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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 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....

313 pages, Hardcover

First published April 5, 2011

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About the author

Deb Caletti

31 books2,272 followers
Deb Caletti is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of over twenty books for adults and young adults, including Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, a finalist for the National Book Award, and A Heart in a Body in the World, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. 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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 951 reviews
Profile Image for Morgan F.
512 reviews469 followers
April 24, 2011
I always knew you had it in you, Caletti. I've read a few books of yours, and while they were good, certainly more substantial than most YA literature, there has always been something missing. I think, whatever that is, you've found it.

Clara is at the age when she is supposed to spending time with her friends in the last summer before college and her future starts. Instead, her and her father have packed their bags and are leaving town to spend the summer in small coastal town where no one knows who they are. A place where no one can find them.

Clara is escaping from her ex-boyfriend, Christian, an intense, needy boy who just isn't able to let her ago. After nearly two years of jealous accusations, futile discussions, criticisms, and endless and insistent reassurances, Clara has decided she has had enough, although Christian is determined to do anything to make her stay.

I loved this book because it featured an abusive relationship in a realistic light. These relationships are not romantic. They are unhealthy and tragic and just wrong. What I loved about Clara is that she understood that. Once she saw Christian for what he was - a psychologically disturbed young man, she was scared, and rightfully so. And she wasn't weak for falling for him in the first place. Perhaps as a reader, we were able to look into her life, as she did in retrospect, and pick out all the clues and warning signs, but I don't think anyone should blame her or assign guilt. I just like how the relationship and its aftermath was portrayed. Realistically, yet somehow sympathetically. I've never been in anything close to such a destructive romance, but I was still able to relate to Clara perfectly. I understand that it was not her fault, it was something that happened to her, and she was brave to handle it as she did. Quite a refreshing outlook in comparison to other YA novels that portray abusive (because either emotionally or physically, it is abusive) relationships as romantic, can't-live-without-you, I-know-what's-best-for-you, let-me-watch-you-while-you-sleep love.

I also love the relationship between Clara and her father. I wish I had such an awesome relationship with my father. They were open with each other, had good witty banter, were friends but it was still clear it was a father/daughter relationship. Kind of like the relationship between Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Clara's father was an influential and active part of Clara's life, and was his own character with his own complexities. Unlike most YA novels, he is not just a plot device.

One thing I've loved about every Caletti novel I've read is the writing. I just think she is spectacular. Although some of her syntax may be clumsy, her prose is overall lyrical and very, very truthful. Every chapter is like a goldmine, with little nuggets of awesome found everywhere. She has a way of taking the most ordinary, every day things and relating it to the meaning of the universe or something. People have a way of not noticing ordinary things, just because we become so accustomed to them. Caletti has a habit of pointing out the overlooked things, and casting them in a new, sometimes bittersweet, light.

I also loved the footnotes. They were so cute. And often very, very funny. Clara is quirky, charming, and real.

The only aspect of the novel that didn't exactly hit home with me was the rather optimistic relationship between Clara and Finn. It was cute and all, but perhaps a bit too fast and unrealistic. I think perhaps it sends the wrong message that in order to get over one relationship, one must enter a new one. I didn't think it was necessary to the story, and the book would have been just as powerful if they had stayed friends.

This book is surprisingly tense. It had me turning the pages long after I should have stopped. I was just racing for the relief of all that tension. The novel felt like all along it was building towards something that would culminate in one big dramatic explosion. That didn't happen. I would even venture to say the ending was a tad bit melodramatic. But I don't think that is a bad thing. If anything, it only adds to how true this book is. Real life is not a movie or a story. Life doesn't end after the final scene of the film or the final chapter of a novel. It's an ongoing reel, full of ups and downs. It doesn't have one big moment. It's all one big moment.

Overall, a powerful, truthful novel. Caletti has climbed her way to a well-deserved spot amongst my favorite authors. God, I hope this book is a commercial success. It needs to be.

Thank you, Simon & Schuster Galleygrab for providing me with an ARC copy :) It has been greatly appreciated.

Profile Image for Arlene.
1,164 reviews639 followers
April 5, 2011
Sometimes that’s all you need. To know it’s not broken. To know you’re still whole and that you’ll heal.

Wow! This book is absolutely amazing and horrifyingly realistic. Five stars plus more for Stay by Deb Caletti!

I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of books in my lifetime and yet I can count the number of novels that have made me cry on one hand and one hand alone. It takes an amazing author who writes with a pen filled with power to push me into that emotional pocket of reality and hold me captive for a 300+ page journey.

I’ll admit now, I don’t like to get personal in my reviews. I’ll tell you how I feel about a book, my opinion on the delivery and its characters, maybe a little squee-ing here and there, but that’s pretty much it. ^^ But I won’t do this book justice if I don’t admit how realistic this story was to me, in so many ways. I have no words strong enough to convey how Stay by Deb Caletti moved me because of its accuracy. I’ve had a rocky past with this author and have even gone so far as to have given up on a couple of her books mid-way. Well with this novel, she has told my story and has earned a top spot in my list of fave authors. I will doubt her ability to captive an audience nevermore.

Stay hits some pretty tough subjects to such a precise degree. This book is about a relationship where the guy is possessive, obsessed and on the extreme side of jealous; it’s about a girl that unknowingly makes mistake after mistake in trying to get away; it also grapples with topics such as suicide, death, trying to love again, and most of all survival. Caletti told this story to such accurate precision that for anyone who’s ever experienced a relationship such as Clara’s, you will sit back and gasp at how on the mark she was in her dialog, behaviors, actions, reactions and feelings of both Clara and Christian. She hit this topic out of the ballpark.

