How to Love by Katie Cotugno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'This is a love story. But it's not what you think. This is not a first kiss, or a first date. This is not love at first sight. This is a boy and a girl falling in messy, unpredictable, thrilling love. This is the complicated route to happiness that follows.
This is real. This is life. This is how to love.
Reena has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he's never noticed her, until one day... he does. They fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town, leaving a devastated - and pregnant - Reena behind.
Three years later and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter Hannah. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again.
After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer again?'
When I was offered a copy of How to Love by the publishers I jumped at the chance. I love to experience new authors and YA titles.
How to Love is from two perspectives Before and After. The story revolves round Sawyer and Reena, (Before) they have know each other for a long time and fall in love. They have an uneasy relationship until one day when Sawyer leaves, leaving Reena 16, pregnant and alone.
(After) Two years later Sawyer arrives back in town, Reena has a two year old daughter Hannah, a job and is currently seeing Aaron who is brilliant with Hannah. Sawyer however turns up as if nothing has happened.
It took me a few chapters to get into the book, to understand the flow of writing and the order in which it is written. Once I got into it I really enjoyed the way it was written. I thought that by going, before and after it allowed the reader to connect better with the characters and learn about them from their past.
I feel that Katie Cotugno took a chance writing a novel about teen pregnancy, it is something that isn't covered too often and as a debut novel could have been a risk, but I think she covered it well, it was 'real' and many people will be able to relate to the story.
When reading the story I did have a preference, I enjoyed 'Before' more than After, this I think is because I liked reading about how Sawyer and Reena got together and her feelings as a 16 year old girl, and what other 'real life' issues she has to go through.
Once I got into the story I wanted to continue reading it and found it hard to put down. As a debut novel from Katie Cotugno I think it is brilliant and I would defiantly read more from this author.
I would like to thank the publishers for sending me this copy to review.