I think the blurb was misleading; it made the book seem really interesting, but within the first few pages, I was bored to death.
I also really liked the character of Leila Abranel because i felt like she was a very complex character whose story/ purpose came full circle by the end of the book.
The book was so different from the normal teen romance novel that deals with hot football players and bitchy prom queens and abused geeks that I continued to pick it up again after setting it aside. On the other hand the story explores relationships, love and sex in such a thoughtful way that many innocent teens will take away more knowledge about how to make their own decisions when the time comes. I appreciated the author's honesty about Leila's feeling that sex was better by herself than when she was having it with her teen friend. The writing style and subject would make this a good book-group novel for adults as well as teens.
Leilas favorite stepsister, struggling with bouts of depression her entire life, has finally made a successful suicide attempt, and 16-year old Leila is certain there has to be a reason for what her much older sister has done. Only, she meets another interesting man there 31-year old Eamon, who makes her senses hum as he gently flirts with her. In spite of all the wonderful thing about Stay With Me, its going to be a book that puts censors on high alert: an adult develops a physical relationship with a seventeen year old that toes the edge.
Primarily it is about how Leila reacts to her older sister, Rebecca's suicide. In fact, there are many times as a reader you want to yell at the characters and tell them they are making a mistake. This reoccurs in the book a few times as Leila over study pieces of Rebeccas life. Stay With Me is the ideal book to discuss as you read, you are bound to connect to many of the characters and develop strong feelings about their lives.
When Rebecca kills herself, Leila, who has a hard time figuring out the meaning of words in books because of her dyslexia, is having an even harder time trying to figure out why her sister killed herself without saying goodbye to her. A lot of people cringe when they see couples who share a significant age difference, but as I was reading this, I wanted Eamon and Leila to stay together. I just felt like these two characters belonged together and after a while, I forgot that Eamon was 15 years older than Leila.
Then again, Leila's process for making decisions, whether sexual or otherwise, is so wonderfully healthy that perhaps this is the perfect book for younger teens! She has some wonderful adults in her life, she goes to them for advice when she isn't sure what to do or how to do something, and they help her figure out her own mind.
I know that someone who contemplates suicide rarely would read a book about such a topic but I think that such a person should take the responsibility to see what affect their selfish actions could cause.
I read After the Moment and while I thought it was well-written, with intriguing characters, and involved a serious subject (like an Afterschool Special but actually good), I thought it kind of dragged and didn't keep my interest.
I liked the writing itself, the way Leila's dyslexia translated into a metaphor for the difficulty in understanding relationships and people around one - especially in adolescence.
Her next book will be published under the name Garret Weyr (Divorce.