Jun 4, 2015

Review: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Title99 Days
Author : Katie Cotugno
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: April 21, 2015
Pages/Format: 384, ARC
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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.

Book in One Word: Trainwreck

After falling in love with How to Love, I was ready to devour more books by Katie Cotugno--she just didn't have any yet. Then 99 Days came along and I was so excited because NEW KATIE COTUGNO. And then I read the book. While it's not as good as How to Love--and that's not a bad thing, because I don't really want that book to be beat--it's...well, it's interesting. And it's really hard to put into words (and do so without spoiling), but I'm going to try.

I most certainly liked 99 Days. It's hard to say that I enjoyed reading it, because one of the main topics and some things that happen are not enjoyable. Molly Barlow is back in town (for only 99 days, at the end of which she'll be off to college) after she fled from her scandal, which was so kindly shared to everyone by her author-mother who decided to write a book about it. (And the Mother of the Year award goes to...) I'll keep the details mysterious for the sake of the story, but let's just say that Molly sort of cheated on her boyfriend...with his brother--and she's best friends with their sister. And let's say that, when Molly returns to town and people key her car and call her a dirty slut and she starts hanging out with her ex-boyfriend's (Patrick) brother (Gabe), she maybe does things that make you want to grab her by the shoulders, shake her, and ask her WHAT IN THE HELL she thinks she is doing, and maybe also slap her. Do you see now why reading this isn't really enjoyable?

A love triangle, in my opinion, is when two people like one person and vie for said person's heart, but the person at the point of the triangle doesn't really do much with the other points of the triangle until they pick one point. (Though sometimes the point of the triangle may not even know they're in a love triangle.) (Gosh, that sounds like a horrible word problem in math.) Now, if the person at the point of the triangle does things with both points of the triangle...ah, now that's cheating. It's especially cheating if one point in the triangle doesn't know the other two points are fooling around. If you get what I mean. (And I am trying so hard not to spoil things here.) (And as far as shipping goes, I believe I mostly wanted Molly to be with Gabe, so...) I haven't really read a book where cheating is such a large point of the plot, and it makes the book...gosh, I don't know. I can't describe it. I mean, I liked the book and it was a major page-turner and I wanted to know how it was going to all play out--you just KNOW shit is going to hit the fan, and hit it hard--but there's this element and undertone to it that just makes it hard. It's like if I read a book all about animal cruelty. I may like the book and it may be a good book, but it's hard to go beyond that and love it because of the subject matter and the book's mood, if that makes sense? And as you can see, I'm scrambling for words and coming up very short--99 Days is a book that is very hard to describe your feelings about.

99 Days is a story filled with frustrating characters and that's just one giant trainwreck playing in slow motion. I find it interesting that it's packaged, and I wonder how much of the plot came from the packaging and how much came from Cotugno. (Some packaged books I've read just read like packaged books, and this one did not--which is good.) It's also...well, compelling isn't the right word, but hey, it takes two to tango, and yet all the shame and abuse gets put on Molly. and the other person in the cheater party gets virtually no shit. Which is bullshit. (But aside from that, there's still more to the whole cheating aspect that happened, but my spoiler lips are sealed.) I am still a very big fan of Katie Cotugno, and while I wouldn't say this book was bad or a disappointment--I certainly liked it, and I'd probably give it maybe four stars--it's like a painting at a museum that's intriguing and you like it, but if you had to describe it you would've have a damn clue what to say. (Except what was the artist--aka the characters--freaking thinking?!)

Did I like it? Yes,
Did I love it? No...
Would I reread it? Probably not?
Would I purchase it? Yes, because I'm a fan of Katie Cotugno and the finished copy looks cool, but I don't, like, need it on my shelves at the moment.
Who would I recommend it to? If you're a fan of enthralling stories that are a mess waiting to turn into a trainwreck, and you can withstand reading about cheating, then this may be a book you will like.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and that in no way sways my opinion of the book.


  1. This is a great review! I'm not sure yet whether I want to read it or not, but since you liked it I might have to!


  2. I have this one waiting on my TBR for me. Now that I know you enjoyed it, even if you didn't love it I'm even more excited to read it :) Maybe that will encourage me to get to it faster. haha

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  3. I can't wait to read this!!! Cheating elements in books aren't automatic turn-offs for me... it depends how it is handled and how it makes me feel. I like realistic book, and in reality: people cheat! Especially teenagers who sometimes aren't mature enough to think things through before they do them. Also maybe this is a dumb question, but what is a packaged book?

  4. I am pretty sure I really want to read this. I know the subject matter is touchy and it might not be the most comfortable read it sounds like it was still good. Great review!

  5. Great review. I also thought this was pretty much a train wreck, and while it did have some good points - the quality of the writing and pointing out how girls are demonised but the guys get away scott-free - I thought the MC made some hella stupid decisions. Also, what the mom did was horrible!

  6. Haha, this is definitely not the book for me. I can just imagine myself throwing it at the wall. Or maybe up into the ceiling fan in the hopes that the pages get shredded.

    No, but really. I can totally see that I'd need to keep going just to see how the trainwreck crashed, and I'd probably even enjoy a lot of it in that weird way. But the cheating bit just sounds soooo frustrating. Sometimes in novels I can understand it and get past it, but I'm not sure I'd really be able to in this one. Lovely review - and I had absolutely no idea this one was packaged!

  7. I have this one on my shelf, and it's been calling my name. I'm just nervous that I'm going to hate it. I've seen so many skeptical reviews, and even though I haven't really read them, I'm afraid that those thought will end up in my head while I'm reading. But I loved Katie's first book, so I'm hoping that carries over.


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