by Deb Caletti


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A dark, romantic novel of love and obsession from Printz Honor medal winner and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti.

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, 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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442403734
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 04/05/2011
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,211,423
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: HL700L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Deb Caletti is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of over sixteen books for adults and young adults, including Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, a finalist for the National Book Award; A Heart in a Body in the World, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book; and Girl, Unframed. Her books have also won the Josette Frank Award for Fiction, the Washington State Book Award, and numerous other state awards and honors, and she was a finalist for the PEN USA Award. She lives with her family in Seattle.

Read an Excerpt

Stay Chapter 1
First off, I’ve never told this story to anyone. Not the entire thing anyway, and not entirely truthfully. I’m only telling it now for one reason, and that’s because an untold story has a weight that can submerge you, sure as a sunken ship at the bottom of the ocean. I learned that. This kind of story, those kind of things kept secret—they have the power to keep you hidden forever, and most of all from yourself. The ghosts from that drowned ship, they keep haunting.

So here is the story. Sit back and make yourself comfortable and all that.

I met him at a basketball game.

Wait. You should also know that another friend of mine, Annie Willows, had asked me to go with her and her friends to El Corazon that night to hear some band and that I didn’t go. If I had gone, all this might never have happened. The way two people can end up in the same place, find each other in a crowd, and change their lives and the lives of the people around them forever . . . It makes you believe in fate. And fate gives love some extra authority. Like it’s been stamped with approval from above, if you believe in above. A godly green light. Some destined significance.


My school was playing his, and I was there with my friend Shakti, who was watching her boyfriend Luke, number sixteen, who was at that moment sitting on the bench and drumming his fingers on his knee like he did when he was nervous. Inside the gym there was that fast, high energy crackle of competition and screaming fans and the squeak of tennis shoes stopping and starting on shiny floors.

He was with another girl; that was one thing. I was aware of her only vaguely as she moved away from him. She maneuvered sideways through the crowd, purse over her shoulder, heading to the bathroom, maybe. His eyes followed her and then landed on me, and by the time she came back, it was over for her, though she didn’t know it. That sounds terrible, and I still feel bad about it. But something had already been set in motion, and I wonder and wonder how things would have been if I’d have just let that moment pass, the one where our eyes met. If I had just taken Shakti’s arm and moved off, letting the electrical jolt that passed between us fade off, letting the girl return to his side, letting fate head off in another direction entirely, where he would have kept his eyes fixed on the girl with the purse or on another girl entirely.

My father, Bobby Oates*, said that love at first sight should send you running, if you know what’s good for you. It’s your dark pieces having instant recognition with their dark pieces, he says. You’re an idiot if you think it means you’ve met your soul mate. So I was an idiot. He looked so nice. He was nice. After Dylan Ricks, I was looking for nice. Dylan Ricks once held my arm behind my back and then twisted so hard that I heard something pop.

“Thirsty!” I yelled to Shakti, and she nodded. I moved away from her, followed the line of his eyes until I was standing next to him. I wish you knew me, because you’d appreciate what this meant. I would never just go walking up to some guy. I would never ignore the fact that his girlfriend was right then in the bathroom putting on new lip gloss. Never. I was nice and my friends were nice, which meant we lacked the selfish, sadistic overconfidence of popularity. But I didn’t care about that girl right then. It’s awful, and I’m sorry, but it was true. I kind of even hated me for it, but it was like I had to do what I was going to do. I can’t explain it. I wish I could. He was very tall and broad shouldered, white-blond hair swooped over his forehead, good-looking, oh, yeah, with those impossible, perfectly designed Scandinavian features. Still, it wasn’t just his looks. It was some pull. The ball hit hard against the backboard, which shuddered and clattered. The ref’s whistle shrieked and the crowd yelled its cheers and protests.

I held my hands up near my ears. “Loud,” I said to him.

He leaned in close. His voice surprised me. He had this accent. It was lush and curled, with the kind of lilt and richness that made you instantly think of distant cities and faraway lands—the kind of city you’d see in a foreign film, with a snow-banked river winding through its center, stone bridges crossing to an ornate church. Ice castles and a royal family and coats lined with fur. The other guys in that gym—they watched ESPN and slunked in suburban living rooms and slammed the doors of their mothers’ minivans. See—I had already made him into someone he would never be, and I didn’t know it then, but he was already doing the same with me, too.

“I don’t even know what I’m doing here,” he said. “I actually hate sports.”

I laughed. “How many people here are secretly wishing they were somewhere else?”

He looked around. Shook his head. “Just us.”

