Release Date: 3 October 2013
Add it: Goodreads
This is a love story. But it’s not what you think. This is not a first kiss, or a first date. This is not love at first sight. This is a boy and a girl falling in messy, unpredictable, thrilling love. This is the complicated route to happiness that follows.
This is real. This is life. This is how to love.
Reena has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he’s never noticed her, until one day… he does. They fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town, leaving a devastated – and pregnant – Reena behind.
Three years later and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter Hannah. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again.
After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer again?
How To Love is an incredibly popular book in the book community, and I’m probably going to upset some people when I say that I don’t understand the hype. Like, at all. I wasn’t expecting a horrible love story in this book, considering the title and the amount of people who adore it. I was expecting a story about acceptance and friendship and motherhood, but instead I got a stupid romance and stupid main characters.My main issue with the book had to do with the characters. Reena was all right, kind of, but she also wound me right up. Sawyer, the love interest and baby daddy, was an arse who I just couldn’t deal with, and I didn’t find him charming in the slightest. Seriously, what is the appeal? Anyway, Reena was okay to begin with but then she and Sawyer cheat (with each other) not once, but TWICE. I really, really hate cheaters, and I can hold a grudge for a long time, so as soon as the second round happened I was out.
How To Love didn’t focus as much on Reena and her baby as I thought it would. I thought I was in for a lovely story about teen parenthood, but it was very much brushed over and instead the focus was on how Reena was judged for getting pregnant as a teen and out of wedlock. Which, okay, was an all right angle, but I think Cotugno could have worked Hannah, the baby, into the plot a bit more.
Another complete and utter fail in my eyes was the ending. It was just so unrealistic to me, and while I would normally be happy for Reena, I couldn’t help but scrutinise her decision and the means by which she was able to do it. How WAS she able to do it!?
View Spoiler »I don’t understand how she had enough money to just pick up and go travelling. Especially in the USA, where travelling is hella expensive and even seasoned backpackers say that you need a huge amount of money in order to see everything that you want to see. That Reena wanted to see. I didn’t like how she just picked up Hannah and left. But, mostly, WHERE WAS THE MONEY COMING FROM?! It wasn’t even discussed and it wound me up because money. Maybe it’s because How To Love is a YA book and a lot of teenagers don’t have to worry about money at such a young age, but ugh. As someone who grew up in a household that struggled financially, this was my greatest concern. « Hide Spoiler
I don’t really want to drag this review out any more than I have to, so I’ll leave it here. Sawyer is a dick and doesn’t deserve Reena, Reena is a cheating idiot (as is Sawyer) and I’m disgusted, and the ending was so unrealistic that I was rolling my eyes.