Tag Archives: how to love

Katie Cotugno Signing/ Cotugno Book Ratings

 

On Saturday, May 12th, Katie Cotugno and the Epic Reads Tour made their final stop in Cincinnati Ohio. Of course, I had to go! She attended, along with two other authors (author of Simon Versus and Dumpin’) but I’ve never read anything from them.

 

 

I managed to get all five of my Katie Cotugno books signed! Which, if you’ve ever been to a book signing like this, they usually limit the number of books you can have signed.

 

I was super nervous but very excited to meet Katie. She’s been a huge inspiration for my writing. My husband convinced me to bring a copy of my novel, The Last July, as a gift for her. I was terrified she wouldn’t accept it or that it would be weird to hand her a book while others were standing behind me. You see, I’m terrified of rejection, so all I could imagine was her saying she wasn’t allowed to accept books written by fans. To my surprise, she was thrilled. Our conversation basically went as follows:

Me: Do you accept gifts?

Her: *smiles* What?

Me: Can I give you a gift?

Her: Of course!

Me handing over my novel: So I’m a huge fan of your writing and you’ve been a huge inspiration of mine and I’d like you to have a copy of my novel if that’s okay.

She then asked if she could hug me and it was up there with the top five best moments of my life (along with meeting Joey and Chris from NSYNC and my wedding day). We then took a picture of her holding her recent release and me holding mine (her idea!) and I walked off giddy as can be. Best. Day. Ever.

Photos courtesy of my husband:

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Thank you, Joseph Beth Booksellers Cincinnati and Epic Reads for putting together this tour and allowing me to meet my role model!

 

Since Cotugno’s recent novel came out earlier this month, I thought it would be fun to rate her novels and give a review for each one!

 

 

5. Top Ten

3/5 Stars

This one fell short for me. Possibly because at the time, all I wanted from Katie was the sequel for 99 Days.

4. Fireworks

4/5 Stars

Fireworks wasn’t my favorite book of Cotugno’s, it fell a little short but I didn’t hate it.
The characters were slightly hard to relate to, but Alex was one of the best fictional boyfriends I’ve ever encountered in a YA novel.

As someone who grew up in the 90’s (I was born in 1990), I wish there had been more 90’s nostalgia worked into the plot. Some 90’s lingo and what not. Aside from the rise of boy and girl bands during this time, you wouldn’t really know this book was set in the 90’s.

What I find funny is I’ve never liked the main characters best friend in any of the books Cotugno has written. Is this something everyone notices? How the characters friends are down right mean and not right for them? Olivia was by far my least favorite friend.

3. 9 Day and 9 Nights

5/5 Stars

I’m obsessed with Katie’s writing style. 99 Days was the first book I ever read of hers and I loved it so much but I felt like something was missing, so when I heard she was finally writing the sequel, I was beyond happy. 9 Days and 9 Nights met my expectations and then some! I spent the entire book with so many questions, but by the end, everything is answered. There are no crumby cliffhangers and I am so thankful for that but also a little bummed because of the possibility of not getting to hear anymore of Molly and Gabe’s story.

2. How to Love

5/5 Stars

I can’t get enough of Katie Cotugno’s novels. It took me awhile to pick this one up (99 Days was the first book I read of hers), and I’m so glad I picked it up. I loved Sawyer (expect when he was being a ‘dickhead’) and Reena so much! I finished this book in three days, it was a page turner!

1. 99 Days

5/5 Stars

If I died tomorrow, I would die happy with this book being the final one that I read. The dust jacket is adorable and I’m not going to lie, I might have only bought it because of the cat picture inside.

Now, let’s be real. I feel like this book was written for me. There’s not many books that have made me feel that way, but this was one of them. Cotugno, created so many 4-diminsional characters, me relating and understanding all of them. I had this huge hatred for Julia though. I’d describe this book as the ‘what happens after a love triangle goes to shit’ book. I’ve read so many young adult love triangles that end with a ‘happily ever after’, but this book… this tells you the messy truth. I wanted to defend Molly Barlow’s actions so much because I’ve been in her shoes. IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO! It wasn’t the ending I was hoping for, but I think it’s the ending the book needed.

