Written by: Deb Caletti
Released: April 5, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Summary: 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....
This is the girl that I never, ever want to become. In fact, this is the type of girl that I hate and would stop being friends with. However, the way that Deb Caletti wrote Clara, I couldn’t help but like her when she finally wakes up and realizes how bad things were. And this novel had me up late at night, while dealing with a headache, all because I wanted to – no needed to – know what was going to happen.
I have zero respect for females who can’t leave a bad thing. Maybe it’s because I had such great role models while growing up and strong women in my life, but I learned that there are certain things that you need to listen to – namely that inner voice that we all have – and certain things that you should not, under any circumstance, have to put up with. More than likely this is why I’m so picky when it comes to boyfriends, but I want someone who’s perfect for me and who’s going to treat me the way that I deserve to be treated. Losers need not apply.
Sadly, I’ve had friends who don’t have this mentality and have had to deal with their horrible relationships – like Clara in this novel – and telling them that they deserve better. This is something that, every alternate chapter, I was yelling at Clara. Seriously, I had to keep it to a mental yelling, but every chapter that flashes back to her relationship with Christian I wanted to slap the sense into her. And tell her to grow a personality/backbone/independent thought and get the hell away from Dodge.
But this is why this novel is so amazing to read. My favourite types of books are the ones where the author is so fantastic at what they do that you get so invested in the story. Deb Caletti has made me a life-long fan from this first book of hers that I’ve read.
I loved how the chapters alternate from present to past; dealing with the aftermath and the situation in alternating and coinciding plot lines. I think that this is why I was able to begin to like Clara – the fact that there was already proof that she had gotten out and was staying out of her bad relationship. I also liked how she was tentatively moving on and trying to establish herself once again as a separate entity and an individual person.
I also enjoyed how there were footnotes to give little extra bits of information to the reader. They didn’t necessarily have to be there, but they added this extra special something to the entire reading experience. I don’t think that many could have pulled it off, but Caletti did an amazing job.
My all-time favourite bit of this novel? The seagull. Oh my god the parts with him are so cute and funny, I almost wanted one of my own.
This novel is one that I think girls should read if only to point out dangerous behaviour and open their eyes to what could happen. If I were still in high school and I had of read this I would have gone out immediately (well, as soon as the book was published) and purchase a copy for at least one specific friend of mine.*I’m giving it a 9.5/10 and high recommendations to all girls everywhere.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for allowing me the opportunity to read this e-book before publication.
*Happily, since high school, she’s found a guy who treats her really well. Hell, I still might buy her a copy...