Monday, April 25, 2011

Stay by Deb Caletti

Published April 5, 2011.

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....

Go. Read. Now.

. . .

What are you waiting for? More? What do you think I'm writing here? A review? Fine.

Amazing. There really isn't much else to say about Stay. It's amazing. It takes that obsessive high school love that so many YA novels are glorifying and slaps that nasty bitch right back down into reality. Hey, that guy that wants to know your every move? Not so romantic when he calls 47 times and shows up at your local grocery store. That guy that just can't possibly live without you? Major creep factor when he's ready to break a glass over your head.

Stay is right up there with Albatross by Josie Bloss for me. I didn't feel as deep of an attachment with Stay as I did Albatross but the message is the same: obsessive relationships suck. They're not nice, they're not loving. They're downright scary.

The only issue I had with this one was Finn. Don't get me wrong. I liked Finn. I just don't like that considering what Clara was running from, she ended up taking up with another guy. I would think she'd want some kind of male space considering the last two relationships she'd come from. I wasn't a fan of the third-time's-a-charm thing that was playing in the background. Yeah, Clara told her dad she was taking it slow and I guess, compared to Christian, she was. But the time frame was really only a matter of weeks. Is she head over goo-goo heels for Finn? No. I guess I just didn't like the fact that she had no cooling off time before she was with another guy again. I would have liked to have seen her develop a friendship with Finn's sister more than Finn just because I wanted her to stand on her own instead of running into Finn's arms. Not that she had fainting spells or anything but he was somewhat of a crutch. Not a big fan.

Other than that, the story's absolutely amazing. When the shit got going my heart sped up. I was anxious when Clara was anxious and just as swimming in love as she was with Christian. Of course he seemed like such a nice guy and you don't really pick up on those subtle nuances until bigger ones start rearing their ugly heads and you can get some hindsight behind you. The story had me tearing in places, where Clara thought all was lost, thought that she had nowhere else to run, that she was out of options.

I was rooting for her the entire time. I wanted her to overcome. I wanted her to find love in all the places that she genuinely needed it. She deserved it after everything. You'll feel Clara's world come crashing down on her. Just when you thought the weight couldn't get any heavier, another anvil falls from the sky. But you'll keep pushing through, determined to see it through to the end because you know there's hope. You have it. You have to. For Clara.

If you're tired of all those romanticized obsessive romances out there that make possession a good thing, if you want some perspective from the outside looking in, if you want to have your heart ripped out of your chest only to have to glue it back together again, read Stay. It'll be worth the tears and the unknown and the potential pain. Because there's hope.

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