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3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,220 Ratings  ·  731 Reviews
Read Allie Larkin's posts on the Penguin Blog.

Something Borrowed meets Must Love Dogs in this big- hearted debut about friendship, love, and a German Shepherd named Joe.

Savannah "Van" Leone has been in love with Peter Clarke ever since she literally fell head over heels in front of him on the first day of college. Now, six years later, instead of standing across from hi
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published June 10th 2010 by Dutton Adult (first published 2010)
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Dawn Yes, during an emotional crisis, the heroine uses intense swear words.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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On the surface, this books is a sweet, funny and heartwarming chick-lit story. Van is wallowing with a broken heart after the “love of her life” marries her best friend.

We get to see Van’s history with Peter unfold as she deals with the consequences of making a drunken, expensive, slobbery purchase online.

“Stekat'!" Dr. Brandt said, and Joe sat up and barked once. Dr. Brandt raised one eyebrow and looked at me.
"He's from Slovakia," I blurted out. "I accidentally bought him online." I wanted to
Carolyn Hill
Jan 04, 2011 Carolyn Hill rated it it was ok
OK, I get it that characters are supposed to be flawed like the rest of us and show some kind of growth by the end of the book, but I almost did not get past the opening chapters of "Stay". Savannah, 'Van', Leone is not very sympathetic -- a foul-mouthed drunken slob who still carries a torch for her college crush who just married her best friend. Peter, the object of her crush, seems hardly worth it. He's cute and wealthy with nice manners, but is happy to follow the lures of a cushy job and ni ...more
Kristina Simon
Aug 24, 2010 Kristina Simon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: src-summer-2010
What a wonderful story. I don't read reviews of books before I read them and, somehow, (I guess from the book's description) I'd gotten it into my head that Stay was going to be a light, fluffy romance. But really isn't. There is romance, that's true. But Stay is also about friends and how we sometimes take them for granted and how sometimes we don't know them like we think we do. It's about family, the biological and the family-of-the-heart, and about the good times and the bad. And it's about ...more
May 21, 2010 Beth rated it it was amazing
Written with a fresh voice and a compassionate heart, Ms. Larkin has crafted a story that is thoroughly entertaining and witty. When the brokenhearted Van buys a puppy off the Internet, she soon discovers that she had no idea what she was getting into. The puppy is, like so many things in life, representative of how something that seems so wrong can end up being oh, so right. While Van learns to adjust to (and love) her clumsy four-legged friend, she also undergoes a transformation that sets her ...more
Jan 25, 2011 Rainbow rated it it was amazing
I'd been on a commercial fiction fast while I worked on a manuscript and this was a great book to break it with. (Or ... with which to break it.) Larkin has a rich, descriptive voice, and all of her characters are delightfully messy and complicated. Once I started, it was hard not to finish the whole book in one gulp. Also, I feel like I should mention that -- even though there is a dog in this book, and he's adorable -- this not a Dog Book. It's more about the way people get tangled up in each ...more
Mar 25, 2014 Ian rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dog lovers.
After Peter, the guy she has loved for years, marries her best friend, Van goes on a bender drinking a lot of vodka and watching re-runs of Rin Tin Tin. Alone and lonely she impulsively buys a dog online. When the dog arrives at the airport from Slovakia she finds a whole lot more than she was expecting. Joe turns out to be a fully trained law enforcement German Shepherd that only obeys commands spoken in Slovakian.

Joe soon brings Alex, a vet specialising in large dogs into her life and in him
May 16, 2013 Lois rated it did not like it
I wanted to like it. Honest, I did. The cover is cute as all get out, for pete's sake.

But what we have is a Savannah, known to her friends as Van, a woman who puts her romantic life on hold over a crush--for seven years! Ack.

And when the crush, Peter, finally ties the knot with Van's best friend, Janie (cliche alert), he immediately realizes that the girl he got was incredibly high-maintenance, putting him in the "too dumb to live" category. Nonetheless, he goes off with new wife--on a honeymoo
Cyndy Aleo
May 20, 2011 Cyndy Aleo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Most of the books I pick up are things that look interesting at the library or a friend recommends. I'm never one to read bestseller lists or New York Times reviews, but I started hearing some pre-release buzz about Allie Larkin's Stay, and added it to my Amazon wishlist to track it. When I realized she was from the same city I am and an alum of my college, it bumped up to a must-read, and I ordered it right after it was released.

::: The Plot :::

Savanannah Leone has lost everything. Her father t
Oct 24, 2011 Meg rated it it was amazing
Oh, how I loved Allie Larkin's Stay. Nevermind that I'm a total dog lover who thinks her golden retriever has human qualities and really "gets" her. Or that I'm a sucker for love triangles and tales of first love, especially when they're coupled with the struggles and triumphs of modern dating.

This is just a really great book.

Stay surprised me in the absolute best way possible. I'll admit that I accepted a review copy based solely on that adorable pup on the cover (don't judge) and expected a l
Oliver Schnusenberg
Nov 23, 2012 Oliver Schnusenberg rated it really liked it
Ok, this has got to be a the book equivalent of a chick-flic :-) I bought it because I love dogs (have two) and thought the book was mostly about the dog. I started reading, and it is not about the dog, but mostly about the antagonist's personal life. Had I known that, I would have been unlikely to buy the book.

