First off, I've never told this story to anyone. Not the entire thing anyway, and not entirely truthfully.
Clara, our heroine, is struggling to escape a bad relationship. Told in alternating chapters--present and past--readers meet Christian, Clara's ex-boyfriend, and see all the warning signs. The signs that Clara herself missed during the early months of her relationship. The signs that Christian was a little too insecure, a little too jealous, a little too controlling, a little too possessive, a little too much to handle. Clara finds him wonderfully comforting at once. Wow--a guy who cares about every little thing that I do. But Clara soon finds herself in an uncomfortable position. For Christian's imagination combined with his anger issues leads to trouble.
But Clara is not alone. No, Clara's father--though flawed--is there for her. Even willing to take an extended-extended vacation to help his daughter escape her ex. The two go away together--telling no one where they'll be staying--hoping that Christian won't be able to track them down, won't be able to reach them there.
So Stay is about second chances, starting over, and being honest. It's a novel just as much about fathers and daughters as it is girlfriends and boyfriends.
I liked it. I really liked it. I thought it was well written. But. I'm not sure that Stay would be my "favorite and best" Caletti novel. But. Deb Caletti is a great author whose YA romances I've *really, really* enjoyed in the past. I've reviewed The Queen of Everything, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye, The Nature of Jade, and The Secret Life Of Prince Charming.
Oddly enough, Stay reminded me of all the reasons why I don't love Edward Cullen.
He was taking care of me. You take care of the people you love, but it's true, too, that you take care of the things you own. (74)
"One of the hardest tasks as a human being is knowing when to keep an open mind," my father said, "And when not to." (97)
I guess that's what safety is. Sameness you can count on. (179)
I learned that the most true-love words are not 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. (233)
© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews