Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

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Goodreads Summary

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?


This freakin book. I have no idea if I love it or hate it. I think it's a little bit of both. Why's that?
Well, first off, it's pretty damn obvious where all of this was going. Me After You had basically the same premise (girl gets pregnant, doesn't get the chance to tell the guy before he leaves for years), and the girl from Me After You and the guy from How to Love shared the same name. So, excuse me for comparing them. They are different, obviously. But the similarities kept me from enjoying this one like I enjoyed Me After You.

In this book, Reena has a daughter and a boyfriend by the time Sawyer comes back. (Spoiler for Me After You: Sawyer, the girl, left her hometown after her guy did. Moved to Seattle and met her future husband. Her husband died a few years later and she went back to her hometown, only to fall in love with the guy who left. Typical.) Spoiler for How to Love: someone dies in this one, too. And for the record, why? I'd have understood if it was emotional enough to make me cry. But honestly it creeped me out because of what happened after. Someone dies, so you go for the girl you've supposedly loved all along? Errrr.... (This makes more sense when you actually read it.)

Strike one against Sawyer.

What was strike two? The drugs and making Reena skip school. I mean, come on, dude. I can deal with messed up. But I never got why Sawyer was messed up. The guy from Me After You (Honestly, I can't remember his name and I'm too lazy to look it up right now.) was abused by his father and he was not a bad influence at all. So when he left because he felt he wasn't good enough I was like, NOOO COME BACK. Sawyer from this book left and I was like, YOU JUST RUINED HER LIFE, DAMN YOU NEVER COME BACK. I get having a crazy crush, but she really should have been smarter about this. Maybe it's just me, but I would dump a guy who, not only uses drugs, but uses them in front of me. Just saying.

And strike three?
Well, honestly, he just kept hitting foul balls, but never stuck out. If that's the proper analogy for this. Because while I didn't like him in the Before part of the book, I couldn't help liking the After version of him. He was a little too cocky at times, considering what he did Before. But still pretty sweet and seeing him with Hannah was.. nice.

But then there was Aaron, Reena's current boyfriend. You know, the one who stuck around for her. (Me After You: Sawyer was going to stay with her husband, but he died.) So how does she pay him back? I'm sure you can guess. Again, I say, predictable.

But I'm a sucker for a great ending. And I have to admit, I liked this ending. Did it maybe send the wrong message? AKA: it's okay to be a teen mom because your parents will support a road trip with your baby when you're eighteen. Yeah. Didn't like that. Doesn't convince me that I shouldn't get pregnant before I'm at least an adult. (Me After You totally did, though. I mean, this is obviously something I knew before. But Me After You made that message a bit clearer.) But still an enjoyable read.

So because the book didn't say it: DON'T GET PREGNANT IN HIGH SCHOOL


Rating: 3 stars

Recommendation: For those who like contemporary. (And haven't read Me After You)


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