Publisher: Delacorte Press
Released Date: January 28, 2014
Source: Netgalley/Random House
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard is a quiet book, for lack of better words. Let me explain: it’s subtle in the way that not much happens in the story, yet it’s beautifully told. However, I think it may have been the lack of events happening that became sort of a drag for me throughout the story. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the book though, because I did. There are many things that I like about And We Stay despite its slow-paced plot.
First and foremost, I know many people have avoided this book because of the poetry that exists in the story. I, however, was drawn to it. I’m always curious to see how authors tie in poetry into a story, and I think in this case, Hubbard does an astounding job. The main character Emily is the one creating these poems that relate to her life, inspired by Emily Dickinson. The poems are truly lyrical and vivid, adding a whimsical and airy tone to the story.
And We Stay also reminds me much of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This young girl is struggling to come to terms with a tragic event in her past, and has an idealistic figure that she looks up to. It’s also told similarly to Speak. It’s something I observed, not something I’m criticizing. I appreciated Emily’s slow growth, and by the end, I was satisfied with where Hubbard left Emily and her poems.
Aside from the things I loved in And We Stay, there was a defect in the story that really brought it down a star or two from what it could have been. The plot is not exciting or heart-racing, but it’s simply there to show Emily’s character growth. For this reason, I was left a little bored in some parts of the story. But by the end, it is still worth the read.
Although And We Stay was a bit dull in the plot department, its enchanting poetry and satisfying MC character growth are enough for me to recommend this book to people who are fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak. It’s eye-opening to the concept of love and more importantly, coming to terms with past events in life.