Description (on NetGalley):
Award winner and critically acclaimed writer Jenny Hubbard’s riveting account of a teenage girl whose boyfriend brings a gun to school and shoots himself. This is her story before, during, and after the tragedy.
When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.
This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.
I started reading this book at the beginning of this year and it has taking me this long to read it. 6 months to be exact. Why you may ask it has taken me that many months? Because I had to be in a certain mood to read it. It’s not a lighthearted book at all. It’s heart wrenching, and tragic. If you’re not in the correct mood, it might bore you or turn you off.
The writing in And We Stay is poetic. I could even say lyrical. What I really enjoyed were the poems after every chapter. I could picture Emily late at night writing the poems, letting out all of her feelings into that journal and beginning the process of healing that she desperately needs. The entire book is about the beginning of her healing process and realizing exactly what Paul was to her, as well as learning the consequences of her actions and what saying the truth may lead to.
If I were Emily, it would have taking me longer to heal from this, but the again at the end of the book she is barely starting to heal.
I really loved Emily’s roommate toward the end. At the beginning I thought of her as a snotty, rich, drama-loving girl. When Emily tells her to invent her past, her roommate doesn’t hesitate to make up a sob story that everyone eats up.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It may not be for me, but I wholly appreciate the poetic writing that enraptured me two nights ago as I binge read the last 80% of the book I still had left to read.