Author: Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: April 5, 2011
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: Galley Grab
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....
Clara knows all too well what it means for someone to be dangerously co-dependent. It started as love, and a love far greater than she had ever known, at that, but it quickly grew into something deeper and more serious. Christian loved Clara, but he loved her to the point of possessiveness, and Clara's world became constricting and pained, despite the supposed "love" that was bestowed upon her. While he put her on a pedestal far above others, the dark lining simply meant she had farther to fall when her world crumbled beneath her. Clara needs to learn that loving herself is far greater than being the true object of one's eye.
Stay is my first stab at work by author Deb Caletti. I've heard wonderful things about her work, and I was eager to try it based on the premise. There's something haunting and more powerful about stories involving love gone wrong, but they can easily become cliche and overbearing. I can happily say that Stay defies the odds and exudes far more emotion than I could have hoped. It made me cringe, it made my cry and above all else, it made me think about self-worth. If a book can make me reflect upon my own life and my own choices, then the author has made the story ring true.
Clara was a twisty character in Stay...but this is not to be confused with twisted. She felt a sense of power in the love Christian felt for her, and it was understandable. To have that sort of love must truly build one up. She had a unique and unusual voice that completely separated her from the author's voice, which was utterly refreshing. Clara spoke in a way that was upfront, open and honest, but reading the meaning in her words was much like peeling and onion. The hidden layers beneath the words themselves took her story and character to the next level. I was also completely refreshed by her father, a secondary character with a true and defined personality. He clearly respected his daughter, but he gave her the freedom to make her own mind. Christian's character was the counterpart - eerie, dark and more haunting because of Clara's upfront approach to her situation.
I'm on a roll with contemps, it seems, and I'm so happy to have read Stay. Raw and powerful, Stay is fast-paced read but exudes both depth and feeling. I give it a firm 5 out of 5, and I'd recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy contemporary fiction.
I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.