Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: If You Stay by Courtney Cole

Title: If You Stay (Beautifully Broken #1)
Author: Courtney cole
Published: February 5th 2013
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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole. Seriously. He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match. But he’s got his reasons. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count. As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. So he slipped far, far from it. Then he meets Mila. Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness. But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it. He knows that. And he’s working on it. But is that enough to make her stay?

If You Stay has a sunny, beautiful, romantic cover. The only thing that this book was out of those three adjectives is romantic. It was, indeed, lovable and cliché, but it was also quite dark and twisted. With broken characters and messed up relationships, If You Stay is definitely a new experience for Cole’s fans, because an author of sweet, adorable and bright reads brings a new flavor to the table and it’s a complete opposite of her previous work.

This book starts of with a BANG! It was so unexpected. Let me give you a recap of how it all went down in my case:

First thought: WHAT THE ...? O_O
My sister: *jumps* Holy crap you scared the shit outta me!
Me: *smiles smugly* Sorry, but this is a brilliant way to start a book!

If You Stay tells us a story about an a-hole hero Pax. For real, he is a total dick! The way he acts, behaves himself and treats other people is no way tolerable. Until he finds himself in a hospital bed and a beautiful stranger Mila visits him. Mila is an artist who puts her pain and feelings into paintings. They are so far off from each other when it comes to personalities, backgrounds and behavior that it’s so wrong it actually feels right.

I know Pax is a redeemable character, but some of the stunts he pulls just made me want to rip my hair out and eat them. He is so selfish and arrogant. From the very first page we know that there is a reason he acts that way, there must be, but we cannot put our finger on what is really wrong here. Yes, he dislikes his Father, his Mom died when he was a kid, but there is no way that can mess someone up so badly. When we finally learn the truth, it’s shocking and his behavior can be explained, but I didn’t completely forgive him for everything. That lake/boat scene was so random and honestly, a little terrifying to see his temper. He had a sweet soul beneath that hard wall of his, but I just couldn’t break through it like Mila did.

I roll my eyes. “Are you trying to find some sort of reason that I've become such an asshole? The reason is... I'm an asshole. There are some things in life that can't be explained. Period. Assholes are assholes. Rainbows are pretty. Kittens are cute. Chic flicks are sad. It's the way of things, no explanations.” 

Overall it was a good read and I enjoyed the entertainment factor of it and those smexy scenes, especially the body painting one. However, Pax was something between a hero and an anti-hero for me. The suspense was good though and I still recommend you to explore this book. I can easily see why people love If You Stay so much, I just found myself liking it rather than loving it. Oh, on a side note though, I wish I lived in Pax’s house – that place is like a palace!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  1. Oooh I am curious about this boat scene that you mention. Normally I can deal with dicks in books better than most people so I definitely want to read this one soon. I got it for my birthday and have been dying to pick it up, yet haven't had time too. I'm happy that you liked this one overall, but sad that you didn't love it!

    1. Bhaha, I'm sure you do. Sometimes the books you read, especially the issue ones, I wonder how can you even put yourself through the eperience to read them. You know that school bullying book? About those girls? That's so awful I wish I could pretend it didn't exist in this world. I hope you'll enjoy this one and I'm looking forward to your thoughts on that boat scene;)

  2. I loved If You Stay, but I totally get what you're saying. Pax is not an easy character. You're review is so fair and soooo well-written!

    1. Thanks, Andrea! This is probably the biggest compliment you can ever give me *blushes* I want to read Madison's story as well, hopefully it'll be at least as good as this one:)

  3. Pax doesn't sound like an easy character, but well worth it. I love the recap from you and your sis.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog