Title: HOW TO LOVE
Author: Katie Cotugno
Published: October 1st, 2013
Genre: YA/NA contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
POV: 1st person, present and past tense
Format: Printed ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf
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..
Highlights: Reena is an older protagonist who is far from perfect, constantly making mistakes but still managing to grow and learn from them. I enjoyed the Before / After points-of-view, because it was fascinating to see the old and present Reena. Reena and Sawyer's romance is a bit strange - at times, I loved them together. But, at other moments, I couldn't help but to see all the problems they create by enabling one another in their bad habits. As a whole, while I had issues with the romance, I still found it to be captivating. I like the emphasis on family and friendship, even if both were a bit rocky at times. The writing style itself was nice and descriptive, flowing from one word to the next. This is an easy book to get caught up in for a few hours, and the changes Reena goes through make this is a worthwhile read. HOW TO LOVE is an excellent story about family, friends, love, and second chances.
Lowlights: Sawyer. He did grow on me a little by the end, but I still felt like he hadn't proved himself or fixed any of his past mistakes. Even Reena was a bit frustrating at times, too. But, none of this stopped me from enjoying the story.
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf. HOW TO LOVE is a great story that is worth owning, and has earned a spot in the royal library. I enjoyed this story very much, despite a few small issues I had with the romance / couple. I would absolutely recommend HOW TO LOVE to other readers.