Welcome to my stop on the 99 Days by Katie Cotugno Blog Tour, hosted by FFBC! You can check out the rest of the tour here! I will be reviewing the book, and of course, there is a lovely giveaway at the end!99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Published by HarperCollins on April 21st 2015
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Edelweiss
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.
Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”
Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.
Here’s my disclaimer: This book, as I am sure many of you have heard, is a bit… shall we say, polarizing. There are topics that may make people uncomfortable, like cheating, love triangles, lies and betrayal. But here is another thing this book is: honest, and quite frankly, realistic.
I don’t think I need to announce it, but I will: Molly is flawed. Flawed as hell. But I liked her, somehow. I think it was because she was very aware of her flaws. She wasn’t making excuses, or blaming someone else, she acknowledged her mistakes, and wanted to move past them. And I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic as the whole town basically pinned a scarlet “A” on her, all while there are zero social ramifications for Gabe.
Let’s talk about these boys for a moment. Gabe is the older brother of Patrick, Molly’s ex-boyfriend. And he’s an ex because, well, while they were briefly separated, she was with his brother. And then didn’t tell him when they got back together. So I mean, it wasn’t great, but it kind of wasn’t the worst thing that anyone’s ever done either. Gabe is pretty great, in my opinion. He’s charismatic, funny, and really doesn’t give a damn about what these people think of him or Molly. He knows how wrong the double standard is, how unfair it is for Molly to take flack but not him. He’s a solid guy, and I was so happy when he and Molly started talking again. Then there’s Patrick, who I basically could not stand. He seemed very selfish, and entitled, and I couldn’t really find his redeeming qualities. I guess for Molly, he was her first love, and they’d been friends forever and all that jazz, but for me? Meh. I wasn’t a fan of Patrick.
After everyone found out about Molly and Gabe, and the taunting began, Molly hightailed it to a boarding school in Arizona. So when the book starts, Molly is just coming back to New York after a year away from all these people and their nonsense. You’d think they’d have gotten lives over the past nine months, but no, because half the town is still insistent upon making Molly’s life hell. But there are some really decent people in town, people who aren’t going to judge Molly based on one indiscretion that is none of their business. Those people are basically awesome. I don’t even want to tell you who they are, because it might ruin the fun of finding out.
Of course, that isn’t the end of the story, not by a long shot. Molly hasn’t quite learned from her mistakes as much as one would hope, and she starts going down a very slippery slope that could kind of ruin all the progress (and new relationships) she’s made.
The thing about this story that I loved so much is that yeah, Molly does some really dumb stuff. Even she knows how dumb it is. But she’s young, and she is conflicted, and you know, it just made so much sense. I don’t condone Molly’s actions, but this book was written in such a way that I understood them. I think we all have the ability to mess up, and to do something we later regret, Molly just happened to fall into the opportunity to act on it. And she did the wrong thing, absolutely, but she is human, and we make mistakes. It’s what we do about it that eventually defines the kind of person we are. Do we learn from them and try to make better choices? That’s all you can really ask of someone, at the end of the day.
The other thing that I really enjoyed about this book was just the sheer readability of it. I couldn’t put it down! I don’t know what it was about the writing, but I absolutely flew through this book. The characters were all very fleshed out, even some of the more minor ones, and some of them I loved, and some I loved to hate, but I wanted to know their stories all the same. This isn’t really a spoiler, but I wanted to say something about the ending, but I hate when people say too much about the ending so I’ll use a spoiler tag, just in case: View Spoiler »While we may not all like the outcome, it really is appropriate. I don’t think any other ending would have done the story justice. « Hide Spoiler
Bottom Line: I liked this book quite a lot. Yeah, there were moments that I was super frustrated, and wanted to kind of smack some people (it wasn’t just Molly, trust me!), I enjoyed the story immensely, and feel like I really got some good messages out of reading it.
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction brought this post by Katie Cotugno to my attention, and I think it is really awesome, and that if you’re wondering if this is a book for you, maybe the author’s honesty and explanation may help you! And Katie, I also owned that Abercrombie water polo shirt 😉
Watch the Trailer!
Read an Excerpt!
I wasn’t keen on reading that book, not because of the cheating and all, but because of the bashing and dumb moments. However, you made me see things under a different light, so maybe I’ll read it – one day, when I have time !!!
Aw yay! Thank you so much 🙂 I know what you mean about time! The good thing is, this was a REALLY quick read for me too.
I’ve heard so many things about this book, both good and bad, and after your review and Melanie over at YA Midnight Reads, I’ve decided to just check out 99 Days for myself. I love flawed characters, and it sounds like Molly is quite flawed and in some pretty messy relationships. I think I’ll be picking this one up soon.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they were really intersting to read!