Caletti cleverly tells this story from different angles and time references. I applaud how she didn’t reveal the whole truth about Clara’s relationship with Christian upfront. You had to work your way there. It was almost like being stuck in traffic knowing there’s a horrific accident coming up and as you get closer and closer you feel you want to either pull back or power forward to not see the full damage, but when you get there you can’t take your eyes off of the wreckage. I was practically screaming at Clara as the signs of her boyfriend’s obsessive behavior were skittering right past her… the clutching on too fast, neediness, of not hearing the words she said, the word “no,” the jealousy, guarding her and her freedom of will, but that’s the beauty of this book… it’s how it all goes down. Good gawd, how did Caletti know this?!?

One last note… Finn… ohhh Finn… you’re adorable and absolutely every move you made and every word you said I wanted to highlight in my memory. You know a character moves me when I start talking directly to them. I loved this character because of his hero-like actions and his no-bullsh!te-honesty. He was the one true flawless beauty in this book. ♥ ♥ ♥ FINN ♥ ♥ ♥

Overall, I highly recommend this book for those looking to read a story filled with awesome. As her style, Caletti does use some sharp narrative, in other words, there’s a boatload of cussing. But sometimes you have to drop the f-b0mb to express a strong emotion and so she uses her choice words wisely IMO. ^^ Great book that I loved to pieces!

Quotes that moved me:
You can put up with a lot of sh!t and then just be finished with it all at once. A decision can seem to make itself, quick and firm.

But you know what? Sh!t happens…I keep walking around lately knowing how fragile everything is … how quickly things can change, and so I’m not into bullsh!t games and rules anymore, okay? I want to let you know that whatever the word is that’s more appropriate than love right now…. I whatever-that-word-is you.”

Will and obsession sit right next to each other. They pretend to be strangers and all the while meet secretly at midnight… In their mind, you are theirs and will always be theirs and your own choice about that matters very little.

Song Choice: Iridescent – Linkin Park

(Arc provided by Simon & Schuster Galley Grab)
Profile Image for Cara.
279 reviews721 followers
August 20, 2016
This story just made so much sense. You know in that way how you feel somebody really understands the way you think? That's how I felt the whole time reading this. Not to say I've ever been through anything like this, not even close.

Clara sees herself as a normal girl. Nothing too spectacular but all that changes when she meets Christian. He's enigmatic and charismatic (gotta be careful of the matic's obviously) and makes her feel powerful and like a whole new person with countless possibilities for change. As time moves along though their relationship takes an ugly turn; Christian has become dangerously obsessed with Clara. She has to flee with her father to a seaside town where secrets will be revealed and hopefully some good changes can happen.

It's hard to read about how a character is slowly digging themselves into a hole they may never be able to escape, so with that in mind I thought I was going to be really uncomfortable reading this. The book is told in alternate chapters. One side of the story is where we see how Clara gets involved with Christian to the point where she leaves him and the other when she is in the seaside town with her father. The layout worked and was the only way it could have been told so it could leave a moving impression on the reader.

I loved almost everything about it. Clara is an introspective character, and is frank about how things went down, her feelings, and her part in things. She knows that she has to move past this and the place they chose for this is perfect. I could feel the pull of the ocean, its commanding beauty, the waves splashing, and the sharp smell of salt. And all of this is coming from a person who has been to a beach once in her life. The other characters are fully fleshed out and there isn't a flat one among the bunch. Clara's father was a real intriguing character and isn't MIA (but there is a dead mother I guess we can't have everything, but Clara makes an interesting comment about that) like in many other YA novels. He is in the story quite a lot actually and is a main player in Clara's recovery.

There is a stark contrast between Christian and Finn (the other love interest). You can tell one is just healthier for her. I'm glad Caletti wrote this story. She is clear about how wrong it is for someone to revolve their life around you and that real love is much more gentle and doesn't feel wrong ever.

The only qualm I had is that it could get a bit verbose and the little bit with her father's secret I thought was just a teensy eensy bit over the top, but I'm fully satisfied. Fully satisfied.

Just a note: Since it's summertime I'm listening to lots of music and one song kept inching into my brain while reading this. The link is here. The song's chorus has this one line that says, “for as much she stumbles she's running” and the words really struck me as true. Even though Clara is in trouble and is stumbling over how to get over this she keeps moving forward, she keeps running.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
June 14, 2011
***Beware of mild spoilers, i.e. nothing that's going to really ruin it for you***

Here's what I thought:

Story - ★★★★★
Characters - ★★★★★
Writing - ★★★★★
Ending - ★★

The novel was absolutely wonderful until the ending that never happened. I mean, there was no resolution and there really needed to be when you're dealing with this kind of story. May I just say, Deb Caletti writes so beautifully; she makes each chapter read like poetry.

"I saw it as praise, falling down now like glittering snowflakes. But it was something else. A drop of poison on that gathering snow. That moment in the fairy tale when we know what just happened but the princess doesn't."

The lyrical flow of her writing was the first thing I noticed but the story was equally as strong, it was sad, moving and often creepy too. It's about how someone can find themselves gradually led into a controlling and unhealthy relationship, especially through carefully manipulated power dynamics within the relationship. Clara makes the first move with Christian, she sees from their first few meetings that she has captivated him... and she likes the powerful feeling this gives her. But it's this level of Christian's emotion that later becomes a danger to her when he starts to be jealous of every boy she speaks to.

It works as a gripping novel but also as a cautionary tale applicable to real life situations. You might judge someone who has allowed themselves to be caught up in a controlling or abusive relationship, but this book shows how subtly circumstances can change, leading to people who thought they were in a happy, loving relationship suddenly facing a partner they no longer recognise and are inable to escape.

