Blog Tour: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

Welcome to the How to Love blog tour hosted by Mundie Moms blog tours / Mundie Girls Tours!


How to Love by Katie CotugnoHow to Love by Katie Cotugno ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: 10/1/2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 389
Target audience: Young adult/Adult
Keywords: teen pregnancy, family friends, romance, friendship
Format read: ARC from Rachel. (Thank you!)

Summary: Reena thought her love for Sawyer would remain unrequited.. until it wasn’t. Nothing is easy about their relationship, especially when Sawyer runs off and Reena gets pregnant. Fast forward three years: Reena and Sawyer have an expected reunion over a slushie and Reena isn’t so sure what to think. After getting him out of her system and embracing her life as a mom, she never thought he would be back or she would feel like she does.

It’s a rare and wonderful feeling to fall so hard and so fast for a book.

I was instantly hooked to How to Love in the first six pages. I knew it would be hard for me to put down. Is it because I understood this kind of uncomfortable reunion between the once love-of-your-life, not looking your best, wanting so badly to push down the familiar butterflies and remember what made you despise this person so much? Maybe.

Sometimes you just can’t control how you feel. Even when you are keeping those feelings very quiet and concealed.

Cotugno gives us a beautiful story of friendship and romance and connection and second chances. I felt so intimately connected to all of the people in Reena’s life. Her closeness with Allie when they were in high school, the support she received from Shelby, the friction between her and her father post-pregnancy, and, of course, that undeniable something with Sawyer. Deliciously flawed, these messy relationships grounded the story. Let’s face it. We don’t always make the right moves in life. There’s a lot of that going around here, and everything felt so real.

And the writing style? To set up a before vs. after story detailing Reena’s life before and after Sawyer leaves and her pregnancy? Cotugno impressively married the two, introducing us to a loner Reena who is anxious to graduate ahead of her class and spend her life writing and traveling and, years later, bringing new light and maturity to both Reena and Sawyer. The pacing remained swift, and I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. Cotugno weaves in description so well (without ever getting flowery), punctuating moments with sound and movement that it was like I was right there in the room.

You know a book is special when you are willing to sacrifice sleep to finish it. I did not want my time with the world of How to Love to end, but I couldn’t press pause that long, not without discovering the next part of Sawyer and Reena’s journey. I haven’t felt quite this overcome with affection for characters in so long, even when I was annoyed with both of their reactions to things or not agreeing with certain decisions. I think that’s the biggest test as a reader. Do you still care when things are at their lowest? If the answer is a yes, you have a winner.

How to Love is a winner. Buy it, gift it, read it, and treasure it. And then read it again. Easily one of my favorite books this year, and, if you can believe it, a new inductee into my most-loved reads collection.

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12 thoughts on “Blog Tour: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

  1. Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages says:

    I completely ignored this book for a while, but lately I’m only hearing good things about it from people whose opinions I trust and you all are making me rethink my personal ban on pregnancy books (I read a bunch all close together a while ago and kind of overdid it).

  2. Meg says:

    Well, I’m certainly convinced! It’s been so long since I fell helplessly in love with a story, and I think I’m long overdue. This sounds like a real winner!

  3. Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books says:

    I loved HTL so much. It’s one of my new favorites. I love the characters, the plot, and the writing style. I so wanted to hate Sawyer at first, but then I realized — wait, Reena isn’t perfect, and it’s so subtle. I’m glad that you loved it to 🙂 As soon as I read it, I flipped it over and just started reading again.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

  4. Rachel @ hello, chelly. says:

    I wanted to wait until after I had written and posted my review to read yours. And you really captured why I loved the book and how good the author’s writing was. It’s been a few days and I still find myself thinking about Reena and Sawyer a bit (and Life Unexpected too haha).

  5. Ellice says:

    Oh gosh, this books sounds SO GOOD. You have completely sold me… Now I’m sitting here trying to decide if I’m patient enough to wait until tomorrow or if I should go ahead and buy it for my Kindle 😉
    I LOVE those kind of books that you just can’t put down (even though it almost always results in an epic book hangover! haha). The cover for this one is pretty too. It’s simple, but the blue definitely catches your eye!

  6. Lauren @ Love is not a triangle says:

    YAY! I love seeing people who connected with this one as much as I did. This story sucked me in as well! I started it in June or something when I was unpacking BEA books and flipping through them, and I read the first 2 pages and was completely hooked. I couldn’t stop reading. The prose is gorgeous, but this book reminded me of the messiness of first love. I like how you talk about still caring about these characters and their story even at the lowest points. YES! I agree. I wanted to scream at Reena and Sawyer at times, and tell her to stay away from him! But I was there too and I also hoped so much for them to be able to work it out. I love that they don’t fix each other, but they find a powerful connection despite all of the hurt and grasp on to that despite everything. Lovely review!

  7. michelle says:

    fantastic review estelle! i so agree with you about being annoyed with some of the things sawyer and reena did or how they reacted but i still loved the book to bits anyway. i love reena and sawyer for their imperfections. i didn’t really talk about saywer and reena’s relationship in my review because i didn’t feel as strongly about their story as oppose to reena’s relationship her father and her growth but i completely agree with your comments about them.

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