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Title: If You Stay
Author: Courtney Cole
Release Date: February 12th, 2013
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: For review and blog tour
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?
You probably know that my latest obsession right now is New Adult. From the books that I've read from this genre, it never disappointed me and I just keep hoping that there would be more NA books in the future and that pubs give it a chance. Because it is brill, guys! And IF YOU STAY is one of those NA books that I just can't help but fall in love with!
When I started this book, I never would have thought that it would be a bit serious and mature book. Yes, I was kinda stupid for thinking this would be a light/fun book but oh boy was I wrong! This story has such an unexpected depth and you really feel for the characters, especially our leading guy, Pax. This is also deals with very serious issues, like drugs for instance. I personally don't know anyone around me who's affected by drugs or has an addiction so this book gave me a little insight of what happens and whatnot. Now I just feel sorry for those people. :(
Pax is a bad boy AND an asshole. But guys, he's got a pretty valid reason to. Unlike half of the fictional bad boys out there (who I love, may I add), Pax does have a reason. And you go through the book trying to find out about what happened to him in the past and why he acts like he does now. When we do find out the reason, OMG my heart just broke for him. My poor baby. He has been through so much and you just want to hug and cuddle and kiss him. Okay, maybe I just want to kiss him 'cause he's sexy.
The girl Mila was pretty awesome, too. She's one of the sweetest and nicest characters that I think I've ever encountered, and can I just mention how much patience and loyalty she has? Gotta love her.
Also, holy hotness, this book was HAWT. There's a nude painting scene, people. THAT IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW. *fans self* The scenes are pretty graphic but I didn't mind it one bit. LOL.
I don't really have anything bad to say about the writing. I loved it. It was fresh and unflinchingly honest. And that is how you open a book, people! Haha! Those who have read the book will know what I mean. ;P Also, being inside both of their heads was great since you get to really find out what they're thinking even when they don't show it. I will most certainly be checking out other books by Courtney Cole in the future and if they're NA, even better!
IF YOU STAY is a great addition to the New Adult genre and fans of that genre will definitely enjoy this!