The feeling of being trapped and having nowhere to run makes Stay at times quite a frightening story to read. Christian, at first a charming Danish boy with pretty eyes and an accent to die for, turns into a stalker-ish did-something-just-move-outside-my-window kind of character. In my opinion, he was terrifying! But then, all of you who thought it was cute when Edward snuck into Bella's room at night might like this sort of thing (sorry, couldn't resist). I am actually thankful that a young adult novel has finally shown the creepy side of the boyfriend who is that dark shadow over there watching you.

While I'm here I'm going to be my usually awkward, picky self and point out the other small negative I found. And that was certain random side stories that didn't add anything to the overall plot. Like ghost stories and the amount of time spent on whats-her-face at the lighthouse. Yeah, that could have been cut out...

But otherwise, I really really loved this novel. If the ending had been better it would have been a full 5 star rating easily. But don't be put off: read this book!

One more quote:

"But if fate is a shape-shifter, then love 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 your most despair. Lightness, darkness, it can swing between extremes at lightning speed - a boat upon the water on the most gorgeous day, and then the clouds crawl in and the sky turns black and the sea rages and the boat is lost."
Profile Image for Drew.
450 reviews501 followers
February 21, 2017
“I am beginning to think there are two kinds of people,” she said.
I waited.
“Those who forgive themselves too easily but will not forgive others.”
“And?” I asked.
“Those that forgive others too easily but will not forgive themselves.”

What a book. It's been a while since I read such a thoughtful, poignant contemporary.

Take one look at the cover and it screams "angsty teen romance," with a girl standing looking longingly down into the ocean (probably thinking of some guy). But while this book does focus on romance, it's also a family story that deals with grief, a coming-of-age tale, and a psychological thriller.

It starts out small. Clara goes to a basketball game and meets a guy there. Christian is a dream come true - he's mysterious, a gentleman, and thinks he and Clara were brought together by fate. But, slowly, as Clara and Christian start dating, Christian reveals another side of himself. He becomes jealous, paranoid, and controlling. In a lot of ways, this book reminded me of It Ends with Us, showing a character who starts out seemingly wonderful until everything changes.

I must say, it's really refreshing to read a YA book where a controlling boyfriend is NOT portrayed as hot. Christian was terrifying and dangerous. If these characters had been placed in another book, Christian might have been seen as romantic, his aggressive personality "alpha male," and his controlling Clara a way of "protecting" her. I think this book was so important in showing how dangerous a controlling relationship can be.

And yet, when Clara first met Christian, I was charmed by him, and that's what made this book so good. He was good looking and said all the right things to Clara in a way that made my heart beat faster, alongside Clara's. This made all the more of an impact when he started mistreating her.

“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 the focus is not some soul-deep pinnacle of perfect devotion - it’s only darkness.”

The narration switches from the past to present, when Clara first meets Christian and after she escapes him. It's all the little details that make this story good - the descriptions of the small town on the beach where Clara and her dad are staying, Clara's tangled, confused emotions, and of course, the well-developed characters.

I read Stay in a few hours and experienced a whirlwind of emotions. I fell in love with Christian, was horrified when he started manipulating Clara, and desperately wanted her to escape him. I loved Clara's wonderful father, who was a huge part of his daughter's life, and the sweet Finn who was the complete opposite of Christian. Such a powerful, emotive story. Highly recommended.
392 reviews334 followers
February 17, 2011
This is my first Deb Caletti book and won't be my last because I LOVED it. Stay is masterfully written and so powerfully honest, it is just an absolutely brilliant read.

Stay is the story of Clara, a normal teenage girl. It is just her and her Dad as Clara's Mum pasted away when she was younger. Clara meets Christian and quickly falls in love. At first he appears to be the perfect boyfriend - sweet, caring, gorgeous and treats her so well. But Christian becomes controlling and obsessive. It is told in two different perspectives, before and after and alternates each chapter. Before is Clara's and Christian's relationship and After is Clara's and her Dad's escape for the summer to Bishop Rock.

This book could be a true story, as Caletti really captures how it feels to be in a controlling and obsessive relationship. Like how you are always anticipating their reaction, how they put you down, how you do anything to avoid a fight and the lies you tell. I wish I could go back in time and hand this book to my teenage self, it was the kind of book I needed and one I think all teenage girls should read.

The writing in Stay is beautiful and full of raw emotion. I badly wanted to put a favourite quote up but since it is an ARC I am not allowed. But I noted over 30 quotes! I kept highlight paragraph after paragraph. Something about Caletti's writing really connected with me. I think it is the honesty and all the heart in the story.

The characters are exceptional. Clara, her Dad, Finn, and Sylvie, I loved them all. So well fleshed out and so fully alive especially Clara. You can completely see why she fell for Christian and understand her decisions as the relationship went on. I have to say I would have probably made the same choices she did. Clara is definitely one of the most realistic characters I have read in a while.

I also enjoyed the relationship Clara had with her Dad. He was a loving father but he still had his flaws. And again it nice to see a parent being present consistently throughout the story. Their is also some very swoon worthy moments provided by Finn. He was such a good guy, confident, happy and caring. Having Finn in the story you could easily see Christian flaws and the difference between a healthy and a unhealthy relationship.

Overall, this book is amazing. I highly recommend Stay to all fans of contemporary fiction. Definitely a favourite read for 2011.

Thanks to Simon Pulse, S & S Galley Grab for providing me with a copy

Profile Image for Inge.
348 reviews894 followers
April 12, 2016
“It was clear I was standing beside Christian on the highest ledge of a building. I was looking down. I could see the street way, way below and the tiny people and the tiny cars honking: I could feel the cement wall under my hands and the sick feeling in my stomach. Doing what I needed to do to get off safely – it surely meant Christian would jump.”

