How to Love

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How to Love

by Katie Cotugno

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | September 23, 2013 | Hardcover

How to Love is rated 3.625 out of 5 by 8.

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 life 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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 8.75 × 6 × 1.27 in

Published: September 23, 2013

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 006221635X

ISBN - 13: 9780062216359

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cute, realistic romance with real-life complications I wasn't sure whether or not I would like this book or not. I was worried I had only picked it up because I had seen it on so many other book reviewing sites - another failed attempt at reviving my reading. Luckily, I really enjoyed this book! It was heart warming and cute, yet still dealt with a hard topic and kept it realistic. I really felt for Reena and her situation. There were a couple of times I was near crying (trying so hard not to cry in public) and OMG the ending! I could stop smiling for hours! I found, like Reena, I had a love/hate relationship with Sawyer - such a bad boy that clearly needs help, but at times has such a good soul that you hope for the best. There were times when Reena would complain about her situation and all I could think about was "what do you have to complain about?? You have a supporting family - at least enough to let you stay at home after getting pregnant". Yes it must have been hard for her, but the "woe is me" moments could - at times - come on a little strong for my taste. But over, this was a very realistic story. I could imagine reacting that way, or having others react that way. There was no insta-love, which was a nice change from the previous romance novels I've read this year. I especially enjoyed going back and forth between "before" and "after". It really helped me connect with the characters and their growth. I loved the ending and, although I would love to know more about their travels, I felt satisfied with their story - no feeling there was something missing or a lot of build-up with no real conclusion. If you're looking for a light-hearted, quick read this is your book. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys realistic romance novels with some real-life complications.
Date published: 2014-12-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing I was really looking forward to reading this book. It had a few reviews saying that it strayed from the typical form of a love story, something I thought I might like. I enjoyed how it was written, which switched from past to present but that was about it. I found the main character dislikable, she was constantly making decisions that were not wise and seemed out of character since she was always described as being a mature girl with her friend making the wild choices. It just didn't fit. I found Swayer more bearable but still wasn't a fan of him. There was a common theme of people making bad decisions, which I could understand more coming from Swayer because of his bad boy character. I had to force myself to finish the book because I couldn't stand to have a half read book on my shelf even if it killed me to finish it. Unfortunately I can't say that I would recommend this book to anyone even though I wanted it to be really good, it just wasn't.
Date published: 2014-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Love Story I've Read In A While! 4.5/5 stars I hate cheesy love stories. I hate the usual problems that couples have to deal with, especially the girls. Their hearts usually get broken when the popular jock ends up kissing with another snobby girl and then the broken-hearted girl meets the sweet-bad boy and they fall in love and all the worries float away... nope. How To Love wasn't even close to the average-cheesy love story. There was much more depth into the whole story and it was plain beautiful. I adored Sawyer, like don't even get me started. He was... beautiful and adorable. You could say that he was the average bad boy, but to me, he was much more than that. He made Reena become a better person, and you'll figure that out throughout the book. Every adorable phrase he said made me smile and wish for him. :) Reena sometimes made me angry. She was too snobby sometimes and didn't act her age. She tried to act like an adult, but she never could accomplish that. In my opinion, she was a bad mother to Hannah.  I loved this book to the end though. The author just made the story so riveting and unstoppable. I need more!
Date published: 2014-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After This is not your traditional love story. Reena and Sawyer's relationship is far from picture perfect. It is messy and real, and we're privy to the very raw emotions Reena experiences as she first connects and then reconnects with Sawyer. Reena's experiences are going to feel very personal for many readers, I bet. And the story is an honest account of what happened to Reena and how she reacted, as opposed to any sort of moral reflection of the choices made. Reasons to Read: 1. Authentic characters: These characters are laid out for us, flaws and all. I didn't always like the characters, and I didn't always like what they did. I feel the same way about people in real life. They make bad decisions, and we have to deal with the consequences right along with them. 2. The significance of free will: In fact, I think the whole story is about the bad decisions we make, the people they affect, and how we can all choose to respond to those choices. It's like a domino effect, how each decision has a ripple effect on so many others. 3. A microcosm of real life: I've very rarely read a book that is so honest. I truly believe that not every negative experience is bad through and through (and vice versa with positive experiences). It just isn't that black and white. I loved that How to Love showed us the good parts of Reena's life with her daughter, and the hard parts as well.  And just like this isn't your traditional love story, I'd say it isn't your traditional ending either. It left me feeling like the ending was a little bit off. Frankly, the relationship between Reena and Sawyer was troubling to me, and I'm not entirely sure whether that was intentional or not. This ending was the worst part of the book for me, because nothing felt wrapped up. I didn't feel as if decisions had been made, as much as they had just been put off. Maybe it's just that the decisions weren't satisfying to me. ARC received from HarperCollins Canada for review; no other compensation was received.
