Title: How To Love
Author: Katie Cotugno
Publisher: Blazer + Bray/ HarperCollins Canada
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Read: June 07 to 08, 2013
Source: Publisher (ARC)
Buy: Amazon| Chapters Indigo| B&N| Book Depository| Kobo
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
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.
This book was by far my
favorite of 2013!! It's definitely worth the wait until it comes out in
October !! How To Love is one book you need to read because it was
emotional, and beautifully written. I started it and I literally could not put it
down. In Katie Cotugno's debut she gives her readers a raw and emotional
roller coaster. With her characters that you actually can feel through
reading. I liked how it started with meeting Sawyer again 2 years later
then before when they were beginning their relationship.
How to Love starts from "after", which starts as Reena ( aka. Serena) is taking care of her child, and at a young age of 18. At the gas station where she comes face to face with Sawyer LeGrande who you get to know that they have history. After coming back after how many years to come back and try to be a part of Reena's life past and present. The way its told tells the reader about the beginning of their relationship to modern day. This was a light cute read that I could read over and over again!
I have never read any book like this which made me love it more since its about the guy leaving the girl, then shows up years later. How to Love was the perfect balance of Reena trying to trust herself again and to experience her first love which really made this book. I was smiling throughout most of the book and some were tears at what Reena was experiencing dealing with her family, new love and reconnecting with a past love.
Reena is the most toughest main character I have ever read. The way Cotungo made the differences from her age of 15 and 18 were effortless. She was more mature as she was learning to raise a child on her own as well as when she was fifteen she did some naive things to make her immature. Reena felt real and believable as she went through all these events. She had many good qualities as well as flaws that make her human and easy to relate to in this genre. I definitely felt a lot for her through out the book.
Now on to Sawyer who can be a complete idiot. I did not like him at all during most of the book because of how he left Reena who didn't even know she was pregnant with his baby. I would feel the same way Reena did if I had a child at 16 and he left and came back after two years. But after you read this book you do feel sorry for him and start to love him because he gets Reena and how much they really love each other. Sawyer did pressure Reena into doing some things that she was not interested in. She would skip class with him and miss big tests, and she is a smart girl. During the "before" you see that he was not a good character/romance at the time. He was always getting drunk, having parties late and having sex. His growth as a character in the "after" part where he realizes his consequences from his past. He is more responsible and likable.
Another important aspect is Reena's friendships with Allie (Reena's best friend during school/Sawyers girlfriend) who died. There was a lot of things that was emphasized around this death as well as it was a bit hanging since we did not get to know about Allie. The event is a main part of the book that does play a significance in Reena and Sawyers relationship.
Katie Cotungo is a writing genius who knows how to capture readers hearts with just a debut. It was beautiful and it will make you smile. Reena's narrating was full of emotion and she had a lot of brains and is trying to turn a new leaf. Cotungo's writing left me speechless after a few days because it affected me so much. I couldn't even pick up another book! The events that happened does demonstrate real life and it had a good balance between life and fiction. I would now say I would read any upcoming books by this author. Pick up this book immediately because you will also fall in love with it!