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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
In If You Stay: Beautifully Broken, Book 1 (Audio Edition) by Courtney Cole, Pax has an empty spot in his soul. His mother passed away when he was seven years old, leaving him and his father alone. Unfortunately, they never grew close. Pax uses drugs and women in an attempt to fill the void in his life. When he meets Mila, she turns his life upside down. Pax doesn’t want to hurt her but knows that he will. Mila is there for him in ways no one else ever has been. If he wants to keep Mila he must change, but is he capable of change? Mila is aware of the good vs the bad in Pax.
All writers know they must catch the attention of the reader from the very first chapter and Courtney Cole does just that with a dramatic scene written with shocking realism. In If You Stay, the author has created characters that readers will either love or hate. A very few will be undecided concerning their feelings for Pax. From the first page the reader gets a sense of his the bad boy qualities; he’s handsome, sexy and oh-so-hot. Mila was beautiful and good. It was interesting to watch Pax and Mila’s relationship grow. There is an underlying message in this book concerning life and death. Pax is fascinated with good vs evil, life vs death, and the absolutes of black vs white. Although this is considered Young Adult Fiction, there are scenes that may be inappropriate for readers under the age of eighteen. Narrators Loretta Rawlins and Nicholas Tecosky are talented. Their voices add emotion to the audio version.