Date published: 2014-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Contemporary How to Love was a read that took me by surprise. Maybe it was because of the fact that it dealt with teen pregnancy in a totally different way, or maybe it was the way it chose to reveal an extraordinary love story. All of these aspects drew me into this story and I honestly felt myself crumble at certain points. It is one thing to read a love story from beginning to end, but it is a totally different experience you read the same two people fall in and out of love, and then fall back in love all in the same book. It was quite the story to read, and quite emotional at that. Contemporary is a genre that prides itself on realistic stories, and love is usually a high priority. But sometimes these things can get stale and boring—How to Love changes the way we think about love stories in YA contemporary. Like i said earlier, How to Love deals with love in a very different way. I am so used to reading a love story from beginning to end, but in this novel the author turns that on its head. We not only get the chance to watch a love blossom, but also fall apart. It is something that is not really touched upon in YA novels. There is usually a happily ever after, and, although at one point in this story there might be, it is definitely not the normal definition. But we also get to read these same two character, fall back in love, over a year later. This something i loved reading because one, it was so different from other novels, and two, it made for some amazing character development. If you read a book this year it should be How to Love, because it will make you think about what love really means. Even though these characters were young and naive at times, they were also destined to teach each other how to love.
Date published: 2014-01-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed; Didn't feel the love I thought How to Love would swooning at the story but I'm quite disappointed. This book wasn't at all how I thought it would be. The story transitions between before and after. That way we get to see the past and what's happening in the present as well. The constantly switching made it harder for me to connect with the story. Just when I felt comfortable, it switches yet again. I think my main problems were with the characters. I didn't like the main characters at all. I had the biggest problem with Sawyer LeGrande. I got a bad vibe off of him the first time I saw him in the story. I feel like he's a manipulative person and I still don't know whether he loves Reena or not in the end. I think he's a bad influence on Reena and I'm also annoyed at how easily Reena falls head over heels for him. Whatever he says goes. She doesn't even put up much of a fight. Even when Reena saw that Sawyer was a bad person, she still went for him anyways. I don't really get their relationship at all. I actually wished she went with Aaron (other love interest) because I see how he is good for her and the baby. Basically, the main characters annoyed me to no end. It kept me from enjoying the story and I would always pick out all the dumb things that Reena did with Sawyer. I literally have an annoying voice ranting in my head at very single thing the two did together. Everything was pretty irrational and I don't understand how this relationship would work.
Date published: 2013-11-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lacks character development; disappointing. Do not be fooled. This is not a beautiful love story. It’s harsh, unapologetic and just…not fun. It's also not a step-by-step instructions on how to handle all the emotional warfare a person would face when they fall in love (as the title subtly implies). It will not teach you how to mend a broken heart. It doesn’t even teach you how to forgive; it tells you to let bygones be bygones without a single thought to how that person almost broke you. One thing you would realize, however, is that sometimes, regardless of how shitty that person treated you, you know deep inside that you've done each other a favour. Thus, is the ugly kind of love between Serena and Sawyer. I am tempted to rant; but I shall refrain. I have waited an eternity for this book. I read it as soon as I got it in my grabby little hands. And why wouldn’t I want to read it? It sounded so good despite my inkling that reading it will put me through an emotional grinder. See, I knew it was going to be one of those reads. Pretty book, pretty packaging...but the inside? But I've always been a fan of romances where one somehow walks away for whatever reason. I imagine how he or she would grovel to get the love of their lives back. I was salivating for that moment when they finally reunite and when Sawyer finally gets his comeuppance; when Serena tells him all the ways that he'd fu*ked up and what he needed to do to get back in her graces. Well, that was a disappointment and a half. Sawyer was a problematic kid to begin with; but becomes impossibly so when it was compounded by a certain event that made him even more unbearable to take. He was a user who clung on to Serena because she’s the only thing that was normal in his life at the time. He was immature, selfish and a total dick. I’m sorry, there’s just no way around it. I could’ve liked him if he grew up a bit but even after he comes back there was no growth and development with his character at all. He was the same selfish person who thinks everything should be handed