Book Talk: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Book Talk: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Published by Balzer & Bray on April 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Also by this author: How To Love
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1

Molly has just returned from boarding school after she just up and left after her bad decision to cheat on her boyfriend — with his brother — is exposed. She plans on spending the summer holed up in her house biding her time until she leaves for college but when she runs into Gabe, the brother she cheated with, she finds herself spending some time with him and eventually runs into Patrick, the brother she cheated on. Having the two boys and all the unresolved feelings in her radius all summer makes for an interesting summer.

a2Well that was quite the messy ride!

a4

Oh this is going to be a book that divides people and I cannot wait to discuss it with you all. I’m just putting this out here — if love triangles or cheating are absolute deal-breakers for you in a book…you might have trouble with this one. Do I particularly enjoy those things (in fiction or real life)? No. But, when well done, they work for me in fiction. And I’ll tell you this…Katie Cotugno is the QUEEN of writing really messy and complicated things well. (You should also check out her book How to Love which I adored). I could NOT put this one down because I just HAD to know what was going to happen.

It’s a premise that, from the beginning, let’s you know there is going to be a bit of drama — a girl cheats on her boyfriend with his brother. YIKES RIGHT? She comes home for the summer, after up and leaving for boarding school after everything happens, and is biding her time quietly with her Netflix and Red Vines before college starts — until she is reunited with Gabe (the brother she cheated with). It’s very very sticky already and let me just tell you IT GETS STICKIER. As she hangs out with Gabe, she sees Patrick a lot. The two boys being in her radius all summer brings up a LOT of feelings. All those angry feelings. All the guilt and regret. All the confusing romancey feelings. It all spills over.

I am not a person who would cheat or would condone cheating. EVEN IN A BOOK. But the way Katie writes the story I found myself torn on Molly’s behalf. There’s the old boyfriend who was sweet and she loved but they weren’t without their problems. They have a long history and were everything to each other. She feels so guilty that she made a mistake with the brotherย  but she doubts he would ever take her back and she isn’t altogether sure if that’s what she wants completely. And then there is the brother she cheated with, Gabe. She’s attracted to him and he takes her mind off a lot of the hate she gets. She grows to really have feelings for him. She knows it feels weird to be shoving it in Patrick’s face for them to have a relationship but she can’t deny her feelings. I could FEEL the tension — history vs. something new, the person you betrayed vs. the person you betrayed him with. It’s not a position I would want to be in ever but I understood the confusing feelings that even logic or your conscience can’t keep at bay.

I didn’t agree with Molly for MOST of this book. If you are a person who needs to agree with a character’s actions to make or break you liking a book, you will struggle. I constantly was like, even though I understood her messy dilemma, NO STOP NO. BAD DECISION. BAD DECISION. But, I don’t know, in my life especially as a teenager I know that sometimes you WILL make bad decisions — logic and reason and your values mixed with feelings/confusion/uncertainty/feeling in the moment/hormones make for some stupid decisions sometimes. Molly was definitely following her heart/hormones and, even though she knew how wrong she was, she still did it anyways. It’s frustrating as a reader but it didn’t make me NOT like the book and I really enjoyed getting to know Molly in this tumultuous time of her life. She’s flawed and it takes her a long time to learn from her mistakes and I liked that. It felt real. She doesn’t back down and owns up to her crap eventually. I think some interactions with other females in this book, Tess and Imogen, are definitely things that make her grow. She does some shitty things but I found myself rooting for her to sort out all her business and accept her consequences. It reminded me that you can come back from things, albeit they won’t be all sunshine and roses, even from some crappy mistakes/actions.

One thing I love that this book explored was the double standards involved when a girl and a guy cheat. Molly is called a slut and gets bullied and her house egged. The dudes get none of that crap. It took two people to make that happen and I’m glad it was explored in this book! Molly gets all the crap yet there are way more than one person in the wrong in this book!!

 

a6RATING-loved-it

factors+ addictive, character with such a raw and emotional arc, writing
–ย  maybe the ending? I’m still sorting how I felt about it.

Re-readability: Maybe!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I have one and it’s beautiful!

a5readers of contemporary YA, readers who like messy and complicated subjects, readers who aren’t completely dissuaded by love triangles/cheating/characters who aren’t easy to like

a8While on the surface this book might just seem like a romance with a love triangle between two brothers but it is SO much more than that. It’s about making mistakes (repeatedly) and growing from it the hard way — realizing you CAN come back from it and take control over your life again. It’s messy and complicated but felt so true to life. I could NOT put this down and was frantically racing through the pages because it had my nerves all a mess. I’ll repeat it again — Katie Cotugno is the queen of writing messy/complicated/flawed REALLY REALLY well.

review-on-post-it99 Days Katie Cotugno

 

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
Did you like Molly or did her actions make it hard for you to?
How did you feel about the ending? (mark spoilers please!)

