Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: How to Love

Title: How to Love
Author: Katie Cotugno
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date:  October 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover, First Edition
Source: Purchased
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?

My Review

At just sixteen years old, Reena is ready to explore the world. She's ready to go to college after graduating high school earlier than most of the kids in her grade. She's ready to become a travel journalist. She's ready to actually leave home and travel the world. She's not ready to have a baby, but that's what's happening to her, and there is nothing she can do to change that.

Told from a before and after perspective, How to Love is the bittersweet tale of Reena, a very bright young girl who finds herself in a troubling situation after graduating high school a year early. She has to deal with the fact that her boyfriend has left town. She keeps remember the night when they first got together, which just so happened to be the night that her best friend and Sawyer's then girlfriend, Allie, died.

That night isn't the greatest of nights for Reena, and she has many regrets because of what she did that night. The night also wasn't the best night for Sawyer, but the two young people have to deal with what happened and grow as people.

I was really impressed with this book. It's a great story about falling in love, falling out of love, finding a new love, and finally falling in love with the one you're meant to be with. Reena learns how to deal with life and what's become of her when her old flame, Sawyer, comes back to town. If you are a fan of books about second chances, do yourself a favor and read this book right now.

The story of Reena, Hannah, and Sawyer is so real that it hurts. It will break your heart and put it back together again. You'll want to reread this as soon as you finish the book because the story is so emotionally satisfying.

Reena is a character that I liked from the minute I started reading. She's struggled since graduating high school, but she tries so hard to make her family proud, even if she knows they look down on her for getting pregnant out of wedlock. I couldn't help but feel badly for Reena because of the way that her parents treat her. It would be agonizing to live with all of the guilt that her parents make her feel.

Sawyer is a character that grew on me, and I mean he really grew on me because he starts out as an unlikeable character but matures and becomes someone that I would be proud to call a friend. Trust me on this... There were so many times that I wanted to jump into the pages and smack him for Reena and Hannah, but with everything that happened to him, all of his flaws make sense. He tries hard to earn the respect of the people he hurt, so I really ending up liking him. 

There is a lot of drama in this book, so if you are a fan of Lifetime movies or dramatic TV shows, I really think this is the kind of book for you. It's entertaining, but there are real-life situations in the book that could happen to anyone.

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