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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  5,265 ratings  ·  835 reviews
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 him at the altar, Van's standing behind her best friend Janie as maid of honor, trying to mask her heartache and guilt as Janie marries the only man Van's ever loved. Before, ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published June 10th 2010 by Dutton Adult
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Nancy George Maybe....but since she was expecting a "puppy" 60 lb would seem pretty big...and Shepherds don't tend to be "fat"....especially a working dog. Anyway.…moreMaybe....but since she was expecting a "puppy" 60 lb would seem pretty big...and Shepherds don't tend to be "fat"....especially a working dog. Anyway....literary license?
Dawn Yes, during an emotional crisis, the heroine uses intense swear words.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronMarley and Me by John GroganWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson RawlsThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
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Best Debut Chick Lit
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,265 ratings  ·  835 reviews

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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
Carolyn Hill
Jan 04, 2011 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
May 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Lois Baron
May 16, 2013 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
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it
A totally cute fun read.
Nov 25, 2011 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
May 21, 2010 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
Oct 24, 2011 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
Oct 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
I have no doubt that this is a book some people will adore. Me, not so much. I do appreciate this book but I still had issues with it.

This story follows Savannah, aka Van, who is pretty much the definition of a Mary Sue. Despite that, she feels like a very real and developed person, and as far as protagonists go there have been much worse.

Van is feeling really down about her ex marrying her best friend. She ends up getting drunk one night and buying a German Shepherd online. Antics ensue, as you
Mar 21, 2014 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
Oliver Schnusenberg
Nov 23, 2012 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
Cyndy Aleo
May 20, 2011 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
Sep 07, 2012 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
Mar 01, 2013 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
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
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Song for summary: Just Give Me a Reason by P!nk

I quite enjoyed this book, it was a lovely read about friendship, forgiveness, hidden love, and new beginnings. The flawed characters were charming yet relatable, and the storyline was bittersweet but also entertaining. By the end of the book I was ready to go online and order my own Slovakian German Shepherd companion.
I really loved this book! I loved how Savannah, "Van," was so realistic ... cleaning her house at odd times, wearing stained clothes, and sharing ice cream with her dog. Her story is original and funny and compelling, and her pup, Joe, is unforgettable. Any book with a German Shepherd on the cover I have to read, and I highly recommend this one. Definitely got some "Bridget Jones" vibes. ...more
Katey BC
Aug 05, 2020 rated it liked it
This is not normally my cup of tea, but my friend who doesn't read a whole lot swore up and down that it would be a fun read. She was right! I fell in love with the doggo straight away! Sometimes the protagonist annoyed me, but overall it was a nice light-hearted read. Besides, who doesn't wish that a sweet veterinarian would fall in love with them? ...more
Melissa Browne
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This book was adorable. I loved it so so much and it made me cry at one point. I love how all her relationships changed throughout the book. Honestly it was realistic in most ways which I liked, it wasn't a sugar coated fairytale. I pick up this book at a warehouse sale and I'm so happy I grabbed it last minute because I loved this book. ...more
Jun 19, 2010 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
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
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.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Stay," by Allie Larkin was one of the most fun and delightful novels I have read in years! I wish there were another word than "love" to describe how I felt about it, because love is overused, but for lack of a better word, just know that I ABSOLUTELY loved this novel! Van (Savannah) has been in love with Pete for nearly 10 years, since they met in college, but she was from the wrong side of the tracks and he never let their friendship grow into more. Instead, he married her best friend, Jane. ...more
Sep 03, 2011 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
Tara Chevrestt
Dec 18, 2009 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.

Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nls-audio
Over the past several months, I’ve become increasingly disenchanted with the romance genre, stepping away from it without much regret. But this book was a hard-drive holdover, and I’m actually glad I gave it a shot. Here’s why:

Savannah (Van) Leone has been quietly in love with Peter Clark for years. They attended the same college, but that’s where the common ground ended in many respects. Peter is well off; Van is the daughter of a women who kept house for a wealthy family in Westchester, New Yo
Lori Bree
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED this book! I first discovered Allie Larkin via her 2019 release, Swimming for Sunlight, and fell in love with her writing style and storytelling (and love of dogs!). I immediately went to the library and picked up Stay. I'm not sure which book I loved more!! I adored the characters in this book--from Van to Alex to Louis and especially Joe, the German Shepard! When Van got Joe it made me relive all of my moments of being a first time dog mom. I currently have a half lab/half G ...more
Susan Swanson
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read Allie Larkin's latest book (Swimming for Sunlight) for a book club meeting. I liked it so much, I've now gone back and read her first book. I can see how she has progressed as an author. I liked this book, but not as much as Swimming. The main character here is a little messier (both literally and figuratively). But the thing that really sets the two books apart is the supporting cast. The secondary characters in Swimming are stellar. The secondary characters in Stay are not as well ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
set within 100 miles of your location: I loved all of the Rochester references without being obnoxious. Sometimes predictability annoys me but in this book I found it comforting.
Beth Rinyu
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super cute!! Such a fun read after just getting done reading a book with a much heavier subject matter. If you're dog lover, this one will appeal to you! ...more
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