Stay - by Deb Caletti

"suspenseful and kind of scary; I liked it a lot."

Stay is about a girl in high school during her junior and senior years who's very shy at first but then seems to become very bold and come out of her shell. The book is written in two different time periods. The first chapter starts off when Clara, the main character, is attending a basketball game with her friends Nick and Shakti. Clara doesn't like sports so she's reluctant to go to the game. She pretends to listen to Shakti, her best friend, talk about her boyfriend who is on the basketball team. Clara is daydreaming and spots a very attractive guy in the crowd. She tries to figure him out for a little while and finally decides to go to the concession stand so she can go talk to him. Clara finds out he has an accent and his name is Christian. She talks to him very shortly. Later, because this part was set in the past, she says she wishes she could've done everything differently. She wishes she would have just let Christian go off with the girl he was with then.

The next chapter it is in the present time period. She and her father have moved away and are living somewhere on the beach. They go to different places throughout the town and meet a few people, but someone catches her eye. Throughout the whole book the chapters go back and forth from present to the past as she tells her story about Christian, and her life now. Clara and Christian get serious pretty fast and kiss the second time they see each other. She gives him her number and goes home. They talk on the phone all the time and begin to hang out a lot. Soon he becomes crazily jealous of everyone around them. He gets mad at everything Clara does - even if she is just looking at someone. This jealously becomes rage and she gets annoyed and fearful. She ends up having to leave her friends, house, and school because of him.

While she is at her new home, she gets a new job and meets a new boy named Finn. He and his brother take tourists on sailboat rides on their boat the Obsession. She thinks Finn is sweet and kind, but wants to take it slow with him after what happened with Christian. She constantly lives in fear after her phone rings one day and its Christian's number across the screen. She tells Finn everything and he comforts her and protects her. Clara and her father get the number changed, but things get worse after he calls again…

I really liked the novel Stay by Deb Caletti. I loved the way one chapter was set in a different time period than another. Stay was very suspenseful and kind of scary, so I liked it a lot. The characters seemed real and I felt like I wanted to meet them in person. Clara finds a boy that does actually love her, so there is a really good love story. The only thing I didn't like about the book was that there was a lot of bad language. I would recommend this book to anyone, a boy or a girl reader.

   - Maysie S.

"a well told story with twists and turns to keep you interested."

Stay is a moving book that's bound to mix up your emotions as Clara's relationship with her boyfriend, Christian, starts to intensify in a way you don't see coming. Deb Caletti, the author, is no stranger to harmful and intense relationship and even goes public and talks about them.

This book was beautifully written and hard to put down. Deb Caletti's captured the story from a teen's point of view in a realistic way and used diction that teens could relate to. Instead of letting you know everything about the characters right from the beginning, she develops them throughout the novel so you get to see how they change.

Clara and Christian's first meeting is almost like a scene from a movie; they meet eyes across a room and it's immediate attraction. As the relationship goes on, Christian starts to become obsessive and controlling. He starts to abuse Clara emotionally, saying things to lower her self-esteem. He's extremely jealous and clingy.

Even with all this going on Clara decides to stay with Christian, I think that this is important because, unfortunately, many people in unhealthy relationship decide to stay, even if they're unhappy - for reasons that may not be understood by outsiders of the relationships. Clara knows that she needs to get away from him, but Christian wants her to stay and is determined to make that happen. Clara eventually gets away from the city and meets someone new at the beach. Now Clara gets a second chance at love and can start moving past the events of her last relationship which is easier said than done.

The new guy, Finn, treats Clara with the respect that she deserves and it's a nice change of pace from Christian. Finn because shows her that not all guys are like Christian what a healthy relationship is like. Finn is trustworthy and respects Clara; we can't help but fall for him as the story goes on.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone from teenager to adult. It's a well told story that I think a lot of people will be able to enjoy. It has twist and turns that constantly keep the reader interested and secrets that you never see coming that will get you thinking.

   - Ashley R.