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Stay with Me

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,084 ratings  ·  289 reviews
An urban romance that will capture your soul, break your heart, and restore your faith in the human spirit

Fifteen-year-olds Cece and Mack didn't expect to fall in love. She's a sensitive A student; he's a high school dropout. But soon they're spending every moment together, bonding over a rescued dog, telling their secrets, making plans for the future. Everything is perfec
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 8th 2011 by Dial Books
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  2,084 ratings  ·  289 reviews

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Oct 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Sita by: Jordyn{readingmonster}
I’m gonna start this review by apologizing, I am sorry I didn’t love this book like I wanted to and I’m sorry I couldn’t even finish it.


That's seriously how I felt, or maybe I still feel bad for faking sick to get out of going to this persons house. My mum comes home and says "their 16 year old daughter would have really loved to meet you, your practically the same age. You would have liked her. But no Sita you were sick" she said quoting the air to emphasise the sick. I mean who's mum does that
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I’m usually a complete sucker with these type of stories; a boy with a reputation meets a sweet innocent straight A student girl. Girl and boy both fall for each other. Boy does something stupid and then pushes girl away telling her they can’t be together anymore, boy says cruel things to girl to try and convince her that he never loved her, girl doesn’t believe it to be true, says will never give up on their love and that they were meant to be together.

Stay with Me follows a similar
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
Oh. My. Goodness. This book had me laughing and crying all at once. It was so believable. I don't even know where to start...

CeCe and Mark are great. But then, so are Vic, Tony and CeCe's mom. Every character was so well written. I felt like I knew them-- like CeCe and Mack could have been my students. All of the characters are broken in some way, which makes them that much more amazing. They all deal with real issues and have to learn to live with their imperfections. It was so honest and hear
Stay With Me is a fast-paced novel told in alternating POVs between fifteen-year-olds Mack and Céce over the course of one hundred and two days.

Reading through this book was a struggle for me at first. I could not connect with the characters. Didn't feel much of anything for them. The relationship between Céce and Mack.... It seemed like I blinked and they were already all over each other, saying how much they were in love. I felt like I missed something. Eventually I just let it go, and after t
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow. There are really no words to explain my feelings for this amazing book! Raw and real, Griffin delivers an emotional read that will stick wither readers.

The first 50 pages or so were a bit slower paced, and I wasn't as in to the story. All at once, I fell head over heels in love with it and didn't want to put it down! Stay With Me is a very different kind of story, and the experiences the characters had were very interesting to read about, as it was a completely new world to me.

Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I started crying 10 minutes before the end of the book and a good ten minutes after. That's how much the characters and their situation meant to me.

Two city kids fall in love. Cece and Mack have things in common - both have single parents with alcohol problems. Both live in tough, hard-scrabble neighbourhoods. But they are very different too - Cece is clever, and determined to study hard and get out of her going-nowhere school. Mack is illiterate. Cece's mother may drink, but she is loving and f
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As a teenager, I fell head over heels in love with a man. With me he was sweet and gentle and loving. On his own, he was someone else. As I read Stay With Me, I connected with Cece and fell into the story as hard and fast as Alice fell into Wonderland.

Cece is just living life, trying to stay afloat yet trying to do something to make her life better. Along comes a long a boy who has a sorted past. The two fall in love and have this passion for each other and life. Mack has a gift working with do
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Paul Griffin is undoubtedly one of the most talented YA writers writing today. This novel is a brilliant work, just as good Ten Mile River and The Orange Houses. His respect for teens shines through. He dignifies teenage love, instead of exploiting or patronizing it. This is just one thing that makes Griffin a cut above other writers of YA lit. Love the guy. Love the book.
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Posted at

Stay with me is one of those thoroughly readable books that completely sucks you in with it's gritty urban setting, wonderfully lovable flawed characters and heartbreaking story.

Cece and Mack are 15 years old, she's smart, takes care of her alcoholic mother and worries about her older brother going off to war. Mack has had a troubled upbringing, despite being painfully shy he has huge anger management issues but is the kind of kid who you know ha
Tara Calaby
(1.5 stars)

3 Things I Liked About Stay With Me

(1) There is an extremely strong use of voice throughout Stay With Me. Griffin does a great job of differentiating between his two protagonists through the way they tell their stories. The reader is unlikely to become confused about who is speaking, because the two voices are very different.

