Stay with Me
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Stay with Me

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  746 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Leila Abranel was born some twenty years after her sisters. Her elegant sisters from her father’s first marriage have lives full of work, love affairs, and travel. Leila doesn’t know either of them very well, but she loves hearing about them—details of Rebecca’s ruined marriage, Clare’s first job, and the strings of unsuitable boyfriends.

When Rebecca kills...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published April 24th 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Mar 31, 2008 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers
Stay With Me, by Garret Freymann-Weyr was a very enjoyable book. It wasn't just a sappy teen story but had depth and mystery as well. The story focuses on a girl named Leila Abranel who experienced a tragedy: the death of her step sister. Although she didn't really know her step sister that well, the death still hit pretty hard and the whole family was affected because of also the death of the sisters mother earlier that year. The book follows Leila's life after these tragedies and shows how she...more
I didn't like this book at all. 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 finished the book, thinking maybe it would get better, but it didn't. Since the book talked a lot about family history and stuff like that, it didn't keep me very interested in it. There isn't much to say about this lackluster book. It wasn't that good in my opinion, I just didn't like it.
Leila Abranel is the youngest in her family. Her father is in his seventies and her mother is a little younger than him, while her two half-sisters, Clare and Rebecca, are in their thirties.

Leila is a dyslexic teenager who is forced by her parents to act older and more mature. The only person her age she hangs out with, is her boyfriend Ben, who is becoming less of a boyfriend and more of a mistake.

When Rebecca kills herself, Leila, who has a hard time figuring out the meaning of words in book...more
This was a book that touched me deeply having been affected by a friend's attempted suicide. In someways the topic was more taboo than if she had gone through with it simply because it felt like everyone wanted to attach blame -- yet absolving her of any guilt -- and then forget that it had ever happened.
I don't condone all of the plot or character's choices or even the outlook of some of the characters but the shattering loss and coping mechanisms of each character were familiar and painful.
I r...more
There is so much to love about this book: the cake metaphors, the interesting characters, the sad but hopeful mood. Leila’s 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. Months later when her physician parents leave for Poland, Leila opts to stay with her remaining stepsister, the coolly elegant Clare, who assists with Leila...more
Clueless Morgan
I am SO angry that I wasted my time on this book! I am even more angry that I bothered to finish it instead of dumping it right into the "no, thank you" pile after the affair between a 16 yr old girl and a 31 yr old man got going. I just had to keep reading so that I could know for sure, that there was no way an author of a YOUNG ADULT book could be SO irresponsible as to blur the lines between romance and pedophilia, that there would be some lesson instead. There wasn't. She did. I just can't b...more
Sixteen-year-old Leila Abranel is the only child of her father's second marriage; she has two half sisters, Rebecca and Clare, from his first marriage. When Rebecca commits suicide, Leila's life is completely and irrevocably changed. While her parents leave for a year in Poland for work, Leila lives with her remaining half sister Clare and her sort-of cousin Raphael. She spends her time trying to unravel her family's history and to find out the reason behind Rebecca's suicide. The choices she ma...more
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. It definitely isn't the right book for chick-lit set.

It thoughtfully moseys along weaving together a story that includes unusual family relationships and wisdom that is passed down from one generation to another. The basic message of 'trust yourself to know what you should do when the time comes' isn...more
Stay With Me is a highly satisfying read. Primarily it is about how Leila reacts to her older sister, Rebecca's suicide. Leila wants to know more about why her sister took her own life as well as wanting to know more about what she was like when she was still alive. She goes on quite a few adventures to research anything she believes will tell her more about Rebecca. During this time there a few different people who take Leila under their wing. One is her other older sister who she slowly grows...more
There were several things I really liked about this book. I think sex and other big life questions were dealt with in a way that might encourage teens to talk to a trusted adult without fear of repercussions. And, if they don't feel comfortable talking to someone in their life, it's still nice to see things presented in such a non-threatening way.

I thought Leila was a really interesting character. Her inner dialogue was written so eloquently...she clearly had a lot of confusion in her life and F...more
Feb 06, 2012 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ala, teens
Once I started reading, I couldn't put this book down. It is a beautiful and compelling portrayal of a teenager trying to navigate her way through the "new now" after one of her much-older sisters commits suicide. Protagonist Leila is interesting and likable, and there's a good cast of well-fleshed-out supporting characters. It's a wonderful story of love and loss and family and learning to trust yourself.

There is sex, but it's not graphic, and the focus is on the emotional aspects rather than t...more
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.

I wasn't particularly a fan of Leila or her sister Clare. I was curious to know more about Rebecca, but it felt like the author gave up on that mystery towards the end of the book - as Leila fell more in love with her 31-year old boyfriend. (I also wasn't so much of a fan of the 17 year old/ 31 year old relationship....more
10/2012 I wanted to revisit this one after my uncle's suicide, and I'm glad I did. There's more depth for me here now, though I didn't get any more answers than Leila did.