Stay is the story of a naïve teenage girl who falls in love with a handsome guy. Their relationship is intense from the start – Clara can’t bear the thought of being without Christian, and Christian can’t bear being without Clara. Everything is rainbows and sunshine for a while. They’re so in love and so perfect for each other, but slowly, Christian starts showing his true nature. He becomes jealous and possessive and starts telling Clara what to do and what not to wear. Clara discovers that breaking up with Christian is not so easy, because he’ll do anything for them to be together again.

The story is divided into two parts: Clara and her dad have left town to escape Christian, and they’re attempting to build a new life in Bishop Rock. Her dad tries to write a book and Clara tries to forget about Christian. A young lad called Finn makes the forgetting a whole lot easier. Clara also tells the reader about her relationship with Christian – how everything was perfect in the beginning, and how, after a while, things started to escalate. They were together for at least two years before Clara got tired of being a doormat. Christian does not take this news very well. The two stories intertwine when the threat of Christian returns: he’s got her new phone number, and he knows where she is.

I liked that the two separate stories became one in the end. Despite the length of the build-up being longer than the actual story, I liked the slowly building tension of the dooming relationship, and not immediately knowing what happened between Clara and Christian. The story subtly played out to reveal tiny imperfections at first, and showed those growing into big faults in the end, turning her fairy tale into a nightmare.

The meeting between Clara and Christian was ridiculous. They just lock eyes during a basketball game, there’s the clichéd electric current running through her body, they exchange two sentences, and it is a done deal. From that moment on, she is completely sold and is already picturing them living together. She repeats that Christian was not the only person tightly holding on – she, too, wanted nothing more than keep him with her forever. I often found myself wondering why Clara put up with Christian’s bullshit. He becomes insanely jealous and starts accusing Clara of things she didn’t do, like look at other guys (THE HORROR), and sleep around. “You’re probably sleeping with him too” is one of his favourite things to say to his precious girlfriend, because she’s such a strumpet. The guy can’t even stand the idea of her mouth touching someone else’s, let alone something else. You heard me. Christian explicitly states that he can’t stand the thought of Clara’s mouth touching pizza.

Their break-up was pretty traumatic. Imagine my surprise when the first thing Clara does when she arrives in the new town is exactly what Christian was always so afraid of – she jumps into the arms of the first guy she sees. She was there to be away from Christian, someone who had psychologically manipulated and blackmailed her for two years. He verbally abused her and even threw a glass at her because she feigned seducing someone else just to spite him. He stalked her and hinted that he would commit suicide. You don’t just heal from that, but she couldn’t resist this sailor. Now, Finn was pretty charming. He was sweet and funny and obviously cared for Clara, but that guy was smoother than an eel in a bucket of snot.
“I want to let you know that whatever the word is that's more appropriate than love right now... I whatever-that-word-is you.”

I can’t believe she fell for that.

The relationship between Clara and her father was a joy to behold. He is always cheerful and optimistic, which is exactly what Clara needs after what happened. But even her ever-joyful father is hiding a secret from her, which added a lot of unnecessary drama towards the end. I would’ve preferred it if the drama had come from Christian. The ending left me disappointed. There was a big build-up for the final conflict, except the final conflict wasn’t really a conflict. The book lacked a definite ending. Clara actually confirms this, saying stories like this don’t usually have a satisfying ending, but it really needed one.

Many people love the writing in Stay, but I often rolled my eyes. There were definitely some beautiful passages, but a lot of the time, it felt like the author was trying too hard, which led to some pretty weird sentences:
“In the kitchen, dad’s back was to me. It seemed like a complex back. It had years of experiences I would never know.”

Who on Earth says things like “he had a complex back”? What does that even mean?

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“It was a blue sky day and the ocean just kept being the ocean – wide and consistent, in and out, in and out, bringing its little presents to the shore and taking them back again.”

There was a lot of this. “The ocean just kept being the ocean”, “my purse was still a purse”, etc. A lot of redundant phrases just to drag out a sentence and make it sound poetic, which didn’t really work for me. Too presumptuous.

In the end, I thought it was a good story, but it lacked a decent beginning and a definite ending. I would classify it as a “lightweight abuse story”, because there aren’t many graphic scenes and Christian was definitely a lot nicer than your average stalker. But don’t let that fool you – you still wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley or anything. Stay away from him, because if you don’t, you’ll never be allowed to eat pizza ever again. And you don’t want that, do you?
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
April 3, 2011
I've never read anything by Deb Calleti before, but I've always heard really great things about her books. Stay may have been the first book I've ever read from this author, but it definitely wont be my last.

Stay is about a girl named Clara Oates who is your average girl, shy, content and never was the very bold or daring kind, that is till she first seen Christian Nilsson.
Christian, once was that really great boyfriend. Sweet, funny and kind but soon he became easily jealous, overly controlling and completely obsessed.
Told in a before and after piece, we follow Clara while she's in a relationship with Christian and after when she's escaping from him with her father.
Powerful, intense and emotional, this is a story your all gonna want to read first hand!

This book is really hard for it not to effect you on some kind of level. Weather it's your experience or someone else or even just sympathizing towards this character, Stay is the kind of book that will linger in your thoughts long after the story is done.

When I first meet Clara and Christian, I got to admit, I thought they moved a little to fast, but then again it was pretty realistic for two teenagers who are attracted to one another, so I pushed it aside. They made a really sweet couple but the signs weren't hard to see and you actually start to feel nervous and scared for this character.
I really loved Clara's dad, he has a very open and relaxed personality and a good scene of humor, not to mention the support he's always given Clara. He's flawed and real. Then there's Finn and his wonderful warm moments. He was the perfect kind of remedy to heal a broken heart and a wonderful start to second chances.

Bottom line, this was a very well done story. The writing is heartfelt, strong and absorbing and the characters will take you on a crushing journey of self discovery, personal healing and guide you through relationship awareness.

