Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Clara was immediately drawn to Christian. But what started out as young love has turned into a nightmare. In order to escape her obsessive boyfriend, Clara and her dad secretly leave town, hoping Clara's stalker ex-boyfriend won't find her. As Clara slowly starts to heal from her toxic relationship, she begins to fall in love all over again with a sailor. As she's taking things slowly this time, she still feels like she's in danger and being watched, only to discover that Christian has figured out where she is. In a frantic escape, Clara steals a boat and almost drowns out at sea. After being rescued by her father, Clara is able to leave Christian behind and finally move on with her life.
Caletti does an amazing job of telling two stories at once. At first, there's no clear reason for Clara's constant fear, but as Caletti skips between the past and present, her story slowly unfolds. The story emphasizes trusting your instinct and following through. In the end, Clara finally realizes that she could have avoided her terrible relationship if she had been willing to listen to her gut, her father, and her friends. This story gives an honest look to toxic relationships and understanding the consequences that come attached. Caletti uses the setting as a metaphor for change, relating the ocean and tide to how people can change and learning that life is a give and take. Overall, a great read for those wanting a story of suspense and change.
*Contains mild violence, moderate sexual content, and severe language.