Two Minute Review: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Friday, April 3, 2015
Title: 99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno
Genre: young adult, contemporary
Series: N/A
Pages: 385
Published: expected April 21 2015

Source: publishers via edelweiss
Rating: 3/5

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

I haven't yet read How to Love so 99 Days was my introduction to Katie Cotugno's style and writing. With the lots of potential for the story, very dramatic, interesting characters, and occasionally overwrought situations shown here, it felt reminiscent of Katie McGarry's brand of contemporary young adult novels. I liked the risks that Cotugno took -- a storyline most authors would shy away from, a main character who veers on the side of unlikeable, etc. even if they didn't always pan out.

I was always an outside observer to the story in 99 Days; just very aware that I was reading a story, which is my chief complaint. I was never truly pulled into the story, either through the narration on behalf of the main character or because of anyone else. I never connected with the characters, any of them -- especially, sadly, Molly. It's not because she made a mistake once but because she continually makes the same mistakes over and and over and over again. She is so inconstant and inconsistent but it's particularly whiplash-worthy in the last half of the story. Molly doesn't really grow and her wildly fluctuating acts of relationshipdom are exhausting.

I still liked this despite a few shortcomings. The flashes of humor are welcome, as are the kissing scenes themselves. There's also some diversity shown in mostly positive light for the secondary cast, and it's very readable despite the slightly-too-long page count of 384. Some readers might discount 99 Days for the basic plot alone but I say it's worth at least a try if you like your YA romances very dramatic.


  1. I just heard about this book the other day and was excited to see your review up. I haven't made my decision yet on picking this one up or not yet. But now I think I will hold off any immediate decision and focus on the books already on my shelf and maybe revisit this option again later....especially if it goes on sale.

  2. I am really excited for this book but it's a shame you say that you didn't connect with the characters because thats one of the main things I look for in a book.
    It sounds good that the book was risky and diverse because that's what I like to look out for in YA.
    Awesome review!

    -Lily x

  3. This one was a tough one. I really, really loved How to Love and this one was very meh for me. I dislike love triangles, but over time have been able to understand that sometimes they can be done right and I've got to give them a chance occasionally. But you're right, it was very whiplash-worthy because good gawd, could she really not see the disaster she was creating and take a step back and stop herself? It was like an emotional train-wreck. On one hand I could (kind-of) understand her pull to her ex, but getting with his brother in the first place was dumb as shit.
    In the long run, it wasn't terrible but it wasn't anything real memorable for me. I also felt it was too long though. :) Great review!


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