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Reading is my drug. I love to get lost in a great book to escape into worlds that are usually much cooler than mine! >.<

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Imogen Howson
The Beautiful and the Cursed
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Rhiannon Frater

If You Stay (Beautifully Broken, #1)

If You Stay - Courtney Cole Actual Rating: 3.5 starsStarting with a bang--and I mean really: check out the opening paragraph for yourself ;)--If You Stay is narrated mainly by Pax, a drug addict with a past that has led him to want to give no shits about his life. Our second POV is a sweet and innocent young girl, Mila, who meets Pax in the most unfortunate of ways. I think this is one instance where a single POV would have been much better for me. While I understand the appeal of a dual POV when it comes to a love story, especially of this nature where both characters are such opposites, I felt like one character (Pax) was much more developed than the other, more likeable, too, which might seem improbable when you first meet him, turning this book into a good read that could have been great if only I had cared for both sides equally. Fortunately for me, it's Pax's story above all. We meet him in his lowest of the lows as a drug addict who just doesn't give a f*ck. He's the ultimate bad boy whom every girl should stay away from. He's not created for us to "like" him as a character, not to mention a love interest, but he was created as an obviously broken character who you have the strange impulse to want to fix. This is what makes his character sympathetic. You get to understand what's going on in his head and how badly he wants to change--which makes all the difference. I came to see him as someone very sweet who needs to be given a chance. Mila takes that risk. This girl, though, did not click with me. She is the definition of a "good girl", but this is not the reason why I disliked her. She was simply too naive for my taste. She jumps into a relationship with this guy with the immediate belief that he will change to become the perfect boyfriend material, even after Pax tells her that "he will try not to her her"--he emphasizes on "try". Automatically, this would have become a red flag for me, Mila seemed to be oblivious to this warning, giving her heart to him so easily. I also didn't like how she reacted when Pax finally unfolded his past. Getting pissed at how he shut her out when he was dealing with such a traumatic memory was just not ok for me. He needed someone to understand and leave him to deal, not someone who made him guilty for it. Our personalities just did not mesh, mine and hers. Even without our clashing minds, however, I never felt like I truly understood or got to know Mila. She wasn't as fleshed out a character as Pax, which leads me to think I would have enjoyed this book much more had we not gotten her perspective at all, and only saw her through Pax's eyes.The romance in the book is extremely hot and definitely R rated, they also do not lack chemistry, but on that note it's a primarily physical relationship. Instead of taking time throughout the book to get to know each other on a more emotional level, they focus on their physical attraction; which, in reality, is fine as some couples do base themselves on their physical relationship, but as a reader I felt like the romance was more superficial.This book, however, is more than a love story. It's ultimately about Pax dealing with his past, and finding a way to get through it without ruining his life in the process. It was an emotional read, for sure, with some very hard to imagine scenarios where you can't help but want to put yourself in the MC's shoes to try to take some of their pain away. This is the part of the book that I liked the most and I think it was well executed. Hard to read at times, but If You Stay is also an inspiring story when you consider how far Pax comes. While I didn't love both characters, I predict that Mila will resonate with some readers better than I, making it a great reading experience all around as it's far from being a bad book. --For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads