Title: How To Love
Author: Katie Cotugno
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Published October 1st 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Source: Own copy; bought in Powerbooks
“I think of how it felt to lose him, slow and painful and confusing, and how it felt to wonder if I’d ever really had him at all.”
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?
In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice
Miedjel: When my sister told me about this book I was really interested in it because I like stories where the main character has a kid or something like that. This weird thing started when I read a book in Wattpad where the girl there had a son. The book is called Bitter Love if any of you guys want to take a look. So when she told me about it during a conversation we were having, I picked up the book and read it just like that.
“Why do I make you blush so much?”
Erika: I was pretty conflicted with letting Miedjel read this because of *whispers* steamy kissing scenes but it was kind of minor (maybe not) but I really loved it and just told her to close her eyes when those scenes come. Did you close them, Miedjel?
“Why do you think I came looking for you that night, Reena?… Why the hell would I ever have done that if I didn’t care whether or not it was true?”
How To Love is about Reena who’s hopelessly in love with a guy she’s known her whole life— Sawyer but she hides it. I don’t know why she’s so embarrased. Maybe because she thought it would be forever one sided? So because she’s so scared, Sawyer ends up dating her bestfriend, Allie (a traitor) well, not a super traitor since she kinda likes him too BUT Reena liked him super much first which isn’t fair!
Miedjel: Yes… *looks away* *mouths* no. This book has before and after chapters and I don’t know I have mixed feelings towards it cause while I was reading this book in the present time I wanted to know what happened instantly but then I would first have to read the before part. So that was my problem anyway that’s just my opinion but it was really good though as in I loved how she wrote it I guess I’m just really impatient.
Erika: I get what Miedjel’s saying, I was kinda impatient too but I loved the Before Sawyer left her and After Sawyer left her chapters! When I read the synopsis, I was like “WHAT?! He just left her after knocking her up which surely he enjoyed.” I was furious. That was before reading the book but now… I’m still sort of mad at him but not enough to want to crush his balls slowly (maybe for like 3 seconds… okay 10)
Sawyer is such a carefree guy, super spontaneous and well, very handsome. I would know because every time he asks Reena to do something, she’d always end up saying yes. She becomes the yes woman. Sawyer is just a walking red flag honestly. He doesn’t care about his grades, a kind of addict and is a bad influence on Reena but you see where he’s coming from. You’ll understand him when you read the book that’s why you end up loving him even with all those flaws because at the end of the day, he’s a really nice and decent guy. Given the fact that they are like childhood friends and that she didn’t find him in the street somewhere smoking weed so…
Miedjel: Like what Erika said, I didn’t like how he was such a bad influence on Reena . Don’t get me wrong I like Sawyer but he had problems. I get why Sawyer left but then I felt like it was such a jerk move to just leave Reena like that. I mean I get it was because of his insecurity but still.
“I mean in! Why did you only love me when I was good?”
Reena I think is a strong girl after her family, especially her dad, was being so mean to her. I was so mad at her dad the whole time I just wanted to kill him. Lucky for him, I’m not Reena. The story starts when Sawyer comes back after three years. Honestly, the first thing I would do when I see him again is start screaming and hitting him and go all out baserk on him. Reena didn’t do that though cause Reena is a calm good girl and all. Things start of really weird for them since he’s back and their trying to work things out because duh they have a child now.
“The hideous thing is this: I want to forgive him. Even after everything, I do. A baby before my 17th birthday and a future as lonely as the surface of the moon and still the sight of him feels like a homecoming, like a song I used to know but somehow forgot.”
Erika: When he comes back, Reena has Hannah, her beautiful baby. I know what your thinking. I was thinking it too “Reena, don’t be stupid and go falling in love with him again and letting him back in. You already have Aaron, who is a very decent guy and accepts you fully and loves Hannah as well.” WELL…. I wasn’t totally like that the whole time. Maybe because I’m a girl who believes in second chances? But I do want them to end up together, he’s changed. I just know it.
“It occurs to me, not for the first time, that things change whether you’re around to notice them or not.”
Miedjel: This isn’t the usual contemporary books that I’ve read. This book really is set apart from the others but I really liked it. Throughout the whole book I was just filled with strong emotions. It legitly is a roller coaster ride. Can I just say I hate roller coasters but this one I liked.
Erika: How To Love is real. You wouldn’t have to make the same mistakes as Reena. You make your own mistakes and learn from others.
I loved this! Truly.