Truly a gripping and captivating read.

(Arc provided by Simon & Schuster Galley Grab)
Profile Image for Eva-Marie.
1,674 reviews124 followers
October 29, 2010
This could not be fiction. It could so easily be non-fiction it's scary. Caletti's voice is bulls-eye accurate. There are people who love words and people who love words. Calletti loves words. She can string a set of words together and paint the most vivid picture in her readers heads.
I probably read a great portion of this with my mouth open in amazement. I had no idea what I was in for when I opened this book. I not only found a new favorite author but a new all-time favorite book in Stay. This is sure - sure - to be a hit with young adults and older adults alike.
The most important aspect about Stay is that this will hit home with women. And, if even one person listens, it just may save her life.
Caletti has a rare talent to take something seen as normal in this day and age and make the reader see it for what it is - abnormal. She picks it apart with her beautiful words and strings it back together - if possible even more beautifully.
Clara's Dad? A favorite all-time character of mine. Someone you might wish your Dad was a little like. Clara and her Dad's relationship is something to be envied and at the same time relatable by so many.
Stay is one of those books, one of those rare books, where I found myself struggling to leave the last sentence and go on to the next, and, at the same time, trying to keep my eyes on the sentence I was reading because my instinct was to jump ahead - just a little bit! - to find out what happened.
This is simply and truly amazing. A true piece of art sailing in a sea of average.
Profile Image for Lamia.
58 reviews106 followers
December 22, 2015
This can also be seen at The Book Eater

This would normally earn 3.5 stars from me because I rate books based on how I felt about them, not how well-written they are or how awesome the plot/characters are. But I can't in good conscience give this less than 4 stars. I can't bring myself to. So I'm rounding up. And you know what? I don't mind, because this book deserves it.

This is a story about love, loss, family and overcoming your fears. It's the strength of a father-daughter relationship, the hope of a young adult just coming out of her shell and a budding love story sprinkled with humor and heart-wrenching writing.

This book will hit home, whether you've been in Clara's situation or not. The prose flows perfectly, Clara's characterization is really well done and the plot is poignant yet to the point. I can't even tell you how glad I am to not see this dragged out on 500 pages. Choosing to write the book in chapters alternating from past to present, Caletti draws you into the plot and sets the atmosphere of the novel right from the start. I remember this sense of dread that I kept feeling for whatever would happen with Christian and how it would push Clara to leave town. Also, this is one of the very rare cases when the time jumps didn't bother me one bit. She's just that good.

Clara is a genuinely funny narrator. She adds little annotations in the book, and it brings you closer to her because her annotations are addressed to you, the reader. And they're so cute. Like, after an umpteenth person made a cup of tea and you start wondering just how often people make tea in America, she adds a little note "Everyone in this story, in my life, makes tea." I just want to hug her. Her voice is honest and unique, and she feels so real and fragile yet strong and brave. I don't know how to describe it. I love her.

I'd also like to point out that Clara's dad might just be in close competition with Mia's dad in If I Stay and Juli's dad in Flipped for the award of the most awesome YA dad ever. His characterization is so wonderful. The man is a writer, and it shows, you know? He says deep shit. Seriously. Also he calls Clara "pea". How can you not love him?

And Finn. Oh, how I love Finn. He's the perfect balm to Clara's mangled heart. And his characterization is, yet again, amazing. He's sweet and doesn't push Clara and supports her and is generally perfect. Also, he likes to walk around shirtless. Uhuh. If you want a visual of what he looks like, head over to Nic's my book boyfriend post (and stalk her other posts too, while you're at it.)

Some of my favorite quotes:

"Parents can be such children," Finn said.
"We ought to raise them better."

"I'm in a baked potato mood," Dad said. "Butter. You know, Pea, I love butter. I really love it. My heart even swells a little when I think of it."

I just saw it as praise, falling down now like glittering snowflakes. But it was something else. A drop of poison on gathering snow. That moment in the fairy tale when we know what just happened but the princess doesn't.

See see see? The prose is just <3

To sum it up, this is a well-written, tactful and subtle novel that will definitely make an impression on you. I would recommend it to anyone.
Profile Image for Katie(babs).
1,816 reviews536 followers
April 7, 2011
This book is horrible. There is no real coherent thought in regards to this story and the stalking element is very dull and wishy-washy. The heroine is one-dimensional and not well rounded at all. This is a very flat read that's all over the place. Cardboard emotions and descriptions comes to mind.

Plus, if the heroine is still recovering from her obsessive boyfriend, why would she be so interested in other boys she meets over the summer?

A very disappointing read that I can't understand was published in the first place. A total pass.
Profile Image for April.
2,101 reviews950 followers
June 21, 2012
FINALLY! Finally it’s happened to me. A book where the creepy relationship is played out as exactly that. Oh, friends, the heavens must have opened and sung a beautiful song while Deb Caletti wrote Stay, because this book straight up gets it. It gets that bad relationships are bad. Obsessive relationships are scary, not sexy.

Read the rest of my review here
Profile Image for Peep (Pop! Pop!).
418 reviews49 followers
March 25, 2011
Overall I did like this book. Not too many books will touch on the subject of abuse, especially in popular young adult books.

I have a friend who is pretty much in the exact same situation, only she doesn't want to leave. It's very frustrating. It was hard to read this, just because of that. All I could think about was my friend, and how she deals with that every single day. I noticed how Clara tiptoed around conversations. She filtered what she said so she wouldn't make Christian upset. That is true! Whenever we go over to see my friend and her husband, We find ourselves filtering what we say! And it's not because we fear the husband (I actually dislike him to no end), but it's more for her benefit. If we say anything upsetting, he'll take it out on her once we leave. Sad, but true. But what can you do??