I was wishing that, all right. I was wishing we were both somewhere else. A somewhere together. A warm heat was starting at my knees, working its way up. “I’ve got to . . .” I gestured toward Shakti.

“Right,” he said.

I made my way back to Shakti, who was standing on her toes at the sidelines, trying to see Luke, who had been called in to the game and who was now dribbling the ball down the court in his shiny gold shorts. “He’s in,” she said. “Oh, please, God, let him not do what he did last time.”

But I was too distracted to actually watch and see if Luke would accidentally pass the ball to an opposing teammate as he had during the last game. My focus had shifted, my whole focus—one moment he wasn’t there and then he was, and my mind and body were buzzing with awareness and hope and uncertainty. You have ordinary moments and ordinary moments and more ordinary moments, and then, suddenly, there is something monumental right there. You have past and future colliding in the present, your own personal Big Bang, and nothing will ever be the same.

That was the point, there, then, when I should have shaken it off and gone on. I see it like an actual road in my mind, forking off. I should have kept my eyes on Luke with his sky-length legs and skinny chest; I should have cheered when he passed that ball just as he should have, to number twenty-four, who shot a clean basket. I should have stayed in that moment and moved on from that moment, when Shakti grabbed my arm and squeezed. Instead, I watched him as he headed through the crowd, and he looked back at me and our eyes met again before he disappeared.

It was already too late. Basically, two springs and two summers and the sea and the haunting had all already happened.

