Tag Archives: TOP TEN

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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Top Ten by Katie Cotugno Book Review

Title: Top TenTopTen_1

Author: Katie Cotugno

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 3/5 Stars



 

Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship:

10. Where to begin? Maybe the night we met.
9. Then there was our awkward phase.
8. When you were in love with me but never told me…
7. Those five months we stopped talking were the hardest of my life.
6. Through terrible fights…
5. And emotional makeups.
4. You were there for me when I got my heart broken.
3. …but at times, you were also the one breaking it.
2. Above all, you helped me make sense of the world.
1. Now, as we head off to college—how am I possibly going to live without you?



 

I didn’t think it would happen, but I’ve finally read a book of Katie Cotugno’s that I wasn’t thrilled about. I’ve never given her anything less than a five star until this novel. It won’t stop me from reading her stuff in the future, but I don’t think it was nearly as good as 99 Days of How to Love.

Gabby’s Anxiety

Gabby reminded me so much of myself. She hates being put in social situations, doesn’t want to be in a crowd, hates parties and constantly thinks she makes mistakes and dwells on the past. Literally. Me. There were moments I thought, ‘Shit, Cotugno, how’d you get into my brain and write my anxiety so well?’ She did a great job at the ‘panicers’ and anxiety, but I found myself really annoyed with Gabby for how she treated Ryan and her sisters sometimes. She came off as a total ass and I know she didn’t mean to, but you can only blame the anxiety for so long.

Sexuality

I was also put off my Gabby being bi, I’m not a big fan about ready non-heterosexual romance (I’m not against this, I’m just not a fan of reading something I can’t relate to like that). I feel like if you’re going to make a character bi/gay/trans it needs to be in the synopsis, especially since this played a huge role in the book. I may be the only one who feels this way, and forgive me if I sound ignorant, but that’s how I felt.

Out of Order Plot

How to Love was written in a THEN/NOW alternating chapters, which I loved. This novel however did a countdown that was mixed in some areas. Had it been written their senior year, backwards until you get to when they meet each other, that would have been easier to follow.

 

For Ryan and Gabby being best friends, I feel like they never actually knew how to handle one another, they seemed to constantly be stepping around their feelings for each other. This drove me absolutely nuts! Ryan was always worried about setting off Gabby and Gabby was always worried about pissing off Ryan. It didn’t seem healthy for either of them. And poor Ryan! I felt like Gabby was constantly messing with his emotions!