Sunday, March 16, 2014
And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
DNF- 2 stars
Emily Beam’s boyfriend walked into the school library with a stolen gun. After he threatened Emily he took his own life. Emily is shipped off to Amherst, Massachusetts and discovers the life of Emily Dickinson. Emily Beam’s poems give her a connection to Emily Dickinson and her poems. I’m still not sure why I read this book. It didn’t sound like it would be a bad book and it sounded interesting enough. The ads for this book were plastered all over GR and Amazon and I had an ARC copy I was meaning to get to a finally decided to pick it up. I was really hoping to be emotionally grabbed by this story. It’s an intense plot, but it lacks in what it tried to do. This book is slightly reminiscent of Hate List in the prospect of dating someone who brings a gun to school. The plots are different because in Hate List the boyfriend was a school shooter and Emily’s boyfriend only kills himself (and I think he injured someone but I’m not sure). I struggled for a good portion of the novel debating whether to DNF or not. As I started reading today from around 32% to45% I decided that I wasn’t going to waste any more time on Emily Beam and her moping poetic prose. And We Stay is also told in third person narrative. I don’t mind third person and I’ve read a few excellent third person perspectives, but it just doesn’t work for this book.
The main character is Emily Beam. Emily is already a highly unattached person and her being narrated in third person gives off an even colder and more distant feeling. She is an incredibly annoying teenager. She calls the library the lieberry because of the incident that occurred in the library. It just seems very childish. We also find out early on in the book that Emily had been pregnant, which came completely out of left field.
Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2
I’m sure that there may have been a romance, but I didn’t get to it. In all honesty I could care less if Emily was to end up with somebody because she is too detached it seems to form human relationships.
I did like K.T., Emily’s roommate. I thought she was really funny. She tried to be friends with Emily and I don’t know if they ever become friends (it seems like they will from where I left off).
Character Scale: 3
The prose was very annoying. Here’s an example:
“She leaves them in the earth, her eyes hot with tears, a new poem burning itself all the way down her feet.”
I just couldn’t trudge on anymore. I had enough. I can’t deal with thick prose, the terrible third person narrative, or a character who is as unattached to humanity as Emily Beam. She spends all her time studying or in the library or drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes or writing poems and frankly it’s the most boring simple things to ever read about. I just don’t care what Emily does to find comfort or push herself away from people. She’s been threw a traumatic experience, but I honestly can’t bring myself to care. I can’t do it. Emily’s poems were also not very great. Some of them are good, but a good bit of don’t make any sense. This book is too slow and too much nothingness. DNF and I don’t regret it.
Cover Thoughts: I love the cover. It’s gorgeous. It’s the reason I requested the book. At least one thing about this book is gorgeous.
Thank you, Netgalley and Delacorte Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.