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Stay 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 reviews.
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
I read Deb Caletti's The Nature of Jade a couple of years ago and was completely blown away by it, but every other book of hers I've tried to read after that I have failed to finish. Though, with Stay I rediscovered just why I fell in love with Deb's writing and world building all those years ago. Stay is intense, startling, beautiful, and well written. It has a fabulous setting, easy to relate to and likable main characters, and a premise's execution that is nothing short of brilliant. This book is simply contemporary fiction at its absolute best, and I can't wait to suggest it to others come its April release! Stay tells the story of Clara, a girl who's on the run from the the boy she thought she loved, the boy she thought was perfect for her... When Clara first meet Christian she fell hard for him. He was handsome, eye-catching, and he made her feel special. Though, soon after their relationship began, he started to show a side of him Clara never expected to see...a side that's possessive to the extreme to the point where it's even a bit abusive, and after a particularly bad episode Clara's heads to the beach with her father to start over. But will she truly be able to run away from the past she most wants to forgot? And when she's faced with her past demons, will she be able to come out on top? Only time will tell in this read of one girl and her path of recovery. Clara... She's a girl who constantly kept me on a roller coaster of emotions as more was reveled and developed about her past and her current state. At times, I wanted to congratulate her on her current strength to pull away from a guy who was abusive, to say she was fearless and brave and strong, but at other times I wanted to yell at her past self for getting in this huge mess to begin with. Though, that made her character even more more real to me, because as anyone knows, everyone makes mistakes. They see the good in people they shouldn't, and they get in bad situations because of it, but what counts is if they able to break away from everything before its too late, which Clara did and I give her props for that. What I most enjoyed about her story was seeing her develop a future for herself without Christan, because not only did it lead to her getting to know some pretty amazing people (*cough* Finn *cough*) but it brought great development to her character. I also loved her reading about her relationship with her father, because not only where they hilarious together, but it also brought many touching, heartwarming as well as heartbreaking scenes to the table. As said before, the premise's execution of this story was brilliant, because not only did I love how Deb constantly switched the reader so seamlessly between past and present, but she did so in a way that kept the reader on their toes, wondering if Clara would ever truly be able to get away from Christian, as well as come over her internal struggle of getting over the fact she still kind of loved him. Last but not least, Deb's writing in this was fabulous! As I'm sure you can tell by my review, Deb did a fantastic job with world building, character development, and plot development. Best of all, I loved how she created such a vivid setting! In all, Stay is a stunning and intense read of one girl's path to recovery. If this isn't contemporary fiction at its best I don't know what is. Highly, highly recommended. Grade: A+
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
Before I review this, I want to clarify: I did not go and request Stay to review. I haven't read anything of the author's before. I had no interest in it prior to getting it in the mail. In fact, if I hadn't gotten it in the mail with the release being recently (it was about to be released when I started reading it), I probably never would have picked it up. This is important, because most books I pick up I think I'll like. I'm even harder on books I start reading that I don't think I'll like. With that in mind, Stay may be one of the best books I've read since I started blogging. Anybody who reads WORD regularly knows I don't often say I adore a book, and if I do, it sure as hell usually isn't a contemporary novel. But Stay is one of those books I will recommend to anybody - boy, girl, old, young, new to YA, an old blogging pro. It's absolutely brilliant. Clara's voice comes through strongly; it's less reading a book and more being in a person's head, or even their diary. I laughed out loud when something funny happened - my roommate will testify to this, as I kept stopping her from doing homework to read aloud the bits I thought were funny - and was genuinely terrified when Clara was. Cried when she cried, laughed when she laughed - I don't say that often about books. And the rest of the cast of characters were so fantabulously developed. From her dad and the back story with her mom to Christian himself, you knew a bit of each character. (Though how well can you know a person? Oh, the questions this book makes you ask.) There's no typical villains here; you won't find a Mary Sue in this book, folks. The way it was written was absolutely brilliant as well. I normally hate footnotes in anything, especially novels, but the few used in Stay were funny, stayed in character, and added to the book. Then there's the fact that the story moved in the two different directions - you're watching Clara run from Christian, and at the same time she's flashing back and you see how they got to know each other and everything that happened. And the most brilliant thing about this is that it's a true story. Sure, it's not a true story for Deb Caletti, or maybe even for anybody she knows. But it's true for some girls out there who go through it every day. And it makes you feel it. It shows that obsession is nice in thought, but when it comes down to it, you're not going to want somebody stalking you and watching you while you sleep. And I have a favorite quote, but it's rather long - anybody who reads this and gets to page 233, it's that giant paragraph.
Silent-Book-Worm More than 1 year ago
