Monday, April 20, 2015

Review | 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

99 Days by Katie Cotugno
384 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Read an excerpt
Rate: 4 stars
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.
Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

99 Days by Katie Cotugno brought out so many feelings I didn’t know one book could give me. This book was devastating in the fact that the actions that took place really hit me in a way I least expected. However, I couldn’t put the book down and loved the journey it took me on.  This book is written in such a realistic way that all of the emotions are so authentic and raw. It’s painful to read in some parts, but you can’t help but continue on.

Molly finds herself in a shitty situation. There really is no other way to put it. She has made some bad decisions and is having to deal with the consequences pretty much on a daily basis, however, you can’t help but sympathize with her. Yes, you know that she has made mistakes and you may even want to hate her a little, but for me, I found myself trying to understand. Molly finds herself caught in between two brothers. Not only does this mess with the already tender relationship between the brothers, but it also breaks up a beautiful friendship. It’s a mess! There’s really no other way to put it.

What I admire most though is the author for writing such a beautiful book with such a flawed leading character. In a way, this book was a breath of fresh air for me. I’ve read many books lately with such strong characters that have a happy ending. But that wasn’t the point of this story. Molly is flawed. She’s a runner and is very good at running from her problems, but from start to finish, you see that she [slowly] starts to learn from her mistakes. Basically, Molly does a lot of growing up in this book. I loved that about it. I loved seeing her begin to stick up for herself.

I also love that while this book clearly has the love triangle of all disasters, the romantic aspect of the story wasn’t overpowering. I could clearly see the draw that Molly had for both of the brothers. And sure, there are times I wished Molly would end up with Patrick, but there were also times I wish she would end up with Gabe. Each relationship seemed like they had their own beauty, but for me, I was just hoping Molly would be able to love herself again. This was a tough story & I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for Cotugno to write. She certainly deserves a round of applause in my opinion.

The ending of the book, while it might not be what most expect, is done so beautifully. I think the way in which Cotugno wrapped up Molly’s story was perfect. You will take a 99 day journey along side Molly when you read this. You will hate her a times, want to comfort her, and you may even love her a little. She’s a young girl who made a mistake, but she’s learning to take responsibility for her actions in the best way she knows how.

99 Days by Katie Cotugno is certainly a book that’ll stick with me and I am very happy to have had the chance to read this and take this journey with Molly.

4 out of 5 stars
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Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.
Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is due out from Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013.

The great loves of Katie’s life include child’s pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston (and in sin) with her boyfriend, Tom.

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