Friday, April 29, 2011

Review: Stay by Deb Caletti

Published: Simon Pulse (April 5, 2011)
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Series: No
Source: Galley Grab

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads 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....

My Thoughts: had heard lots about Stay prior to reading it myself. I knew that it had to do with emotional abuse in a controlling teenage relationship... which I'm sure a lot of us can relate to, whether we admit it or not.

I was not at all prepared, even after reading reviews about the content of this novel. It's almost scary how realistic Clara's character is. Because I believe millions of girls out there have been in Clara's very shoes. She meets a guy, she throws caution to the wind--despite the flashing DANGER signs that surround the entire relationship--and shares everything with this boy who has quickly become the focal point of her entire existence.

When everything goes wrong, Clara's fear and dread is something you can feel in your freaking bone marrow. I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest, because I had no idea what Christian would be capable of. Again, a scary reality. Books that tell of real life horrors, things that could happen to anyone, anywhere, are the most frightening kind. Christian randomly shows up to check up on Clara. He calls her incessantly. He creates infidelities in his mind and holds grudges against her past, as if they're real threats. This is not sexy. This is not endearing.

Also, can I get a round of applause for a parent who is AWARE of his daughter's feelings, surroundings, and relationships? Good God, we need more parents like Clara's dad in YA books. Anytime he bluntly laid out the truth for her, I was internally waving a pom-pom for him. He brought so much joy to a book that was so dismal at times.

Though this book was disquieting and unsettling, I'm glad it was written. Deb Caletti has a way with words and the way she puts a name to all those feelings makes me wonder why she isn't speaking at middle and high schools throughout the nation. Controlling, abusive relationships are a dangerous thing. Caletti does not sugarcoat that or glamorize it, thank God. She is straightforward and displays Christian's jealousy, possessiveness, and destructive behavior in a way that NO ONE will think it's attractive. It isn't. I'm glad somebody got it right. Caletti is that someone. This was a beautifully written, horrifying story that will stay with me for YEARS.


  1. Great review Jen!! I'm hoping to read this one soon and now I can't wait! It sounds like an intensely powerful story.

  2. Fantastic review! This sounds crazy intense. I am looking forward to reading it now!

  3. I've heard a lot of buzz about this book!

  4. I love your review. This books sounds powerful.