Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Virtual Book Tour and Review: Stay by Allie Larkin

First line: Six years ago, Peter and I were having one of our weekly dinners at this little Italian restaurant just off campus.

From the inside cover: Savannah "Van" Leone has been in love with Peter Clarke ever since she literally fell head over heels in front of him on the first day of college. Now, six years later, instead of standing across from him at the alter, Van is standing behind her best friend Janie as maid of honor, trying to mask her heartache and guilt as Janie marries the only man she's ever loved. Before Van's mother died, she told Van never to let Peter go, but as the couple exchanges vows, Van wonders if her fairy-tale ending will ever come true.

After the wedding, Van drowns her sorrows in Kool-Aid-vodka cocktails and reruns of Rin Tin Tin, and does what any heartbroken woman in her situation would do: She impulsively buys a German Shepard over the Internet. But the pocket-size puppy Van is expecting turns out to be a clumsy hundred-pound beast who only responds to commands in Slovak. Van is at the end of her rope...until she realizes that this quirky giant may be the only living being who will always be loyal to her, no matter what.

Van affectionately names her dog Joe, and together they work to mend the pieces of Van's shattered heart. And it certainly doesn't hurt that Joe's vet is a rugged sweetheart with floppy blond hair and a winning smile. But when the newlyweds return from their honeymoon, Van is forced decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice in order to have everything she ever wanted - proving that sometimes life needs to get more complicated before it can get better.

Warm and witty, poignant and funny, Stay is a big-hearted, unforgettable debut that illuminates the boundlessness of love and marks the arrival of an irresistible new voice.

My thoughts: I loved this book - it was a quick read, filled with humor and had me laughing out loud in quite a few places. Being a first-time dog-owner myself, I could easily relate to Van as she adjusted to having a large dog in her home - I have a chocolate lab that is almost 100 pounds and I'm constantly picking up handfuls of fur and listening to loud sighs from my dog. Stay is a wonderful novel about friendships of all types - girlfriends, boyfriends (past and present) and the very special bond animals make with us. The characters in this book are very well developed and we get to see inside Van's head as she deals with the complexity of life in general, and relationships both past and present, and how somethings (despite how hard we try) simply cannot stay the same forever. Some of the best parts of the book though are the scenes with Joe, the large German Sheppard puppy. Whether you have a dog or not, you'll find yourself laughing and crying as Joe and Savannah find their way in life. For a debut novel, Allie Larkin has hit the mark and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future!

About the author: Allie Larkin lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband, Jeremy, their two German Shepherds, Argo and Stella, and a three-legged cat. She is the co-founder of TheGreenists.com, a site dedicated to helping readers take simple steps toward going green. STAY is her first novel.

You can find more information about Allie by visiting her website.

I received a complimentary copy of Stay by Allie Larkin from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour.


  1. I'm glad I read your review of this. I'm adding it to my list!

  2. Okay, so I read the book...
    it went by way too fast! I read it in a night.

    I wanted more interaction with Joe and much more tension with hot doc.

    It was cute, but too much background stole the focus away from what was happening in the present -- which was much more enjoyable to read.

  3. It was a quick read...and I agree - more interaction with Joe would have been great!


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