Thursday, September 26, 2013

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

e-ARC, 272 pages
 Release Date: October 1, 2013
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Stand-alone
Source: Edelweiss (A huge thanks to Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss. They provided this e-galley to me in exchange for a just and honest review.)
For fans of: Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult,Sparkly Covers

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.
After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?
In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice..

*MY THOUGHTS*

In honor of banned books week, I will be reviewing books with controversial topics! I READ WHAT I WANT TO READ! 
     I'm not going to sugar coat this at all, this is one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write. Even with all my notes that I took in my notebook, its still hard to actually put what I want to say in words. The one thing I was worried about before I started this was how this situation would be portrayed. It's a huge situation that is very relevant in today's society and I was hoping against all hope that it wasn't portrayed like everything was all sunshine and rainbows.
"Dumb as it sounds, I didn't totally realize when I was pregnant that Hannah would have an actual personality separate from mine, but sure enough it comes out more and more every day."
18% (e-ARC)
     And I'm so glad that's not what we got. I've only said this about one other book, but this is one of the most realistic fiction books I've ever read. Everything seemed so raw and real and emotional, that I couldn't put this book down. From the characters to the things they did, just everything. And what makes it better, I didn't feel like I was watching an episode of those shows on television. Even those seem rehearsed. This was just very real.
"Hi baby, I drop my purse on the floor and cross the carpet, suddenly a hundred percent sure I'm about to cry. I'm just stupidly relieved to see her is all, this 25 pound miracle."
48% (e-ARC)
     As for the characters, I loved Reena and Hannah. They were Reena was the epitome of a hard worker and I just hated how she lost everything. It was obvious that she had a lot going for her, but she lost it all when she found out she was pregnant. Then there was Hannah. She was absolutely adorable from the picture I got in my head. But then there was Sawyer. In the "Before" chapters he was a supreme jerk. With every one that passed I got more and more pissed at him. It seemed like the complete opposite for Reena and it was obvious that he had nothing going for him. I was pissed that she still chose to be with him. When she finally realized that she was bettering him and he was doing nothing for her, I thought that was the wake up call she needed. Fail. But then there was the "After" chapters. I wanted to kick myself multiple times when I found myself feeling like I liked him even a little bit. The way Cotugno showed his growth will give you no choice but to love him. Its like he turned himself around when he left, but he got the full wake up call to grow up when he finally came back and found out about Hannah.
"I am your mama," I tell her, sinking down into the rocking chair and smoothing patterns with my palm across her tiny baby back. I'm the only one you've got poor thing."
48% (e-ARC)
     I also loved the writing style. Everything just seemed so melodic but still so real. I really felt like someone was sitting there telling me the story of their life. It was hard to think of it as fiction. And to the publishers, I loved the letter at the beginning too. It got me even more excited for the book than I was already. And I was already super excited to read it lol
"That's your family Sawyer. 'Yeah well,' he reaches behind him to retrieve Hannah's cloth bunny which she's dropped on the floor. Hannah grins, 'You're my family too.'."
67% (e-ARC)
     Everything about this pulled me in. The characters, the writing style, how realistic it was, just everything had me hooked. After I turned the last page I had to sit there and revel in the fact that this was a debut. Congrats to Cotugno on creating a story that will be talked about and used in schools for years to come.
Overall, I give this 

     

1 comment:

  1. I'm actually a little bit scared to read this. It's not my usual style, and it skirts around some of the topics I don't like to delve too deep into. I love that it's realistic though, and that may be what makes me read it. Great review!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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