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Stay with Me

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  981 ratings  ·  124 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 kill
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published April 24th 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  981 ratings  ·  124 reviews

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Dec 23, 2007 rated it did not like it
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.
Feb 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Miss Kitty
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: girlpower
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
Nov 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, suicide
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.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Tedious, annoying, and not a single conclusion was made by the end of this book. None of the characters were likable, not even Leila's 31 year old boyfriend who decided to blissfully ignore the law and have sex with his underage girlfriend. What the hell did I just read? Was this novel full of metaphors and symbolism or was it just a bungled mess? I'd ask you to be the judge but I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The prose in this novel is beautiful. Elegant, crisp writing and lovely story telling. The story is about how a family copes with a suicide as told through the view of a teenage girl. Through a self-inflicted death (her sister gave up on life), the baby of the family helps the adults heal a bit in the "new now". It's a coming of age novel where Leila explores her sexuality and copes with learning, trying her hardest in spite of her dyslexia. She learns to love reading for great stories, not beca ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Dec 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-recommended
Freymann-Wyer, Garret Stay With Me, 238 p. Houghton –

16 year old Leila is trying to cope with the suicide death of her much older half sister and her guilty feelings for not knowing her other family better. While trying to track down a mystery man she saw with her sister at a coffee house, Leila takes a waitressing job and ends up involved with 31 year old man. As I sit writing this review, I feel like the whole premise of the book is pretty weak. I actually enjoyed watching Leila and her exten
Dee Fallon
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the Stay with Me by Garret Freymann-Wyer. It seems odd it's ok to title your book with a title already taken... I didn't know until I finished it that this was written for young adult readers, but I won't hold that against the book. Since I personally dealt with a suicide, I was interested to see how the author ended up handling it. I found what was written about suicide in the book to be familiar, accurate and sensitive. Different people react differently. Some want to search for explan ...more
Devon Munn
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a pretty decent read, but I am still hung up on

While it wasn't too present, the bits of Leila's relationship with her kinda boyfriend? Ben showed some signs I thought were problematic 1. He says too her something along the lines of 'if you date someone, I must be the first to know" and I was like That's not your business and 2. When Leila goes on a trip somewhere (I think Egypt) he calls her everyday there, which seemed a little excessive
When Leila find out reflects back on a memory of
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Insightful and steady in its exploration of love and relationship in the aftermath of family tragedy .
For me, it was a look at a different social and cultural mindset , how it is molded, and how it encourages behaviors in young people. It showed a different life experience than my own. I think it can have a wider audience than YA.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
3 stars not because this book was bad but because it was so out of place. There were some things that add up and other just a waste of time. I did enjoy part of the story but there some problems. Like why the main character couldn't stop obsessing over (spoilers )?
Christy Ngo
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wish that I had this book when I was younger. There are lots of good advice which would have been useful to my younger self.
Alanis Haik
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, and books that are alike to this one. There's the right amount of things going on at the same time to keep you interested but not so many to where you're confused. I also like this book simply because of the story line, reading this book was one of the books I have actually enjoyed reading the most (because it's hard for me to find books that I really enjoy). There's not much that I didn't like about this book, only that some parts are a bit sad but nothing too bad. It' ...more
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
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
May 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2019
Overall, I thought this was a really good book. It was quick and easy, but I was still fixed on the plot line the whole time. This was my second time reading it, as I was too young to understand it the first time. I loved the characters and became very attached to some of them (Clare especially!)
The age gap in Leila and Eamon's relationship made me uncomfortable. I didn't like the idea of a teenager with a 31-year-old man and thought that the book would've been more enjoyable if his age was redu
Apr 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
May 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
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
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
Jun 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
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
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
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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. Her next book will be published un ...more
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“Being the great love doesn't mean being the love who lasts. ” 22 likes
“In all my life I've never felt as right and certain as when I'm with him.” 15 likes
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