Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

How to Love
How to Love by Katie Cotugno
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.
”add
Publishes in US: October 1st 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA contemp
Source:  Harper teen, Harpercollins via edelweiss
Series? No.

Buy it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Powell’s.

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter  ~blog 

    This is a very engrossing book. It is a theme that has been done before but what makes this story special are the characters. 
     The main character, Reena, had a compelling voice. She felt so natural as a character and since she doesn't like the party scene and is more quiet, book smart, and to herself, I def related to her. Her strength isn't found in balls to the wall kick ass, or fiestiness, although you find that some in a sarcastic way, but sometimes she just wins arguments in her head, not aloud, allowing her best friend to save face. She gets herself in a hard spot, with a daughter from the boy she grew up falling in love with who finally found her only to disappear. 
    When the boy, now young man, Sawyer, comes back in town, there is delicious awkwardness. Reena is understandably hurt and holding him at an arm's length. She doesn't know if he will disappear, and since the narration goes from one time (before) to another (after) I know that there is some unresolved feelings. But she does have a whole new life, and even a boyfriend who makes her happy and doesn't judge. Speaking of the time shifts, they are written very well, and flow seamlessly. It never jarred me and I was always able to keep up with what happened before or after.
    I couldn't help but keep Aaron, the current after boyfriend at an arm's length because the synopsis implies that we get to see Sawyer and Reena fall in love again.I didn't want my heart broken falling for him and I didn't want the poor guy to get hurt. But I also just couldn't completely fall for Sawyer either because he really just seemed like a big jerk. I totally understand that he was in pain, that him and his parents had problems, he suffered a loss, but when he came back (which I never really understood why he left so suddenly and no one knew how to get in touch with him, almost seems like plot device.) he was such a jerk to Reena. Though I have to at least give him props for trying when he did return, and that he did come back since he apparently didn't know she was pregnant. 
    By the end though I was beginning to see them as a couple and how they both have the exterior and interior and have a hard time letting their true selves show. I was pulling for them and didn't think that Sawyer was as complete of a jerk by the end, and wanting them to be happy. I think it was fitting, and even though a bit of an open ending, it tied up everything in the story we just don't know what their happy ever after will exactly look like. 

Bottom Line: Great storyline and main character, though I had some issues with the love interest.


My question to you, my lovely readers:
Could you forgive the father of your child if he left and then came back?
Follow on Bloglovin

26 comments:

  1. Ah. Not a book for me at all. I can't stand triangles, and this one sounds so painful :( glad you still managed to like the book, though. <3 Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds good but the whole triangle makes me skittish. I do like the sound of the characters, even if Sawyer was a jerk, I am glad he came around for you and the couple worked.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh yes, the love interest. He's either hater or loved. I'm sorry you didn't like him, but I hope that your next bookish love interest is better in many ways :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. hmm, i really want to read this but i'm a bit hesitant about triangles and getting too attached to the wrong love interest :(.

    Georgie

    ReplyDelete
  5. This probably isn't my sort of book, but I'm glad you liked it overall, despite having some trouble with the love interest. I can understand why you kept him at arms length. Lovely review!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm glad the switching from past to present flowed great because I've read books were it didn't. Great review :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't usually mind a love triangle if one of the characters is a (justifiable/deserving) winner. I'm glad the author had Sawyer come around in this one. Great review Brandi. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Even the most abused tropes can be made infinitely more interesting if the characters are well done. I'm glad you liked Reena as much as you did. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hmm. This sounds like an interesting one-- I can't honestly... O.O I want this. LOL. I'm sorry that his leaving felt like a plot device, though, and I hate seeing existing relationships become love-type triangles too. It makes me so sad. :/ Awesome review, though, Brandi! I really wanna read this!

    Hard question. I think that a lot of my...hmm. It depends on how long he was gone, how much I was in love with him, how he apologizes (or if he does)...a lot of variables, you know?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good question...and that would be a no from me

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've been hearing such good things about this one. I'm glad to see in your review that it lived up to potential.
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This one's been floating around for the past week. It doesn't sound like my cup of tea really, but I'm glad you liked the story! I just hate when the love interests are massive jerks. Like, what's the point? How is that attractive? lol

    - Allie @ Little Birdie Books

    ReplyDelete
  13. I like the premise of this one! Thanks for the review.

    -Lauren

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very interesting topic. I think I could forgive the father of my child if he came back and made an earnest effort to be a dad. It is important for a child to have a father and I think that should account for something

    ReplyDelete
  15. A lot of people seem to take issue with Sawyer too. I'm curious to see whether I will. Great honest review!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I wonder if I could relate with Reena. Glad to see that you liked Reena and found the ending fitting. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think I'll get all torn up with this book. Regardless of the reasons, Sawyer shouldn't disrupt the life his ex made for herself. Respect her and the pain you caused.

    ReplyDelete
  18. While I've seen this around, I haven't had an urge to read it yet. It might have something to do with the cover, it just doesn't catch my eye. I'm not convinced just yet so I'm not sure yet if I'll give it a shot.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh, I'm definitely going to agree with you on Sawyer, he was very unlikable from the beginning and him continuing to be a jerk didn't help matter. I wasn't a fan of this book, it was one of those times where nothing seemed right. It's happens, right? As for your question, it depends. If he didn't knew about the child and was genuinely a nice person, then yeah, I would forgive him.

    ReplyDelete
  20. it must be difficult to have a problem with the love interest but you're right otherwise it sounds like a nice book! thanks for the great review!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I don't think I would like this one much because I'm not a huge fan of baby/pregnancy situations like that. The romance situation sounds kinda difficult, too. I'm glad you enjoyed it though!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I absolutely loved this book and Sawyer in particular. He was just so BROKEN, but in the end, I could tell he wanted to fix himself and needed to before he could give himself to anyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Man, I think I'll have to do the same thing with Aaron! It's fine if he wasn't lovable, but I hate it when the nice guy is hurt because the girl switches guys. Great review, Brandi!

    ReplyDelete
  24. This book sounds great. I like that the characters make the book different. I am curious about the end of the book! Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  25. The relationships are the focal point of the novel (rather than something thrown in) so I don't really mind the love triangle here, especially since the other elements of the book sound good. Thank you for the review!

    ReplyDelete

I would love to hear from you! (I always try to visit your blog back) I love links, so feel free to link to your blog or a post you like.
Sorry, but I am award and tag free zone, I do not have the time to return. Comments are reward enough :)