Release date: April 05, 2011
Published by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 352, Hardcover
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Overall: 5 stars- Flippin' Fabulous
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.... Synopsis via Goodreads.
Stay came to life as Deb Caletti brought an exceptional book to the table which could have easily been mistaken for someone's life story, rather then a work of fiction.
With a main character like Clara, a girl who struggled with doing what was right, letting go, and moving on, you would think it would be difficult to love her. I thought I would yell at her throughout the whole story, trying to get her to do the smart thing. That wasn't the case. Clara may have not always done the smart thing but it didn't detract from the kind hearted, good natured character that she was.
There were several important characters that we are introduced to in Stay. Clara's father who is absolutely supportive and had secrets of his own but did everything in his power to protect his daughter and give her what she needed, trying to make up for what he thought Clara lacked and felt she needed. Christian, Clara's less-then-perfect (ex)boyfriend, was the cardboard cut out for the perfect guy with a sexy accent to boot but had issues that stemmed deep within him, adding to the intensity of his relationship with Clara. Everything with Christian turned out to be polar opposites. Confident and jealous. Sweet and bitter. Manipulative and unassuming. Finn, is a character we meet later and has his own dark clouds but is able to see Clara's situation for what it is and is able to pull Clara out of her shell and show her what it is to trust, live and love again. He gives her acceptance and support when she needs it and has his own support system that only adds smiles to Clara's story. It was amazing how each person we were introduced to gave some to Clara she needed, showing us the true importance of having people in our lives. It all seemed so real.
Clara's journey in Stay is a combination of her telling of her past with Christian and her journey to find a fresh start while on a summer getaway with her father, in a place that not only brings a fresh start for her but her and her father as well. Even with the delicate subject of abuse, as well as several sub-plots which bear a equally heavy weight, Deb Caletti was able to paint it with such understanding, hope, and elegance. I wasn't sure what to expect with this story but I was pleasantly surprised by that no one side was jaded, both were real and raw and depicted how even ugly situations can become beautiful and how gifts come in severals forms and at what may seem like the most inopportune times.
Stay is a gripping book, one which makes your heart hurt, your heart love and makes you think about bigger issues in life. Deb Caletti did a wonderful job keeping it consistent with what a teenager may experience and how they would react. This isn't your typical love story and definitely not a love triangle. There is actions and consequences explored and well as truths and lies. Extremely moving, tragic and hopeful, Stay is something that will definitely be picked up again.