BOOK REVIEW: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

BOOK REVIEW: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno99 Days by Katie Cotugno
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Synopsis:

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.

Julia Donnelly eggs my house the first night I’m back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything.

“Hey, stranger,” he says as I climb into the passenger seat, in a voice like I’m not one at all. “Wreck any homes today?” I snort. “Not yet.”

Here’s the thing, I really liked this book. I liked Molly, the protagonist of the book. With that said, Molly makes a lot of dumb mistakes in the book. She is far from perfect. Even when she thinks she’s learned from a past mistake, she makes it again. This is frustrating from a reader’s perspective, but how many of us have done the same thing or have a friend who makes the same stupid mistake again and again?

If you are averse to reading anything with love triangles, cheating or imperfect MC’s, walk away. This book isn’t for you.

Molly knows exactly what she did and spends the course of the book dealing with the aftermath, attempting to atone for those grievances and making more mistakes. She is 17, slightly self-centered and in need of growing up. But with all of this said, I still rooted for her.

He was my best friend. He was my first love. I had sex with his big brother. I broke his fucking heart.

I’m not spoiling anything by saying that Molly cheated on her first boyfriend, Patrick, with his older brother, Gabe. Following the news making its way around town, she is essentially ostracized for her mistake by almost everyone. It’s harsh and I appreciated the author making it very clear there is a huge double-standard placed on women in these situations. They are the homewrecker, the slut/whore, etc., while the man was tempted/coerced/etc. The woman should have known better, she made her choice, it was her fault, etc. Ugh.

Eventually, Gabe and Molly start to develop a real relationship when he is home from college, and as you can imagine, is awkward for many of the other characters, including Molly’s former friend/current tormentor and Gabe and Patrick’s sister, Julia. Despite how great things are with Gabe, Molly continues to have complicated thoughts and feelings about Patrick.

With Gabe I never feel like a walking, talking letdown. With Gabe I just feel like me. So why can’t I stop thinking about his brother?

I feel like a horror show, I feel like exactly the kind of nightmare Julia thinks I am – tearing through the Donnellys again and again like some kind of natural disaster.

While sometimes I just wanted to grab Molly and shake her, I then wanted to follow it up with a big hug. Does she cause a lot of pain for herself? Yes. But does she deserve everything that is given to her? Absolutely not. Besides the obvious focus on the romantic relationships, there’s some nice focus on friendships, a unique mother-daughter relationship and learning to find yourself at such a precarious age.

The author recently released a follow-up this book, 9 Days and 9 Nights, which I will be reading here shortly. I’m looking forward to meeting Molly and Gabe and seeing where their story is headed next.

“Why are you going to let people who are hell-bent on not forgiving you keep you from something that could actually be great?”

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1 Comment

  1. Great review! I’ve read this book but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped because I didn’t like the main character Molly. I’m glad you enjoyed it!
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