Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: How To Love by Katie Cotugno

Author: Katie Cotugno
Publication Date: 10/01/2013
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

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.

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.

Summary from Goodreads


Reading How To Love was like watching a bad episode of 16 and Pregnant on MTV, then catching the 2 year catch up reunion show.  Seriously.

We have Reena who has loved Sawyer from a distance for foreverrr. When your young and in lust you look past plenty of things to be with the one you're lusting after.  I can understand that, I can even forgive Reena for it.  What I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around and forgiving is her making the same mistake twice.  I have absolutely no patience for this type of person, in real life or in fiction.  Sawyer is bad news.  Don't get me wrong I believe in second chances and that people can partially change but Reena doesn't even give it long enough to really test Sawyer.  She doesn't even punch him in the face like she should have when she runs into Sawyer for the first time since he left her knocked up and alone.  For all girls everywhere there should have been a major beat down, if not with fists then definitely with words.  I don't really care if Sawyer knew Reena was pregnant or not.  It's a moot point in my book.  He still left a girl who loved him without a word, without a phone call, for TWO years and then expects to be able to turn back up bragging about his trips around the US to the girl who had her life planned out but had to forfeit it and stay home to have his kid.  But wait, why am I even angry on her behalf? She forgives the dirtbag! I can't.  I just can't.

Anger aside the writing of the book and pacing was decent.  The chapters switch back and forth between the before and after which paints a pretty good picture of Sawyer and Reena's relationship. There is also some good side relationships that we see heading towards repair between Reena, her dad, and her stepmom. Someone mentioned in their review that the book does a good job of not leading readers to feel a certain way, rather it gives you the ability to decide for yourself how you feel about it all.  I can agree with that.  You see, had Reena told Sawyer off and ended up with Aaron I probably would have given this book four stars, as it stands it's lucky to be getting two.  Other readers though seemed to believe this was a good representation of how things go down for teen pregnancy, which based of 16 & Pregnant, seems to be true.  I still hated it.

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