And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Nope. This is just not for me on so many different levels. This book would have been a DNF (Did Not Finish) if it hadn't been so short, and if I hadn't been listening on the airplane to try to pass time.
I just have these 6 quick things to say, then I wish you the best of luck, if you decide to read anyway. I hope you fare better than I did.
1. Pronunciation matters. And this story has a mispronounced word that is repeated (intentionally) so often it makes me want to peel my skin off. With a spoon.
2. It lacks real depth. Very heavy topics are handled in a flip manner that takes away from the intensity of the events, in a very uncomfortable and indifferent sort of way.
3. The characters are all bland and shallow and don't grow or develop into something deeper or more interesting.
4. Plot: snooze-fest
5. I love poetry, particularly Emily Dickinson, so this should have been an ideal book for me. But nope. The poetry tie in feels so at odds with the story, world, and characters...like everything is disjointed in the most uncomfortable and awkward sort of way. Somehow, this story made poetry annoying and boring, when the truth of the matter is that I absolutely love poetry, both reading and writing it, which should have made me the perfect reader for this book. But again. Nope.
6. You know how the adults on the Peanuts talk? Wa-waaah-wa-wahh-wah-wa. That's what almost every chapter felt like to me. A few pretty sentences just doesn't fix a story that lacks real depth and emotion.
I don't recommend this to anyone. Instead, I'd point people at better stories over the same complex topics (school shootings, suicide, abortion, etc.). And now that I just wrote that and read it back, I've realized this book shouldn't have tried to tackle so many big issues in so few pages. It didn't handle any of them well or thoroughly.