To make things weirder - I really liked this book :-) It was heartwarming, (minor spoiler alert), had a happy ending on all fronts and was well-written. We went to Thanksgiving dinner ye
Reynolds Robin
May 16, 2013 Reynolds Robin rated it it was ok
When I was reading the book, "CHEESY!" was what echoed in my mind all the time!
I love romantic and pet stories; and I bought this book hoping I can read more lovely stories about some dogs, but I was disappointed on how the story was structured: there is a dog in the story, but the story is more centered on the poor pitiful girl - Van.
I'm not saying all stories should centered only on the dogs, but "Stay" can just dispose the idea of the dog and still progresses fine.
I mean, there is just so lit
นางเอกทีตกหลุมรักเพือนชายตังแตพบกันวันแรก จนหกปีตอมาเธอตองมายืนเปนเพือนเจาสาวแทนเปนเจาสาวเสียเอง

เมือผิดหวังจากรักครังแรก (ทีจริงกคือแอบรักโดยไมเคยบอกใหเจาตัวหรือแมแตเพือนรักรู)เธอกินเหลาจนเมา ความเหงาประจวบกับความสินหวังเธอเขาไปซือลูกสุนัขจากตางประเทศในเวบ เธอคิดวาการมีลูกสุนัขตัวเลกๆ ไวคอยเปนเพือนคงไมใชเรืองยาก แตเมือปรากฎวาลูกสุนัขตัวเลก ๆ กลับกลายเปนลูกสุนัขตัวโตเบอเริม ชีวิตทีเงียบเหงาของเธอกเปลียนไปในขามวัน เพราะเจาลูกสุนัขตัวนีแหละเปนพอสือใหเธอไดพบกับรักครังใหม

I'm a dog lover. Big time. Every book with good, fun dog character in it usually makes a story so much better. This time, although Joe the German Shepherd "puppy" was adorable and one of the best behaving dogs I've read about, he could not save the story for me.

At first, it looked promising and funny. To get over the heartbreak of her best friend marrying the man of her dreams, Savannah gets really drunk and accidentally buys a puppy online from Slovakia. This should have been the first warning.
Jul 24, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Savannah “Van” Leone has just watched the love of her life, Peter, marry her best friend Janie. Wallowing in sadness and Kool-Aid vodka cocktails, Van impulsively orders a German Shepard puppy online from Slovakia, who she names Joe. After the purchase, she realizes he cost $6,000, and when he arrives, he’s a lot bigger than expected, and only understands commands in Slovakian. Though he’s a bit much, Van loves him something fierce. He helps heal her heart, broken from losing the love of her lif ...more
Dec 21, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit, dog
Craicky, I found a link to chick-lit novels that feature pets, mainly dogs. I am screwed! But if this book is any indication on what is to come, I might give up soon. It was cute, but lame at the same time and didn't really bring anything new to the table.

Girl is all sad that her best friend (whose parents employed her mother, so they are sort of more like sisters then anything) married the guy she had been crushing on in college (Something Blue, anyone??) and in a fit of drunkenness, buys a Ger
Lydia Laceby
Originally Reviewed at Novel Escapes

If I could recommend only one book to read this summer, it might very well be Stay. There’s some stiff competition, but I adored this book from Joe’s doggie antics, to Van’s journey. This book captured my heart – so much so that I wanted to reach out and wrap my arms around Van at every turn. Stay is about unrequited love, finding oneself and starting over and was wrapped in warmth and humour. It’s touching, charming and full of laugh out loud moments along th
Dec 05, 2011 Adrienne rated it it was ok
I left like I was misled into picking this book up. I was hoping for a Marley and Me type story about raising a hellish dog, but what I got instead was a chick book with a dog thrown in to advance the plot. I don't read many of these kind of books - the kind where the female protagonist won't leave the house without makeup on and she is in love with the man her best friend is marrying and she meets a very different kind of guy and blah blah blah. Her characters, though, were much more three dime ...more
Apr 26, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing
A charming, big-hearted novel about Savannah (Van), a young woman who has devoted the last few years of her life to pining after her good friend from college, Peter, who falls in love with her childhood best friend, Janie. When the two officially tie the knot, however, she is finally forced to make a clean break. Drunk and lonely one night, she "accidentally" buys a German shepherd puppy from Slovakia over the internet, and her life gets just the shake-up she's been needing. I loved the complex ...more
Susan Bazzett-griffith
May 11, 2016 Susan Bazzett-griffith rated it really liked it
I loved this book. The first two chapters or so I was very "meh", figuring it would be more typical chick lit, and it was, sort of, and it was a tad predictable, but once I hit about 1/4 of the way through the book, I didn't want to put it down at all. The characterization was real and vivid and the dog-- I LOVED the dog! The book made me laugh several times and cry a little. Allie Larkin's writing is very reminiscent in tone and style to my all time favorite woman author, Jennifer Weiner. I can ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Jun 05, 2010 Tara Chevrestt rated it it was amazing
This is not a story about a dog really.. but about a young woman struggling with heartbreak, loss, and life in general and the dog helps her thru it.

