Published October 1st 2013
by Balzer + Bray
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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.
I really enjoyed How To Love very much. And I absolutely LOVE that this book has a Before and Present tense. It gives the reader a chance to go back in time and see why things are the way they are today. I hope I make sense when I say, I'd rather experience (read) what they went through, rather than the characters telling me what happened. In my opinion, it gives the book an edge.
The Before tense in the book was when Reena was a young teen. And as a young teen she kept to herself. Fitting in wasn't something she really cared for. Besides she had a best friend who was more than enough excitment for her. I really liked Reena's character. She was very strong minded, very opinionated and she didn't easily fall into the typical high school/ teen drama. Except when it came to Sawyer.
The Before tense has a lot of angst. Reena has always been in love with Sawyer. But what I didn't like was the way that Reena lost herself in Sawyer. He was not the good boy he portrayed to his and her family. He had ugly demons eating at him and he sort of dragged Reena into them. And even though she wanted no part of it, she couldn't tell him no. I didn't like that about Sawyer. But let's face it, how many of us has done stupid things when we were teenagers for the sake of a boy we liked. I know I did. But the adult in me knows better and for that, I am not a fan of young Sawyer.
Young Reena lost her best friend in this book and I think that's where she kind of spiraled a bit out of control. She didn't have that person to confide in. She wasn't close to her family so by losing her best friend she sort of lost herself in a way. That's when Sawyer intervened and she couldn't refuse to be with him. So whatever Sawyer wanted, Reena did. Thus, explains the teenage pregnancy.
In the Present tense, Reena matured a lot. She has a baby so she couldn't be an irresponsible person. She had to grow up rather quickly because of her daughter. Sawyer had left before he found out she was pregnant so she basically raised her baby on her own, with the help of her parents. I really liked the way she handled being a teen parent. She was very dedicated to her daughter. I also liked the way she handled Sawyer. He didn't easily get his way like he did with young Reena two years before. This Reena wasn't buying into anything he had to say. The decisions she made was because she thought long and hard about them.
Need I say that I really enjoyed this book. In my opinion this isn't a HEA. To me, this is more a Realistic YA Fiction. The reality is we lose friends though out our lives, whether is by choice or not. And we all grieve differently. We make bad choices. Teenagers AND adults tend to lose themselves in the ones they love. And the part of our brain that makes rational decisions stop working when we're madly in love. So I absolutely love the reality in this book. And because I do love this book, I want to share it with you. Below will be rules on how to enter.
I give How To Love a 4.5 stars and a definite Good Choice for Reading.
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