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….
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.