Stay by Deb Caletti
Publication: April 5, 2011
(320 pages, hardcover)
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: Stay wasn't a typical young adult contemporary read. For starters, Caletti's writing was deep and emotional from the first page. Second of all, the timeline of the novel was unusual and intriguing. Lastly, the premise of the story was mysterious and creepy. All of those elements combined made for a very unique, mostly satisfying read.
Even though it quickly becomes apparent where the story is going to go, the twists and turns in the novel are still surprising and suspenseful. I really liked the way the book jumped from present tense and Clara's life now, to the past tense, when Clara was with Christian. It revealed the story in an interesting and thoughtful way. Seeing how Clara's perspective changed, and how her faults affected her life made for an emotional novel, and one that I definitely enjoyed.
One of the downfalls, for me, was one of the things I was actually looking forward to. The suspense; it was definitely suspenseful sometimes, but during some of the moments where the real action was, it kind of fell flat. I might be being picky, it just didn't get me on the edge of my seat like I could have been if the writing was slightly less, well, flat. I really loved the plot, the writing style just took away from the excitement. Other than that, the plot was original (at least to me; I haven't read many books on this topic) and well-paced.
Clara as a character was great; maybe it's totally weird, but my favorite character was Christian. Okay, stop it with the horrified expression, let me explain; I was scared of him, creeped out by him, and found him majorly screwed-up. But he was a believable villain, which is a difficult character to find in young adult literature; also, he was a really fleshed-out character, probably the most fleshed-out after Clara. He was my favorite in how complex he was. Which leads me to another one of the things I loved about Stay: how realistic Clara's response was. I don't want to ruin stuff, so I'll keep it simple and say it just was realistic.
--Not to end on a bad note, but my last thought is that the ending left me a bit unsatisfied, which is th main reason I really liked but didn't love. Caletti even acknowledges the slight lack of closure, which, while it provided some sense of relief, knowing that it was meant to be that way, still made me wish there was a little bit more. But overall, Stay was an honest, good read.
Covering the Cover: At first I wasn't a big fan, but in the end, I really like the simplicity and light colors of it.
Writing: 5/5Overall Rating: 4 stars