- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press (Jan. 28 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385740573
- ISBN-13: 978-0385740579
- Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #538,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
And We Stay Hardcover – Jan 28 2014
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Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2013:
"Teasing out strands of the past and the present, Hubbard masterfully twines together a story of one girl’s journey to self-identity...As graceful as a feather drifting down, this lyrical story delivers a deep journey of healing on a tragic theme."
Starred Review, Booklist, November 15, 2013:
"This novel is accomplished, polished, and mixes prose and and poetry to stunning effect...Hubbard’s narrative tone will only make readers want to lean in closer."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 2014:
"A little gem of a book...Despite the heavy topics, the book feels sweet and poetic and never gratuitous. Budding poets may particularly appreciate Emily’s story, but there is certainly something for anyone looking for a good read with a strong, believable female lead who is working her hardest to overcome tragedy."
Publishers Weekly, October 21, 2013:
"Hubbard’s writing is elegant and emotional...Mature readers who enjoy a bit of melancholy and might spark to Dickinson will be in good company on Emily’s journey."
BookPage, February 2014:
"Hubbard is an accomplished poet as well as a novelist, and Emily Beam’s poems are remarkably good. Writing these poems leads Emily out of the darkness of a New England winter and into a fragile spring—out of tragedy and into something resembling hope."
Shelf Awareness, February 21, 2014:
"Most poetry comes from a place of deep emotion. That's certainly true for Emily Beam, Jennifer Hubbard's (Paper Covers Rock) sympathetic protagonist in And We Stay... Hubbard convincingly integrates Emily Beam's poems alongside her recollections of Paul and her life before boarding school."
VOYA, December 2013:
"[Hubbard] captures perfectly the turbulence of young love, the bonds of friendship, and the push-and-pull dynamic between teens and adults...Definitely recommend this book to your introspective patrons who relish romantic tragedy, poetry, and intricate relationships among girls and their boyfriends, friends, and teachers."
TeenReads.com, January 22, 2014:
"This book is truly beautiful both inside and out. Within the story, Hubbard elegantly navigates the prose of Emily’s life combined with the many poems Emily writes to cope with the misfortunes that have befallen her...The way Hubbard writes AND WE STAY is both attractive and exquisite."
About the Author
Michael L. Printz Honor Award-winning And We Stay is Jenny Hubbard’s second novel. Her first, Paper Covers Rock, was a William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist. A former English teacher, Jenny writes books and plays in her hometown of Slisbury, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, a high school math teacher, and their rescue dog, Oliver. You can find Jenny on Facebook, follow her (and Oliver) on Twitter at @HubbardWrites, and visit her website at jennyhubbard.com.
Top customer reviews
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This is written in a third-person narrative, which usually confuses me. Coming from this story, I was okay because the story was very powerful and imperfect, which in Emily's case, is capable of handling. Emily is sent to a boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, after the wakening of the tragedy that she went through not too long ago--Emily got pregnant with her boyfriend, Paul. She breaks up with him and two days later, Paul pulls up a gun at Emily, and takes his own life. Emily was left damaged, and her parents believed that boarding school will keep her away from the memories that broke her, and the ones that saved her.
If I were you, I'd seriously take a note to self to keep in mind: this is a very depressing read.
This is not a bright, cheerful read. I got really sad after finishing this book. It's a story that you really need to think deeply about and to understand it, you'll need to read between the lines. Powerful stories like this are always amazing and are the hardest ones to rave and talk about because the message is so glorious and moving.
So yes, the concept of this book was beautiful. It had a mix of everything: romance, boarding-school, suicide, depression, poetry, and death. Jenny Hubbard has just done it right. I recommend this book to lovers of contemporary books and ones who are ready to get out of their comfort zone. Also, if you've read Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, go for this one. It's a little more milder, but totally great.
The only thing that upset me with this book was the fact that it didn't really go anywhere. We can tell that there's a strong idea and message being pushed out into the reader, but I didn't see the book being moving. The message was, but the plot wasn't. There weren't any plot twists or moment when we just wanted to scream at the author for making something horrible happen. It was very slow and the book was just showing Emily's recovery. It was fast-paced (especially since the book is fairly short) but I wanted events.
Like I said above, I love the fact that this deals with poetry. Emily has really inspired me to read more poetry, and especially from Emily Dickinson.
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." -Emily Dickinson
Yeah, that really describes Emily's poetry. Emily was such a bold, special, amazing protagonist. I felt so much sympathy for her because of everything what happened; she was a gorgeous person with an unique personality and didn't deserve everything. And after everything what had happened, she was still broken inside and out.
But my favourite character of them all was K.A. This girl was unbelievable. She was so kick-ass and daring. She truly was Emily's best friend by the end, and that meant a lot to me because we rarely see book friendships. :)
This book was fabulous, special. It's one that you'll never hear about ever. It's something unique and amazing. I recommend it 100%, despite the disadvantage.
And We Stay is written in the worst possible way. It’s third person present tense for crying out loud! It’s so simple and detached, the events that Emily goes through didn’t feel real to me in any way. Everything is told instead of shown and I couldn’t feel anything towards Emily and her life, even when she has sudden flashback about Paul, Albeit beautifully done, felt too simple and boring for me to care about too much.
