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If Only

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  7,671 ratings  ·  1,168 reviews
Note: originally titled Grace

If only I could stay with you forever. I would.

Eric is having a hard time adjusting to his family’s move from California to Utah. Then one night he discovers a girl Dumpster diving behind the burger joint where he works. Her name is Grace. She’s a classmate and a runaway. Eric and his younger brother, Joel, decide to hide her in their backyar
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Simon Pulse (first published January 1st 2008)
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,671 ratings  ·  1,168 reviews

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Nov 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a feel good Christmas tale AT ALL. It is actually one of the more depressing books I've read this year. Usually by the end of Richard Paul Evans' books, I feel a peace wash over me, I felt very sad after reading this. With that said, it is very good, well written and engaging, like the rest of his books.
Tiffany Dauzat
Dec 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grace is an amazing inspirational story about 16 year old Madeline "Grace" Webb, a runaway with big problems and her relationship with 14 year old Eric.

In 1962, people minded their own business. What happened behind closed doors was considered priveledged. Children were their parent's possessions and no one could say anything about the treatment of those children. For Grace, life was more complicated than most 16 year old girls have to deal with. Eric finds her digging in a dumpster behind his w
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aufmerksam geworden bin ich auf das Buch durch Tanja auf ihrem Blog "Der Duft von Büchern und Kaffee". Weder das Cover noch der Klappentext hätten mich angesprochen, aber ich probiere immer gerne auch mal etwas anderes aus. Nach dem kurzen Vorwort war ich allerdings fast schon am überlegen, ob ich es wirklich lesen möchte. Das Thema ist hier Kindesmissbrauch - und obwohl ich nicht dafür bin, davor die Augen zu verschließen, gehe ich diesen Themen in Büchern aus dem Weg, da sie mir einfach zu nah ...more
Nov 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that just pains you to have to put it down. It was a very emotional, intense and sad tale. The characters are charming. Important issues are addressed in a delicate manner. I felt the ending was a bit rushed but it definitely pulled at the heartstrings - of course, making me shed a tear or two. This is my first Richard Paul Evans book, but now I am intrigued by his much talked about The Christmas Box.

I was happy to hear how RPE is using his income to help out abused c
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

If one were to look up the definition of "grace," this is what one would find: a virtue coming from God or disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency among others. But either of these definitions could apply to the beautiful story written by Mr. Evans.

GRACE is another amazing story written by the author of THE CHRISTMAS BOX. For those who have never read anything by Mr. Evans, GRACE will not disappoint, and will most likely lea
Sep 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-favorite-read
I have always seemed to enjoy Richard Evans' holiday books, and this years book, Grace, was no exception. It was just a wonderful story, beautifully narrated, a story that deals with family dysfunction, and mature subject matter.

The narrator recalls his first love in 1962 at the age of fourteen..........

"My memory, like my eyesight, has waned with age and I pray I can get the story right. Still, there are things that become clearer to me as I grow older. This much I know: too many things were ke
Dec 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-books
This is the story of a 15 yr. old runaway girl who is befrieneded and cared for by a 14 yr old boy and how their lives are changed forever because of their relationship. This is really a great book to read at this time of year too. Very profound and thought provoking message about child abuse as well. I highly recommend this book!
Diana Brown
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sisters-bookclub
Grace is a bittersweet coming of age story of a teenage boy in the 60's amidst the Cuba missile crisis. This was definitely a 5 star book, and I loved it but when I chose it for my Christmas pick for our book club I was expecting something different. I don't feel it was a Christmas themed book, and was led astrayed by the description "heartwarming". While Christmas does appear in it, it is a book I would have read at any other time of the year. The book brought back childhood memories both good ...more
Dec 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014, christmas
This was the first time i have read anything by Evans, and i was impressed with the strong voice he carried throughout the book. I loved that it was written in first person, thats always been a personal favorite of mine, but this book was sad, very sad. If you are looking for an emotional driven, dramatic plot line, then you might like this book, but if you are looking for a warm, cozy christmas book that makes you all cheerful inside, please keep looking. Would i read more by this author? Absol ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My heart is still torn in two after completing this. It began as an innocent enough story told by an older man looking back at an event that took place when he was fifteen and found his first love. After rescuing Grace and hiding her in his club house the book became sweet and innocent with an undercurrent of something more evil lurking close to the surface, and while I wasn't surprised by the revelation the ending left me gasping and near actual tears. It is a wonderfully written book and I can ...more
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. It is not predictable yet the story builds up emotionally as the characters become vulnerable and relatable. Love the way the writer brought out the way life unfolds in reality sometimes.
K.D. Absolutely
"That was the time I became a man." (Disc#5, Chapter 34)

This is my very first audiobook and I liked it. No eye strain. Gave me a break from listening to Goodtimes 89.9's sometimes-arrogant-sometimes-funny Mo Twister every morning of my life. Made me less sentimental by not listening to old songs played in 774 A.M. station on my way back home every afternoon or early evening. The only downside was that if there was an agressive driver swerving into my lane, I got distracted and I lost what had be
Dara S.
Emotional story about a young woman suffering abuse at the hands of her stepfather. (There are not graphic details in this book.)
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, read-2015
This book was one that I bought on impulse. I wanted to buy a book because I had money, and what else would I spend money on? I saw this cover and read the description and it seemed to be a cute light read. I wasn't blown away (I wasn't expecting to be), but I also wasn't disappointed.

