Author: Deb Caletti
Published: April 5th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Summary: "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...."
Thoughts: Quite frankly, I think every teenager girl...heck, every woman, should pick up this book and read it immediately. Stay is not only beautifully written and well crafted, but it's also heart breaking and true in so many different ways. Where as Sarah Dessen's Dreamland speaks of physical abuse, Stay talks about verbal abuse and the powers of obsession. What happens when love goes terribly, terribly wrong?
Love at first sight. That's how Clara feels when she first meets Christian. In the beginning, he seems like the perfect boyfriend. Always attentive, always caring. But before long, Christian begins to become more possessive and a bit crazy. After so much drama and fear, Clara's father decides to send her and him away from Christian and away from it all. But things are rarely ever wrapped up in pretty pink bows. Signs of Christian begin to appear and eventually, Clara must come to terms with her past and finally put an end to it.
The chapters alternate between the present (Clara and her father in this new summer boat town) and the past (the first day Clara meets Christian and the days to come). This confused me a bit in the beginning, but once I understood what was going on, I really enjoyed it. One thing I will say is the story has footnotes every now and then. Personally, I thought that took away from the story. What I ended up doing was reading each chapter first, then going back later and reading the footnotes. They're not really relevant to the overall story, but they do include some fun facts.
I absolutely love the way Caletti unravels Clara and Christian's story. You know from the beginning it won't last, but still question how things got so bad. Every detail, every emotion felt so real. My heart cried out for Clara, but at the same time, I still felt a soft spot for Christian. Deep down, I think he's a good guy, but got lost somewhere along the way.
My favorite part of the story though is Clara's healing process. None of this was easy for her. I'm so glad she had her father to help her out. Many stories lately involve neglecting or aloof parents, so I'm so glad and relieved to finally read a story where the parent actually gives a crap. Clara's father is caring, supportive and very, very clever. I loved his humor and affection towards Clara. I love my dad, but if for some reason my dad couldn't be my dad, I'd want Clara's dad.
And of course, there's Finn. He's a local in Clara's new town and just a doll. He's protective in all the right ways and his family (in so many words) is absolutely adorable. The story was already amazing to begin with, but Finn really is the icing on the cake.
Overall, Stay is an emotion tornado that will leave it's readers breathless. I swear, some of Caletti's writing is just pure poetry. It's not an easy read, but it's definitely one you don't want to miss.