I liked the book, matter of fact it was a good book. I liked how slowly the possession of Christian progressed even to the fact that he became harmful not to just Clare but to himself as well. I didn't like how gushy cliche the book was, it was in fact VERY annoying to hear her thoughts on her love interests' lips, body, hair in the wind, stupid stuff like that. She was annoying feeding into Christian's clinginess. I like Christian's phyco behavior, very convincing. The ending is dumb not very supporting. Really love the scene how when Christian found her and started chasing her because of his sad and sick obsession.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was all around a good read and kept you guessing. It's romantic but also has its scary stories with it :) Very good, a definite must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book could have been so good if the focus was just on Clara & Christian there was exciting suspensful parts, but the story was so drawn out & the switched from past to present & the ending was bad too. 200+ pages Not worth $9.99!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read by Caletti. The tension between Clara and Christian is intense and as the story unfolds it is hard to put down. I didn't want Clara to make the wrong choices or overlook something that could be so important to her view of love.
Dazzlamb More than 1 year ago
STAY is a contemporary novel that is different to many other YA prototypes. It has romance and at the same time suspenseful elements. The title STAY is really appropriate, because this story is all about the balance of right and wrong decisions, leaving and staying (safe), being with someone or leaving that one you once loved so you can become the person you really are. This novel talks about the serious topic of a love that turns into an obsession and the consequences of making the decision to end it. Chapters of real-time actions alternate with flashbacks, so that the origin to our current situation is revealed piece by piece. We are given the info that our heroine is headed to a place she shouldn't leave unless she doesn’t want to stay safe. It are mostly the flashbacks that keep feeding us with more background information about characters and story. It's a fast read thanks to this narrative technique and a really good writing. STAY is made up of only a few relevant characters, which was totally ok since this type of story doesn't need that many to convey meaning. Caletti did a good job in constructing the characters, because they appear real. I noticed that I didn't care that much about the characters itself, but more about the outcome of the story in general. I was surprised how easily Clara, our protagonist, throws herself into another romance, considering that she is still followed by her ex-boyfriend. Still I liked to see her opening up for a new love. Clara was ok, but her dad was just a bit rough and with his cussing all the time very inconvenient. Caletti also included footnotes to mention some random extra facts, further ideas and explanations. What could be a funny and original idea, really bothered me, because the additional notes were often useless blather and reminded me too much of a scientific work. THE VERDICT I give it 3,5/5 stars. This is a serious novel about the delicate balance between love and hate, staying and leaving. STAY is a book that definitely promises a high emotional involvement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely amazing! I couldnt stop reading it. This book draws you into it and accually makes you feel emotion for the characters. It is worth every cent!!!
Nattjo More than 1 year ago
An intense story that you don't want to put down!
lovemybooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Accurate and introspective look at an emotionally controlling relationship, just a hint didactic in parts, though.
jjameli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Most of us can relate somehow to Clara and her relationship with Christian one time or another, even if not to their extreme. What happens when you feel a immense connection with someone, something so strong that it quickly becomes mad? When jealousy and the feeling of inadequacy starts coming into play because you are so fearful of losing the other person. Clara and Christian lock eyes at a basketball game and from there they are inseparable. At first everything is going great until Christian's jealousy causes him to verbally abuse Clara. Christian is also fearful that he isn't enough for Clara, that he will lose her. In the beginning Clara misses the signs that something is not right with the relationship. It becomes a sick, and abusive, then frightening.I really loved the story Deb Caletti tells. It's written so well, the prose is haunting. It's a very intense read. She allows readers to get into Clara's head, we go through the ups and downs with Clara. As a parent I also could relate to Clara's dad. He was willing to do whatever it took to keep Clara safe. I think it's a serious matter, and i'm sure a lot of women are in situations similar to Clara's, which makes this a even more compelling read.
booktwirps on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first time Clara sees Christian at a basketball game, she immediately feels something that pulls her to him, and Christian feels it, too. A few weeks later, their schools are playing each other in the playoffs, and they bump into each other again. This time they talk, they flirt, they kiss. That¿s all it takes. Soon they are talking on the phone, going out on dates; completely smitten with one another.At first Clara finds Christian¿s insecurities cute. He loves her, and she him. Of course he would be afraid of losing her. Soon the insecurities turn into obsession and Christian becomes more and more possessive. After dating him for two years, his insecurities become something Clara can no longer handle. She doesn¿t feel safe anymore, so she breaks things off with him, but Christian won¿t let go. The summer after graduation, she and her father go away to a small coastal town. She doesn¿t tell her friends or anyone where she is going. She hopes that three months away will make Christian move on, but it isn¿t that easy. When you love someone, you¿ll do anything to get them back.When I first started this book, I wasn¿t sure how I felt about it. It seemed to move very slowly. For about the first half of the novel, the chapters alternate between the present and the past. We see Clara settling in at the beach house, trying to move forward, but we¿re not quite sure what she is trying to get past. We also learn about her relationship with Christian. Once the novel picks up, it moves full steam ahead. I can honestly say that I was breathlessly reading the last few chapters. The author does a terrific job of building suspense and making the reader feel the unease that Clara feels.I also really liked the stories of the ghosts that are believed to haunt the small coastal town. It is said their spirits can¿t move on because of love, which closely mirrors Christians feelings for Clara. In turn, her fear of him becomes an entity that haunts her every step.My only problem with the book was the ending. I was happy with the outcome, but something about it seemed too neat and tidy. I¿ll leave it at that so as not to give anything away. For that, I give it 4 stars. It was an enjoyable read, and I did enjoy the author¿s writing style, but it didn¿t quite give me the ¿punch¿ at the end that I was looking for.
girlaboutbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Originally posted at Girl about BooksI am madly and deeply inlove with this book. Stay is an engrossing, inviting and beautifully written novel.I knew Stay is something very special when I read the first chapter. I seriously can't put into words on how utterly amazing this book is. The storyline is so compelling that it's relentlessly pulling you in. My favorite aspect of the book, perhaps, was the beautiful and inviting way it was written. It's so soothing and deeply engaging and gripping all at the same time. Deb Caletti's distinct and emotional writing was like hypnotizing me, drawing me in and I love it!Another thing I adore about this book is the vivid and radiantly expressive way of Deb in portraying each and every character in the story. Every word in every page seemed to have their own life, breathing and ready to be consumed by you. The characters are all very well-written, so stirring and strongly developed. I instantly felt emotionally invested in them. The footnotes were also really interesting and unique.I haven't read any of Deb Caletti's books before but after reading this, I am aching to read all of her books. ASAP.I can say that I'm obsessed with this book! I'm giving this 5 of 5 stars and I heartily recommend this to everyone because this book is a definite MUST-READ!------*I received this galley free of charge from publisher, Simon & Schuster via Galley Grab in exchange for an honest review.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Clara and Christian lock eyes at a busy basketball game, they feel an instantaneously intense connection to one another. Their subsequent romance is equally intense, but soon Carla realizes that things are less than perfect, as Christian displays more and more his suffocating obsession and his desperation to keep her with him.Two summers later, Clara and her father have escaped Christian¿s constant presence by moving to a small ocean town. As Carla gets to know the townspeople, some of whom have a connection with her father¿s past and some with his (and her) future, she can¿t shake the terror that Christian may be just a few steps away from knowing where she is, and tracking her down again.Wow. Wow wow wow. I think I¿d use the following words to describe STAY: disturbing. Beautiful. Painful. Delicately strong. STAY eloquently captures the tremulous aftermath of an emotionally harmful relationship, told in a beautiful and not overbearing prose.The sad and scary fact is that people go through Clara¿s situation every day. I know several friends who are in such relationships. And the terrifying thing about it is that there is only so much you can do to help those people. I wish I could give them all a copy of STAY. Deb Caletti¿s latest offering spins a heartwrenching portrayal of Clara and Christian¿s relationship, and Clara¿s subsequent healing process. We feel the intensity of Clara¿s attraction and caring for Christian, despite the fact that we know from the start that he is Bad News Bears. The horrible spiral that the relationship goes down is spun out subtly and convincingly.The characters in STAY are lovely. Clara is a fairly relatable protagonist, not knowing exactly what she wants from her future, but smart enough to know what she does NOT want from her past. The thing is, any one of us could easily be Clara: there¿s nothing about her that makes her stand out, that labels her immediately as a target for such a type of relationship. Clara handles the things within her control as best as she can, and I have to respect her for that.I also love Clara¿s relationship with her father. Clara¿s father, a famous writer, is one of the most well written parent figures I have read recently in YA lit. He has a personality! He has his own interests and dreams and aspirations! He has his own quirks! Awesomeee.I was less impressed with Clara¿s new romance. Come on: the girl just went through the most difficult thing she¿s had to go through in her life; doesn¿t it make sense for her to take a break from romance? The romance just felt like it was in the story only because it is expected of YA stories to contain a romance. So, yeah. Not impressed. Clara also discovers shocking revelations about her family history, which was a side plot that wasn¿t set up as well as the main one. It¿s not bad, per se: it just felt like a lot of drama that didn¿t entirely live up to its shock value.Overall, however, STAY is one hell of a read. It¿s beautiful, moving, and sometimes hurts to the bone to read. But at the end of it all, it is powerful and important¿and best of all, it¿s written well. Pick it up or buy it as a present for someone, please.
lifeafterjane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's true that very little, if anything, can compare to your first love. It's exhilarating- that sudden onslaught of a new emotion so intense you marvel at your heart's new found ability to feel something so exquisite. How is it possible to feel this way when you never even knew you could? You revel in it, drink it in, savoring every taste until you're drunk with it. For a time, nothing else exists but the insatiable need for this other person. You want more. You've never been so greedy. When Clara meets Christian, suddenly there are only two people left on earth. Neither can get their fill of the other. Hasty promises are made that they will love each other forever and for all she knew, when she said it, Clara truly meant she would never leave him. But Christian's ardent attention soon turns into jealousy. Every male is a threat to his relationship with Clara. Her friends exist only to keep him from her. In angry, hurt tones he accuses her of cheating and begins to scrutinize her every word and move, watchful for even a hint of deception. Soon, this love that Clara couldn't get enough of becomes suffocating. She wants out, even though Christian made her promise never to leave him, and he's not going to let her forget it. "It's strange, isn't it, how the idea of belonging to someone can sound so great? It can be comforting, the way it makes things decided. We like the thought of being held, until it's too tight. We like that certainty, until it means there's no way out. And we like being his, until we realize we're not ours anymore."Contemporary YA and I are only just