Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Stay with Me by Abigail Kerber, hosted by Hardcover Therapy!
Recovering from a devastating heartbreak, Bailey Hart has sworn off all relationships and is determined to focus on her future away from Milton, Oklahoma. Everything is going according to plan until a mysterious new guy moves to her small town. Ty Jacobs is everything Bailey wants to avoid; however, she finds herself drawn to him in ways she can't explain. Will Bailey's stubbornness force her to stay on the path she has laid out for herself, or will Ty find his way into her already broken heart?
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I feel like I say this a lot, but Stay with Me is yet another book that’s hard to discuss in a lot of depth without spoiling it. So I apologize for the vagueness of this review. That said, Stay with Me is a great mature YA debut that starts out somewhat sweet, then becomes more and more intense as it builds to a shocker of an ending.
I love stories set in small towns, so the small-town Oklahoma setting was one of the first things that attracted me to this story. The author did a great job of evoking that somewhat claustrophobic setting where everyone knows everyone in a way that is sometimes comforting, and sometimes anything but. The narrator and a protagonist, Bailey, is a smart, driven girl who wants to succeed and make it beyond her small-town roots, but who is sometimes held back by her emotional vulnerability. She’s very likable and easy to identify with, and you really want her to find happiness in her life. As for the romantic interest, Ty, he’s sexy and mysterious and very sweet at first, but it quickly becomes apparent that he’s hiding a big secret. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
I also really enjoyed the secondary characters in this story, especially Bailey’s friend Lexy. I loved that Bailey and Lexy’s passion for basketball played a large role in the story; that’s not something you see too often in YA. AND Bailey and Lexy manage to be popular enough to be nominated for Homecoming Queen, without being the stereotypical catty mean girls.
Overall, Stay with Me is a strong debut, and I look forward to reading more from this author!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stay With Me is the debut novel by Abigail Kerber. Kerber is an Oklahoma native who received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Broadcasting from Oklahoma State University in 2005. Beyond her passion for writing, Kerber and her husband enjoy traveling and spending time with their growing family. Kerber currently resides in Oklahoma City with her husband, two sons, and dog.