Sunday, May 5, 2013
8:30 AM | Posted by Ashley G. |
Title: If You Stay
Author: Courtney Cole
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Rating: 2 Cows
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?
I've read so many books with similar plot lines; bitter protagonist with traumatic past who never lets anyone in until they fall in love. And I love those reads but If You Stay wasn't for me.
Pax wasn't the character I've read about with the most devastating past but he definitely handled it the harshest. And I always thought the more broken the protagonist is, the better, but Pax proved me wrong. He was immature and I couldn't understand his way of thinking. For example, everyone expects the worst of him, so he does exactly what they expect as a small "screw you to them".
"I stalk out, away from his disapproving stare and his doubts. What he doesn't understand is that if you constantly expect the worst from someone, that's probably what you're going to get. He should have learned that by now. I've certainly shown him time and time again."
Nonsense, right? What bothered me the most about Pax was his “oblivion state". It was too unbelievable. How could someone, even someone who's using drugs, forget that event? I tried to feel sympathy for him but all I could think was "so that's what scum is". Of course, he changes throughout the book and by the end he’s a “good person”. But it was far too late for me to like him.
I also disliked Mila. She watched him overdosed and he was a complete asshole but she still started dating him right away. I think no self-respecting woman would get involved with someone like him. As a friend, maybe, but romantically, no. And she forgave him too easily, far too easily.
The interactions between Pax and Mila were so lacking. Even their purposely-deep conversations had no emotion. They just didn’t seem genuine to me.
"I will try very hard to not hurt you," he says. "I'm fucked up. So I can't promise that I won't. But I promise that I will try."
"Okay," I whisper. "But try very hard."
I couldn't form a connection with any of the characters and that's essential to liking a book. And because of this I found myself skimming through pages. Needless to say this book wasn't for me. The only reason I was stopped from giving it a one star was because there were so many quotes that I loved in it. So many highlighted pages and it was a nice change having the girl save the boy. But I've read so many highly rated reviews so don't let me influence you and check it out for yourself!
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