, but I was still fixed on the plot line the whole time. This was my second time reading it, as I was too young to understand it the first time. I loved the characters and became very attached to some of them (Clare especially!) The age gap in Leila and Eamon's relationship made me uncomfortable. I didn't like the idea of a teenager with a 31-year-old man and thought that the book would've been more enjoyable if his age was redu Overall, I thought this was a really good book. It was quick and easy, but I was still fixed on the plot line the whole time. This was my second time reading it, as I was too young to understand it the first time. I loved the characters and became very attached to some of them (Clare especially!) The age gap in Leila and Eamon's relationship made me uncomfortable. I didn't like the idea of a teenager with a 31-year-old man and thought that the book would've been more enjoyable if his age was reduced. Sex was also a huge topic in this book, so if that doesn't interest you, I wouldn't suggest reading. I probably won't read this book again and would not recommend it to anyone younger than 14ish.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

    Sixteen-year-old Leila Abranel is the only child of her father's second marriage; she has two half sisters, Rebecca and Clare, from his first marriage. When Rebecca commits suicide, Leila's life is completely and irrevocably changed. While her parents leave for a year in Poland for work, Leila lives with her remaining half sister Clare and her sort-of cousin Raphael. She spends her time trying to unravel her family's history and to find out the reason behind Rebecca's suicide. The choices she ma Sixteen-year-old Leila Abranel is the only child of her father's second marriage; she has two half sisters, Rebecca and Clare, from his first marriage. When Rebecca commits suicide, Leila's life is completely and irrevocably changed. While her parents leave for a year in Poland for work, Leila lives with her remaining half sister Clare and her sort-of cousin Raphael. She spends her time trying to unravel her family's history and to find out the reason behind Rebecca's suicide. The choices she makes lead her to a new job, a new boyfriend, and understanding of the concept of a "great love", Rebecca's suicide, and ultimately, herself. I really enjoyed this book. First off: BEAUTIFUL cover art!! It was fascinating to discover Leila's family history along with her. The story was a different, refreshing look at grief: Leila's story focused not as much on the actual mourning as on the questioning and discoveries beyond it, and her life afterwards. It looks to the potential of a bright future instead of the painful past. Leila herself was entertaining and inquisitive, and an interesting protagonist to follow throughout the course of the novel. Her story was engaging as she made her plans for the future and discovered more about herself. The ending was both satisfying and open, leaving room for the characters to continue their recovery from Rebecca's suicide and to continue moving on with their lives. The new relationships they developed with each other left them better off and stronger. Overall, the book was refreshing and engaging, and a bit of a feel-good novel after the initial grief. Definitely recommended!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    A reader on this site started her review this way: "How do you come to terms with a father who lived a different life with a different family before you were born? How do you know if love will stay with you when you have evidence of it leaving all around you?" Ouch! This might be hard for me to read . . . but it has almost all positive reviews, so that's a good sign. UPDATE This was finally on the library shelf, so I grabbed it. Not sure if I should finish the one I'm reading before I start this, or A reader on this site started her review this way: "How do you come to terms with a father who lived a different life with a different family before you were born? How do you know if love will stay with you when you have evidence of it leaving all around you?" Ouch! This might be hard for me to read . . . but it has almost all positive reviews, so that's a good sign. UPDATE This was finally on the library shelf, so I grabbed it. Not sure if I should finish the one I'm reading before I start this, or put it aside and get started on this right away. I wish I was a faster reader! FINAL UPDATE I liked this book, but I didn't love it. It had some terrific passages, including one especially memorable one about carrying the "ruin" of sad past experiences. But I wasn't totally involved in the story the way I expected to be. And I felt like the main relationship between Leila and Rebecca wasn't developed as much as I would have liked. I also found the extreme age difference between Leila and Eamon to be very distracting. What the hell does a 31 year old guy see in a 16 year old girl that is anything but icky? If he had been 25 or even 28, it might have been easier to root for their romance, but as it was, I just felt like Leila has unresolved Daddy issues. I also felt like her parents and her sister/guardian should have (and would have) objected much more strenously to this. I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if Leila's budding romance had been with a more appropriate person and I greatly question the author's choice in this matter.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Exogenously, at least, this book appears to be about suicide. But it is not, really, anymore than any of us are really what we appear to be from the outside. The suicide it appears to concern is that of Rebecca, the older half-sister of our heroine, Leila Abranel. Leila is at once a young and old soul, who looked up to her sister (the fact that she is only half a one makes a difference, but only a slight one) with an almost childlike awe, and takes her motive as a mystery to solve, but takes her Exogenously, at least, this book appears to be about suicide. But it is not, really, anymore than any of us are really what we appear to be from the outside. The suicide it appears to concern is that of Rebecca, the older half-sister of our heroine, Leila Abranel. Leila is at once a young and old soul, who looked up to her sister (the fact that she is only half a one makes a difference, but only a slight one) with an almost childlike awe, and takes her motive as a mystery to solve, but takes her life following Rebecca's death with a measured, reflective, maturity that is a wonder to behold. It is Leila's story, not Rebecca's, that is truly at the heart of this novel, and it is her story that does not concern dealing with death so much as going on with living. Leila grapples with common problems, but she does not deal with them in a common way, and she is truly no common person. She is pensive and reflective, but not above emotion and confusion. But it is not these passions that define her; it is the steadfastness of her own psyche, when everything around her is whirling in dread. Ultimately, this is a novel of figuring out what matters and why. Which, I suppose, is what we're all on our way to do. It may not offer any specific conclusion or revision on that theme, but in this case it is the journey that matters.

  30. 4 out of 5

    AnnaBnana

    There were several things I really liked about this book. I think sex and other big life questions were dealt with in a way that might encourage teens to talk to a trusted adult without fear of repercussions. And, if they don't feel comfortable talking to someone in their life, it's still nice to see things presented in such a non-threatening way. I thought Leila was a really interesting character. Her inner dialogue was written so eloquently...she clearly had a lot of confusion in her life and F There were several things I really liked about this book. I think sex and other big life questions were dealt with in a way that might encourage teens to talk to a trusted adult without fear of repercussions. And, if they don't feel comfortable talking to someone in their life, it's still nice to see things presented in such a non-threatening way. I thought Leila was a really interesting character. Her inner dialogue was written so eloquently...she clearly had a lot of confusion in her life and Freymann-Weyr brings that confusion to the reader to share with Leila. Some of what didn't work for me...the 9/11 stuff felt a little random. It became more poignant as the story progressed, but for much of the plot I found it a little distracting. It kept pulling me out of the story trying to place the situations in a very particular time frame, even though it was such a peripheral part of the plot. Also, some of the transitions in this book were a little rough. There were places were the plot or situation shifted completely, but there was no chapter break. I had to re-read a couple of sections worried that I had missed something. All said and done though, I thought this was a lovely story about coming to terms with loss and finding family in all the places you didn't expect it.

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