Review | How to Love by Katie Cotugno

Posted January 28, 2015 by Tina in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review | How to Love by Katie CotugnoHow to Love by Katie Cotugno
Published by Balzer + Bray on October 1st 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 389
Format: Kindle Edition
Source: Library

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.

Have you ever read a book and thought “THIS IS MY LIFE WRITTEN ON PAPER FOR EVERYONE TO READ?” Well, How to Love is that book for me like I think Katie followed me for a while and gained inspiration from my life.

Let’s get started,

Reena has a bright future ahead of her, she’s about to graduate early and realize her dream of being a Travel Writer. She had it all figured out. Then Sawyer the boy she’s been in love with since before she could remember starts to hang out with her and soon they’re together. She realizes that he’s the opposite of her, which can be a good thing and can be a bad thing. But like any relationship you have to take the good with the bad in order to make it work. So she does, she accepts it because she really likes him.

Reena, in my opinion was a great character. She was real and I connected with her on so many levels because I was her. She wasn’t perfect, she had her flaws, she had her fair share of mistakes but she was strong and mature. I know some may say otherwise but until you’re in her shoes you really don’t understand. Like I said, I was Reena. I was 19 and pregnant. I was scared. I was a disaster. I had to grow up quickly and I did. Reena had to grow up quickly and it showed. That’s the reality of being a teenage mother.

Some scenes in the book, I swear came straight from my life. I understood the conflicting emotions she had over Sawyer coming back into her life and how her feelings just came back. Your feelings for someone you loved so much don’t just disappear even after they hurt you. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE A CHILD WITH THAT PERSON. Everyone is allowed to make mistakes. My family felt the same way when my son’s father came back into my life after not being there for me during my pregnancy. I understood their reasons but at the end of the day it was my decision.

I understood the tension between her and her father because I was in her shoes only it was my grandpa. Disappointing someone you love so much can seriously break you into pieces and she held herself together so well. I absolutely loved the fact that she had a best friend like Shelby. I had two myself and let me tell you, YOU NEED FRIENDS LIKE SHELBY WHEN YOU’RE IN THAT SITUATION! You need a friend to pick you up and be there for you. It seriously heals your soul.

Let’s get to Sawyer, sure you can call him a dick because let’s face it he was. He made his fair share of mistakes. He was far from perfect. He didn’t treat Reena that well on occasion but he wasn’t treating himself that well either. I think some fail to see that. He was battling something bigger then himself and you can read it through the changing POVs of before and after which brought him to where he needed to be in the story. He grew up, matured and fought his battle and became a better person. You have to give the boy some credit.

I loved the before and after POV switching, I think it really helped developed their romance. It was not a perfect love and let’s face it this is not a fairy tale so before you have high expectations you have to keep that in mind. No love is truly perfect but it is real love nonetheless.

She has conflicting emotions about Aaron and Sawyer. Aaron is a sweetheart, nice guy, safe, accepting of Reena’s daughter Hannah. Everyone loves Aaron for Reena. But does Reena? Sawyer is her first true love. It’s complicated. He’s complicated. Together, they are complicated. And no one wants them together. You can see the struggle Reena has with her feelings.

“You can’t just come here after all this time and try to joke around with me and act like nothing happened. That’s not – stuff happened, Sawyer. You can’t just be back.”

I understood her battle. You want to hate the father of your child so bad. SO BAD. But at the same time you love him so much because together you created this perfect little human being that’s the best part of you and him. I fought the same battle she did. I made him feel like shit for what he did, any chance I had I threw it in his face, I wanted him to hurt more then he hurt me. But at the end of the day, I loved that boy and I wanted my family together so just like Reena I had to let my walls crumble down a bit.

Spoiler Alert! He didn’t know she was pregnant. So you know he’s just a dick not a total douchebag because he didn’t know. HE DIDN’T KNOW! I don’t think he would’ve left if he had. But he did but he was back and after he found out he wanted to be there. He wanted to be a family. He wanted to be a father. I have no doubt in my mind that if he had known he would’ve been there. They deserved to have a second chance at love and to be a family.

I loved this book so much, I seriously wrote this review a hundred times trying to explain it, trying to explain just how much this book meant to me.It wasn’t just about teenage pregnancy for me. I’m sure some just see that and close themselves off to these types of books. It’s way more then that, it’s about forgiving. Learning to forgive oneself, the person who hurt you the most and forgiving the ones who hurt you.

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