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.......
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
For more info: Visit Deb Caletti's website.