[ARC Review] How to Love

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Title: How to Love
Author: Katie Cotugno
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 389 pages
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: HaperTeen
Source: ARC received by publisher for honest review

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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.

How to Love was a read that took me by surprise. Maybe it was because of the fact that it dealt with teen pregnancy in a totally different way, or maybe it was the way it chose to reveal an extraordinary love story. All of these aspects drew me into this story and I honestly felt myself crumble at certain points. It is one thing to read a love story from beginning to end, but it is a totally different experience you read the same two people fall in and out of love, and then fall back in love all in the same book. It was quite the story to read, and quite emotional at that. Contemporary is a genre that prides itself on realistic stories, and love is usually a high priority. But sometimes these things can get stale and boring—How to Love changes the way we think about love stories in YA contemporary.

Like i said earlier, How to Love deals with love in a very different way. I am so used to reading a love story from beginning to end, but in this novel the author turns that on its head. We not only get the chance to watch a love blossom, but also fall apart. It is something that is not really touched upon in YA novels. There is usually a happily ever after, and, although at one point in this story there might be, it is definitely not the normal definition. But we also get to read these same two character, fall back in love, over a year later. This something i loved reading because one, it was so different from other novels, and two, it made for some amazing character development. 

If you read a book this year it should be How to Love, because it will make you think about what love really means. Even though these characters were young and naive at times, they were also destined to teach each other how to love. 

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