Full review:

Superb. 5 stars.

Jul 31, 2014 Lily rated it it was ok
This book was so random. I didn't understand why the characters did whatever they did. I liked Van sometimes, especially when she is with Joe. Joe made everything hilarious. But other times Van is so annoying and like a doormat? She let Peter force her to set up a party. What the hell? I wouldn't even let them in my house and WHY does it have to be in her house?
Peter was such a selfish bastard I don't even know what Van liked about him. And what the hell is wrong with Janie? Jane? or whatever h
Mar 22, 2016 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
I'm not even sure that I can begin to describe how much I loved this book. I'll admit, the beginning made me a bit wary (those types of situations are just heartbreaking to me), but the book only got better as it went along. Starting around the time she comes home from the wedding and gets completely drunk, this book had me laughing hard and laughing often. I started the book kind of hoping Peter would come to his senses and leave Janie, but I didn't exactly like that either. It's not like Janie ...more
Sep 20, 2010 Molly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who loves canines and a good laugh
Recommended to Molly by: PUYB
Allie Larkin is a talented young author, there is no doubt about that. She captured me instantly with her witty humor and characters that pull you into the story, making you one of them. Allie Larkin is a new author who will rise to the top if she continues with captivating novels such as this one!

Stay is a story that will do one of three things: make you laugh, make you cry, or both. I did both. I laughed at all the humorous thoughts and antics that Allie added to Van's life. I cried when I sa
Aug 03, 2011 Mandy rated it it was amazing
The protagonist of Stay, by Allie Larkin, Savannah “Van” Leone has a problem – the man (Peter) that she’s in love with just married her best friend, Janie. It’s more complicated than that however, not only is Janie from a privileged family, but Van grew up in her carriage house. Her late mother, Natalie, was the housekeeper for Janie’s family (and also Diane, Janie’s mother’s best friend.) Yes. Her life is complex and not free of drama.

And it didn’t help any when, rather than drunk-dialing or dr
Janie is Savannah's (Van's) best friend since childhood. Peter is the man she literally fell for her first day of college. Her biggest mistake was introducing them to each other. That is why as this book starts she is dressed up looking like a satin orange pumpkin as maid of honor at their wedding.

After the wedding hoopla she decides to drown her sorrows with a little Vodka and a Rin-Tin-Tin movie marathon. During the night she drunk orders a puppy off the internet. When the puppy arrives she f
Kira Stann
Aug 08, 2010 Kira Stann rated it it was amazing
Book Review: Stay, by Allie Larkin
The characters spring to life from the first sentence in Allie Larkin’s debut novel, Stay. Savannah “Van” Leone has sacrificed other possible relationships and put all her hopes and dreams in one basket. She is devastated when her ultimate love blindsides her, begins a romance with her best friend, and marrying Janie instead of Van. There are always consequences to alcohol consumption, as Savannah soon finds out. She orders a dog from the internet to assuage her
Aug 07, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing
Well I have been waiting to read Stay by Allie Larkin since reading my friend Sheree's review late last year, and immediately after reading her review have had it on pre-order from Book Depository.
Thankfully it arrived a few days ago and I started reading it straight away and really didn't put it down until I'd finished.
The star of this book for me is Joe, a gorgeous German Shepherd puppy that Van orders over the internet from Slovakia after a night of a few too many Vodka Kool-Aids. Van is drow
Jul 01, 2010 Carol rated it it was amazing
Man, I loooved this book!

Though I am a couple of decades older than the protagonist of Stay, I can remember how it felt to be a few years past college and a few years shy of what I considered "adulthood". Van is floundering in this particular gray zone, without the support of parents or siblings. Her two best friends, one her secret crush for years, have found each other and gotten married, and Van feels like her world has come to an end.

It is against this backdrop of unfairness and emotional t
Sep 03, 2011 Jan rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, chick-lit
I'm borrowing parts of this review from another one of my chick-lit book reviews, largely because, on some level, all of these chick-lit books are basically the same.

Okay, let's be honest here. If you're anything like me, you don't read a book like this because it's a lyrical masterpiece or because you expect to get a lot out of it. You read it for entertainment, and because you like things that wrap up in nice boxes with happy endings. You read it because it's fun. Like candy for the brain.

In t
Rachna R
Feb 21, 2013 Rachna R rated it really liked it
I read this from around 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., straight through, and I mention this because I don't know if it was lateness and sleep deprivation alone, or the effectiveness of writing, or how easy it was for me to empathise with the lead character of this book - but wow, I cried. I cried three chapters in, and then every once in a while something would happen and my heart would sink all over again.

I want to liken this to a YA novel? not for any reason except for the way this book felt. it felt. it
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Allie Larkin is the internationally bestselling author of the novel Stay, and Why Can’t I Be You (2013). She has never ordered a dog off the internet or assumed a new identity to attend a high school reunion. When Allie writes, she wears an oversized circa 1980’s acrylic sweater that is a crime against fashion and good taste in general. She loves Boston. The band, not the city. But the city is gre ...more
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