Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review and Giveaway: If You Stay by Courtney Cole

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. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect fa├žade. So he slipped far, far from it.

Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right? Wrong.

And it’s never more apparent than when 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?

Please Note: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and explicit sex.

I usually don’t issue warnings, but guys, this made me blush. Seriously. Warning warned.

That being said, oh em gee, I could not get enough of this New Adult book! Definitely one of those ‘dinner? I don’t need dinner! I need Pax’ moments. This book is like a race car that smacks into you, picks you up, speeds you off as you’re gripping on to it for dear life, then when it ends you get thrown off and end up in a ditch looking around confused but still wanting to go again. Or at least, that’s how I felt.

Pax is an aimless, rich Playboy who is half a step away from being a coke addict and he “meets” sweet, hardworking photographer/ painter Mila the night he ODs and technically dies. And this happens all in the first 20 pages. See why I said this book is a racecar? From there Pax tries to recover the shreds of his dignity and life by getting Mila, who’s wary and not fooled by Pax’s charming. This is one of those character-driven books where it’s mainly focused on them and their very messed up pasts. Of course, I wouldn’t have this be any other way.

Have you ever read a book where for the life of you, you cannot put the book down, but can’t really say why that it is? If you’re a reader at all, the answer should be yes. That’s what this book is. It’s addictive, alluring, it has that little je ne sais quoi about it that makes one forgo dinner until 3 am and by then are starving. Perhaps it’s its grittiness. Or that race car allusion I made up in the first paragraph. Or Pax’s slightly self-absorbed and totally straight-up bad boy attitude. Or Mila’s gutting past that she’s so surely moved on from. Or maybe even the ever-seductive dual POV (admit it, everyone loves these). Or maybe a combination of all. I really don’t know, but whatever the secret ingredient is, I can for sure say I won’t hesitate in checking out more of Ms. Cole’s work because she has figured *it* out.

Similar recommendations: Want by Stephanie Lawton and Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and Ten Tiny Breaths by KA Tucker.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Whoopsies! The giveaway widget is up there now!! Sorry about that!