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…

My father…said that love at first sight should send you running, if you know what’s good for you. It’s your dark pieces having instant recognition with their dark pieces, he says. You’re an idiot if you think it means you’ve met your soul mate. So I was an idiot.

Obsession is an intense emotion. It’s messy and ugly and never ends well.

People who know me might say I’m obsessed with books. This is a bit true. I like to think I’m passionate about reading, not obsessed. The difference between them being I know books will never reciprocate and love me back. Some people take their book obsession and turn it on the author, but I have not reached that point… yet. I’m only guilty of twitter stalking some of my favorite authors. (You know who you are.)

For Christian, his obsession is Clara. And for a while, Clara reciprocated with her own obsession of Christian. They were together so much at the beginning of their relationship that they became one entity: Claistian.

Unfortunately, Clara does reach a breaking point and what follows is a fascinating view of love gone wrong and to what links someone who manipulates people will go to reclaim what he views as his.

I was immediately sucked in. The book is written like a memoir. It’s in first person and switches between present day, with Clara and her father in ‘hiding’, and the past, where Clara and Christian’s relationship is told in stages. Once the past catches up to the beginning of the story, the rest of the book is present day.

And there are footnotes! That was different. I haven’t seen a book with footnotes in a while. And even then, it was a textbook. I don’t think I’ve ever read a fictional book that had footnotes. This needs to become the new trend. I liked having these little asides every couple of pages.

The majority of the book is spent in Clara’s head, since she’s the one ‘writing’ this story. Often I found books that are mostly inner thoughts to be boring and repetitive. This was not. Clara’s thoughts were insightful and very deep, for her being eighteen. But she’s been through a lot. She’s seen a side of crazy that most of us won’t. Her maturity was earned the hard way, unfortunately.

The characters felt very real. Clara’s dad played a big part in the story, which was nice to see, since so often parents are pushed aside and only brought out when the lead character needs to be grounded or reprimanded. I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s a person Clara meets in the place she and her dad go to that I very much liked. I think you’ll know who I’m talking about once you read the book.

I really liked this book. Usually I only read eGalleys during downtime at work, so Mondays through Fridays. But this book would not leave me during the weekend. I kept thinking about Clara and wondering what happened with Christian and how their relationship came to the point where she felt it necessary to run away from him. I had to finish it, regardless of my uncomfortable computer chair (which I’m now paying for) or how cold I become from sitting right under an air vent for longer than an hour. But it was worth it.

Stay is worth it. Read it. You’ll look at intense relationships differently, I promise.

Stay will be released on April 5th through Simon & Schuster’s imprint, Simon Pulse. I want to thank Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read this book early.

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