Book: Stay by Deb Caletti
Published by: Simon Pulse, April 5 2011
Genre: Young Adult
Format/pages: Hardcover 320 pages
Format read/Source: e-Galley via Simon & Schuster Galleygrab
Date read: April 2 2011
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is–and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.
Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough….
Stay is the first book I have read by Deb Caletti, who has written several books for young adults. I have to say this book caught my attention at the beginning and never let go. Stay is the story of Clara, a girl who has left town with her father to escape her boyfriend-turned-stalker. The story is beautifully written, suspenseful and intense. The story felt real and authentic and tackled a difficult subject masterfully.
In Stay, Clara and her father have just moved away for the summer because Clara felt threatened by her ex-boyfriend. The details of where her relationship with Christian went wrong are slowly revealed through flashbacks. Through the flashbacks we get to see Clara before she met Christian when she was a typical shy girl. We see her first meeting with Christian, and how they were drawn to each other immediately. Their relationship quickly progresses to an all-consuming love affair. Eventually Clara starts to notice some of Christian’s obsessive and extreme jealous behavior.
The flashback story telling device is very effective and kept me on edge throughout the entire book. I felt anxious for Clara in her new town as she still worried Christian would find her. It’s easy to relate to her and the feelings she has while she is processing the relationship and trying to move on.
The other characters in Stay are flawed and real and add to the story. Clara’s dad is very protective of her and was the first one to recognize the dangerous relationship she was involved in. He is not perfect and has his own problems to deal with but Clara comes first with him. Clara also gets to experience a healthy relationship with Finn, who is kind, patient and sweet to her. It is fulfilling to see Clara’s growth as she goes through the healing process on her journey.
This book makes you think about relationships and love and how you would manage a difficult relationship. The story is hauntingly realistic and a rich and satisfying read. Highly recommended for fans of young adult contemporary books.
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