Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stay: Making Kool-Aid and Vodka Sound Like a Good Idea.

In between reading books about childbirth, I took a much-needed break and delved into Stay, a book written by my ‘Internet friend’ Allie Larkin. I’ve long been a fan of Allie’s fabulously useful website, The Greenists (formerly Allie’s Answers) which is all things sustainable and eco-friendly. Allie is an absolute doll, but I’ll be honest – when I heard the book was about a girl getting dog, I figured it wouldn’t be my cup of tea. It’s not that I’m not a dog person, it’s just that…well, I don’t get the big deal about pets. (I know, I know. I'm a terrible person.)

I quickly realized, though, that this book was exactly my cup of tea. As I read it, I constantly turned to Mike and exclaimed, “I can’t believe what a good writer she is!”

(She's also pretty adorable, right?)

Her detail in descriptions made the story and characters come alive without feeling overworked or insincere. I found myself nodding along when her characters did things, completely in awe of Allie’s insight into human behavior. (Like when Van throws the rest of the gumdrops out the car window because she can’t stop eating them? I’d so do that.) I was completely engrossed in her writing and the character development.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let me quickly explain what the book’s premise is, then continue to gush about Allie’s writing. 

Van is a girl with unrequited love for Peter, who just married her best friend, Janie. Peter and Van’s relationship is complicated, and if you want my opinion – he led her on for far too long. (Yeah. So, I often found myself talking to Van like she was my friend and I was giving her some frank advice.) Van and Janie’s relationship is also complicated since Van’s mom worked for Janie’s (much wealthier family). Van is depressed and lonely after their wedding, so, naturally, gets drunk on vodka and Kool-Aid while watching a Rin Tin Tin marathon. Which, naturally, leads to her buying a $6,000 German Sheppard on the internet. From Slovakia. 

Then she meets a cute vet, and well, let’s just say this story is both well-written and engaging. It’s sweet, funny, and you will root for the characters like they’re your own friends.

Even if I didn’t adore Allie, I’d recommend this book – it’s just really, really freaking good.

Get it from the library or Amazon, whichever you prefer. (My library has 28 copies and they’re all checked out or on hold! Go, Allie!) 

Whatever you do, just get it. I promise you it’s good. 

And, Allie? I'm really impressed. And proud of you. 
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