Jul 1, 2013

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Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

review 300x69 Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

HowToLove 198x300 Review: How to Love by Katie CotugnoHow to Love by Katie Cotugno
October 1, 2013
Balzer + Bray
Source: BEA


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?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice. 

My Review:

HOW TO LOVE is pure perfection wrapped up in 300+ pages. It’s a stunningly beautiful contemporary novel that will stick with me forever. The emotion that’s contained in this book is breathtaking. I laughed, I cried, I cringed in horror, and I sobbed some more. I am still in awe two weeks later after finishing HOW TO LOVE. The first line in the book ran through my head for days. It’s so utterly amazing that I must share it with you:

“I’ve been looking for Sawyer for half a lifetime when I see him standing in front of the Slurpee machine at the 7-Eleven on Federal Highway, gazing through the window at the frozen, neon-bright churning like he’s expecting the mysteries of the universe to be revealed to him from inside.”-How to Love by Katie Cotugno

I get chills every time I think about it. The raw emotion that is packed into just that one line is palpable. I knew the second I read it that I was in for one special story. I could feel her pain from missing him, wondering where he’s been and why he’s come back now. I fell in love with Sawyer from page one, but I felt so upset at why he would abandon Reena without a word before. As Cotugno took me through the Before and After of Reena’s life with Sawyer, I fell in love with him just like Reena. There’s so much heartbreak and pain in their relationship, but they fit so well together. I wanted to hate Sawyer at times, but it was impossible. He has a truly magnetic quality about him that would draw any girl to him. But he is not perfect. Not at all.

Reena’s voice is alluring. She makes so many mistakes just because she’s in love with Sawyer, but it’s extremely realistic. She’s so blinded by her love for him that she doesn’t see what’s right in front of her face. She’s got one of the biggest hearts that I’ve ever encountered. I wanted to shield her from the inevitable pain she would have with heartbreaker Sawyer, but I knew it had to happen. Reena is understandably guarded and hurt after Sawyer gets back from wherever he was. I mean, he left with zero word literally right after she found out she was pregnant. Poor girl.

Cotugno’s writing is simply divine. It’s like she was made to be an author. I honestly can’t believe that this is her debut novel because it reads like she’s been doing this forever. The complexity behind each and every element in HOW TO LOVE is astonishing. Reena and Sawyer became my best friends within a few hundred pages. There’s also the fact that Reena and Sawyer were like regular flawed teenagers just trying to find their way in life. Their love is messy and not at all perfect, but it’s beautiful all the same. Cotugno doesn’t hold anything back in HOW TO LOVE, which is one of the reasons why it’s my absolute favorite contemporary novel.

I would love to go door-to-door to everyone around the world just to get them to read HOW TO LOVE. Everyone needs to read this book, no matter how old or young you are. HOW TO LOVE is a shining star that is going to become a part of every person that reads it.

My Rating:

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  1. Oh, yay! This sounds fantastic! That first line gave me chills, too (and I’m sure it wasn’t just the Slurpee). It’s always amazing to me when a debut author has that panache and can write like they’ve been doing it forever.

  2. Wow, this sounds stunning. It’s one of the few books at BEA that I missed out on. I’ll have to grab it when it’s out.

  3. FANTASTIC review, Bailey!! I can’t wait to dive into this one! :D

  4. That’s the first line? Very intriguing and vivid. I like it!

    It sounds like the author’s writing style is fantastic! I’ve been a bit curious about this book, but you’ve made me very, very excited for it now :)

    Great review!

  5. I just finished this yesterday and I’m fangirling all over the place! One of the most amazing books I’ve ever read.

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