5/2006 Clear, quiet and entrancing coming-of-age story. Leila is as real a character as you could wish for, and she inhabits her odd, semi-detached family with a certain prickly ease. We learn here about the ripples cast by Leila's older half-sister's suicide, and what a family can do after a tragedy like this. Just lovely. Be...more
Amazing; it's a true portrait of brilliant characters. Leila, the main character, is funny and endearing- you can't help but hope for her. The odd mix of inner discovery and a family dealing with a suicide create an atmosphere as instnse as Garret Freymann-Weyr's language. Beautifully written, and artfully told, Stay With Me is one of my favorite books. I've read it a couple of time because each time I read it I discover something new about the story. It's comforting, fulfilling, and emotionally...more
I feel that a lot of my friends did not look closely to this book and just said "it was ok." I can understand why; its a very simple read, but it tackles issues that a are difficult for a human, let alone a teenager, to deal with. People have to understand that it is not an easy task to realize/solve an issue that one repressed for so long. I don't want to say too much because every detail, I feel, is important. Give it a chance. Its simple ending is not as simple as it seems.
i dont normally write reviews on here, but this novel really touched me.

this is a story of a 16 year old who has 2 half-sisters from her fathers prior marriage. the sister that she is close with commits suicide, and the girl spends a lot of time questioning why, and trying to find a deeper meaning behind her sisters death.

there are also very genuine family moments, and a great love story.

it just really hit close to home, and i loved it.
Wonderful story about a teen girl who looks into the meaning of her older sisters suicide. Leila is a very mature 16/17 year old so I really enjoyed this YA novel (despite the fact that I am a few years past that age). The book is a very fast read and if I have any complaint it only be that I could have had more of this story. More flesh on its bones. It is however a beautiful story of loss, love and discovery that I recommend.
Talk about a book I will never forget reading. This book easily ranks as one of those I think about all the time and I doubt I will ever forget it because it touched me in such a profoud way.
All I can say is amazing. It's so different from what you think it'll be and yet so perfect. The ending, while seemingly incomplete, was great for the book.
I read this book during a hard time, and I really liked it. It helped me see how to grow up even through a tough time.
The book Stay With Me is a wonderful story about love and loss and how one can lead straight to the other. Leila Abranel feels that she has been left behind when her much older sister, Rebecca, decides to take her own life. Rebecca was 20 years older than Leila and they had just truly begun to get to know one another. Leila was beginning to feel like she could talk to Rebecca about things that she couldn't talk to her parents about and then she overdosed on pills and ended any chance of a relati...more
What would be your first reaction if you received the news that a loved one has just been the victim of suicide? In the fictional novel, Stay With Me by Garret Freyman-Weyr, sixteen year old Leila Abranel not only endures the shock of losing her half sister Rebecca, but the questions and mystery she leaves behind as well. Why did she take her own life? Did she show signs of what she was planning to do to herself that were ignored? Why didn’t she even say goodbye? These intriguing questions beco...more
I absolutely love this book!!!!! It has to be on my list of most read books. I discovered Stay With Me by chance in the book section of the Costco by my house. I was almost in the fifth grade and looking for something interesting and challenging. I was probably already on a high school reading level by that time and nothing I read for my age was entertaining or satisfying. This book opened up a whole new world for me. It was the first time I had read a YA novel, and I loved every single page. I...more
This is a book I wish I read when I was younger, as I think it would have had an impact on me.
This book was wonderful in that it dealt with issues such as suicide, relationships, and sexuality in a non-biased, completely realistic way.
All of the characters were fleshed-out and had distinct personalities. I liked all the characters. Maybe I wasn't too fond of Ben because he became an immature teenage boy who couldn't handle a breakup better, but we weren't supposed to love Ben because he wasn't...more
Exogenously, at least, this book appears to be about suicide. But it is not, really, anymore than any of us are really what we appear to be from the outside. The suicide it appears to concern is that of Rebecca, the older half-sister of our heroine, Leila Abranel. Leila is at once a young and old soul, who looked up to her sister (the fact that she is only half a one makes a difference, but only a slight one) with an almost childlike awe, and takes her motive as a mystery to solve, but takes her...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for

When Leila's much older sister, Rebecca, kills herself, it changes the lives of everyone who knew her, and many people who didn't. But did anyone really know Rebecca, or just the face she showed them? This is just one of the questions that Leila can't help but ask herself in the months after her sister's death. Did she know Rebecca? Or did she only know Rebecca through her interactions with other people? Leila knows her father. She knew her father's...more
Miss Kitty
Whoa, this was way better than I thought it would be. 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 had to make myself finish it. I would say that the pacing of this novel is similar. I can call After the Moment snoresworthy but I'll be nice about Stay With Me and say it's deliberate or careful. Freymann-Weyr de...more
leila abranel's older half sister, rebecca, has just killed herself, and leila is determined to find out why. she treats the question in a similar way to her struggle with dislexia- slowly planning, gathering evidence, going over it again. in the year that follows, she discovers things not only about rebecca, but about herself.

i loved how the abranel family stresses the importance of being an interesting person. indeed, i found all the characters very interesting. i'm still a bit confused about...more
A reader on this site started her review this way:

"How do you come to terms with a father who lived a different life with a different family before you were born? How do you know if love will stay with you when you have evidence of it leaving all around you?"

Ouch! This might be hard for me to read . . . but it has almost all positive reviews, so that's a good sign.


This was finally on the library shelf, so I grabbed it. Not sure if I should finish the one I'm reading before I start this, or...more
teens book


"Sometimes it's easier to believe other people instead of listening to what you hope for," he says. p301

Now that school is over, the lull between exams and the start of summer plans gives Ben and me a few days to spend time together as we used to. We play cards, listen to music, and look through Ben's collection of industrial design books. We've never read any of them closely, but the diagrams of vacuum cleaners and the inside of early computers are pretty cool.
Ben's fath...more
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Garret Freymann-Weyr (rhymes with 'I'm on fire") is a novelist and teacher whose seven books have been banned, translated into a multitude of languages, and included in college curricula. She is a Printz honor award recipient and her short stories have been published in the Greensboro Review, the now sadly missed Christopher Street, and the anthology Starry Eyed.

She is a native of New York City a...more
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“Being the great love doesn't mean being the love who lasts. ” 21 likes
“In all my life I've never felt as right and certain as when I'm with him.” 14 likes
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