Sunday, March 3, 2013

If You Stay by Courtney Cole

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                                                           If You Stay
By Courtney Cole
Nook Edition, 196 Pgs.
Published:  2/15/13
By:  Lakehouse Press
Source:  Purchased
Mature Content:  18+

GR Summary:

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. 

My Thoughts:

I have so many thoughts going through my head right now about, If I Stay, by Courtney Cole.  This book was intense!  It was rough and real in the subject matter, and it was a story that made me FEEL so many different emotions!  Any book that could possibly consume my emotions and thoughts is a five-star read without a single doubt!

I enjoyed reading, If I stay, for numerous reasons!  One of those reasons being how gritty, dark, and real this book was.  There wasn't any sugar coating, scripted cliches in this story!  The way the story began was pretty shocking!  I haven't ever read a new adult book with that particular beginning!  There were a lot of tough subjects addressed in this story, such as, drug use, alcohol abuse, and sexual acts for drugs.  There was also a surprising plot-reveal that was intense, difficult to read, and made me an emotional mess picturing what took place, because it was very real, and something that occurs in our society.

The first thing I noticed as I started reading the story was the prolific description, and beautiful pictures that the author painted with her words, in my head.  For example, while describing Lake Michigan, Ms. Cole wrote, "I love how Lake Michigan turns black in the dark and shimmers like shattered onyx glass in the moonlight." (Nook, 5)  There were numerous descriptions that just took my breathe away.  Ms. Cole isn't just a talented author, she's also a gifted literary artist whose media is the written word. 

At first appearance, I thought, If I Stay, would be a fun, light, fast-past, sensual and romantic read.  However, it was so much more than that.  If I Stay, was a story with depth, dark subject matter, deep emotion, and most importantly a message that, "Love never fails."  I'm a romantic at heart, so I loved this message.  It was simple, yet beautiful.

I  enjoyed learning about the main characters Mila and Pax.  They were complete opposites.  Mila was sweet, innocent, selfless, hard-working, and had an extremely close relationship with her sister.  Pax was a complete a**hole, with absolutely zero redeeming qualities.  In fact, he wasn't likable at all.  He used women for his sexual needs, and discarded them immediatley after he got, "serviced."  He had lost his mother when he was 7, had a horrible relationship with his father, wasn't talking with his grandfather, and didn't have any friends.  The opening scene in the story, left a bad taste in my mouth.  Pun intended.  I instantly disliked Pax, and all that he represented.  Mila entering his life was a miracle, and she saved him in more then one way.  She was able to bring out a completely different side in Pax.  He was vulnerable with her, opened up, and bared his soul, and did everything in his power to try to change to be worthy of such an amazing person.  I respected all of the perseverance, hard work, and courage that it took for him to battle his demons, and become a better person.

My Rating:

I give, If You Stay, by Courtney Cole, an Emotionally Charged, Beautifully Written, and Tugged on My Heartstrings, Fabulous 5 Stars!!!  You must read this book now!  You will not be able to put it down until you have finished the very last page!  Trust me!  The only breaks you will be taking are for things you have no control over.  This book has officially been added to my favorites list.  Read it, and then let me know what you think!  It's amazing!

My Favorite Quotes:

"This is where I am comfortable.  Drifting here into this nothingness, this obscurity.  Coke makes it easy to exist in the emptiness." ( Nook, 2)

"Sometimes, at the least opportune times, the past is an insomniac, alive and well."  (Nook, 21)

"The air between us practically crackles with energy as we stare each other down .  Her eyes are fathomless and deep, the kind of eyes that a man could fall into and lose himself.  Permanently."  

"All I know is that ever since I met you , I've wanted to know you.  That's why I've been coming into town this week to see you.  Something about you makes me think that I can be better, maybe even get my shit straight.  I haven't felt that way in a very long time."  (Nook, 43)

       About the Author:  Courtney Cole

I am a novelist who loves thunderstorms, Autumn, Harry Potter books and picking all of the cookie dough out of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
I am the author of If You Stay (book one of the Beautifully Broken series). I am repped by Catherine Drayton of Inkwell Management.
My other books include: The Minaldi Legacy (Of Blood and Bone), The Paradise Diaries (Dante's Girl and Mia's Heart), The Cougar Chronicles (Confessions of an Alli Cat), The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds), The Moonstone Saga (Soul Kissed and Soul Bound), Princess, and Guardian.

Courtney Cole's:  


 Purchase At:  Amazon (Kindle)/Barnes and Noble (Nook)


  1. Awesome review!

    Will move this one up on my TBR list.

    Thanks Lindy!

    1. Thank you Mikki! You haver to tell me aha you think once you read it! I really want to know your thoughts!

  2. Great review! Definitely moving up on my to-read list. I have read lots of mixed reviews about this book. but I love books that consume my emotions and thoughts!! & Love never fails/true love conquers all are my favorite messages in books.
    Have a great week (:

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! It's funny that you mention how this book got mixed reviews, because as I was reading it, I was thinking this book is going to be very controversial! Kind of how Beautiful Disaster was controversial. The writing and story was excellent. The only reason that I think people would dislike this book was due to Pax's behavior. However, in my opinion, it was very real and raw and honest. I was shocked and disgusted by some of Pax's behavior, but that didn't take away from how awesome the story was. I think that the same people that were disgusted with Beautiful Disaster will be the same people complaining about this story. I was one of the people that love Beautiful Disaster! I will be very interested to hear your thoughts on this story once you read it! So please don't forget to tell me what you think!

  3. Oh I LOVED If You Stay too! Loved how Pax and Mila worked through their relationship. It was realistic and amazing! great review Lindy! :)

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

    1. Thanks Janhvi! I loved this book sooo much! It was so amazing!

  4. Awesome review! I am pretty much consumed by Pax at the moment! I loved that the characters felt real to me.

    1. Thanks Dione! I loved this story, and Pax was such an intense and interesting character!

  5. I don't read a ton of books like this one. I love a book that runs high on serious emotions, but I have to take it easy on myself. I am crazy emotional and books have the ability to make me cry for days! This sounds like it could do that. But it sounds really good too! Thank you for your review. I might just have to check this one out, and see how good it is for myself!

  6. Sounds so sweet I will have to push this up farther.. thanks for the wonderful review. ;)

  7. Sounds interesting I'll have to check it out!


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