This is a book that I first heard about a few years ago, but only got the chance to read a few months ago.

Written by American author Allie Larkin, Stay, as the title and cover would imply, is about a girl who buys a dog. But there is more to it than that. Savannah “Van” Leone, is a single women in her early twenties. She serves as the maid of honor for her best friend Janie, who is getting married to Peter Clarke, the guy Van has loved since college. Van, who lives alone, works from home, is an only child and whose mom is deceased, decides to buy a puppy to have as a companion. However, she gets more than she bargained for when the “puppy” turns out to be a very big German Shepherd.stay

Things change for the better, though, when she takes Joe (the dog) to a vet named Alex Brandt.  A series of funny events play out that involve Van and Alex growing closer, Van becoming accustomed to being a dog owner and finding closure with Peter and Janie.

Being a dog lover and owner, I found Van’s dog predicaments very relatable and realistic. I was four years old when my parents brought home our first puppy, an eight-week old Black Lab and German Shepherd mix named Licorice. He proceeded to rip up the edge of a rug, tear up my mom’s handmade pillows and get in the garbage to eat dirty Kleenexes (Yuck), Nevertheless, we still loved him. Eighteen years later, Licorice has since passed away, but my parents still have a Border Collie and Cocker Spaniel that keep them busy.

I also like how this story took place in the Rochester, New York area, where I’m from originally. Larkin mentions a lot of familiar places, such as Wegmans and the University of Rochester. I now live in D.C., but I could better imagine the story, knowing the area it took place in.

The only part of this story that I found a little unrealistic is how fast everything happened. The wedding at the beginning is around Thanksgiving, and the story ends around New Year’s. That means that in a span of about six weeks, Van bought a dog, dealt with Peter and Janie, found a new love interest and found a place to live. I just couldn’t imagine all of this happening in such a short period of time.

This is a book worth reading. It makes me miss the dogs, but there’s only six weeks till Christmas…