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. I do normally love angsty, messy situations, looks like something I will be trying out soon!
    Happy Reading x

  2. I LOVED this book. I got an early copy but recently saw the beautiful finished one and want that one too. Agh! ๐Ÿ™‚ I also adore that Katie writes messy characters and messy relationships but does it so beautifully. I’m pretty sure she is a robot because her books are FLAWLESS (even when you don’t love the characters’ decisions, her writing is so beautiful and the characters so real and aaaaagh I wish I could write like her).

  3. I agree with you! I was pretty much conflicted with most of the book but I can’t deny the fact that I read this one for four hours without putting it down. I actually learned a lot from this one despite my tendency to avoid cliche love triangles. I can’t wait to try to read How To Love and see how (possibly) complicated my experience would be. Hahaha

  4. This one was really not for me, but I totally understand why some people loved it. I just spent the whole book feeling sick over Molly’s messed up choices (well, at least the second half or so of the book), so I just couldn’t enjoy it. I love books that make me think and books that make me sad, but I just didn’t see enough growth in Molly to make me okay with what went on in this one. I was fine with the ending, though – I mean, as fine as I could be considering that I wasn’t a huge fan of the book. Glad you loved it!

    • Anushree Deshpande says:

      I totally agree with you here. My reactions were the same. I couldn’t put down the book, though, till I completed reading it.

  5. Haven’t read that one yet…love contemporary YA and will definitely give this one a try. Looking forward to reading a good book that talks about gender discrimination. Cheers for the recommendation!

  6. This looks really good!! I keep seeing things about it and lots of positive reviews so I think I might be adding it to my list … I have a gift certificate that needs to be used anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, I love the cover!

  7. I loved this one! It’s so hard to say that I “enjoyed” it because it was a difficult – but totally addicting/engrossing – read! I had to buy a finished copy too because the inside is gorgeous. ANYWAYS I have to say that I generally have no issue with cheating/love triangles in books as long as it adds something to the plot and/or is well-done. I like to read REAL books that I feel could happen. Sure, I don’t LIKE cheating, but sometimes I don’t want a fluffy YA romance. I want something real and raw. This book is just that. I can’t deny that I was a shitty person at times in high school. Nothing as bad as Molly, but close in a lot of ways… and I don’t feel like a bad person now! I think everrrryone makes mistakes in high school and sometimes feelings for people are so messy. I had a bad relationship in high school where we both were jealous and unhappy, yet dated for 3 years. I know the conundrum of sticking with the safe and familiar vs. trying something new and scary and maybe bad for you. I think you did a great job of capturing this book in your review! xo

  8. Ohhhh that makes me even more curious!! I should really read this one soon. I’m definitely interested to see where I end up with this book but either way, I’ve heard very strong reactions! Thanks for even more details on it, Jamie! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. I was honestly surprised by how much I liked 99 Days. I didn’t necessarily like the characters, but I love that Katie challenged me to look at the situation from various perspectives. It’s very smart, very well-written in spite of the frustrating choices made, and I really think it’s a good book for discussion!

  10. Great review! I read this one a while back for review and though it did not change my life or anything, I do get why you say that you couldn’t put it down. In my review, I compared this book to a really good binge of something like Gossip Girl or 90210 – full of messy relationships, complicated situations and insane twists and turns. I know some readers are finding the cheating aspect complicated, but for me it really wasn’t that big of an issue. And I really liked the ending!

  11. Sharde says:

    I loved this book. I could not put it down. Even when Molly’s decisions made me sick to my stomach. Even when I wanted to throw the book across the room because Molly was just not making the best decisions. I think that is the beautiful thing about Katie Cotugno’s writing. She managed to get me immersed in the story and so invested that I wanted to throw the book. (If that makes any sense at all.) Teenagers make bad decisions and sometimes we are just bad friends. I loved how Katie was able to portray a story with such finesse that showed the complexity and flaws of a teenager while also giving us a good story.

  12. I LOVED this book. I wanted to bang my head into the wall a few times, but loved it.

  13. Puiman says:

    I wasn’t a big fan of How to Love, but what I liked about it was that I had such a strong (kind of negative) reaction to the characters as I was reading it. And I kept thinking about the characters and their actions and what was going to happen when I wasn’t reading it. I’m not sure what exactly my point is. I think it’s Katie Cotugno’s ability to write not entirely likable (at least for me) characters that still manage to stay with you and make you think about them? I’m probably not making any sense at all, but anyway, I will give this book a try!

  14. I just finished her debut How To Love and I cannot wait to read this one because if it is anything like How To Love (which it sounds like it’s another complication) I’m sure I’m going to love this one! ๐Ÿ™‚

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