Hi everyone today I'm pleased to share my review of 99 Days by Katie Cotugno as part of the Fantastic Flying Bookclub Blog Tour. I was a huge fan of Cotugno's debut read How to Love, so couldn't wait to see what Katie had in store for us with her latest book. Before I share my review with you, here's a bit about the book.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 21st 2015
My rating: 4.5 stars
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.
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99 Days was a book I found myself immediately caught up with, usually when a character finds their back against the wall, I always find myself rooting for them to pick themselves up and fight back. Molly Barlow made a big mistake and yes it ended up ruining one of the best relationships she had with the Donnelly’s, but this doesn’t mean she was the only one to blame, there were two people that made the mistake, but Molly was the only one who ended up dealing with the backlash and this aspect I didn’t like at all. So when Molly did come back after her time being isolated I wanted all the bad stuff to stop and to find out what really went down.
Normally when two brothers are involved, I typically tend to stay away from reads such as these, but honestly Gabe and Patrick couldn’t be any more different (and does anyone else have a weak spot for certain characters names?, well Patrick is at the top of my list, I don’t know why I’ve always associated it with a hot Irish guys and when certain Patrick’s come along with stormy grey eyes I’m a gonner.) Anyways I digress, I honestly thought I knew who was right for Molly, when Molly was just dropped by everyone and returned, Gabe was the one who really took interest and actually encouraged her to stop moping inside and tried to make Molly believe that she wasn’t the only one to blame. But then over the course of the book when Patrick starts opening up a bit more I was a 100% team Patrick, this guy could just turn me to mush with his straight to the heart lines, he was a person who when he was being honest about his feelings I just fell for him even more. But then there was parts when we got more of Patrick’s and Molly’s back story that made me all mad that I kind of liked it when Gabe stepped in and told Molly what she needed to hear. I had a see-saw sort of relationship with both Gabe and Patrick, as I ended up liking them both so much at times, that even if you asked me now I don’t think I could choose between them. But with the way things ended, I sort of have an idea in my head of how things could end up later down the line and with whom (I actually wish that this would happen).
I know this sort of story featuring two brothers wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, especially with some of the things that happen part way through. But especially for me I think Cotugno did a brilliant job with this book, I love my books which keep me hooked from the very first page and with the amount of books I go through these guys, it’s kind of hard to do that. Also I never had an inkling about how things could turn out or who Molly would choose, so the way things ended up completely took me by surprise! I think the way the story was told was one of my favourite aspects too, there’s 99 days left until Molly leaves for college, so we’re given the story as a sort of a countdown until Molly can leave, but in between the 99 days we’re given snippets into Molly’s time when she was living back at home and before everything hit the fan. And these aspects I hugely appreciated, as these scenes did give a lot of insights into why certain people were acting the way they were, but also I loved getting to know these characters in the past a little bit more.
99 Days was a book which ended up surprising me in a lot of ways, I’m quite steadfast in what I do and don’t like in a book, but this time around things which would have probably grated on me, I found I didn’t mind at all. Cotugno’s writing may have contributed significantly to this, as it was so easy to find myself caught up in the story because of her gorgeous writing (my kindle overfull with highlighted quotes is proof of this). Cotugno really did impress me with her debut read How to Love two years ago and now she has impressed me yet again with 99 Days. I can safely say Cotugno will be an author whose future books I will immensely look forward to getting my hands on.
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Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world. Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Nerve.com. Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is due out from Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013. The great loves of Katie's life include child's pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston (and in sin) with her boyfriend, Tom.