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Top 10 Favorite Books

10. Forever… by Judy Blume

I read this along time ago, but I just remember it being the first romance book that I read that was honest about teens and sex and I loved that! I didn’t really care for the characters, but I did like that this was the first romance book that I had read.

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9. Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

What I liked most about this was how mature the writing seemed for a YA/NA romance. It wasn’t full of the typical troupes you see in most novels, but it was still romantic and I was rooting for the characters to have a happy ending.

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8. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

I have no shame. This was the very first book that got me into my obsession with books, after a long hiatus of not reading for pleasure after elementary school. I remember devouring this series in about a month. I’m still obsessed. What can I say? I’ll always make room for Twilight on my favorites list.

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7. Teach Me by R.A. Nelson

Wonder what happens behind closed doors of a teacher/student relationship. This one is for you. I think I’m going to reread this one in 2018.

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6. Zac and Mia by AJ Betts

For those who enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, take a chance on this one. For me, this was way better and more honest than TFiOS. Don’t get me wrong, I loved TFiOS, but this novel has all the raw emotions of what being a cancer patient is really like (and I should know, I went through it).

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5. The Cellar by Natasha Preston

This novel is about a girl who is kidnapped and put in a cellar along with a handful of other women who have been brainwashed by their kidnapper to basically love him because their lives depend on it. I was on the edge of my seat for the entirety of this novel.

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4. Stolen by Lucy Christopher

If you end up enjoying Cellar, you’ll probably like Stolen. It’s along the same lines except our character is taken to the dessert where she tries to find a way to escape, but where can you run to in the dessert?

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3. How to Love by Katie Cotugno

The next two novels were hard for me to rate because I love them both so much. It took me awhile to pick up How to Love, but once I did, I wished I had read it sooner. The synopsis had turned me away from it originally, I loved it and couldn’t put it down.

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2. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

I just might be one of the only YA readers around who enjoyed the love triangle in 99 Days and I’m not ashamed of that. I can’t wait for the sequel!

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1. November 9 by Colleen Hoover

I didn’t think any book would ever pass up a Katie Cotugno book on my favorites, let alone a Colleen Hoover book. I’ve read a few of her novels, and nothing was ever favorite worthy. That was, until I picked up November 9, on November 9th. It was book fate, haha. This book had me on a rollercoaster of emotions and I was constantly rooting for the couple, until the moment Ben broke my heart, but I still loved him as a fictional boyfriend. This is a must read!

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Winter Book Haul

 

Every now and then, I’ll go on a book buying craze. I didn’t really do this before I started blogging. I would only buy one book, read it, shelve it, and then buy another. This winter though, I kept buying books. In my defense, most of them were on sale! I know exactly what happened, I was planning out my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge and I just wanted to go ahead and have them. So, here are the books I purchased starting in December and going through February.

ARC’s Received via NetGalley

 

 

 

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

I purchased this on my kindle and it was on sale for $4.99, what a deal, right?! I figured I loved her 99 Days, so I wanted to try her other novels. Very interested in reading this one this summer. Love me some Contemporary Romances. I ended up loving this one so much that I bought it in hardback too.

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Oblivion by Kelly Creagh (Book 3 in Nevermore Series)

I already owned the first two books in this series, so I needed to complete the collection. I’m hoping to also get the whole set signed because I live near the author and she’s always doing local events. I’m planning on reading the whole series over because I read the first one a long time ago and don’t remember much of it. Just the cute emo boy, Varen Nethers!

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Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

This was my third attempt at a Hoover book and I loved it, my review was posted a few weeks back if you want to check it out! If you’re going to read a book by this author, this needs to be the one! So many twists!

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Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

I purchased this late in the game because the blurb didn’t strike my fancy but I love Sarah Dessen books so much! After I finished the Twilight series, I ran into Dessen’s books at the library and gobbled them up! Love her YA novels, obviously planning on reading this one over the summer.

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Horror Coloring Book

This was a gift for Christmas from my husband. We love spooky things (we got married on Halloween, of course we love spooky things) and this is killer, pun intended. It’s my third adult coloring book and by far the most detailed. I admit though, I feel like a lunatic when I’m coloring blood on a zombie…

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Metal Cats by Alexandra Crockett

Another Christmas gift from my husband. I love cats. I have three cats. I love tattooed musicians… thus, Metal Cats. It’s literally just a book of guys in metal bands with their kitties! So cute! It’s a great addition to my cat bathroom, yes, I have a cat themed bathroom with cat reading materials.

