Review of If You Stay by Courtney Cole
Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars
my rating: OMG
pages: 220 (ebook)
found: my kindle library
I have to admit I first started this book a long time ago. I read the preview over at Amazon but wasn’t sure if I should by it. It has a lot of graphic sex scenes and language which usually isn’t my thing. But it went on sale back in April so I picked it up, rereading what I’d already seen in the preview. But then I just stopped. Not just this book but all books. I just didn’t feel like reading any more.
Well, last week I got back into it. When I finished the few library books I had out (with the library not opening for 2 days) I pulled up my Kindle app and looked at what I had. If You Stay beckoned me even with all the explicit sex.
And by golly, I fell in love with it. Amazingly the sex scenes didn’t bother me like they usually do. And make no mistake this book is NOT young adult. This is in the “new adult” category. The characters are in their early 20s.
If You Stay is the story of Pax Tate who ODs on a combo of coke, pills and Jack Daniels. He’s saved by Mila Mills who happens to be taking pictures on the beach that night. A few days later Pax is recovering in the hospital when goody-two-shoes Mila shows up to make sure he’s okay. There’s something about Mila that draws Pax in, unlike any girl before her.
Soon they form a tentative friendship over their experience but the attraction between them is undeniable. Mila’s sister, Maddie, is dead against the relationship but for once Mila doesn’t care. She’s falling hard for the bad boy that’s obviously broken. He needs help and she’s going to give it to him. Pax starts to realize that maybe is good enough for someone to love him until secrets from his past come to light and threaten to ruin everything he’s built with Mila.
This book is at once sweet romance and gritty, realism of the low times in life. The characters are realistic and flawed (especially Pax) but you can’t help but believe in them. In the end they are all changed by the events of the book… And maybe they will get their happy ending after all.