Whitney Atkinson's Reviews > How to Love

How to Love by Katie Cotugno
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really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2015, unhauled

3.5 stars

It's so hard for me to collect my thoughts about this book. I nearly unhauled this and at this point, I'm unable to determine if whether I should have or not. I kept this because I've never read a book on teen pregnancy before, and I really wanted to try this. I fell in love with the writing of this book. Katie Cotugno isn't necessarily the most brilliant writer, but she makes such clever analogies and her sentences flow so well that I was really rather impressed. And usually I hate now-and-then perspectives, but I actually felt like the Before and After layout of this book was done really well and I was never bored with one chapter or the other. These two factors by themselves, combined with the fact that I was genuinely enjoying the storyline at first, would have made it a five star book for me. But very quickly, I found myself really disliking Sawyer. And he, along with the negativity he brought into this book, is really what brought it down for me. He was a complete jerk and still expected to be loved, which I didn't agree with. There was so much angst--too much angst-- in the relationship between Sawyer and Reena that I was so exasperated and wished she would just dump him for good. Reena has a boyfriend in the "After" chapters, and I hated how Sawyer came onto her even though he knew that she was in a relationship. How he cruelly demanded that Reena tell him she loved him. I just never understood him or his motives or his personality, and since the book literally centers around their relationship, I found myself growing detached.

Overall, this book was just an experience. I think it's really important because it handles the topic of teen pregnancy well. So well, that I was extremely uncomfortable reading this book at times. Not because it was graphic, but just because I was able to put myself in Reena's shoes for a moment and imagining myself in her situation was horrible. This book made me feel so vulnerable and gross, and I'm kind of impressed that it brought out that reaction in me. Putting this down, I seriously feel more concerned about making meaningful relationships and being responsible within those relationships. I can only imagine other teens reading this and feeling the same way; hopefully it touched someone to be able to see and understand how rough being a young mom is. It certainly enlightened me about the topic, and I'm left feeling grateful that I'm in a family of people who support me and that i'm single af and don't have to worry about Reena's situation happening to me.
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Reading Progress

July 31, 2014 – Shelved
July 31, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
June 27, 2015 – Started Reading
June 27, 2015 –
page 322
82.78% "This book is taking me forever to listen to and idk why. I wish I could bump it up to 2x speed but scribd is a hater"
June 27, 2015 – Finished Reading
September 20, 2017 – Shelved as: read-in-2015
September 25, 2018 – Shelved as: unhauled

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Britney This is an interesting point of view! I was way to blinded for my hatred of sawyer and their relationship to even consider the message of the story! Thanks for addressing that!


Whitney Atkinson Britney wrote: "This is an interesting point of view! I was way to blinded for my hatred of sawyer and their relationship to even consider the message of the story! Thanks for addressing that!"

I cannot for the life of me pinpoint one good thing about sawyer. there was absolutely nothing redeeming about him???


Melody (theliteraryowl) Ah, the same happened to me, I couldn't see the point of the book because of my hatred towards Sawyer, you have made a very good point! I didn't consider this angle and I now understand the book a little bit more -though it doesn't change my initial rating. And I don't think there was a single redeeming thing about him, he's awful.


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