My current WIP is a contemporary YA.  That said, I’m reading a lot of contemporary stuff of late.  I went to the library to pick up a couple books and stumbled across this amazingly brilliant book… image

Stay With Me by Paul Griffin

The cover probably caught my eye or perhaps it was the title.  I flipped it over to read the book blurb and loved the tag line… 

“Their lives weren’t easy.  Neither was their love.” 

And yes – that about sums up the story.  It’s a heart aching, bittersweet story of first love that is told in alternating first person accounts of Cèce and Mack, the two fifteen-year-old protagonists.  For me, the story being told in the present tense added an extra layer of intimacy and immediacy to the story that made it hard to put down.  I DID stay up far too late just to finish one more chapter on more than a couple nights. 

It’s a book that I told my writing group about and my husband and my kids who are far to young to read this novel.  It’s THAT good. 

I’ll be honest, it took me a few chapters to click with the voices.  But the voices are incredibly authentic for the characters and the story couldn’t be told from any other voice but theirs.  I was hooked by page 23.  I gasped on page 119.  Cried on page 278 (among a few others) and laughed in countless places in between.  The cast of supporting characters are colorful and memorable in all the right ways. 

Out of four TL’s DreamWorld clouds – this one garners a perfect four. 

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Have you read it?  What did you think?  If not, I leave you with these three words: