Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the If You Stay Blog Tour/Release Day Celebration! I am so excited to be bringing this book to you today, and am excited to be taking part in the event. You can find the entire tour schedule here. My stop includes my review and a GIVEAWAY!
Series: Beautifully Broken #1
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
Publication Date: 2/12/13
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?
*deep calming breath*
I loved If You Stay. Like, really really loved it. The kind of love that kept me reading until 2:40 am and left me crying, smiling, devastated, and elated. The best kind of book love.
So I opened the book, and was immediately slapped in the face with a scene that proved just how out-of-control and asshole-ish Pax Tate really was. Don't get me wrong, it was kind of hot. And he was really polite, saying "Please" and "Thank You". *snickers* But he's not taking advantage of a poor, naive girl, which was a big relief. Yeah, Pax Tate is an asshole. Mostly to himself.
Pax a guy who is ruled by the belief that he doesn't deserve good things, happiness. He knows something beyond his comprehension happened the day his mom died. It's just out of his reach. It tore his family, his life apart. The only way to deal with the pain is through oblivion. The oblivion will eventually kill Pax.
When Mila Hill meets Pax, he doesn't make a good impression. And he keeps not making good impression on her, but for some inexplicable reason, she makes him want to be better. Maybe it's because she looks at him and doesn't see the screwed-up guy he is. Maybe it's because she sees in him the same pain she feels over the loss of her parents. Whatever it is, Pax wants to be a better man. Old habits don't die easy, and neither do the memories that cause him to want to slip away. Pax can say he wants to be better for Mila, but he learns he must be better for himself. And that means turning away from oblivion, and reaching for the past.
If You Stay alternated between Mila and Pax's point-of-view, but it definitely felt like it was Pax's story, to me. Mila did have some lingering issues over her parents' death, but seemed to be in a good place. I loved that while she was focused on helping Pax, she took care of herself and her heart first. She doesn't give him a free pass, her love must be earned. Pax could easily have been a hard to love character. If Cole hadn't have written from his POV, letting us know where Pax is coming from, how messed up he is, the sympathy would have been harder to find. His complete honesty with Mila made it hard to be upset with him, even when he reeeallly messes up.
If You Stay, though a heavy book, does have its sweet and very sexy moments. Pax and Mila are actually a fun couple, with a great repoire. When Pax turns on the steam, though, watch out. I've said it before and I'm saying again, I love it when my book guys know how to "talk" while in the moment. I'm no delicate flower with my books, but there were a few moments, and one scene in particular, that had me blushing and giggling. *sigh*
If You Stay was a beautiful, sexy, tragic, bold story of love and redemption. A story about facing the darkness and choosing light.
I've never seen anything as beautiful as Mila looks walking toward me across the dining room. And it's not just because she's gorgeous. It's because she's walking toward me. To be with me. Even if it's only for tonight or for now. ~ARC, 32%
"There are some things in life that can't be explained. Period. Assholes are assholes. Rainbows are pretty. Kittens are cute. Chick flicks are sad. It's the way of things, no explanations." ~ARC, 34%
"If something hurt you enough to make you want to forget it, I want to help you get through it. Let's chase those dreams away, Pax." ~ ARC, 64%
About the author:
Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.
Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.
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