Aleeeeeza's Reviews > Stay

Stay by Deb Caletti
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Jul 09, 11

bookshelves: arc-netgalley-galleygrab, 2011-read, absolute-favorite, 2011-faves
Read in March, 2011

*4.5 stars*

Some time ago I read Dreamland by Sarah Dessen and I absolutely loved it. The whole love-turns-into-obsession topic really, really intrigues me. So it was natural I was so into reading Stay too, once I read it’s summary on Goodreads a whole while back.

So when I got this book on GalleyGrab, I was beyond excited—and I know I seem to say that about every other book, but I was really thrilled to get my hands on this one, considering how much I love contemporary novels and how I’ve been wanting to read Deb Caletti for a long time. And this novel—it did NOT disappoint. I finished it under twenty-four hours (big deal for me). I was planning to read it between Accounting exam preparations, but I Could. Not. Stop. Reading it!

First of all, I am going to have to mention how hot Christian is. I mean, he’s DANISH, for cryin’ out loud. And I had the hugest of crushes on this Danish model called Mathias Lauridsen, and his fellow Danish model Adrian Bosch is how I imagined Christian in my mind.

And guys, Adrian is HAWT. Like, yeah, with All Caps, dude. Like, this HAWT:



Now, before you go thinking I’m some hormone-crazed idiot (which I sorta am, actually), I should tell you why I’m talking extensively about Christian’s HAWTness. That’s because it totally makes sense he’s this good-looking and has this amaaaazing Danish accent since Clara was crazy-attracted to him. And wowzers, their relationship unfurled amazingly well. They have all these cute couple quirks and complement each other quite well…until it turns out Christian ain’t as normal as he seems. That’s because he’s obsessive, and when that love for Clara turns into freak-obsessiveness, things go REALLY awry for them. The gradual built-up of how Christian slowly turns into this…monster, it’s so, so believable!

So on one side of the novel we have their new love playing out, while on the other Clara has come to a small beach town for the summer with her father, to escape Christian’s stalking. And Clara’s author dad was an absolute treat! In fact, every character in this novel kind of was, even psycho-esque Christian. Especially Finn, the sailor-guy Clara meets in this new town and shares a mutual attraction with. The setting was also perfectly done—and the whole beach-town feel was awesome. I was reading another beachy-book while reading this one, and so the whole beach feel was really awesome, considering I was trudging through accounting homework in the stifling Karachi heat.

The writing was also beautiful. Caletti writes with this smooth, easy grace and it's very easy to read and conjures up very vivid images. The only thing that bothered me a little bit was how at times the sentences sort of stretched on and on up till the point where I lost track and had to go back to the beginning of the paragraph to get it. There were also numerous passages where Clara would begin lecturing a little bit about stuff, and I wish I could quote here, but I don’t think I can quote from ARCs. It wasn’t really that irksome, it just seemed kind of unnecessary in some parts. On the whole, however, I don’t think I minded it that much. But maybe it could’ve been toned down a little…? But still, some of the passages were actually quite insightful, really, so I’m totally willing to pardon it.

Despite the flaws, this novel is still such a stunning, impactful read, guys. I think the best adjective to describe it would be POWERFUL. (In all caps, no less!) So yes, I whole-heartedly recommend this book to everyone. READ. IT!
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Quotes Aleeeeeza Liked