That's one of the reasons why I liked Clara. She was strong and not at all timid... for the most part. When it started to occur to her that, "hey, this isn't right", she stood up to Christian. Though I don't know why she didn't get a new email address sooner...

I did like her Dad. He seemed cool. Finn and the rest of his family seemed sweet.

All of this sounds good, but for some reason it just didn't work for me. Maybe it would have been better if these were two separate books? It's not like Clara isn't likable, she is, there's just this disconnect. I couldn't imagine myself being friends with Clara if I knew her in real life.

On the one hand I can see how the author would want to show Clara in a healthy relationship, on the other hand I thought it weird that she had this need to be in a relationship the entire book. It's weird for me to explain. Too dependent? I don't know. Couldn't she have just met new friends? Her whole self is focused on being in a relationship.

And sometimes I just wanted to scream, "Why? Why would you do that? It's OK to do X, but did you really have to reveal X (X being super secret information)"?

One thing I'd like to point out is that if the overuse of terms like God, Jesus, and Christ upset you, you may want to use caution when reading this book. Almost every character, every few pages used the terms. After a while it did annoy me. Mainly because they were from different towns and age groups. It just seemed weird.

So all in all a good story. I'd recommend it to people who'd like to read about signs and things to recognize when it comes to controlling behavior. At times you'd think that Christian wasn't that bad then he'd turn it right around on you. So, good for noticing the little things that might be swept under the rug. It doesn't really offer any true solutions. I am having the hardest time making sense. I think solutions would be the word you'd want to use.
Profile Image for Sandy.
291 reviews187 followers
April 19, 2011
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.

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.

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.
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,470 reviews353 followers
September 27, 2020
[ARC Provided by Simon & Schuster Galley Grab, my review is unbiased]
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📗 Admittedly I've always thought that Deb Caletti's books wouldn't be my thing but I'm pleasantly surprised - I adored this book. Deb Calletti has woven a story that I related to, being in abusive relationships in the past. I found this emotional, thought provoking and difficult to put down.
Profile Image for Somia.
2,061 reviews135 followers
August 24, 2020
Clara and Christian lock eyes during a basketball game and that's it, she knows he's the one and imagines their lives together, until she realises how so very wrong she was.

I was expecting more intensity and creepiness when it came to the plot and the unravelling of Clara's perfect boyfriend, the writing didn't have me gripping my kindle tightly and aching for Clara - although I did feel sorry for her.

Potential Triggers:
Profile Image for Tauna.
187 reviews7 followers
November 8, 2011
The writing style bothered me, especially the footnotes and frequent breaks in the story to attempt to ponder and expand on pointless little details. The storyline was also disappointing. The book is about a girl trying to escape her obsessive and emotionally unstable ex-boyfriend by moving away with her dad for the summer. I was waiting for some kind of dramatic encounter, but the big confrontation ended up with the boyfriend sobbing and running away. Really? Okay. That was lame. 1 1/2 - 2 stars
334 reviews174 followers
July 9, 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!
Profile Image for Ari.
940 reviews1,314 followers
December 13, 2014
~4.5 stars~
"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 naive. 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."

I was just about to do the same..
I'm glad I didn't - such a beautiful writing, such touching words.

This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com

Blog (EN) | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Bloglovin' | Blog (RO)

Profile Image for Thomas.
1,521 reviews9,012 followers
April 24, 2011
Deb Caletti is finally growing into her own. Stay is a heartbreaking, honest story about an obsessive relationship - the protagonist, Clara, moves to a beach town for the summer to escape her ex-boyfriend, Christian. There she encounters new friends and begins the healing process while learning about the secrets of her past.

Caletti's insight is inspiring - her ability to weave wisdom into even the most ordinary, everyday things is her trademark. Her writing turned me off in a couple of her previous books because it was too chunky and verbose, but with Stay it almost flowed perfectly. The footnotes were humorous and cute for the most part, but felt superfluous toward later in the novel, especially when the climax occurred.

I loved her characters. Initially I disliked Clara for acting so assuming - I remember in the first few pages she proclaimed that her story was special, which made me think 'okay... I'm the reader, we'll see about that' but later I grew to like her. She seemed like she could be anyone, and even though that's usually a negative thing in this case it was pleasant.

The adults in this novel were developed as well, which was a nice little touch. They had problems and feelings and desires - something uncommon in young adult literature. One thing that bothered me was how early in the novel Clara stated that her father had a way with words, but throughout the book he cursed a lot, as opposed to saying things poetically.

I am anticipating Caletti's next novel. Even if you didn't like her past works, I would recommend this one because it's better than her old books (bluntly stated, I'm aware).

Want to read more of my reviews? Follow me here.
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,043 followers
June 7, 2011
Well,this is what happened. I picked up this book and I just could't get into it. First night I just read 4 pages,the second night wasn't any better. But I was determined to finish it today even if it turned out to be awful. I was thinking I will have to give it 2 stars,I just know it... Then the shift came out of nowhere and I could't put it down.
The main character had this boyfriend Christian who was sweet but we already know he is a total psycho. He is controlling(checks her texts and e-mails),bipolar(obviously),jealous(of her friends and ´invisible future boyfriends´). And you want to scream to the girl Get the hell away from that guy,it will end badly! But our girl still thinks his only problem is his insecurity.
Unfortunately I had experience with this kind. It took me three and a half years to get rid of that manipulating relationship. Every time I tried to get out he would cry and beg,or he would yell at me and tell me that I am heartless and that I really never really loved him. So I stayed with him for so long,lost so many friends while I spend all my free time hanging with him and ignoring them on top of that my parents were so pissed at me for a reason I would rather not name. It is just so hard to let some people go.
Profile Image for Steph Su.
960 reviews449 followers
April 15, 2011
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.
Profile Image for Katie.
273 reviews3,840 followers
September 2, 2012
I recognize that this was not one of the books I said I would read next, but when I came across it at my school's library, I immediately snatched it up and devoured it. I read this in a singly day, and it takes a lot for a book to pull me in that fast.

