How to Love [Review]

Posted May 14, 2015 by Stephanie in Review / 1 Comment

How to Love [Review]How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Published by Balzer + Bray on October 1st 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic
Pages: 389
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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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.

It occurs to me, not for the first time, that things change whether you’re around to notice them or not.

Nothing about you, my dear, has ever been lost on me.

I hate myself for letting him know that I still think about him, that I carry him around inside my skin.

“I love you, you know that?” “I-…I do know that, actually. But- Jesus, Reena.” He laughs a bit, disbelieving. “It’s nice to hear.”

This was breathtakingly beautiful. I loved this story. It was raw and real and reminded me so much of some of my friends back in high school. Katie took a really tough subject and made a beautiful masterpiece out of it. I wish this book was popular back when I was in high school. It may have helped some of the girls from my high school notice what consequences could arise from unprotected sex. Don’t get me wrong I love all of my friends’ kids. And I am there for them 100% no matter what. And I would be in their shoes if I weren’t such a stickler about multiple forms of protection (condoms and the pill). Katie took teenage pregnancy and intertwined it with falling in love and it was staggeringly gorgeous. 

Reena, the main character, deals with so much after getting pregnant at 16. She deals with the consequences and I think she does really well with everything. Her parents don’t help her situation (they don’t shun her but you find out exactly how her relationship with her father did not go all rainbows and butterflies after the pregnancy).

Sawyer (the baby daddy and the boy she fell in love with) didn’t know about the pregnancy. His parents did and they basically shunned Reena out. They had nothing to do with Reena or the baby (Hannah) until Sawyer came back into town. Reena and Sawyer go through a lot of turbulence within this book and it was so great seeing the before and the after. I loved the side characters like Shelby and Allie. I loved seeing the before one chapter and the next chapter was about the after.

Katie Cotugno wrote a beautiful story and I will definitely be checking out her future books. If you’re in the mood for a contemporary with realistic issues, check this one out. It’s a great summery read and you’re just bound to fall in love with Reena’s story.

Let’s talk about it. Did you read How to Love? Did you appreciate the concept? Did you have friends in high school like this? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 🙂

One response to “How to Love [Review]

  1. Debbie

    Ooohh this one sounds right up my alley! I love a well-written romance that’s realistic and deals with the tough issues, ones this book seems to be full of. This story sounds so familiar and I can’t remember where I’ve heard this story before but I think I was disappointed with the end result of that book so I’m hoping this one will be a more enjoyable read.

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