ISBN-13: 9781442403734
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Published: April 2011
Format: Hardcover , 320pp
Source: Personal Library

I have read many glowing reviews on Deb Caletti’s books but just haven’t got around to reading them yet. Thus I chose Stay while browsing through my bookshelves for my next read and how I wished I had read her books earlier!

Stay is about obsessive love and though it is a fiction, this happens in our everyday’s life and I think it is great that authors create awareness of this issue and not to mention as to tell the victims that it is all right to let the relationship go and to seek assistance should the other party made threats or became dangerous.

Clara Oates thinks she has found the right guy after she first met Christian at her school during a basketball game. After all, Christian is so unlike her ex-boyfriend. Christian is not only attractive but he is also a neat and organised person; and on top of that he always shows much attention towards Clara. At the beginning, Clara is flattered by his attention but the more she spends her time with him and get to know him better, the more she wants to escape from their relationship and most frightening of all, his obsessive love towards her.

Told from Clara’s perspective and with alternating chapters shifting between flashbacks and the present, Clara shares with the readers her close relationship with her single father who is a well-known crime fiction author, her new-love Finn and his family while they are staying in a rented house by the sea in Bishop Rock to escape the past (most of all, from Christian) and the secrets that her father has kept all the while relating to Clara’s late mother. From the opening of the story, Clara keeps the readers intrigued through her captivating voice and the prose used for her story:

“First off, I’ve never told this story to anyone. Not the entire thing anyway, and not entirely truthfully. I’m only telling it now for one reason, and that’s because an untold story has a weight that can submerge you, sure as a sunken ship at the bottom of the ocean. I learned that. This kind of story, those kind of things kept secret—they have the power to keep you hidden forever, and most of all from yourself. The ghosts from that drowned ship, they keep haunting.”

In any way, Stay read like a suspenseful story, not the kind where we wonder about the bad and/or evil protagonist but that feeling is just the same. I could sense Clara’s fear and her strong intention of finding freedom and escaping from Christian’s grasp. From stalking Clara and tracking her at Bishop Rock, Christian’s behaviour is considered scary and viewed as a threat to Clara’s life. However, Bishop Rock is not entirely a cheery place either as Clara has heard too many ghost stories surrounding the sea and the lighthouse; are they simply rumours or are they not? And there of course, is the secret that Clara’s father harbour all this while…

Not only I find Stay is well-written but I think what makes this book a must-read is the message behind it - that no victim should feel guilty for the other party’s behaviour and she should seek assistance as quickly as possible should she sense something is wrong with the relationship. Obsessive love is not love and it could endanger one’s life should the other party decides to turn violent and causes harm.

Another thing I wanted to mention is, aside from Deb Caletti’s writing style I also loved she put footnotes on some pages for elaborations/explanations from Clara’s POV, in which I find both original and refreshing for I don’t think I have ever come across any books which did that for fictional purpose. You can be sure that I will be checking out the rest of Deb Caletti’s books in the near future.
7 Responses
  1. Iliana Says:

    Oh great review Melody! That's interesting about the POV footnotes. I don't think I've ever seen that in a novel either. I'll have to add this one to my TBR list.

  2. Melody Says:

    Thanks, Iliana! I'm glad to hear that you'll be adding this book onto your wishlist. :)

  3. The Bookworm Says:

    The premise of obsessive love sounds intriguing. I like the footnotes idea also. Nice review.

  4. Julia Says:

    This sound like an interesting book to read. I love to read books that has message behind the story. It made us think and even learn something important.

  5. joanna Says:

    You're right Melody, this topic doesn't get enough discussion time. It's wonderful that writers like Caletti tackle such issues.

  6. Staci Says:

    Excellent review! This is one that I must get to soon! I love Caletti's writing style and this one sounds really good and discussion worthy too!

  7. Ceri Says:

    Obsessive love? I think we all remember Edward Cullen. *ahem*

    No, J/K! ;-)

    I actually really like the sound of this. I like the fact that it doesn't just sound like a standard love story but there's suspense and intrigue in there too. :)

    Really liked your review, Mel.

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear from you.