♥ Sarah's Reviews > If You Stay

If You Stay by Courtney Cole
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's review
Dec 17, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: romanceland, 2013-releases, do-not-pass-go, ya-na
Read from February 11 to 12, 2013


I was really excited for this book, because I’m just as enthusiastic about self-proclaimed, “bad boy” assholes with tats and a sketchy past, as everyone else.

I am, however, immune to bullshit. I don’t like lazy, formulaic, and trite writing; I’m also tired of reading the same old clichéd, played-out stories of the heroine, justifying the hero’s rude and inexcusable behaviors, because of his “dark” past. And, I don’t think sexist, and/or misogynistic behavior/lingo, is romantic at all. Sorry.

I swear, I'm going to STOP reading books featuring an ASSHOLE hero, with a passive, submissive, desperate, "good-girl" heroine.
*I was STRUGGLING to finish, and I would've rated this a 1/5 if not for the ending.

So, I’m going to try and explain my reasoning behind my generous rating. Here goes:

The first chapter had me intrigued, I was hopeful, to say the least.Lines of coke + blowjob + intense OD moment = POTENTIAL. And, the sentiment or overall message of the story was good. I could see what the author was attempting to accomplish. I didn’t necessarily buy it, but it was a nice thought: second chances, forgiveness, love conquers all, hope, and all that jazz. But, that was just about all that I liked about the story.

I couldn’t stand PAX and MILA. The story was told in DUAL POVs, but I couldn’t differentiate between the two; they sounded the same – like they were one person. Annoying. And the cheesy insta-love angle? Instant turn-off.

On top of that, Pax kept using the term, “pussy” in every other sentence, in a very degrading manner. He called all kinds of women: bar slut, hoe, whore, wench, etc.

NO, it’s not OK, and it’s fucking offensive.
Also, the whole “good girl” thing MILA had going on?


I don’t like sluts either, and sometimes you just have to call out a girl for her nasty actions, BUT this construction of good girl v. bad girl, desirable v. undesirable – is so aligned with offensive, sexist, hegemonic, patriarchal ideology, that I just couldn’t stomach it. (As a woman myself.)

Another issue that rubbed me the wrong way was, the dude overdosed on cocaine. Yet he kept claiming he wasn’t “addicted” and that he didn’t have “drug problems.”

Um, wtf?

That’s extremely hard to believe; he just quit all of a sudden, no withdrawals, nothing.

But he’d been taking sleeping pills and other variations of drugs since he was 7 years old...

I just don’t get how he wasn’t “addicted” and didn’t “really” have any drug problems; it was just a coping mechanism to fill the void? Sure, I can buy that, but that shit comes with a cost – and it’s called ADDICTION.

I don’t really want to get into the issues I had with MILA, because she was so frustrating, stupid, and a desperate pushover. But I guess I will mention that her father hit her mother occasionally. I guess that’s somehow supposed to explain her behavior + explain her attraction to the druggie.

[blank face]

Still, I had a hard time with the rationale behind the domestic abuse; Mila justified her parents’ actions by stating that it was just because they were so “passionately” in love...

I’m not saying everyone involved in abusive relationships should just break it off completely and find someone new.
Sometimes, people make mistakes, but they can change for the better. And sometimes, it takes a strong woman to forgive the lowlife that hit her. Or, it could just be that the woman is scared to death, has her children to worry about, and other socio-economic reasons why she chooses not to leave. She could also just be humiliated. I don't know. There could be many reasons why a woman chooses to stay.

Regardless, I’m not judging.

However, I just don’t like the fact that the author, or MILA, chooses to explain domestic abuse as if it’s no big deal, as if it’s romantic somehow – because that’s what “passionate” lovers do.

THAT is what I had a problem with. I strongly disagree. It IS a big deal, and it doesn't signify "healthy" passion (at the very least). It's straight up wrong; there's no justification for domestic abuse.

Finally, there was NO CHEMISTRY between PAX and MILA. I just wasn’t feeling it. The whole “big bad wolf” thing was creepy and cheesy.

All in all, this story offered me nothing new, or unique. I felt bad for Pax and his unfortunate childhood, but so what? I didn't CARE in the end. Overall, the story was just bland, played out, cliché, and cheesy. I say, skip this one.
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08/20/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Elaine (last edited Feb 12, 2013 09:01PM) (new)

Elaine Sounds like something I'll definitely be avoiding. If there's one thing that irks me, it's a cliched storylines coupled with annoying characters. Okay, that's technically two things but well...

Nice review!

♥ Sarah Elaine wrote: "Sounds like something I'll definitely be avoiding. If there's one thing that irks me, it's a cliched storylines coupled with annoying characters. Okay, that's technically two things but well...


Thanks, Elaine :) I think I got wrinkles on my face for cringing so much, throughout all the "romantic" bits. This one is definitely cliched and annoying.

message 3: by Elaine (new)

Elaine I applaud you for sitting through the entire book.

message 4: by Faith (new)

Faith Wow! So hitting is now deemed passionate. Ugh! ... I prefer the heroes to be broody, quiet and avoid people! Name calling is so not cool.

Lise *friends don't flag* Great review, I think Pax referred to himself as a 'pussy' 55 times...jk!

message 6: by ♥Trish♥ (new) - added it

♥Trish♥ Shit I just bought this :(

message 7: by Lucia (new)

Lucia Great review, staying away from this one since I am already fed up with all those similar books with similar plot, annoying characters and unrealistic settings.

♥ Sarah @Elaine, @Faith - LOL thanks<3; I wholeheartedly agree ;)
@Lise - Thank you, and I wouldn't be surprised if that were actually true!
@Trish- You may end up liking it, it seems like a lot of people did enjoy the book. Personally, it just wasn't for me; so disappointing :(
@Lucia - Thank you! And yeah, regardless of "popular opinion" this book was definitely nothing new; same ole' story line, cheesy (as hell) romance. ='(

Linz Hi, love the review. I had problems with this book too, I felt that is kind of "romanticised" drug taking. That he was ok to basically sexually exploit a woman due to her addiction, he wasn't an addict but yet ate pills like skittles and drank whiskey like fruit juice - but he isn't am addict????? Them he just stopped no withdrawal, no mood swings just perfect sweet pax - I don't think so

message 10: by Roxane (new)

Roxane side note: its also a lil hard to overdose on cocaine from snorting it. Unless you lines are 10cm long and 2cm thick...

Jaqueline Bragatti de Oliveira Tkx for reading it all, writing this review and avoiding me the hassle

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