Monday, April 2, 2012
Stay by Deb Caletti
Stay by Deb Caletti (Simon Pulse, 2011)
Summary from publisher:
Everything had changed, and everything would stay changed because that's what happens when the fear gets in.
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 knows 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 is an intense story about an intense relationship. Reading about this relationship from a teen girl's perspective is creepy; I often felt like a voyeur, spying on someone I shouldn't be spying on. At times I wanted to shake Clara, to tell her to wake up and see how she is being manipulated, and at other times I thought back on my own intense teenage relationship and how easy it is to fall into compliance. I think it's good for teen girls to read about obsessive behavior, to try out these feelings and figure out what they would do if they were in the main character's shoes. Of course, it's easy to SAY what you would do, but is often difficult when in the situation.
Not everything that happens in this story is completely believable or even fits the storyline, however this story does work. I found myself unable to put the book down; I wanted to know what was going to happen to Clara and her father. There are sexual situations in this book that makes it difficult to recommend to younger teens, and there is quite a bit of language, too. Neither is gratuitous, and the scenes involving sex aren't graphic. They are, however, instrumental in getting to understand Clara and her relationship with Christian.
I highly recommend this book to more mature teen readers.