Belinda’s Book Nook Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard


Title: And We Stay
Author: Jenny Hubbard
Copyright: January 28, 2014
Genre: fiction
Format: audiobook

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend, Emily Beam, and then takes his own life. Soon after, angry and guilt-ridden Emily is sent to a boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where two quirky fellow students and the spirit of Emily Dickinson offer helping hands. But it is up to Emily Beam to heal her own damaged self, to find the good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

My thoughts:

No matter what book I am reading in print, I always have an audio book to play on my iPhone while I work or cook dinner. So I just looked through quickly and found this book. I never heard of it before by I think it is a young adult book.  I can’t lie, I was drawn to the fact that the main character was going to be going to a school in Amherst, Massachusetts and being a University of Massachusetts alumni, I love hearing about the area. So that helped when it came time to select this book. I also thought it would be a good book for me to check out since young suicides are prominent in the news over the years.

Bullying, rejection of young love, sexuality preferences, depression all these things seem to be top reasons that the youth of today are taking their precious lives. So I wanted to see where this book went with such a heavy topic.  The book slowly releases the reasons why and what led up to the suicide of the young boy, Paul while viewing the story through Emily’s perspective. It shared the aftermath and what happens to Emily. I could see the wholes in the “support” Emily received from her parents although I believe their intentions were well meaning.

I am saddened every time I hear a person particularly a young person taking their life. I wonder what brought them to the decision and always pray that we will find better ways to support each other so that no longer becomes an option. The story was interesting and I liked how, Emily, who was a young aspiring poet loved Emily Dickenson.  The author did a great job of weaving Emily Dickenson’s poetry into the story. I have to admit that I am not well versed on poetry but this book has peaked my interest.  I think this book did a good job exploring the aftermath of suicide and the struggles of the one’s left behind in a light enough manner that it wouldn’t overwhelm a young reader.

Overall, I felt although the topic is very complicated, I thought this was a good book and not the end all but one that might give insight to the guilt of the one’s left behind and how they grieve and process the loss.  I think the inclusion of Ms. Dickenson’s poetry improved my experience with the book. If not for it, I might have a lower rating but again I liked how the author utilized the poetry to help convey more meaning throughout the book.

That said, I would give this book four butterflies.

Happy reading!



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