Savannah “Van” Leone has been in love with Peter Clarke ever since she literally fell head over heels in front of him on the first day of college. Now, six years later, instead of standing across from him at the altar, Van is standing beside her best friend Janie as maid of honor, trying to mask her heartache and guilt as Janie marries the only man she’s ever loved. Before Van’s mother died, she told Van never to let Peter go, but as the couple exchanges vows, Van wonders if her fairy-tale ending will ever come true.
After the wedding, Van drowns her sorrows in Kool-Aid-vodka cocktails and reruns of Rin Tin Tin, and does what any heartbroken woman in her situation would do: She impulsively buys a German Shepherd over the Internet. But the pocket-size puppy Van is expecting turns out to be a clumsy hundred-pound beast who only responds to commands in Slovak. Van is at the end of her rope…until she realizes that this quirky giant may be the only living being who will always be loyal to her, no matter what.
Van affectionately names her dog Joe, and together they work to mend the pieces of Van’s shattered heart. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Joe’s vet is a rugged sweetheart with floppy blond hair and a winning smile. But when the newlyweds return from their honeymoon, Van is forced to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to have everything she’s ever wanted–proving that sometimes life needs to get more complicated before it gets better.
Warm and witty, poignant and funny, Stay is a big-hearted, unforgettable debut that illuminates the boundlessness of love and marks the arrival of an irresistible new voice.
Ahhhhh tis so sweet to post the 52nd review! And in the nick of time too– I still have a couple of hours until the end of the year! I’m not a big New Year’s Eve person so I’m perfectly content to stay home, drink wine and play games with the fam/pseudo family that come over. Tonight nobody would talk to me until I finished my last book! haha I appreciate the support but I’m glad I can now have some wine and ring in the new year! 😉
Anyway, Stay is indeed a very endearing novel. I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t MORE about the dog (Joe) but more focused on the love triangle/drama surrounding Van’s love life. I was expecting more of a story about a girl and her dog. So I got more than I bargained for is all.
At times it felt silly and I don’t know how else to explain that other than the shallow comments/thoughts Van had. It was easy to think of her as still in high school or something, so a challenge to relate. Stay is also extremely predictable and I found myself hoping for a twist or turn that would keep me shocked and surprised. Not every novel will wow, but this one was a cute one to end the year with.
Larkin does a good job of tying everything together but I just wish Stay was more about the dog instead of the boys. Van gets her dog for companionship (granted, it’s a mistaken order) but then she comes to value her pet yet somehow the bonding seems skipped. I guess I think the book jacket was slightly misleading in what the novel would offer. But I’m a sucker for the love of dogs 🙂 All in all, this is a light-hearted read to be enjoyed!