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 😉