(2) The character of Vic is fantastic. His unwavering belief in the people around him is extremely important to making this book readable, despite the overwhelmin
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this book because of its focus on pit bulls and rescue dogs. While it is not a very well-written book I enjoyed it. But I enjoyed the second half far more than the first half of the book. The first half of the book focuses on the love story between Mack and Cece but it is too quick and not particularly interesting as I did not find Cece to be as interesting as the other characters in the book particulary Vic, Mack, Carmella, Wash, and Tony. What is interesting is the author's knowledge an ...more
Absolutely loved this book, really shows how life can be unfair but also how to seek out making it better for yourself and those you love.
Kayleigh Einspahr
In this story, there was a girl that originally got cheated on by her old boyfriend. More into the story she met this guy at one of her friends party and he fell for her but she didn’t want to be with anyone because of her last boyfriend and what he did. I liked this book very much because it relates to stuff that can happen in real life. I also like that they talked about how Cameron and Elizabeth never saw each other besides at the party. Near the end the narrator was talking about how the gir ...more
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4 stars.

"Nothing cuts you worse than a slow fade."

It cuts me knowing that this story is over and I'll never know if Mack and Cece will ever see each other again. As a fan of romance, bad boys, and doggies (especially Pitbulls), I felt like I hit the jackpot when I picked this book up. And by golly I did! I love Paul's writing style and the way he immediately capture's the reader's attention by introducing two realistic characters I've come to adore and love. Including Boo. The story was
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Short Story? – A powerful novel about first love, loss and hope. Griffin has written a moving coming-to-age novel that will influence readers of all ages. A bittersweet love story, a mutual heartbreak and the painful process of moving on. Stay with Me is an excellent work of fiction that discusses issues that are faced by teenagers all around the world. Beautiful and heavily influential, Stay with Me is fantastic!

The Long Story? – I didn’t cry but I think that if I didn’t read the ending fir
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A story about doomed love, and pitbulls. About abuse of animals, and people. As vulnerable as it is heart-warming.

Mack's got a shady past, a stint in juvenile justice and the static in his head that he can't always control. He doesn't hold anything against his mother for leaving him with his bitter, alcoholic father. Says he would have done the same thing.

His greatest gift came from his mother, because she taught him the way of the dogs. How to speak to them, earn their trust and obedience. And
Jun 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
A well written and touching story, Stay With Me tugged at my heartstrings. This realistic coming of age book has a compelling story, vivid characters, and lovable rescue dogs. I was hooked on this emotional story immediately and found it to be a moving and inspiring read.

Our protagonists’ story is told over 102 days. Céce (pronounced Chee Chee) and Mack are 15 and in the throes of first love. Even though they are from different worlds, they are drawn to each other and spend every moment they can
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
In Short
- Stay With Me has two strong characters that are put in numerous difficult situations.
- The characters actions are never predictable but are also very real.
- What brings the characters together also rips them apart – I loved this!
- Paul took this book in different directions with other authors would never think about, let alone do.

Stay With Me was a book I wanted to read as soon as I saw the cover. I can’t really tell you why, maybe it’s because I love relati
Alex Bennett
Please check out Electrifying Reviews for more reviews like this, plus giveaways, interviews, and more!

I was weary of reading Stay With Me. I didn't know if it was at all going to be something I'd enjoy, but I decided that I'd give it a shot anyway. Despite my reservations, I soon found myself attached to the story enough to want to continue and finish the book, however it isn't a book I'm particularly fond of enough to say I loved it or to recommend it to everyone I meet. I did enjoy it, howeve
Emma K
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
“Stay With Me” by Paul Griffin is a story about two teenagers living in the ghetto. One of the teenagers, Mack, has had a rough life. His mom died when he was young, leaving him with few memories of her. The only memories he has of her is her ability to train dogs. Mack has an incredible talent of working with and training dogs too. He’s nursed back to health dozens of dogs from dog fights and trained them so they could find a place to live. His dad, an alcoholic, is hardly ever home... If you c ...more
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
Review originally posted in:

The cover totally represents the story! I like how the dog is in the middle, between the guy and the girl. It feels as if the dog is one of the main reasons how they both got together or connected to each other!


They come and go, but will you stay?

Stay With Me is a heart-breaking beautiful story of two different teenagers who find love unexpectedly. This book is more than just a love story. It's about understanding y
Sara Latta
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
A Love Story for Dog Lovers

