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Saturday, August 17, 2013
Author: Courtney ColeRelease Date: April 30th, 2013
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Age Group: New Adult
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?
What a book. I absolutely loved If You Stay.. That isn’t to say that I didn’t have some issues with it, because trust me I did. Courtney really took me by surprise with this book though. Going into it I had heard quite a bit about it from other bloggers and I have to admit that I was a little skeptical. The idea of that “Jerk” character that I always tend to really dislike in pretty much any book really didn’t sit well with me. I am really glad I gave this book a shot though, Courtney really put into the effort to show that there really can be a very rich story behind that “Jerk” character.
The “Jerk” character I keep referring to is Pax. Pax is one of those characters that most people really wouldn’t see themselves relating to for a lot of reasons. At first it was really hard to like this guy. If I was being perfectly honest, I completely despised him the first half of the book. Everything about him just screamed out that he was wrong for this amazing girl he had met. Then you start to get deeper into the story and really see how Pax came to be who he is, and that underneath all the negative things he hides under there is the potential for a really great person.
As readers I feel like we don’t really dig as deep as we could into stories, and I am the first to admit that I am guilty of this. When it comes to certain characters and their actions like we see with Pax I can be very quick to dislike that character. Which is what happened with Pax at the start; however, once I saw the potential there and how such a sweet girl like Mila had such a powerful effect on him it turned into a completely different story. You really start to see all that depth, and not just what is on the outside. You see Pax open up to Mila, and finally be able to deal with what he has went through that led him to be who he was at the beginning of the book. Mila isn’t the only one there for him though, as you will see when you read the book but she is one of the major driving factors.
This book is the perfect example of how characters can grow and change. To see someone literally at rock bottom be able to have the opportunity to bounce back if they chose to is really awesome. And to see what actually leads Pax to his early behavior is actually really heartbreaking. It is unreal what he had to go through in life. I completely disagree with how he handled everything, He has to make the choice though he has people that have come into his life that are willing to help him. But after living so long with that pain I can’t imagine how difficult it could be to try and accept something new. This is a great story about second chances.
I highly suggest that everyone that can deal with tough issues, drugs, fairly graphic sex for NA, and things of that nature read this book. While it has quite a bit that isn’t suitable for young readers, I know there are a lot of my readers that could easily read this book and see what I saw in it. It’s a pretty powerful book, and I really hope you all will take the chance to experience it for yourself.