Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno


How to Love by Katie Cotugno

Hardcover, 389 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Average Rating: 3.77

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.

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.

five star

Five “How to Love” Stars

I cannot count how many times I’ve read this book and each time I love it even more.

As a teen, I don’t have much money, especially money for buying books, but I’m proud to say I actually own a physical copy of How to Love and I couldn’t be any more grateful! (It makes rereading it so much easier! 😛 )

With that being said, I’ve never written a review for this book and I thought it’s about time I did!

(I recently read and reviewed Cotugno’s second novel 99 Days To see the review click here.)

What I absolutely love about Katie Cotugno’s writing is that she tackles subjects that are so controversial and practically a taboo in our society. In 99 Days, she writes about cheating and in How to Love, she illustrates the effects of teen pregnancy in a beautiful, captivating novel.

Reena gets pregnant at the age of 16. There are two timelines written in this novel labelled as “Before” and “After”. Before, is Reena’s life leading up to the pregnancy, her relationship with Sawyer, the father. “Before” really provides the readers background information about Reena and what she was going to do in the future. “After” is Reena’s life 3 years later. Reena has a daughter named Hannah and Sawyer reappears after being away for 3 years when he left right around the time Reena was pregnant.

I don’t want to spoil anything but Cotugno perfectly wrote the effects of teen pregnancy. Reena’s life is different than what she expected to be after graduating high school. Despite the many teen pregnancy stories, Reena’s story is original, creative and ultimately, eye-opening.

Cotugno put me on an emotional ride. She evoke feelings of sadness, warmth, love, adoration, hate, anger and more.

*sigh* this is a very good book

You can’t have an amazing plot without some amazing characters. How to Love really has it all! Reena is funny, smart and sarcastic. I could tell that she was really strong and put effort in raising her daughter. Reena gained my respect throughout this novel. She is an amazing mother and the struggles she went through because she was pregnant at the wrong time was heart-wrenching.

Sawyer is charming and just as sarcastic as Reena. Together, they were a joy to read about. Comparing “Before” Sawyer to “After” Sawyer, he really matured and developed. The contrast between the two were prominent and showed he was ready to be a father now. I don’t know, this stood out to me and makes me think that timing is everything. This displays growth and maturity as a underlining theme in the novel.

This is absolutely an amazing book and I recommend How to Love to those who love YA Contemporary Romance novels. If you want novels about real-life situations, this is yours too.

I hit the jackpot when I bought this book and I hope it’s the same thing for you!

Keep calm and read on!



2 thoughts on “Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

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