Oh yay! I hope you enjoy it! I understand why people don’t like the cheating thing, but for me, it’s fiction- and I enjoyed reading Molly’s story 🙂
I like writing like that. I enjoy reading a series of diary entries. I love that the characters are flawed, that just makes them more believable.
I LOVED the way it was written. The chapters were nice and short, plus it was fun to see the progression!
I agree that Molly did acknowledge her mistakes, but based on her actions in this book, I doubt she made much of an effort to put everything behind her. I guess that’s what made her harder for me to empathize with her. And I’m quite the opposite as you–I found that it took me forever to get into the book, and when I finally did it was already the last 10% or so. ;( Super glad you enjoyed this more than I did, though!
I DO see your point. That was one of the things that frustrated me, BUT… it was really realistic. Because honestly, most people probably DON’T learn the first time around. And like, while I KNOW Molly was wrong, I couldn’t help putting myself in her shoes, and wondering how conflicted I would be, you know? But, like I said, I totally see why you (and others!) don’t/won’t like it!
And now I am extraordinarily ecstatic that I decided to buy a copy of this book and get it signed when I had the chance. I’ve been reading A LOT about the book, so I’m more prepared, and honestly, knowing that the people are idiots before I start the book kind of helps. So when I get ticked at the characters, I’ll just remember that it’s SUPPOSED to be that way.
OH YAY!! I think if you are prepared, it won’t be so horrifying haha. For me, I just couldn’t help but think how realistic it all is- like what would I do if I had been in Molly’s shoes? Would I have made the right choice? (Also, I don’t think she was THAT in the wrong the first time, since Patrick had dumped her!) She was so conflicted, and it was really realistic, IMO! I hope you like it 🙂
I have to say, the cheating thing really bothers me usually, but I’ve been curious about this one. I usually like flawed characters, though, so I don’t know. I’ve seen so many polarizing reviews, that it has made me more interested!
I will fully admit that the cheating thing didn’t like, offend me. I was yelling at characters, yes, but it didn’t bother me as a subject. At this point, even if I hadn’t read it, I’d want to just to see what the fuss was about 😉
Yeah, I avoided this one because of some reviews, and mainly because it would probably frustrate the hell out of me. But YES, there were go. She’s flawed but she knows she is, and I freaking hate when characters make excuses for their behaviour, so actually, I think Molly is my kind of character (and from what I’ve been hearing and the synopsis, didn’t think she would.) And *cough* Can’t say I blame her, Patrick sounds like a dick…
I think, that’s the good thing when we come across characters like that, you don’t have to agree with what the characters are doing or done, but if you can understand them and still like them, then the authors done their job. Glad you liked this one, it’s actually the first positive review I’ve read. 🙂
I hate Patrick. HATE. I hated him for so many things I couldn’t even keep count, which is why I wanted to smack Molly from time to time. Because… Patrick sucks, just kick him and then move along.
And yes, I think you nailed it- while I didn’t agree with Molly on SO many things, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would have done in her shoes, and even though she made some really bad choices, she was so well fleshed out that she seemed real, and I felt for her!
I wasn’t sure of this book. I was thinking of signing up for the blog tour but decided against it. I really was conflicted over it because it didn’t seem like something I would like, but your review now has me wanting to read it! You explained all of the problems I had with it. Great review, Shannon!
I wasn’t sure I would like it either, I kind of signed up on a whim to be honest, but I am really glad I did! I hope you like it if you do read it, and thanks so much 🙂
Totally agree about the ending! I won’t spoil anything, but I think it was definitely the most appropriate way to end the story.
It was! Plus, in my head, all kinds of nice things happened later, I felt it was hopeful 🙂
Well, you know how I feel about this book, so I won’t really say much else, but I’m very glad you liked it! And I do think the ending worked, even though it might not have been what I was hoping for.
Hahah yes, you and this book did NOT get along 😉 It wasn’t what I was hoping for either, but it left hope for me to decide that in my own head, it ended the way I wanted it to!
Indeed, it was!
I read this a couple of months ago.. and eeekkk it wasn’t for me 🙁 I hated Patrick as well, he was just so shallow at times. I loved Gabe though – I do agree that Molly made many mistakes, and it is a realistic scenario, I just felt she never really learned honestly. It wasn’t about the cheating for me, it was that Molly wasn’t learning enough from her mistakes. I did like the ending as well, although it was abrupt but I felt it was for the best.
This book really showed the double-standard of cheating when it comes to women. Men get a free pass while women are trashed. It’s so not fair! The infidelity in this book hit at some cords for me, I just don’t understand why she’d make the same mistake again. I love the Donnelly family and see why Molly loves them too, but she screwed up big time. This book was dramatic and so addictive, I quite liked it too. Awesome review!