Stay by Deb Caletti

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stay by Deb Caletti
Publication date: 5th April, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Source: Thank you to Simon Pulse (S&S Galley Grab) for providing me with a copy.

Goodreads Description: 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.......

My Review: 

This is my first Deb Caletti book and won't be my last because I LOVED it.  Stay is masterfully written and so powerfully honest, it is just an absolutely brilliant read.

Stay is the story of Clara, a normal teenage girl.  It is just her and her Dad as Clara's Mum pasted away when she was younger.   Clara meets Christian and quickly falls in love.  At first he appears to be the perfect boyfriend - sweet, caring, gorgeous and treats her so well.  But Christian becomes controlling and obsessive.  It is told in two different perspectives, before and after and alternates each chapter. Before is Clara's and Christian's relationship and After is Clara's and her Dad's escape for the summer to Bishop Rock.

This book could be a true story, as Caletti really captures how it feels to be in a controlling and obsessive relationship.  Like how you are always anticipating their reaction, how they put you down, how you do anything to avoid a fight and the lies you tell.   I wish I could go back in time and hand this book to my teenage self, it was the kind of book I needed and one I think all teenage girls should read.  

The writing in Stay is beautiful and full of raw emotion.  I badly wanted to put a favourite quote up but since it is an ARC I am not allowed.  But I noted over 30 quotes!  I kept highlight paragraph after paragraph.  Something about Caletti's writing really connected with me.  I think it is the honesty and all the heart in the story.

The characters are exceptional.  Clara, her Dad, Finn, and Sylvie, I loved them all.  So well fleshed out and so fully alive especially Clara.  You can completely see why she fell for Christian and understand her decisions as the relationship went on.  I have to say I would have probably made the same choices she did.  Clara is definitely one of the most realistic characters I have read in a while.

I also enjoyed the relationship Clara had with her Dad.  He was a loving father but he still had his flaws.  And again it nice to see a parent being present consistently throughout the story.   Their is also some very swoon worthy moments provided by Finn.  He was such a good guy, confident, happy and caring.  Having Finn in the story you could easily see Christian flaws and the difference between a healthy and a unhealthy relationship.

Overall, this book is amazing.  I highly recommend Stay to all fans of contemporary fiction.  Definitely a favourite read for 2011.

Overall rating: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Cover: 5/5

For more info:  Visit Deb Caletti's website.


Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

Wow, such a positive review! I'm definitly adding this to my list, glad to be looking forward to another contemp :) I've only read one of Caletti's other books which I did enjoy, hope i can read more of them soon :)

Aleeza said...

ive been wanting to read this book ever since i found out about it. it sounds amazing, and glad to hear from you that it really is :)

Jan von Harz said...

I have been seeing quite a few books that deal with abusive relationships and teens lately, and am glad that this is an issue authors are writing about. I fear that with all the bullying that occurs in our schools today that abuse in dating is also something that occurs way too often and having it address in books is important. I love Caletti's writing and cannot wait to read Stay. Thanks for a wonderful review. I am definitely going to read this one.

Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) said...

I'm looking more foward to this one now. I hope I like the before and after chapters!

Tina said...

What a lovely review! Ive heard so many great things about this author and still have not picked one of her books up....Ill have to remedy that soon :P

Jenny said...

Wow, a truly beautiful review Nic! This book sounds really intense and emotionally taxing, but definitely one that stays with you after your done reading. I think this is such an important topic and I'm glad Clara is portrayed realistically, flaws and all:) I'll have to add this one to the list for sure!

Missie said...

How do you manage to find all these emotionally compelling reads, Nic?

Breathtaking review. Honestly, I'm right there with you. I haven't read the book yet, but the powerful voice and message you describe sounds like one you can't help but wish to give to your younger self.

The before and after alternating chapters seems like such a brilliant idea. Can't wait to read.

Savannah said...

Hello! I just found your blog and love it! I just started reading Deb Caletti books. Nice review. I look forward to reading this one.

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiner's Book Blog) said...

Thanks for awesome review. I can't wait to read this one!
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

I totally love the sound of this one. I got it from Galley Grab & I'm totally looking forward to it after reading your review. I've never read anything by this author before either.

Jenny N. said...

Wow you made it sound like a must read for me. It sounds so powerful and the way its written "before/after" seems interesting and has me more interested it in.

Nomes said...

gosh, you write a compelling review Nic! I really want to read this noe. Usually I wait for the paperback relase but that will mean sometime in 2012... so not sure?

I've never read a Deb Caletti. I should change that...

LOVED the review Nic. You are amazing! :)

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

Nice review! I really wasn't wow-ed by the first book I read of hers, but you've sold this book. Will definitely be the next book of hers I try out.

For now I'll probably just be making my rounds with Aussie & favourite book blogs, because Google Reader has become a bit of a hassle (feeling that constant pressure of getting through x posts a day).

Small Review said...

Wow, very nice review. I think it can be hard to write a story like this without making the main character frustrating. It is good to hear the author managed this. I haven't heard anything about Deb Caletti before, but I've seen her book covers floating around. It sounds like she's a good, solid author. I hope you enjoy her other books :)

Alexa said...

I have never read any Deb Caletti, which is remiss of me as she sounds like a fantastic author. I'll look out for this one. Thanks.

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I desperately want to read this book, Nic. The way you describe it makes it sound so immensely powerful and heartbreaking that I just need to read it. Fabulous review!

Misha said...

I LOVE your review. My review is scheduled for next week and I completely agree with everything you said. I agree about the quotes - there were so many paragraphs and lines that will remain with me.

A Canadian Girl said...

I haven't read any of Caletti's books but I love contemporary fiction. Also, your review makes it sound like her writing would be well liked by a Sarah Dessen fan so I'll be adding this one to my wishlist.

Rachel said...

I just got this from S&S too, and this review has me dying to read it! Very convincing - it's now next on my TBR list.

Missie said...

ZOMG! Guess what I started reading last night? Unbelievably gripping story, Nic. It's sad, but I'm also getting so mad!

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

Keep reading Missie! You are going to love it especially Finn!

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