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....
Stay by Deb Caletti
4 out of 5 stars
In Stay, Deb Caletti masterfully tackles one of the most disturbing trends in YA literature: obsessive, possessive love portrayed as alluring and romantic and passionate. It's not. It's unhealthy and suffocating and alarming.
Finally. FINALLY we have a book that discusses the seriousness of this type of emotional abuse with realism. Where did Deb Caletti do her research? Her words bleed with authenticity. The way she writes Christian is flawless...the flashes and hints of jealousy and neediness and manipulation that build and build and build until something Clara thought was beautiful turns monstrous. It felt so real. Where other authors may have been tempted to take such a serious topic in a sensationalist direction, Deb Caletti keeps the story realistic with such clear purpose.[For example, other authors may have been temped to have Christian come after Clara with a weapon. While that may have been suspenseful, I think Caletti's approach is much more realistic. (hide spoiler)]
Caletti's lyrical prose is rich with metaphors and gorgeous phrases that had me reading certain paragraphs again and again to absorb their beautiful messages. Her words create layers of meaning without being overly dramatic, and her reflections on serious topics and even the ordinary are poignant and stirring.
Clara. Oh, that voice. That stark honesty. Clara's first-person narrative is so emotionally gripping. With her vulnerability and candor and believability, she became such a compelling character...a person I truly cared about. I admit: the majority of YA female narrators drive me CRAZY. My list of YA heroines I actually like is a small one. But Clara felt so real and so sympathetic and so broken and yet so strong that I became completely invested in her story. Her honesty drew me in, and I felt immersed in her narrative.
Stay is a haunting story with such realism you'll forget it's fiction. It's an unflinching portrayal of the true nature of possessive, obsessive love...a cautionary tale YA literature has been in desperate need of.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read Stay!
Content: Stay addresses mature topics, and several characters cuss like sailors (although maybe Finn and Jack get a pass because they actually are sailors). The serious subject matter and strong language may make Stay more appropriate for older teens and adults.