to him easy. The same could be said for Serena. The numerous “shut up!” when she didn't want to listen to Sawyer just annoyed me to heavens. What are you, fourteen? She got pregnant at 16; three years later, time and experience didn't give this girl a level of maturity you would expect from someone who’s been through so much. The author failed to distinguish the before and after – there was no sense that they’ve changed. But perhaps I'm expecting too much. Can I honestly say that a person's level of maturity should improve in three years? Maybe not. All things considered though, these two were the same kids as they were before and after they had their child. There were a lot of unfinished businesses here; Sawyer’s parents, for example. I wanted them to apologize to Serena. I wanted them to admit that they were sanctimonious hypocrites who looked down at Serena for getting pregnant at 16. They didn’t even acknowledge the fact that it takes two people to make a baby and that their son has a hand (er, so to speak) in it. They ignored and pretended Serena and baby Hannah didn’t exist until after Sawyer showed up. Please. Whatever happened to Sawyer when he left wasn't addressed either. Nor the reason why he left. The plot wasn't tidy and the ending? Bah. Overall, this book wasn't bad. I supposed it's okay. But for someone who've waited for a long time, and had expected so much, it was such a disappointment. Sucks to be me, I guess.
Date published: 2013-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Will Leave You Speechless! This book was by far my favorite of 2013!! It's definitely worth the wait until it comes out in October !! How To Love is one book you need to read because it was emotional, and beautifully written. I started it and I literally could not put it down. In Katie Cotugno's debut she gives her readers a raw and emotional roller coaster. With her characters that you actually can feel through reading. I liked how it started with meeting Sawyer again 2 years later then before when they were beginning their relationship. How to Love starts from "after", which starts as Reena ( aka. Serena) is taking care of her child, and at a young age of 18. At the gas station where she comes face to face with Sawyer LeGrande who you get to know that they have history. After coming back after how many years to come back and try to be a part of Reena's life past and present. The way its told tells the reader about the beginning of their relationship to modern day. This was a light cute read that I could read over and over again! I have never read any book like this which made me love it more since its about the guy leaving the girl, then shows up years later. How to Love was the perfect balance of Reena trying to trust herself again and to experience her first love which really made this book. I was smiling throughout most of the book and some were tears at what Reena was experiencing dealing with her family, new love and reconnecting with a past love. Reena is the most toughest main character I have ever read. The way Cotungo made the differences from her age of 15 and 18 were effortless. She was more mature as she was learning to raise a child on her own as well as when she was fifteen she did some naive things to make her immature. Reena felt real and believable as she went through all these events. She had many good qualities as well as flaws that make her human and easy to relate to in this genre. I definitely felt a lot for her through out the book. Now on to Sawyer who can be a complete idiot. I did not like him at all during most of the book because of how he left Reena who didn't even know she was pregnant with his baby. I would feel the same way Reena did if I had a child at 16 and he left and came back after two years. But after you read this book you do feel sorry for him and start to love him because he gets Reena and how much they really love each other. Sawyer did pressure Reena into doing some things that she was not interested in. She would skip class with him and miss big tests, and she is a smart girl. During the "before" you see that he was not a good character/romance at the time. He was always getting drunk, having parties late and having sex. His growth as a character in the "after" part where he realizes his consequences from his past. He is more responsible and likable. Another important aspect is Reena's friendships with Allie (Reena's best friend during school/Sawyers girlfriend) who died. There was a lot of things that was emphasized around this death as well as it was a bit hanging since we did not get to know about Allie. The event is a main part of the book that does play a significance in Reena and Sawyers relationship. Katie Cotungo is a writing genius who knows how to capture readers hearts with just a debut. It was beautiful and it will make you smile. Reena's narrating was full of emotion and she had a lot of brains and is trying to turn a new leaf. Cotungo's writing left me speechless after a few days because it affected me so much. I couldn't even pick up another book! The events that happened does demonstrate real life and it had a good balance between life and fiction. I would now say I would read any upcoming books by this author. Pick up this book immediately because you will also fall in love with it!
Date published: 2013-09-25

– More About This Product –

How to Love

by Katie Cotugno

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 8.75 × 6 × 1.27 in

Published: September 23, 2013

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 006221635X

ISBN - 13: 9780062216359

About the Book

A stunning new voice in contemporary fiction makes an unforgettable debut as she weaves together the story of a young couple who falls in love . . . twice.

From the Publisher

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 life 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.

Editorial Reviews

"[In this] confident debut...it''s impossible not to root for the two of them to beat the odds." (Publishers Weekly)
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