Jun 2, 2011

Stay by Deb Caletti

Clara is in hiding. Christian, the love of her life, turned out to be a bit troubled (okay, a lot troubled), so her father has whisked her away to a remote island for the summer. She's been forced to get a summer job while she regroups about her college plans for the fall. With a famous author for a father & a long-deceased mother, Clara has been able to convince everyone in her life that they're touring Europe while he writes his latest best seller.

Things that Clara doesn't understand: how she let things get so out of control with Christian, what she's going to do in the fall, why her afraid-of-the-open-water father chose to spend the summer on an island, & how she really feels about sailing boy Finn. Regrouping is harder than she thought it would be because she spent so much time anticipating Christian's reactions & adjusting her behavior to suit his demands that she doesn't know much about who she really is on the inside.

When Christian starts calling her non-stop, despite changing her number several times, and she begins to feel like someone is watching her constantly, Clara decides that there is only so much hiding one can do before you must face your fears.

This was the first Deb Caletti book I've ever read & I think I may have been missing out on something. I thought this was going to be a gritty, emotionally taxing book, but Caletti only skims the surface of the dangerous relationship. She shows us all the signs of danger & really draws the tension tight, so much so that I actually gasped a few times regarding the characters' behavior.

Clara is not a helpless character at all. She is simply naive & a bit consumed by the idea of love. She wants to badly to be in love with Christian & to have something solid & consistent that she finds herself clinging to an even more unstable mess than her home life. Christian is not an unsympathetic character. I can see where a girl could be easily drawn in by him, but his actions spoke volumes. An even more compelling aspect of the book were the relationships between the adults on the island. They were so much more complex & foreboding that they really added something to the story.

Told with flashbacks to her relationship with Christian, Stay was a phenomenal book with just the right touches of everything. I hope you enjoy it too! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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