Title: 99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Molly Barlow is facing one long, hot summer—99 days—with the boy whose heart she broke and the boy she broke it for…his brother.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, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.
Katie Cotugno was a total standout for me in 2013. I absolutely adored her debut, How to Love, and have been (im)patiently waiting for more from her ever since. Needless to say that I was beyond excited when I got my hands on 99 Days and read it as soon as I could. And I am happy to say that I was not in the least bit let down by this book.
A year ago, Molly Barlow left Star Lake, attempting to outrun her mistakes. Now back for the summer, Molly has to face what she left behind when she ran away. Molly is hoping everyone has moved past what happened between her and the Donnelly brothers, but the moment she sets foot back in town, she finds out that nothing has changed. Patrick and Julia still hate her. The whole town is still judging her for what she did. The only person who seem to be happy to see Molly again is Gabe. The more time she spends with Gabe, the more Molly starts to put what happened a year ago behind her. But Star Lake isn’t ready to let her forget what she did, and everywhere Molly goes someone is there to remind her just how badly she screwed up.
No matter how awesome I think 99 Days is and how much I loved it, I know that unfortunately it’s not going to be for everyone. So much of this story revolves around cheating and cheating happens on more than one occasion. While this is something that doesn’t bother me when it’s done well, like it was in 99 Days, I know not everyone is going to share my opinion (and I have a lot of thoughts on this particular topic as you can see). In 99 Days, Katie Cotugno depicted cheating in a way that felt realistic and didn’t feel gratuitous. She didn’t just decide to have the characters cheat just for the sake of cheating, but instead showed that there are often so many other forces at play that can lead to someone cheating on their significant other. Though what made me really love this story, was the way she showed the aftermath, the way everyone treated Molly after they found out what she did. There were times that I wanted to throw the book or hit some people because of the way they were treating Molly, but the story always felt real. Knowing what I town for close-knit communities, everyone’s reaction was on point, no matter how angry it made me or how badly I felt for Molly. In 99 Days, no one is perfect, least of all Molly, but that’s what made the story feel so realistic. The ending also made the story feel realistic. The way the story ends, everything is not all tied up with a nice bow. things are left open, and if the story were to go on, it could go any of a number of ways. I know what way I would want it to go, but I don’t know for sure that that’s what would happen. It just felt like the most natural way for the story to end based on everything that had happened before.
Molly isn’t perfect. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But that’s what made me like her so much. Even though I didn’t always agree with her action, hell sometimes I wanted to downright yell at her for behaving stupidly, I was always ready to stand by her side. Because as much as she screwed up, she didn’t deserve all the crap everyone in town was giving her. The double standard with how they treated her versus how they treated Gabe especially angered me and I could write a whole review on that alone, but I’ll spare you. The point is that Molly was flawed and she behaved like a teenager and I absolutely loved her for it. And I could also understand how she could be torn between the two Donnelly brothers. I’m not going to lie, right off the bat I was all in favour of Gabe, if only because he actually treated Molly like a decent person. But then there was a moment where he did something that completely sold me on him. Patrick on the other hand, I have seriously mixed feelings about. I pretty much spent 75% of 99 Days going back and forth between liking him and wanting to hit him. It’s like I couldn’t figure him out. He definitely had his reasons for being mad at Molly, all things considered, so I got that. But then a few pages later he would be really sweet to her and I would get all confused about MY feelings for HIM. Let’s just say that by the end of the book though, I finally figured him out.
Katie Cotugno’s 99 Days left me with a lot of feelings. I didn’t know what to do with myself when I finished because I just knew that no matter what I read afterwards, it just wouldn’t compare. Be ready to have your emotions be all over the place when you read this book, it’s going to happen no matter how much you try to stay calm and collected. But it’s worth it.
As part of the tour, I was asked to share some of my favorite quotes from 99 Days. This is the kind of book that has so many amazing words and passages and it made it hard to pick just a few. So here are three of my favorites.
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