Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stay With Me by Paul Griffin

Stay with MeStay with Me by Paul Griffin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved, loved, loved this book! I loved Paul Griffin's Mack Morse and the slow way he is drawn to CeCe (even though her older brother Anthony sees them together)but this is a very tough book to read; at one point I was so unsettled, I was unsure if I wanted to continue to read. I am so glad I did! Mack has a record, he doesn't look you in the eye, and he has a father who is mostly drunk (that is why mom left)but Anthony sees the good in Mack and it is this good that the reader must constantly go back to because Mack is his own worst enemy in some ways. But the things I loved the most about Mack is his LOVE for pit bulls and the uncanny way he has of calming them and his deep, abiding love for CeCe. Their relationship was so beautiful; they tell each other their secrets and give of themselves totally for each other. I needed to remember this throughout this story because when bad things happened (and they happened alot)I was plunged to the depths of despair for this 15 year old boy, who is not a student due to dyslexia, and can't seem control his rage on his own. It is the wonderful pit bulls that Griffin uses to heal Mack and CeCe and later her family. The other characters like CeCe's mom and Vince are so real. Vince sees Mack as a dog trainer and works to make Mack believe he can truly succeed in this profession. CeCe's mom is a mess; she loves her family but handles stress by drinking, coloring her hair and baking most bad cornbread. What I liked about Griffin's characters is that they all see the goodness in Mack even if he doesn't see it in himself and it is this abiding belief in him as a person they love and believe in that must sustain them all. I think this urban fiction will appeal to girls, guys and the reluctant reader. Also the dog lover, especially those who love the pit bulls, despite their bad rap. This book is a romance, realistic, and a stunning YA novel I will be recommending to my students.

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