becoming friends. I've long preferred things with a magical air and I dove head first into all the fantasy and paranormal YA floating around out there. Pure escapism, easy reads, for the most part, with very little emotional investment. It wasn't until I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher that I discovered what I was really missing. Since then, I've become rather infatuated with these contemporary, ahem, darker, depictions of young life. And though I'm much too old for the majority of them to relate, I can appreciate the lessons and wish I had learned them much earlier on. Stay has a lesson for you. Love, even with all the goodness and wonder it brings, can be the most dangerous of emotions. It's sneaky about it too- its evil silently piggybacking its way in with the bliss that you're all to eager to invite into your life. You bask in it, never knowing what love has hidden behind its back. "I've heard that people stay in bad situations because a relationship like that gets turned up by degrees. It is said that a frog will jump out of a pot of boiling water. But place him in a pot and turn it up a little at a time, and he will stay until he is boiled to death. Us frogs understand this." Clara found herself in a controlling relationship that had just begun to skirt the edges of violent when she finally decided to get out. Her father takes her away for the summer, telling no one where they've gone. Over the summer, away from Christian's incessant pleas for her to take him back, she's finally able to come to terms with what happened. And what almost happened. She's once again free to say what she likes, dress how she likes, and see who she likes without the constant threat that any wrong move could trigger an emotionally violent reaction. It's wonderful how she helps with her own healing. Clara has once again found herself, or rather, a battle weary but wiser version of herself. She knows now that someone who loves you, doesn't treat you like that, and she understands that Christian's illness was not her doing. She accepts what has happened and makes every attempt to move on. The writing is absolutely phenomenal. I got caught up in Clara's expressions and insights, some of which can just simply gut you. The story is told in both the past and the present, you see Clara's relationship with Christian first hand and you experience each moment
allureofbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a very well-written book. It did not take long at all to really sink into Clara's story. I loved the setting: on the coast with lighthouse. Very atmospheric. I also loved the other characters involved in Clara's life as she tries to get past her relationship with Christian. When she meets Finn, I at first thought eek too soon!, but quickly changed my mind. It is impossible not to fall for Finn, and he really helps her overcome her past instead of helping her hide from it. That part of the story could have easily gone way off course, I'm so glad it didn't!The story also constantly switches to the past and the way Clara met and got involved with Christian. Caletti does a very good job of balancing the "yes, I can see why she fell for him" with the "feeling of impending doom." Really great characterization following their relationship and how scary it was.I'm not sure how I feel about how Clara ultimately ends up confronting her past: it seemed to suspend reality a tad. But then, I've never been in a situation that resembles hers at all, so maybe I just don't fully appreciate it. Either way - that part kept me from loving the book as much as I could have.Regardless, I recommend picking up a copy of this if you're a fan of Deb Caletti or contemporary young adult fiction. You will lose yourself in Clara's journey and watch as she starts to leave her past behind. The book is released later this month, so be on the lookout!
bookwormygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ms. Caletti has written a very strong and powerful story in Stay. Although I've never been in a situation like Clara's, I can very easily see where this work of fiction may ring true to women.In Stay we meet Clara who is leaving behind her home, friends and especially Christian for the summer. Her father believes that by not telling anyone where they are headed she'll be safe and provide the space needed for Christian to get over their break-up. Through alternating chapters we learn of Clara's present and her future. We see how she's dealing with her break-up and how she's moving forward, but we also see how she met Christian, how they fell in love and how it got to the point where she had to run away from him.I think the cover of this book is perfect for it. Because in ways that is the way the story is told. Although the story mostly has a light feel to it, there is a dark overcast throughout most of it. You always have this niggling creepy feeling of impending doom so you can never truly enjoy the moment. Ms. Caletti did this so expertly. She was able to invoke so many feelings into her story and pass them on to me as the reader (i.e. the confusion, frustration, and eventually fear). I also really enjoyed the setting... on the coast, the lighthouse, the sudden changes in weather. It provided the perfect atmosphere and exactly what was needed for such an emotional roller-coaster type read.In the end, I think Ms. Caletti believably captures the intricacies of relationships - not just the abusive one between Clara and Christian, but that between father and daughter, the camaraderie of best friends or two brothers and even that of a budding romance. Her writing, character and plot development are phenomenal and very relateable.If you are a fan of Ms. Caletti and/or contemporary young adult fiction I recommend you get yourself a copy of Stay. You will not be disappointed.
theepicrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clara thought love at first sight would be magical and it was at first, but soon it becomes apparent that this oh-so-perfect-love gets bitten by a little green-eyed bug that refuses to let go. She thought nothing could be worse than the physical abuse from her last relationship, but nothing prepared her for the emotional rollercoaster that Christian took her on. When Clara and her father go into hiding at Bishop Rock, she hopes that she can learn to forget Christian and move on with her life. I am on the fence about Stay - the story seemed real enough, meaningful enough, but I didn't connect well with Clara. She came across as a little too tense, which probably had to do with her desire to protect herself from getting hurt again by people who she thought loved her. It works for her character, but I wish she could have opened herself a little bit more easily with me as a reader. I also wasn't convinced that Clara grew a whole lot in this book, especially when a new (and first healthy) relationship blossoms. Love happens when it happens, but I would have thought there would have been more resistance from Clara before she attempted another relationship. Especially when she was fresh from the previous bad experience.
