Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Published: December 3, 2019
Book Description: 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.
Rating: 2 1/2 Stars
Review: This is the second book I have read from Catherine Ryan Hyde and while both times the premise was really good, they both fell a little short for me. The themes that Hyde chooses to write about appear to big be big, but the best way to describe it, lackluster.
Stay is the story of Lucas who is a 14 year old boy in 1969. His brother is in Vietnam, his best friend is suffering from depression, his parents always appear to be fighting. However, where this story picks up is when he is out an about he meets two dogs who appear to have no owner, and he starts running with them and then caring for them. He eventually finds their owner who is the throws of an overdose.
What Hyde does after this is try to weave together a narrative this is just so sad. Don’t get me wrong, I love sad books, but this to me did not even have a light at the end of the tunnel. Lucas seemed unreal, he was just too good, nothing like a typical 14 year old. It started feeling a little false at some times. Hyde also throws in an epilogue, which I usually love, but this one seemed rushed, and too neatly wrapped up for this type of story.
Overall, I am sure there will be a lot of people who love this one, but this one just fell a little short for me.
Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.