Book Review: How To Love by Katie Cotugno

17332564Title: How To Love
Author: Katie Cotugno

Published on: October 1, 2013

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Contemporary | Young Adult

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?

tempCan we just talk about the cover for a second? The cover is just so simple yet so beautiful. Right?

Is it possible to love and hate a book at the same time? Yes. It is possible. I’m in a whirlwind of emotions. I’m confused, in love and utterly speechless. Blame this book, dear, blame it. First, let me discuss what or why I hated this book. Okay?

BEFORE (Why I hated it)

  • I despised Sawyer, so much. I wanted to kill him. He’s like the biggest jerk in the entire world. I am so glad that he’s not real because if he is, well, guess where am I now? Jail. For killing him.
  • Reena, oh Reena, she did not stay away from him! This boy did not call her after they had sex together and the worst thing is, it was Renaa’s first time. Can you freaking believe it? If I were Renaa, I’m gonna go fucking kill him and dump his body in the ocean. 
  • Well, I also hated Renaa and of course, Sawyer. These two. Terrible. Decisions. Terrible.

AFTER (Why I loved this book)

  • Renaa’s strength. Girl, you are amazing. I do salute Renaa, being a parent is a tough and excruciating role. She handled it perfectly and flawlessly. 
  • The writing. The writing is so good and so gorgeous. It mesmerized me and I found myself wanting for more.

Guys, like I said I don’t know if I loved or hated this. After a few chapters, their story started to unfold. I couldn’t help bu to swoon over with Sawyer. I found myself rooting for them to be together, again. (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?)

“The hideous thing is this: I want to forgive him. Even after everything, I do. A baby before my 17th birthday and a future as lonely as the surface of the moon and still the sight of him feels like a homecoming, like a song I used to know but somehow forgot.”

 
A lot of readers are raving about why Sawyer did not properly apologized to what he did to Renaa’s life. Well, I’m a big believer of actions speaks louder than words and what’s done is done.  I think that Sawyer thinks that there’s nothing he can do about it, a sorry would not change anything. What important is he was with Renaa during the toughest part of her life (not the pregnancy). The alternating chapters played a bigger part for me liking the book and the characters; before and after. It helped me to understand their story and how they became the people they are now. Their story is very realistic, no teenage crap. These two characters (Renaa and Sawyer) are both messed up. struggling their way to be who they wanted to be, struggling to get out and live their life. I also loved the supporting characters, Shelby, Renaa’s bestfriend and Soledad, Renaa’s step mom. I also read a lot of reviews about this book and how they hated the ending. For me, I am happy the way it ended. The ending is right and very simple. Don’t kid yourself, we already saw that coming. Right? Like I said, I loved and hated this book. I hated they made stupid decisions in the past but everything happens for a reason and glad they learned from it. I loved the way the characters grew and matured. I am so impressed  with the characters development. Kudos to Cotugno! I can’t believe that this is her first book. Amazing. Just amazing.

“I think of how it felt to lose him, slow and painful and confusing, and how it felt to wonder if I’d ever really had him at all.”


 
All in all it was a chaotic ride with these flawed, realistic characters. But, I loved it! YES. I DO. It was amazing even though I could not count how many times I wanted to kill Sawyer but in the end he won my heart. *squeaaal*

“I love you.” He said it again, clearer this time, right into my ear, breath tickling. I felt like a hydrogen bomb. I tried to be very still, but I knew he could feel my entire body tensing, a runner ready to begin a race — Get set– Go.  I opened my mouth, shut it again. Oh God.


 
How To Love is about forgiveness, second chances, learning from your mistakes.
If you’re a big fan of YA contemporary novels, this book is for you.

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5

What about you what are your thoughts about this book? Leave a comment! xo

Links: Goodreads | Book Depository

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