Krissy724 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stay is my first experience with a Deb Caletti book and I have to say that I was not disappointed. Stay is about a girl named, Clara who, with her dad, Bobby, has to leave town to get away from Christian, the crazy and jealous ex-boyfriend. Christian is the kind of boy who acts sweet and polite until he sees her talking to another boy, even if that boy is her friend. He puts her down, and he puts himself down. He loves her so much and is so afraid to lose her, that he would do anything to keep her. Yeah Christian, real smart, act psychotic, that will get her to stay (ha! Stay!). Clara and Bobby rent a house on the beach for the summer and try to move on from what happened and at the same time, both learn to move on. Clara begins a friendship/relationship with a local boy named Finn, while her dad tries to work out things from his past.I really liked the characters, especially Clara. I liked that she was still open to finding the right guy for her. I liked that she was able to be comfortable around Finn and open up to him. I was also proud that she was able to break up with Christian, no matter what he said or did to her to try to get her to stay with him. She had a confidence about her that I admired. Even the secondary characters including, Sylvie Genovese and Annabelle Aurora brought so much dimension to the story.Stay is told in the present tense and in flashbacks. We get to see how the relationship between Clara and Christian and began, and how it turned into a nightmare for Clara. There were also footnotes were Clara added little facts or extra information that I really enjoyed reading. It made the story, and Clara so much more real for me.This story is about a lot more then just moving on from an abusive relationship. It¿s about acceptance and forgiveness, not just for other people, but for your self as well. Stay is a beautiful story that was wonderfully written. I am looking forward to reading some of Caletti¿s other work and excited to see what she comes up with next.
hrose2931 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How to start. How to start. Perhaps with what made me unable to put this book down when I got it last evening. First paragraph-" First off, I've never told this story to anyone. Not the entire thing anyway, and not entirely truthfully. I'm only telling it now for one reason, and that's because an untold story has a weight that can submerge you, sure as a sunken ship at the bottom of the ocean. I learned that. This kind of story, those kind of things kept secret- they have the power to keep you hidden forever, and most of all from yourself. The ghosts from that drowned ship, they keep haunting."That first paragraph resonated with me so much that I had to dive in with my head and for once, open up that little place I allow to feel, my heart. I knew Clara from the minute she met Christian and knew exactly why she did every action she did. I'd once held the power Clara felt of having someone love her so much that they'd do anything to keep her. It's powerful and wonderful and scary to be the one that loves less. But it's all consuming and Clara learns that there is a dark side to the power and Christian. And his jealousies and walking on eggshells and having to lie about her past becomes too much. It's emotionally draining. And dangerous in a way Clara can't even imagine. She and Christian were perfect and then Christian, perfect, beautiful, foreign Christian let his insecurities begin to show and there was no forgetting. And there is accommodating and adjusting for certain things in a relationship and then there is what Clara did for Christian. But this is not one of those stories where you can say "Oh stupid girl." and want to shake her because Clara has brought us into the story with her. We are Clara for lack of a better way to explain it. She put little asterisks in her story. Example- She lets us know her mother is dead.* Then at the bottom of the page "*Yes this story has a dead mother. Mine. She had a sudden aneurysm when I was barely four. Died before she could even get to a hospital. Dead mother's have become a story cliche thanks to Disney movies and novel writers. All the dead mothers in books, you'd think it was a common occurrence. Even Dad's books have them. But mine was real. She was no cliche and neither am I." It's Clara's story and she's writing it not Deb Caletti. The author is not between us and Clara. She's removed herself and I kept checking the description of the book to make sure this was fiction and not Deb Caletti's real story. Because the author removed herself from the story, I felt very close to Clara. I identified with her, understood her trying to spare Christian's feelings, trying time and time to remove the hurt. She was a nice girl. She was nice to people and breaking up with someone, well it makes her feel not nice. And she's sure that Christian's reactions are her fault, for that first giddy feeling of power. The one she can't admit to at first but then tells her Dad, her Dad the writer who seems less like a Dad and more like an adult friend that takes care of Clara. He respects her way more than any parent I've ever seen to be called a parent. Yet he is parental when necessary, he doesn't tell Clara "no" when he doesn't like Christian. But when he sees warning signs, danger, he takes action. But if Clara feels shame and can't forgive herself, her father feels even worse. This stalwart man who plays metaphor games and would rather use clues to guess who's house they are renting than google him, the one that insists on protecting his daughter has a big secret. One that changes everything for Clara. She keeps us with her throughout the novel, with her asterisks as if she's sitting beside us letting us know the secret thoughts she had while putting her story down. While unburdening her of the ghosts. More than one passage made me stop and I had to read it over and over sinking into what it really was saying, not just the words on the top layer, but the d
MrsBoswellBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The content of this story was very strong and extremely close to some reader's reality, like my own. I went through the "love-at-first-sight" as a senior in high school. I was madly in love with this guy and wanted to spend every second with him. I felt so special when I was with him, like I was someones entire world. At first I didn't see his jealousies for what they were. I saw everything as my own personal shortcomings. I couldn't talk to any other boy without it suddenly being made to look like I was sleeping with every guy around. Any joke was blown extremely out of proportion. Unlike Clara, I stayed too long and things got out of hand, things turned abusive. Eventually I got out, but I was glad to read that Clara got out before things turned extremely nasty.Stay was my first stab at Deb Caletti's work. I was a little worried about reading this story, as it hits a little too close to home for me. I'm glad that I did, though. It is a story that needs to be shared and one that, unfortunately, happens all too often in reality.Clara finds what she believes to be "love-at-first-sight" with Christian and things quickly turn intense. Clara is placed on a pedestal that only gives Clara a farther distance to fall. Jealousies arise and Christian becomes possessive. Clara becomes and object for Christian rather than a person. When Clara finally realizes how out-of-control things are, she and her father pack up and leave town.Clara struggles with moving on from Christian. She is deeply in love with him, but finally realizes that Christian can offer nothing more than storm clouds overhead. This story isn't entirely sad, though. Once Clara leaves town, she is able to heal and move on. She makes new friends, forges new relationships. She finally sees what it is like to be in a healthy relationship with no crazy expectations or controlling behavior.The only downfalls for me were the amount of intense language (cursing/swearing) and the footnotes. I'd have to scan all the way down to the bottom of the page and then find where I left off to continue the story. I didn't feel like the footnotes were extremely important to the message of the story and I actually feel like they took away from it.The layers of writing and the characters themselves were intense. Stay was raw and emotional. There was amazing depth and intense feeling in Caletti's writing. Stay is a story that definitely needs to be told and shared.
jacindahinten on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A part of me didn¿t want to read Stay, the topic scared me just little. I was afraid of crying WAY too much and being upset for days after. I decided to wait until I read some reviews on Stay before I picked it up myself. The raving reviews starting rolling in, so I read Stay¿I¿m so glad I did!Clare is a character, who by end of Stay I want to say I¿m proud of, but I was also proud of her at the beginning as well. Walking away from an abusive relationship when you love someone, whatever the form, can be difficult. Yes, Clare made some mistakes. You have to remember she¿s a teenager and many adults have made those same mistakes in those same situations. Christian¿Creeped. Me. Out. Through all of Stay, you saw how controlling Christian was and what minor things would set him off. The situation just kept getting worse and worse. One particular instance(I won¿t give it away here, but if anyone wants to ask, I¿ll tell) really weirded me out and I was shivering up until the last page because of it¿I¿m still shivering and tense as I¿m trying to write this review and thinking about it. Clare had a respectable father, who had his share of downs, but I wouldn¿t mind having him as my own father. I really liked him as a character and how he acted towards and treated Clare. He wasn¿t a single parent who sat on the sidelines, which is a big deal many readers have regarding parents. I should also throw in here that Stay isn¿t just all downs either. Clare spends the summer away and meets new people, gets a job, and meets a new boy. She learns how to move on from what she¿s experienced and re-learns what¿s ¿normal¿ in a relationship.Deb Caletti did a great job jumping from what I was calling in my head ¿before¿ she left the relationship with Christian and ¿after¿ she left town with her father. I¿m happy Deb Caletti added the footnotes into Stay, I think the footnotes gave Stay something a bit different. Many of us booklovers are information junkies, so footnotes can be great at times. I¿ve read one other book by Deb Caletti, Six Rules of Maybe, which I thought was great. I will continue reading her books in the future and I¿ll probably go back and read books which are already released as well.
graceschumann on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I will honestly say that the whole of this story was actually quite captivating. It made me really sympathize with the main character and turned my attention onto the problem of how even sometimes relationships that are nonviolent are still threatening when it comes to the art of manipulation and control. The main reason why I gave this book three stars instead of the four it should deserve was the ending. There was really no resolution which was disappointing.Spoiler**Basically, Caletti nevers brings the whole main idea in the book to a head. There is a scene where the main character comes face-to-face with her obsessive ex-boyfriend again but there is no end to him stalking her. It continues after the book ends and Caletti just writes a line that says basically we can't control the things that happen in our lives like that and we have to learn to deal with them....Ummmm, learn to deal with an obessive ex who is still stalking her...that's insane...Full Review to come!
FionaCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clara and her father have come to a remote beach house in Washington state for the summer in order to escape from her obsessive ex-boyfriend, Christian. Even though Clara hasn¿t told anyone where she is, she still keeps looking over her shoulder, afraid Christian will be there. To further complicate things, she meets Finn, who runs a sailing ship tour with his brother. Finn is everything Christian was not, and Clara finds herself falling for him.Clara isn¿t the only one to find love: her father starts dating the lighthouse keeper, who also happens to be Clara¿s boss. But things aren¿t all wonderful for Clara and her father. Something happened at the beach when Clara was a little girl, something involving her dead mother. While Clara unravels the secrets her father has been keeping, she suddenly gets a phone call from Christian. Has he found out where she is?This is a compelling story of obsessive love, stalking, family secrets and healing broken hearts. The beach setting makes it a great summer read, or one to read in the winter while dreaming of summer.