Deb Caletti
“An untold story has a weight that can submerge you, sure as a sunken ship at the bottom of the ocean.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“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.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“If fate is a shape-shifter, then loves is too. It can be, anyway, in its most dangerous form. It´s your best day and then your worst. It´s your most hope and then you most despair. Lightness, darkness, it can swing between extremes at lightning speed- a boat upon the water on the most dangerous day, and then the clouds crawl in and the sky turns black and the sea rages and the boat is lost.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“I tried to read that book again before I went to sleep. I didn’t like that book, but I kept going for all the reasons a person hangs in with something that isn’t good-you feel bad about not giving it a chance, you´ve already come too far to give up now, you believe it´s going to get better. When you’re a person whose life has mostly brought good things, you believe in goodness. You believe that things will work out. Even the worst things will work out. You believe in a happy ending.
But you are naïve. The mostly good in your life has made you that way. You´ve spent so much time seeing the bright side that you don’t even believe the other side exists. You are wrong about that.
I closed that book. I wouldn’t open it again, I vowed. It was time to learn something.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“Sometimes maybe you should let someone you love travel great distances away from you. You shouldn’t think you needed to set out to retrieve them and put them back where they belonged. Sometimes they were only safe and happy, like Annabelle Aurora. And then other times, it was just possible they were lost at sea. It would be your duty, then, to get out into the boat and search, even if the waves were choppy and the wind was howling the protests of the dead.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“The most true-love words are not the ones that grasp and hold and bind you, twisting you both up together in some black dance. No, they are ones that leave you free to stand alone on your own solid ground, leave him to do the same, a tender space between you.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“We can get so wrapped up in our own misconceptions that we miss the simple beauty of the truth.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“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.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“You read all kinds of books and see all kinds of movies about the man who is obsessed and devoted, whose focus is a single solid beam, same as the lighthouse and that intense, too. It is Heathcliff with Catherine. It is a vampire with a passionate love stronger than death. We crave that kind of focus from someone else. We'd give anything to be that "loved." But that focus is not some soul-deep pinnacle of perfect devotion - it's only darkness and the tormented ghosts of darkness. It's strange, isn't it, to see a person's gaping emotional wounds, their gnawing needs, as our romance? We long for it, I don't know why, but when we have it, it is a knife at our throat on the banks of Greenlake. It is an unwanted power you'd do anything to be rid of. A power that becomes the ultimate powerlessness.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“We see a promise as a personal law, and we see the people who break them as private-life criminals. We think it automatically, one of those truths that just is to us: breaking a promise is a bad, bad thing. A promise can be as buoyant as whispered words or solemn as a marriage vow, but we view it as something pure and untouchable when it should never be either of those things. If a promise is a personal law, a contract, then it ought to be layered with fine print, rules and conditions, promises within those promises, and whether we like it or not, it ought to be something we can snatch back, that we should snatch back, if those rules are violated.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“You can forget that other people carry pieces of your own story around in their heads. I've always thought--put together all those random pieces form everyone who's ever known you from your parents to the guy who once sat next to you on a bus, and you'd probably see a fuller version of your life than you even did while living it.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“People can attach themselves to something--an idea, another person, a desire--with an impossibly strong grip, and in the case of restless ghosts, a grip stronger than death. Will is a powerful thing. Will--it's supposed to be a good treat, a more determined and persistent version of determination and persistence. But will and obsession--they sit right next to each other. They pretend to be strangers and all the while meet secretly at midnight." -”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“I've heard that people stand 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. 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.”
Deb Caletti, Stay

Deb Caletti
“A new person in your life gives the rest of you a chance to be new, too. Your life can be whatever you want it to, from there on out. I leaned in and kissed and that is who I was to him, not shy, but bold. Not inhibited, but brave. I was that to him and so I kept being that. It was what I thought he wanted and what he was attracted to, and yet it was this, this exact thing I wasn't even really, that made him the most insecure.”
Deb Caletti, Stay


Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Wendy Darling Oh, I can't wait to read this now! Great review, Aleeza.


Aleeeeeza Wendy Darling wrote: "Oh, I can't wait to read this now! Great review, Aleeza."

thank you! it is such a great book, wendy. i wanna reread it VERY soon.


message 3: by Becca (new)

Becca GASP. That's a hot Danish boy. As you can maybe tell by my last name, my family has Danish roots. So hot Danish boys strike a special chord with me :P

Also, I just got this book and I'm excited to read it. Seems like you really love it!


Aleeeeeza Becca wrote: "GASP. That's a hot Danish boy. As you can maybe tell by my last name, my family has Danish roots. So hot Danish boys strike a special chord with me :P

Also, I just got this book and I'm excited to..."


ahhaha, yes you told me when i commented on your last name being the same as hayden christensen's!

but danish guysss! i have no danish roots :P but i still find them mind-bogglingly good-looking! d'you know mathias lauridsen? EEEk!!


Aleeeeeza Becca wrote: "GASP. That's a hot Danish boy. As you can maybe tell by my last name, my family has Danish roots. So hot Danish boys strike a special chord with me :P

Also, I just got this book and I'm excited to..."


ahhaha, yes you told me when i commented on your last name being the same as hayden christensen's!

but danish guysss! i have no danish roots :P but i still find them mind-bogglingly good-looking! d'you know mathias lauridsen? EEEk!!


MiMi Comparing it to Sara Dessen made me wanna read it less but I will still read it nonetheless


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