Going into this, I knew the story surrounded an abusive relationship. What I found surprising was the way in which the abuse began and played out. Typically, if a teen novel/film presents a very disturbing relationship, it is because the boyfriend is physically abusive. In this case however, the abuse is purely emotional/verbal, which I found interesting.

The story vacillates back and forth between when Clara and Christian meet and when Clara has run away to a small seaside town with her father to get away from Christian during the summer. Both characters felt incredibly realistic, and I also appreciate the way Caletti handles the topic of sex and sexuality. My only qualm is the books length. It's just around 300 pages, and I felt that particularly the end of the book felt very rushed.

I would HIGHLY recommend this girls who are middle/high school aged although I think anyone could learn a lot from this book. I think girls have the idea drilled into there heads "if your boyfriend hits you, leave," but many aren't taught that abuse that is purely emotional and verbal can be just as dangerous.
Profile Image for Lori.
541 reviews321 followers
March 19, 2012
I’ve read several books about abusive or just unhealthy relationships and some were good, but none of them ever felt completely believable. Stay by Deb Caletti is the exception. This is a breathtaking book in so many ways. It’s realistic and beautifully written. It’s not just about a unhealthy relationship. It’s also about family and forgiveness.

The way the story is told was one of my favorite parts. The chapters alternate between what is happening now and what happened in the past with Clara and Christian. This makes it feel like the story is building to a slow fever pitch. You know that eventually Christian is going to catch up with them, but you just have to read faster to see what happens. In the mean time there are lots of other elements to the story. Clara and her father have some very important things to work out and they both need to forgive themselves for things that were outside their control. There might also be a chance of new love.

I really, really liked Clara. Sure, she had a skewed view of her relationship, but I resonated so well with that. I had a really bad relationship once. It took me a long time to figure out just how unhealthy it was. It was very much like Clara and Christian’s, just without the creepy factor. It never escalated that far, but their dynamic felt like reading my own past. I also really enjoyed the other characters. Her Dad was great and all of the secondary characters played a big role. They were all really fleshed out.

This was my first Deb Caletti book and I have no idea why I waited so long. Her writing is gorgeous! Stay is the most poignant and well written contemporaries I have read in a very long time. I can’t wait to dive into Caletti’s other books.
September 3, 2016
Having read the author's other books, Nature of Jade, Six Rules of Maybe, Honey Baby Sweetheart and now Stay, I liked this one as well.

I was drawn by the cover and story. This was interesting. Moments where it got a little creepy and other times, you wondered what will happen with that character and how the story gets resolved.

I liked some of the characters, especially the relationship of Clara and her writer dad and what their going through. Their moments were adorable. The character development was also good. Finn and his family were also adorable.

While it does deal with Christian and Clara, you have the present where Clara and her dad get away for a while, as she meets new friends.

The descriptions of the beach were nice. I was in the mood for a beach type read. Near the end it did get intense, I mean there were others as well, but still.

Looking forward to the author's next book, so need to catch up on her other books.
Profile Image for M.
701 reviews31 followers
January 28, 2012
If you’re like me, there are times where you’ve read a book and nodded along with a good line once or twice. Those lines were so satisfactory that you had to acknowledge it – even if it wasn’t to anyone in specific, your pillow had to know. There are other times where you’ve read a book, but it wasn’t until the very end that you nodded. Not because it didn’t feel the same, but it took until you got to the very end for it to sink in completely and leave you with that satisfaction.

The only times I stopped nodding while reading Stay were times when Finn and Clara got a little too love-at-first-sight for me. Time after time, I could feel Clara’s statements about Christian resonating too deeply with me. This is because I have been there – and I think that this gives me a sad understanding of this book that you might not have if you have not also been there (and I truly hope that you have not). I have, as she puts it so wonderfully, felt like I was being trapped under a fallen building.

The initial story of Christian and Clara is introduced and moved through so quickly that some people might feel cheated. If this is the first contact they’ve made with emotional abuse, it might feel more like a list of events than anything else. But if you’re familiar, you see it all, and you don’t really need every detail – you don’t need to see Christian’s “honeymoon” phase, you don’t need to know exactly what he says to her when they’re happy and together. You know, because Clara tells you, that it’s good enough. You know that he’s messed up, and you know that you want Clara to succeed in pulling away. That’s all you really need for this to work.

The little lies, and how Clara needed to tell them, are what drove this home for me before it even picked up speed. We see that Clara lied from the start, and then we see the increasing measures she uses to keep herself guarded from the person she’s fallen in love with (even who she has had pizza with). More than that, we understand why – and that is something good, that more people need to understand. The reader can understand the disconnect between Clara and Christian, and why even that made Clara hesitant to completely pull away.

Fathers and daughters are an easy way to get to me. There is no other bonding relationship that will get me hooked on a book – particularly if they are close. We all know the absent parent business in YA books is strong, so when I get to read a book that goes the other way, I’m stoked. The way that Clara and her father spoke – the long-winded, often times florid and obviously writerly phrases – could get on my nerves. The choice of footnotes was sometimes peculiar. Together, it made sense – how Clara thought and felt mirrored what she saw in her father. I could have done without her father’s B-plot secret.

The other thing I could have done without was the relationship with Finn. I’m split on this, though. On the one hand, it is fantastic that we see Clara have the change to move on. So much of this book is about trying to move on, and then succeeding. But I don’t think it was necessary for them to have a romantic relationship right of the bat. It gave me the impression of “honey, you just need another man to come along and fix you,” and I don’t think that’s what Caletti was aiming for. At least, I hope not.