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Peter Pan by JM Barrie

I already read this on Kindle, but I ended up running into this beautiful copy at Barnes and Noble for only $10. Hardback too! I’m not fond of the front cover, but the back is gorgeous! I love the quote in the silhouette of Peter. I also already have a review of this one up for your reading pleasure. By far my favorite classic book.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

I purchased this on kindle because it was on sale for $1 and I really want to reread some of Dessen’s books. I believe this was one of the first books I ever read of hers. I prefer the old cover though, this one is kind of boring but I don’t have to look at it since it’s an e-book.

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The Fill In Boyfriend by Kasie West

I got a email from GoodReads, saying this one was on sale for only $1.99 so I figured it was a great price on a kindle book. I wanted to read this years ago, but didn’t get around to it. Interested to see if I enjoy West’s writing.

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Bitter Sweet Love by Michael Faudet

If you have a tumblr or instagram, you’ve probably read some of Michael Faudet’s poetry or Lang Leav’s. I really love their poems and I wanted to be sure to pick up Michael’s new one. Beware though, his poems are a little graphic– sexually. I love them.

 

Unashamed by Christine Caine

I saw a girl on my facebook post about this book and how ‘life-changing’ it was and I figured what the heck, I can’t spend my whole year reading YA and borderline erotica so I chose this one. I think I’m going to pick one non diction book a year to read and get myself amped up for life. Is that cheesy?

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True (True Believers 1) by Erin McCarthy

Speaking of cheesy, this cover is super cheesy. My friend however, recommended this book and because she read the whole series in about a week or two, I figured it had to be good. Plus, I love having people to discuss books with! It’s also by a local author, set locally!

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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I saw the movie trailer for this and it looked amazing, so I’m totally going to read this before it comes out! It was actually $2 cheaper to buy the paperback than the kindle book.

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How to Love by Katie Cotugno Book Review

 

Title: How To Love

Author: Katie Cotugno

Genre: Young Adult meets New Adult?

Overall Emotions: In love, amazed, sad.

Rating: 5/5 Stars




 

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.




 

This book is beautiful, I don’t know why it took me so many years to finally pick it up. I was a huge fan of 99 Days, which I read a year or two ago and I had checked out the synopsis for How to Love but it didn’t interest me at the time. I’m glad I finally read it, I devoured it in three days.

Sereena had a plan to get the hell out of her Florida town and she was going to do it a year early. Nothing was going to stop her, that is, until she found out she was pregnant and the father has left town without even knowing of his unborn child.

I loved how Cotugno interweaved the before and after in alternating chapters and It worked perfectly. We got to see why she had fallen in love with him and why she had this burning hatred for him when he returned out of the blue.

There were so many twists and turns with this book, and I only saw a handful coming. The biggest one being Sawyer’s rock and roll lifestyle. I loved that Reena’s parents were main characters, too often in YA novels, teens do whatever and we only see their parents a scene or two. Seeing her parents, you could tell they still treated her like a silly, naive child.

Even though I loved this book and gave it a perfect score, I did have some issues:

  1. Occasionaly, Reena calls Hannah ‘the baby’. I have to handle the baby, the baby needs a nap. The baby is 14 months (another pet peeve of mine, your baby is one. Just one). It bothered me, it made Hannah seem unwanted sometimes.
  2. I felt like toward the end where the two families are together and Reena explodes in rage around everyone, I didn’t think she got the chance to say everything. Sawyer’s parents literally were non-existent like he was in his daughters life. If I were Reena, I would have made sure to let Sawyer know how they treated her. Or possibly, did Reena just push them away? We never learn that.
  3. Why was she even friends with Allie the shoplifter. Allie had a horrid personality and she wasn’t a great friend to Reena. She talked down to her so much!
  4. The ending. Yes it was happy, but I wasn’t pleased with it.

 

I hope Katie Cotugno can put more novels out like this, I’ve loved everything she’s done so far.

 

 

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