BOOK REVIEW: Katie Cotugno “How To Love”

9780062216366_p0_v1_s1200x630Title: How To Love

Author: Katie Cotugno

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

My Rating: 1/5 stars


Reena Montero is a bit of  a loner; isn’t really interested in having a big group of friends or going to raging parties like her best friend. What Reena is truly interested in is traveling, seeing the world, and living life.

Then enters Sawyer, who she’s known forever but could never imagine herself with. Sawyer LeGrande seems to notice her out of the blue, all of a sudden. And they connect, they fall in love, etc., etc.

Then leaves Sawyer, and leaves behind Reena who is destroyed, confused, and pregnant.

My thoughts: 

How to Love alternates between being told from two different times: before Sawyer disappears and after he comes back. So basically, we get to see two versions of Reena and Sawyer being totally stupid… It’s been a while since I’ve written a rant review, so here goes.

This is probably one of the worst books I’ve ever read in my life. Actually, I should clarify: one of the worst books I’ve ever tried to read in my life, since I couldn’t actually force myself to finish. Yes, this was a DNF and yes, it’s frowned upon to review a DNF. For How to Love, I don’t care.

For one, this could have been written by a 5th grader. Just so poorly put together and written, plus the author used the word “snottily” on two different occasions. Snottily. The words and sentences did not flow, the dialogue was choppy and unrealistic.

Sawyer’s one of those guys that’s super chill and relaxed and carefree all the time. Even when he’s seeing his ex girlfriend and baby mama for the first time in 3 years. And that just drives me up the wall. What, no remorse? No regret? Nothing to say other than, “Hey, nice to see you, you look good, can’t wait to meet that kid of yours”? You know, like he still doesn’t know that it’s his baby?

This is when the internal screaming began.

Also, in the time since Sawyer left and she’s given birth to her daughter, Reena has found a new boyfriend who’s this really nice guy, right? He’s good to her and patient and understanding when it comes to mom-duties. Not at all intimidated by this. Yet here she is, her mind filled with thoughts of Sawyer.

So okay, maybe I can’t blame her for that. He’s the father of her child after all and the feelings that she had for him and the hurt that he caused still runs deep. But she begins entertaining thoughts of being with him again. She starts lying to her boyfriend about seeing Sawyer and talking to him. She starts to make excuses and justifications for this.

This is when the external screaming began.

Then Sawyer has to outright ask whether the baby is actually his. I may have thrown my book into a wall for this. He decides he wants to be a part of the baby’s life. Understandable. Acceptable. I can work with this. Yes, be responsible and step up. Please.

But then she kisses him.

This is when I lose it.

I just have no sympathy for characters who put themselves in stupid, preventable situations. I have no sympathy for characters who do things they know are wrong but “just can’t help it”. Yes you can. You freaking can help it.

Bullcrap on “they’re meant for each other”. No. The moment he left with no way to contact him, for whatever reason, that should have been the end of it. People like that, who can just up and leave the people they supposedly care about, are not people that you want to keep in your life. These are not the people that you want to keep running back to and letting in. Just no.

Do not fall into this trap. Do not believe that lie that he’s changed or he’s promised to never do it again. Once was too many times, girl.

This may be a work of fiction. In this scenario and in this story, maybe Sawyer did indeed learn how to love. How to stay and own up and be there. But in most cases, ladies, they don’t learn. And in the small percentage of cases where they may have learned their lesson, don’t just welcome them back with open arms. Make them work for it and prove their devotion and dedication, because nobody deserves anything less than this.

Books like this give women false hope that their messed up, lazy, absent boyfriends are going to somehow shape up and step up. Instead, we should be teaching young girls to expect better.

For the love of God, don’t read this book. Don’t feed this to our younger generation to teach young girls that Sawyer’s actions are okay. This is not the example we want set for our sisters, daughters, friends. Don’t.

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