I won’t pretend that how I feel about this book isn’t in part because of what happened in my own life. But don’t take that to mean that you wouldn’t get something out of it, too. We all need the chance to get away from some of the people in our lives. I first read Deb Caletti’s The Queen of Everything a month ago, and then followed suit with the rest of her books. They were missing something that Stay had, and that authentic, honest voice was the biggest part.
Profile Image for Iniya.
56 reviews156 followers
November 2, 2014
I sat down to type out my review but I was completely out of words to describe the poignancy and beauty of Stay by Deb Caletti. Caletti makes the characters incredibly real and relatable. Very rarely I come across a book that strikes a chord within me. This book will Stay with me forever and definitely will go to the top tier of my favorite books. I let Stay to saturate in me and devoured every part of it.

What do you call an intimate relationship? - Intense? but do you know that it can sometimes turn out to Obsession? Well.. Stay is about abusive relationship between Clara and Christian. Often we relate this type of relationship as physically abusive, but Caletti brings out that it can also be purely Emotional.

It starts out with Clara and her father moving to a small seaside town to escape her stalker ex-boyfriend. As the story is said in retrospect, we could look through Clara’s life at the time of her relationship with Christian. Clara meets Christian across a crowded basketball game. Things between them escalates into Obsession quickly. Christian is the kind of a guy who thinks he is being protective, he is but he isn’t. Do you get what I mean? Protectiveness turns more like controlling. Clara is terrified of Christian and tries to escape. Furthermore Clara meets interesting people at the seaside town and their bond with Clara is brilliantly explained.

What makes this novel endearing? - It’s Bobby Oates, Clara’s Father and of course the footnotes. Footnotes are funny and I loved it. The openness between Father-Daughter relationship and their witty-banters are spectacular. I wish I had such an awesome relationship with my Father too.. Caletti’s writing style is fantastic and has a poetic flow to it. I would like to quote a few.

" We can’t get so wrapped up in our own misconceptions that we miss the simple beauty of the truth."
" Fate is a shape-shifter. It is the kindest and most generous entity imaginable, laying out more goodness than a person deserves, and then it shrinks and curls and forms into something grotesque. You think something is one thing, but then it´s another."
I felt Clara’s relationship with Finn was rushed. That was the only qualm . Nevertheless, this book took me on an emotional roller coaster. Are you the kind of a person who would like to sit by the sea with the lapping and sloshing of water and enjoy a good book? Then Stay is for you. I warn you it’s not an easy beach read.

I know it’s not more of a review but I can’t go any further. It is a poignant novel. Without a doubt I would recommend Stay by Deb Caletti to anyone, particularly teen girls.
Profile Image for Damaris (GoodChoiceReading).
611 reviews224 followers
February 2, 2011
More and more I am getting into YA Fiction that isn't Paranormal. When I read the synopsis for Stay I really wanted to read it. I've never read any books by Deb Caletti, but I did know that she was a very popular author. I got the chance to read Stay through Simon and Schuster's Galley Grab. I read Stay pretty quickly and found that the story was quite fast paced. Deb Caletti's writing style was very simple.

What I liked the most about Stay was that Deb Caletti alternated chapters from Clara's past and Clara's future. You get the chance to read about Christian and Clara's relationship and how it got to the point that it did. You also get to read how Clara and her father moved on, and found a new beginning.

Clara falls in love for the first time and is high on life until Christian begins to show a side of him that is much more dark and controlling. Christian starts by accusing Clara of cheating on him, wearing provocative cloths to attract other men and is always taking up most of her time so she wouldn't spend time with her friends. Things begin to get really intense between the two and Clara has no idea what to do. She wants to break up with Christian, but at the same time loves him so much she keeps ignoring the signs. Finally things get a little too out of control and Clara's father steps in and decides enough is enough. Clara and her father go away for the summer not knowing what to expect and there they both learn to forgive, move on and embrace a new beginning.

Stay is a story that I think a lot of of teens and adults can easily relate to. It has a strong meaning behind it with a positive ending. I feel that things like this happen a lot, and more and more frequent. Every time I watch the news there is always a story about a boyfriend or husband hurting their loved one. I feel the message in this book is something that every woman no matter her age, should read. I will definitely be picking up any past books by Deb Caletti and am looking forward to any of her future books.

4 out 5 Stars!
Profile Image for Sally Monem.
12 reviews1 follower
February 18, 2013
Stay by Deb Calleti is a very moving novel about a girl named Clara Oates, who struggles with battling against her boyfriend. The story takes place when Clara finds out her boyfriend is crazy, and tries to escape his clutches. The rest of the novel is basically an account of what happened with Clara’s boyfriend, and about what is happening in the new little beach town she moved too. The novel portrays the struggle Clara had to face when overcoming her problems, while it is also a powerful anecdote of teenage love gone wrong. I personally loved this novel, because of the format it was written in. The novel was set up so it was one chapter of Clara speaking about her current life, and the chapter after that would be followed by the story of her and her crazy boyfriend. This kept the novel always interesting, and kept me intrigued to see what would happen next. I came to love the character Clara Oates, because she was a teenage girl much like me who ended her senior year. The struggles she faced seemed like I could relate to them, but in my own way. Clara overcoming everything she was faced with is inspirational because it shows that all my little problems can be solved, just as Clara solved her big problems. The fact that Clara creates new adventures in her new beach time warms the heart, and makes the reader happy that her crazy boyfriend did not destroy that.
Profile Image for Rose.
1,880 reviews1,065 followers
November 29, 2022
Review to come eventually - putting a placeholder review, though I read this a number of times years ago. Might be even time to re-read it. This was such a good book and one of my favorites from Deb Caletti, if not my favorite. 4.5-5 stars overall.
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