Katie Cotugno writes some believable characters. I love the raw, real feeling of teenage life that she captures with Molly. I mean, my high school years were not like this because all I did was read and watch the Golden Girls, but that wouldn’t be as exciting to read about.
Molly has had a rough year. She made a mistake in her small town and while she was able to escape for her last year of high school, unfortunately, she had to come back for one last summer before college. And now she only has to last 99 days. 99 days avoiding (or maybe not avoiding) her ex, 99 days resenting her mom, 99 days to decide what kind of person she wants to be. I won’t tell you what this ~mistake~ she makes is; it’s revealed pretty quickly, but it’s a more fun reading experience to go into this book blind.
Molly makes bad choices, repeatedly, but she’s not a bad person. This book is about overcoming the bad choices we make as teenagers and forgiving yourself. These books are great if you want to remember how much being a teenager sucked and how happy you are that you’re past it. You will yell at Molly; you’ll want to throw your book at her head, but she’s young, and she’s learning. Check it out!
Because I’m a glutton for series, I was so happy to find out that 99 Days has a sequel. And because I write here, I could read it way before it came out, right after finishing the first book. You know, for the benefit of the public. You’re welcome.
9 Days & 9 Nights doesn’t pick up exactly where 99 Days left off – we’ve jumped ahead a year, but we slowly find out what happened in that year as the story progresses. Molly has grown tremendously, but there’s always more growing to do. She’s doing that gracefully, something that can only come from experience. Again she’s stuck in a sticky situation with an ex, unresolved feelings, and surrounded by people who could be hurt by the decisions she makes. All I’ll say is this time she just has to make it through 9 days and 9 nights – way easier than 99 days, right?
While I’m happy with the ending, the realistic, pragmatic part of me wishes for something else. But the romantic side is blissfully happy. I can see this as the end of Molly’s story for now, but I would be just as happy to keep reading about her. She’s engaging, messy, and wholly realistic. Check it out!
PS. See if you can spot the Outlander reference! I say we start up #EGBTO
Reena has loved Sawyer for what seems like forever. And for a short time, he might have loved her too. Long enough to leave her with a new love, their baby, Hannah. He disappeared before he ever found out about the little human he helped create, but almost three years later he’s back. And he can still mess up Reena’s mind like no time passed at all. But nothing changes a relationship like a baby (I’m guessing…don’t have any of those yet!). Let alone a baby you had by yourself at age 16 when the father has disappeared on you…
How to Love has two timelines – before and after. Before and after what, you’ll have to read to find out. But it should be pretty obvious from the description. The thing I love most about Katie Cotugno’s stories is that they’re complicated, without being outrageous. Some authors pull out everything but the kitchen sink to make their characters have depth and evoke sympathy from readers, but KC does so in a realistic, albeit angsty, oh so angsty, way. I still wouldn’t want to go through what any of these fictional girls have gone through (let alone while they’re still in high school/college!) but at least there’s no murderer in the mix.
How to Love is at its core a story about how people, especially when we’re young, change. We grow, we get better (hopefully). We learn that the easiest choice isn’t always the best and complicated can be just what you need sometimes. That said you still might hate Sawyer just a little bit… Check it out!
So that’s a look into the mind of my latest author crush. I think you guys will like her. I mean the bio line on her website is “messy, complicated, feminist love stories.” If you added french fries in there it would sum up just about all my interests in life. Next up are Fireworks and Top Ten, and then whatever else she wants to write. Like my to-be-read list wasn’t long enough already…
9 Days and 9 Nights is available now! So pick up 99 Days and then, lucky you, there’s no waiting like the rest of us had to do.