Author: Katie Cotugno
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Baltzer & Bray (October 1, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: NA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!
Before: 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.
After: 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.
My Thoughts and Review:
There are some stories that you read that are so great they will stick with you forever and borrow deep down into your heart, never to be forgotten, this is one of those stories.
This is a love story but not your ordinary boy meets girl and boy falls in love with girl and they all live happily ever after. This is a story about first loves, first heartbreaks and everything that falls in between and everything that comes after. In fact, it is comprised of the “before” and the “after”.
I have to say I didn't love Sawyer at first, he had to grow on me but grow on me he did. I loved that he wasn't your typical anything. He was a hot mess as most teenagers are but he was a good hot mess and in the end he redeemed himself and I really did love him for it.
Reena too wasn't perfect, in fact most times the girl was down right witchy to those around her but some how it worked for the story, she made it work and again, I found myself really liking her and rooting for her to get a happily ever after.
This book is pretty raw and real. It deals with things that happen every single day. Sometimes those things are ugly and hurtful but that doesn't make them any less real or any less important to think about and consider.
This story has everything a first love usually has. Those raw vulnerable emotions, the shyness, the awkwardness, the mistakes, the heartache, the stupidity, the feeling like you just can't live until you see that person again or until your heart explodes and feels like it is pounding out of your chest when they are near feeling.. All of it.
How To Love was a fabulous debut novel and I can promise that I will be picking up another one of Cotugno's books in the future because I liked how well written and beautiful the story was. How it reminded me of being young and all the craziness and chaos that goes with it. With not knowing everything or having your whole life already figured out. When curve balls are thrown at you at every turn and when anything is possible.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*