ONCE again, Deb Caletti has failed to live up to the hype. I constantly find myself comparing her contemporary style to the great Sarah Dessen and wonder how she manages to miss the mark each and every time yet I still end up adding her books to my wish list in the hopes of something brilliant.
STAY; April 2011 is based on the life of CLARA and her father as they venture into a beach side town for the summer before she goes off to college in the hopes of warding off her obsessive boyfriend. In alternating chapters of past and present, we learn how the whirlwind romance with CHRISTIAN began with eyes being met across the room at a basketball game to Christian eventually asking more and more intrusive questions and getting all too controlling for Clara.
I did find it quite curious that Clara fell into a new relationship while escaping Christian's over-protective style in BISHOP ROCK. And while FINN is a regular nice guy, it didn't really make sense for her to start dating after such a tremendous relationship but I'm sure a Caletti novel would lack without a fresh romance woven through the tale.
Overall, I found it interesting and frustrating to work through the depths of an abusive relationship from the safe distance of a teen novel without any real violence to shock us. If you've read a Caletti novel before this, you'll know what to expect as I don't think she really strays from her usual path. I just hope the author receives a little push in the right direction for her next novel as I believe she has great potential to be one of my favourites but I can easily understand why many would deem contemporary as a rather boring genre with this effort.