Deb Caletti is up there on my list of favorite-writers-of-girl-YA-fiction, along with Sarah Dessen and Maureen Johnson. She gets girls. She gets humans in general. The only thing I don't care for in her books (just a heads up here) is the language; there's quite a bit of swearing. And, if you're keeping score, sex is referred to (but not in any detail). But again, that's pretty realistic.
Anyway, I was provided an e-book for review by Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab program. (That's been my favorite thing so far about my Kobo e-reader -- free advance copies of ebooks!) It was hard to put down (er, turn off). Caletti often takes issues that sound sensational (like, say, murder* -- or, in this case, a psycho ex-boyfriend) -- and makes them all-too-relatable. Clara (who narrates in the first person) is your typical high-schooler who comes from a "good" background. Her mother died when she was young, but she has a good relationship with her famous writer father. She has good friends, gets good grades, and usually makes good decisions about guys. But then comes Christian. In hindsight, of course, she sees the red flags, but in the moment he is just a very attractive, nice guy who really loves her. Chapters alternate between the past and the present, which gives the story momentum and also some suspense, as we follow the progression of Clara and Christian's relationship (past) and her coming to terms with it (present).
The only part of the story I found unrealistic and/or unsatisfying was Clara's relationship with new guy Finn. I felt like, given her very recent trauma, she would be more hesitant to enter into a new relationship and less likely to trust her instincts about a person. Plus, I felt the relationship needed a little more depth to be believable. But that's a minor quibble; I loved Clara and thought she deserved Finn as well as her hard-won peace. Definitely recommended for older teens and up.
*See The Queen of Everything