Posted in Fashionably Late Reviews :)

Review: If You Stay by Courtney Cole



If You Stay by Courtney Cole (Lakehouse Press, 2013 – borrowed from library)

I’m making an extra effort to use my local library over the summer- it’s not very big, but it does have an eclectic bunch of books to choose from.

When I say this title sitting on the shelf I knew it wouldn’t be ‘my bag’, but it was just what I needed to keep on ‘shaking up my book shelf’.

24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.

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 façade.
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?

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

I’d say this was New Adult, yeah? But whatever the age group, it’s a contemporary romance, and normally, that’s just not me.

I’m not going to do my usual pros and cons approach here, I’m just gonna have a wee chat about it. Is that ok? (Please tell me if you want a pros and cons list for every review and I’ll make sure it happens!)

What struck me after finishing this book was how wrong the blurb was. Pax wasn’t an asshole. Not really. Not compared to some bad-boy assholes floating around in this genre.

He had issues. And I’m not entirely sure I was down with the ‘I take drugs but I’m not addicted’ line of thought. He seemed to be a pretty heavy user.. So when he goes cold turkey and is absolutely fine (all things considered) I found it hard to believe.

The beginning of this book is fantastic! Talk about throwing you into the action! I did have one concern however, and that’s the *SPOILER* CPR that Mila performs. It’s not CPR. And no one corrects that.. So I was a little worried about the responsibility there. Like we’d have a bunch of people running around giving rescue breaths without chest compressions.. :s

The writing was easy to read, it didn’t make the reader think too much and that makes it easy to jump right into the story. I did notice some repetitions however, and I ended up making a short list of some the clangers. And by ‘repetition’ I mean words that pop up more than once in the same sentence/paragraph. ‘Vomit’ for example.. once was enough.

Overall the book held my attention. I liked the characters and their interactions. I think someone should have pointed out some of the clangers mentions above during the editing process, and I wish the whole coincidental dreams thing was ditched. No one like people to talk at them about their dreams…

I loved some of the more sensual scenes. Like when they’re in her art studio. That was nice. 🙂

An ok read. I liked it enough to want to read the next in this Beautifully Broken series. I’m giving it a healthy 3 stars. I like it. I don’t love it. But I’m a long long way off from hating it. An overall inoffensive, but not necessarily memorable read. *thumbs*



YA writer. Epic reader. Professional procrastinator.

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