Stay by Deb Caletti
Simon Pulse, April 5, 2011
Summary from Goodreads:
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.Interesting story...the premise is not really new, but Deb Caletti certainly has a way with words, and making a fictional story seem real. In addition, I think teens need more books about dangerous relationships, and how to end/escape/run away from them. Hopefully teens who are in similar situations can recognize that there's something not right about Christian, and can apply that to their own relationships.
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 is not shy about accepting her share of the blame for what Christian has become, which is somewhat disturbing. I mean, yeah, she actively pursued him, but she can never be to blame for the person Christian slowly revealed himself to be. I felt that the descriptions of their relationship were so realistic--how she started lying about little tiny things so that Christian wouldn't get angry, how she started to leave names out when talking about her friends so that he--you guess it--wouldn't get mad, how he'd just show up at the store to make sure she was where she had said she'd be. Stay definitely raises some issues of trust--if you're in a relationship with someone, and you truly love that someone, then you have to trust that they'll be and do what they say they will. Stalking is never healthy for a relationship.
What I loved, loved, LOVED about this story was Clara's dad. He is absolutely the best dad in the universe. Not without faults, of course, but he knows how to talk to his daughter and can understand her problems, without coming across like an old fuddy-duddy. He listens, he gives his suggestions, and he lets Clara come to her own conclusions. But he is always there for her. He knew something about Christian was off from the get-go, but was smart enough to know if he raised those concerns to Clara, she would push him away. So instead he waited, and he watched carefully. A powerful line from the book remains with me, and it's Clara's dad who speaks it: "Nice isn't the same as good." Oh, how true.
The only problem I really had with this book was the footnotes. Yes, Clara is fond of footnotes. And normally I enjoy reading them. I loved the footnotes in the Ruby Oliver quartet from E. Lockhart, for example. However. This is the first instance I've had with reading footnotes on my nook. Because the pages don't line up exactly as they would in a physical book, the footnotes are not always at the end of each "nook page." Which meant sometimes I had to read 2 or 3 "nook pages" before getting to the footnote, and by then I've usually forgotten what it was referencing, or it took a second to jog my memory. So I felt it took me longer to read Stay as an eBook than it would have if I'd had a paper copy. So, one minor problem, but overall I really enjoyed the story, and I'm looking forward to reading more of Deb Caletti (I've got a few of her titles on my A-Z Reading Challenge list).
eGalley received from publisher.
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