“A hundred and two days.” So begins Paul Griffin’s young adult novel, “Stay With Me” (Dial Books, 2011). That’s probably about the length of the average teenage romance, Griffin writes, but the relationship between Mack Morse and Céce Vaccuccia is anything but average.
Mack is a shy fifteen year-old high school dropout with a learning disability and a criminal record. His mother has been AWOL since he was eight, driven away by his brutal, alcoholic father. But he has g
Samantha  Hamby -8
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
In Stay With Me, Paul Griffin tells a lively story of Mack Morse, a troubled 17 year old boy, and Céce Vacuccia, a very smart & educated 15 year old girl. Mack gets a job at the same place Céce works, and doesn't do much talking. They are two very opposite people as he is a high-school drop out that has been in juvy, and she is a nice, shy girl. Céce's brother eventually sets them up as he leaves for the army, and from there on out they have a nice fantasy love story with a dog they rescued. But ...more
Loved, loved, loved this book! I loved Paul Griffin's Mack Morse and the slow way he is drawn to CeCe (even though her older brother Anthony sees them together)but this is a very tough book to read; at one point I was so unsettled, I was unsure if I wanted to continue to read. I am so glad I did! Mack has a record, he doesn't look you in the eye, and he has a father who is mostly drunk (that is why mom left)but Anthony sees the good in Mack and it is this good that the reader must constantly go ...more
Bailey (IB Book Blogging)
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
All I have to say is--WOW. I am still in awe of how beautifully crafted Stay With Me is. It is such an emotional roller coaster ride! The love between Céce and Mack is so raw and powerful. What I love best about this book is that there are serious issues that Céce and Mack have to deal with and I was never certain whether or not they could be worked out. If you are looking for a lovey-dovey, typical romance, this is not the book for you. But if you want a story that has a love that is pure and t ...more
Sab H.  (YA Bliss)
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Holy cow! This was gruesome. And POTENT. Hell, it frekin' hit me in the gut. HARD. Auch. But it was AH-mazing!! I had never read anything by this author before. This was a step-out-of-your-comfort-zone read all over. From the writing to the setting, and from the characters to the story. Step out of your comfy apartment and step into the black world of the streets. A whole new reality for me. Griffin made everything come alive. Every single character was unique and perfectly done. Impeccable sett ...more
Brandi Kosiner
This is a very fast paced story that deals with tough but real life issues. It is gritty, and I recommend for mature teens. The characters are very believable, down to earth and authentic, and even though I didn't relate a whole lot with some of their circumstances, I really felt for them and wanted for them to come out on top.
Tony and Vic are two of the minor characters who really got to me.. Their ability to see the best in people, work to bring it out, and selflessly give really impressed
John Wetterholt
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Cece and Mack are two teens who meet while working in a small busy restaurant in an unnamed big city (which I took to be New York). Cece is a gifted student, and Mack is a "bad boy" with anger-management issues, an arrest record, and a knack for training dogs. They become a couple, and their relationship is immediately tested by an incident of rage that lands Mack in jail. Written from alternating points of view, with well-drawn characters, insightful writing and a strong plot that plays up the ...more
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
First of all, I love dogs. That's mostly what got my attention when I found this book. Also, the summary made it sound like Perfect Chemistry, which was really good. So I wanted to give it a try.

It was pretty raw. I knew right from the beginning that I was going to like it. It wasn't until later when I got into the story more that I found out how complex it was and how real it could be. It's not your typical love story and I really liked that. It's realistic.

I didn't come from a background at al
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was about to give up on this book,I wasn't that into it.But I really fell in love with mack,cece,and boo. The way Mack and Cece bonded through Boo.Cece was the only one that could stop the hissing. When Mack was with her,everything was okay and under control.He made Cece believe that not all pit bulls are really aggressive. I love how much Mack cared for cece and boo. I love how mack killed Larry because he killed Boo.But I was so devastated that he went back to jail. In the mist of all that,C ...more
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Mrs. Anderson's E...: Stay With Me- Ashlin Tanner 1 4 Mar 10, 2016 07:20PM  
Romance 1 3 Mar 26, 2015 06:51AM  
Crazy for Young A...: Stay with Me by Paul Griffin 7 29 Nov 12, 2012 05:26PM  
Did This Book Change The Way You Look At The World? 1 9 Oct 23, 2012 10:03AM  

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Paul Griffin lives, writes, and trains dogs in New York City. His previous novel, The Orange Houses, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults Top Ten, an International Reading Association 2010 Notable Book for a Global Society, a Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Book of 2009, and an Amelia Bloomer Project Award winner.

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Contemporary young adult literature has often led the way in depicting the real-life issues facing teens from all backgrounds. To delve into ho...
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“I stole looks. First was her hair, long and loopy and pulled back.
Second, she has the prettiest face, oopen-like and up-looking.
Third time I looked she was studying that satellite and I saw her eyes, deep brown, almost black. She has these little scars on her chin.
I like that.
When a lady isn't perfect, she's a lot more perfect, I believe.
- Mack”
“I bet when you hold hands with a girl that cool you wonder if it's possible you're going to levitate like that one of them monks I saw on a TV commercial once, which don't you wish that was real?
- Mack”
More quotes…