Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review of Stay With Me by Elyssa Patrick

*I received a copy of this from NetGalley and Elyssa Patrick in exchange for a honest review!

4.5 Heartwarming, Electric Stars!


As soon as I saw this one, I had to have it. I was sucked in by that gorgeous cover and the synopsis. And when I found it on NetGalley, I knew I had to request it. When I was approved to do the review, I was so excited! I had other books to read, but I just couldn't wait, so I started reading. And I. Couldn't. Stop. It was that good. It was like someone had thrown a lasso around me; I was roped into the story, and it had me wrapped up so tight, that by the end, I was having difficulty removing myself from the grasp the book had on me. Stay With Me now has a permanent spot on my favorites shelf. 

***

Stay With Me was a heartwarming, electric story, filled with a sweet romance, amazing characters, and undeniably strong ties of love, family, and friendship. 
I love you may be only 3 words... three syllables, but those three words are the most powerful, precious ones in the world. And the most freeing.
Love, just love. <3


As much as the romance is an integral part of Stay With Me, I still think the most rewarding part of this story was the main character, Hailey, finding who she is and letting go of her past so she could move on to her bright future. This is sort of your typical girl meets boy story, except girl is a famous celebrity who has no privacy. And she wants out of that life. Hailey has grown up resenting her status and resenting her mother for pushing her to do things she didn't want to do. So, Hailey packs up her bags, changes her phone number, and moves to Vermont to attend Green College. All she wants is to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life. 
"I believe that when passion is ingrained in you, imprinted on your soul, and it's everything you are, even when it's not fun, it's worth it. Because the other option, the one where you don't do what you love will kill you."
She wants to be more than The Hailey Bloom, singer, actress, dancer. She wants a normal and quiet life, away from the prying eyes of paparazzi and away from her mother's demands. She doesn't count on two things: how hard school is and meeting Caleb Fox. 

Ohhhh, Caleb Fox. *swoons* Seriously, he's amazing. He's funny, kind, and has a good heart. He sees the real Hailey, the one she's hidden deep down inside herself. He's down-to-earth, loving, and has a protective instinct for the women in his life. And he's got a dog! *melts in a puddle* :) Their relationship started with sharing a deck and a jacket and it turned into something passionate and explosive and oh, so real.

The connection between them is instant, yet Hailey has been screwed over in the past by boyfriends selling her secrets and her sex life to the tabloids. It's hard to trust anyone, let alone a guy who makes her question her decision to stick to only school for the next year. Somehow, though, he manages to break down her walls and worm his way into her life. And her heart.
Two heartbeats, two hearts, but there's something here—something I can't name yet. It almost feels like there's this thread, this oh so delicate thread connecting us. That with each moment, with each shared heartbeat, with each barrier we break down, this thread will only grow stronger, firmer, and never break.
I loved the slow build-up of their relationship, and the way they interacted as a couple. All those challenges and bets were amusing to read about. Their conversations and the way they were as a couple just felt so real. There was absolutely no drama between them, and I LOVED it. The no drama didn't actually bug me, even though it totally could have made this story really boring. There were some obstacles standing in the way of their happiness, but nothing they couldn't overcome. 

That secret, though, I thought it would create some drama. Maybe I've just been reading about too many drama-filled relationships that I couldn't appreciate the love and tenderness that Caleb and Hailey show each other. I guess I wanted a little drama, although I'm glad Hailey's "big secret" didn't change anything in their relationship. But, honestly, the only reason this is getting 4.5 stars and not 5 is because I figured out her secret. It was too easy for me, and when it came up, I was like: So yeah, that happened. I knew Caleb would be understanding, but I figured Hailey would push him away and slam the door on their relationship. And I think that's why I loved this book so much; it didn't do what I expected. But still, the "big secret" was kind of smoothed over.

These two characters were the ones I love to cheer for, the ones who make me smile and make me appreciate the strong relationship they have with each other. 

***

Like I said, not only did I love Caleb and Hailey, but I loved the secondary characters! Nick, Daphne, Jamie, Griff. Caleb's sisters and parents. They were all such an integral part of the story and a big part of Caleb's and Hailey's relationship. Daphne was the kind of best friend you want in your life. Nick was this mysterious enigma, and I just wanted to unravel him. Jamie was hilarious; he brought a comical aspect to the book. Griff was this soft-spoken, quiet, and reserved individual who has infinite wisdom. Even Caleb's sisters and his family's interactions with each other were endearing. I want more of these characters, and I want to know their stories.

Guys, it's a standalone! A STANDALONE. I didn't know it at first, but once I met the other characters besides the two lovebirds, I had to check. I just had to know if the series was going to continue with the two main characters, or if it would be someone else's story. So, before I read any further, I checked the second book in the series to see what the story was about (I'm a masochist; I really love to torture myself). And thank God it said Nick Brady's story. I don't know what I would have done had my high hopes been disappointed. Not that I don't love the two main characters, mind you! I just love ALL of the characters, and I wanted to know more about every single one of them. 

And I can't fucking wait to read Nick Brady's book.