The thing that annoyed me most was this: when Eric first invites Grace to live in his backyard clubhouse, he says this:

I suddenly remembered Grace and felt a strange excitement.

During the summer Joel and I trapped
Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not an emotional person but I will admit to shedding a few tears over this one. A very touching story. I have a hard time reading novels where I know who the bad guy is and what they are doing is so's much easier for me to read a mystery. Thankfully, this one wasn't very long so I could finish it, unlike the other book I'm currently reading Edgar Sawtelle...
Holly B
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is about Eric, a 14 year old boy who moves to Utah with his family during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. When he is working at a burger place one day, he finds a girl named Grace. He later finds out that she ran away from home, and has to make a decision about how to help her. The two become great friends and must figure out how to survive in a world where money is scarce and people are in need. Eric and Grace go through many struggles together with their families and financial ...more
Kristen Landon
The second sad, sappy Richard Paul Evans book I read this holiday season. They do touch something in me that makes me keep reading them.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved, loved this book! I have been telling everyone I know about it. Why do authors do this to us? Why do authors drag us along, get their readers emotionally invested then, decide to type out an ending that leaves their readers clutching the novel like it’s a winning lottery ticket. As I was retelling my mother about this novel, her words expressed exactly what I felt, “that was it? the author left you with that, after everything you read?” and I signed and replied, “my thoughts, exactly…... ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The writing style didn’t grip me, but it didn’t bore me. I didn’t love this, but I didn’t hate it. I liked it, more for the message of the history of abuse and public awareness.

I was so sad when I finished. It’s a book that doesn’t end with everything resolved in a happy fashion, but all is resolved. It’s an odd story, of a boy hiding a runaway girl in his backyard clubhouse and their falling in love. But the way it impacts him and changes the course of his life and decisions is powerful.

I am f
Kerstin Gunia
As with many of Evans' books, this one has that gentle storytelling which lends itself as a perfect audio book. It is an engaging story, and while the telling is gentle the subject matter is not. It opens with the story of the "Little Match Girl" and the history of how abused children were left unprotected by the state and legal system for an unthinkable amount of time.
Evans creates believable characters and realistic circumstances, both Grace and the family which intercepts her life are everyda
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas, fiction, ya
I love the way Richard Paul Evans writes. His books are clean fast reads. This isn't a feel good plot; however it is one about love, loyalty, and forgiveness. A very unique twist on the Christmas story of the Little Match Girl.
Didn't read it.
Quintin Reitzel
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dundee Library
A patron who attends the Inspirational Book Club recommended this one to me. We had read one of Evans' other titles and this was a YA work of his. She really liked it and didn't want to give away the ending....I don't either. Suffice it to say it doesn't end like you think most inspirational stories end.

The story takes place in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is a turbulent time for our nation but there is more turbulence in the life of teen-aged boy named Eric and his family. Eric, h
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, but it seemed a little contrived. The fact that it was set in the early 1960s makes it a little more believable. I would have been about the same age then as Eric, the main character in the book, but my parents would have been more aware of my comings and goings, food disappearing, etc., than Eric's were. It also bothered me that sometimes the things that Grace encouraged him to do didn't seem like really good choices.
I do like very much the things that the author is trying to
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this by accident, and am glad I did so. The story was not comfortable, but it was compelling. What I learned from this book is that those of us who stand by and do nothing to protect or protest the treatment of children and other disadvantaged members of our society as as guilty as those who torture, murder and abuse them. We cannot remain silent in the face of such abuse of the helpless.
Mala Ashok
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was already in love with this "Young Adult" book when I read the entry in Grace's Diary which said, "I don't know why we're celebrating my birthday when it would have been better that I'd never been born." For a 16 year old to write this is really sad. This is the poignancy we read about in the book. Eric's presence is the one bright light in Grace's life. If only they could be together always...
Glenda L
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I love Richard Paul Evans books ... this one was about a runaway who fell in love with her fourteen year old rescuer. She could see the future in the flame of a candle and taught him more about life than anyone. The boy grew up and told her story ... there were too many secrets kept in the old days. Because of this book, Richard Paul Evans started a group called Operation Kids ... a group for children of child abuse. What a wonderful story!!!
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pull out the tissues for this one! This book really made me think more about the issue of children's rights. It's a very sweet and sad story with a strong message. I knew how it end and yet I still couldn't put it down - I read it in one day. It does deal with child abuse issues, so some people may not have a difficult time with it. However, I have to say that these issues were dealt with very tactfully and without going into any detail.
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet sad read about a young abused girl and the young boy who tries to help her. I thought the book truly captured not only the times it was set in but all the emotions of young teenagers caught in such an awful situation. I felt Evans really expressed the feelings and thoughts of the boy in a very realistic way.
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Brings tears to eyes 1 22 Apr 02, 2012 07:41PM  
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When Richard Paul Evans wrote the #1 best-seller, The Christmas Box, he never intended on becoming an internationally known author. His quiet story of parental love and the true meaning of Christmas made history when it became simultaneously the #1 hardcover and paperback book in the nation. Since then, more than eight million copies of The Christmas Box have been printed. He has since written ele ...more
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“I think the secret to a hoppy life is a selective memory. Remember what you are most grateful for and quickly forget what your not.” 44 likes
“It was the first time that I had ever been romantically kissed. It was even better than the chocolate cake.” 16 likes
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