Thursday, July 9, 2015

Review: 99 Days

99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno
Published: April 21st, 2015
Hardcover, 384 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that's how I know everyone 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.

Katie Cotugno is the queen of mistakes and the consequences that come with them. In her first novel, How to Love, she showed what happened to a girl who got pregnant in high school and how she had to deal with that and losing the father of her baby. In this one, we've got a girl who's done something she shouldn't have. After having a fight and potential break up with her boyfriend Patrick Donnelly, Molly seeks comfort in the arms of his older brother, Gabe, and loses her virginity to him. It sets forth a domino effect and soon she is an outcast, none of the family that she used to spend so much time with wants to be around her. So she leaves, goes off to a new school and tries to put the Donnellys behind her. But when she comes home the summer before college, she's hoping to lay low, hoping she does not have to see the Donnellys, but life has other plans for her. Her ex best friend, Julia Donnelly, has not forgiven her for what she's done to her family and she does not plan on letting Molly have a quiet summer. Then Gabe comes home, happy to see Molly, willing to give her another shot. Just as things with Gabe start to heat up again, Patrick shows up, hate in his eyes and not ready to forgive Molly at all. What she thought would be a low key summer has suddenly turned into what she tried to run from, these two boys who she loves and the feelings they give her. She's got 99 days before she goes to college, can she repair everything that she's broken in such a short amount of time?

Molly has made some terrible decisions. She's certainly not a very good girl, but it didn't stop me from wanting what's best for her. When her and Gabe are together, I can see why she's fallen for him in the past. He's sweet, caring, and fun to be around. Then Patrick show up, someone she has tons of history with and she can't help but want to be with him as well. I understood everything going through her head, and though I don't agree with how she played things out, I can see why she couldn't decide between the two brothers. Teenagers make mistakes and Molly makes a lot of them. She has to deal with the consequences all summer, Cotugno does not let her get away with anything she's done, and watching her realize what she's done wrong and trying to fix it is enough redemption for me. I was worried about how everything would play out, but I'm quite pleased with the ending, thinking it was the best way for all of this to finish.

These characters really stood out to me. Molly, for all her problems, was a great character who actined liked a real teenager and made mistakes like one as well. Young love is hard to refuse, and both Patrick and Gabe were great boys, even I had trouble deciding between the two. I'm usually not one for love triangles, but this one worked really well to tie the story together. In fact, it was pretty much the plot so I was okay with it all happening. Julia as the antagonist was perfectly logical. Of course the sister of the brothers you fooled around with would be mad at you for leaving them both and then coming back into their lives and fooling around with both of them again. Her anger was well executed and her and Molly's relationship was really well written. The whole book was written beautifully. Cotugno has a way with words in the simplest way and her writing continues to blow me away. Two for two from this author and I can't wait for her to write something else.

"I was trying not to lose you. But I lost you anyway."

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