Jenny Hubbard does know how to write beautiful poetry though. At the end of each chapter, readers are left with a beautiful poem that’s probably the most touching thing about the novel. The idea for this story is also very creative and intriguing. It was the mention of a shooting that initially drew me to the story and I enjoyed the few flashbacks where Paul is mentioned and the shooting because they are so very interesting.
Overall, Emily’s life is horrible. And my biggest problem with the novel isn’t the actual story idea but the execution of it. If the story was told in first person and maybe if it was all told in verse, it could have a great novel. I absolutely love gritty novels about horrible events that happen to teens. The story idea is awesome but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone because I felt so apathetic towards most of it.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This is probably the only book I won’t be giving an extended plot summary for, because frankly I feel that it is already very straightforward. I will be honest, I was expecting more out of this book, and it is probably only because it was given an award (OH, the irony). I have been having a hell of a time writing this review, typing and deleting. Typing and deleting. So I am just going to start with my favorite topic, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. *sigh*…I feel like a broken record for saying this in so many reviews, but it’s a big part of a book! I think that is the biggest aspect of this story that is lacking, the fact that I don’t emotionally feel for Emily’s tragedy and her sorrow. I can understand it and grasp the sadness, but I don’t feel anything for her. I read while she put her grief into her poems and saw how her memories made her feel, but even that doesn’t seem very realistic to me. The memories of Paul did not do his character justice either, that would have been a great time to show the reader exactly what kind of person he was. I felt like I got bits and pieces of him, but not enough to build my own idea of him.
I wanted to see the creative writing aspect in this story more as well. The poems were beautiful and haunting all in their own, but I think more description in the emotions Emily felt would have been positive. For example: how Paul killing himself could have made Emily feel as if her heart had exploded into so much tainted blood that it overflowed from inside her body and started bleeding from her eyes (over the top I know…but you get it). Where is the overwhelming description of her pain and guilt?! If I was Emily Beam and had experienced something so tragic at that age, I would have been a mess.
Trust me when I say that this really is NOT a bad book, it is a great YA story about a girl dealing with tragedy. The poems are placed throughout the book, but it isn’t necessary to the reader that they are read. The idea of working Emily Dickinson into the plot was clever and different, there was a definite tie between the late Emily Dickinson and the main character Emily Beam. I even found myself doing some research on Emily Dickinson after reading this story. The relationship between Paul and Emily proved to be an innocent first love turned into sorrow and rejection. Emily gives the reader memories of their time together as well as the day of Paul’s suicide. Reading as Emily felt forced to end her relationship with Paul and to say whatever was necessary to save herself, gave this character a complicated outlook. Not only was she guilty for possibly being the reason for Paul’s death, but also quite possible the cause. I can only imagine how it must feel to have that weight thrown onto your shoulders at such a young age. Overall, you should give And We Stay a chance if it sounds interesting to you. I think that anyone who appreciates a YA book about suicide, acceptance of past mistakes, and letting go of guilt can connect with it. Don’t let negative reviews sway your own opinion of it, after all, reviews are just personal opinions ;)
We follow Emily as her parents send her off to an all girl's boarding school in Amherst. The school, in close proximity to poet Emily Dickinson's historical home, is a great place for Emily to reflect and write her own poems. Writing is her catharsis, her way of dealing with Paul's death and her perceived betrayal of him. She is not very social, but is finally prodded into friendships of two of the other girls.
Grief is a hard subject to write about. I felt that there wasn't much forward motion in this novel, so instead we are trapped in Emily's head, circling through the events leading to Paul's death. This isn't such a bad thing, but at the end of the novel I just didn't feel very engaged. More than anything, I was angry at Emily's parents, because I felt they handled things very poorly, and this wasn't addressed.
Sprinkled throughout the novel are samples of Emily's poignant and deeply lyrical poems about her relationship, her suffering, and the bubbles of healing that start to cushion her pain. "This is how she will go: on./ The light almost speaking,/ and March halfway gone,/ the green fields beyond,/ and the staying." Hubbard writes the prose of AND WE STAY with the same poetic delicacy she does Emily's poetry, and while some of the poems feel too sophisticated (in both insight and technique) for a high school student, she captures perfectly the turbulence of young love, the bonds of friendship, and the push-and-pull dynamic between teens and adults.
The integration of fun facts about Emily Dickinson also serves to enrich the prose and Emily's growth throughout. Definitely recommend this book to your introspective patrons who relish romantic tragedy, poetry, and intricate relationships among girls and their boyfriends, friends, and teachers.
Soon after Emily gets to Amherst School for Girls, she finds an outlet in writing poems. She parallels her life to Emily Dickinson's life as she read's Dickinson's poems. Emily even finds it fascinating that they have the same name. Dickinson even attended the Amherst School for Girls and lived right down the street. A fact that is very important in the progression of the book. Hubbard's compelling novel And We Stay is something very different for everyday YA literature and can be sad at parts, but is something everyone should read and is written in a tasteful way that is not upsetting. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a real story.