Monday, December 9, 2019

Review: "Stay" by Catherine Ryan Hyde

You know how sometimes you finish a book and don't know what to say about it except that everyone should read it? That's me right now!

An unforgettable novel about the power of friendship and kindness by the New York Times bestselling author of Pay It Forward.

In the summer of 1969, fourteen-year-old Lucas Painter carries a huge weight on his shoulders. His brother is fighting in Vietnam. His embattled parents are locked in a never-ending war. And his best friend, Connor, is struggling with his own family issues. To find relief from the chaos, Lucas takes long, meandering walks, and one day he veers into the woods.

There he discovers an isolated cabin and two huge dogs. Frightened, he runs. And the dogs run with him. Lucas finds unusual peace in running with the dogs, and eventually he meets their owner, Zoe Dinsmore. Closed off and haunted by a tragic past, Zoe has given up. She doesn’t want to be saved. She wants out. But Lucas doesn’t want her to go, and he sees an opportunity to bring more than one friend back into the light. It’s either the best or worst idea he’s ever had, but Lucas isn’t giving up on Zoe or Connor.

Their unexpected connection might be the saving grace that Zoe thought she’d lost, that Connor needs, and that Lucas has been running toward.

Stay is a powerful novel about friendship, responsibility, addiction, and restoration set during the Vietnam War. Though the novel deals with heavy subjects like suicide, war, depression, and addiction, Catherine Ryan Hyde also infuses the story with hope.

From the very beginning, I was completely captivated by 14-year-old Lucas's story. The novel is told in first person from Lucas's perspective, but he's clearly telling the story from some time in the future; I appreciated the glimpses forward he provided at times, which reassured me that everything would end up being okay.

The characters in this novel are so vivid and real; I especially loved Lucas and Zoe, and I wanted all the good things for them!

I don't often include quotes in my reviews, but I read these sentences (found on page 146) and knew I needed to include them because the concept is so important, especially in today's political climate:
When somebody holds a view that seems to make no sense, know that it makes sense to them, but for reasons you don't know anything about yet. And I guess in a lot of cases, you never will.
The writing in Stay is absolutely beautiful; it's been a while since I read a book where I felt so strongly about the writing, and now I know I must find more of this author's books! 5 stars.

Note: While this novel deals with serious subjects, nothing is ever graphic. There are a few very minor swear words sprinkled throughout.

Buy the book: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 35 books including Allie & BeaHave You Seen Luis Velez?Stay, and the national bestseller Pay It Forward, which was adapted into a major motion picture in 2000.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Wow, what a beautiful review! Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    1. It's a beautiful book! Thanks for having me!


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