By: Celine | April 18, 2015 | (8) Comments

Review: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: April 21st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

Well. I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to review this. There is so little I can say without spoiling, but I’m going to try regardless. 99 Days is about Molly Barlow, who returns to Star Lake after spending some time elsewhere. She is not happy to be back, especially since just about everyone seems to hate her. The reason for that is that she did some… stupid things a while back. (I have to be vague about this, sorry guys.) And now she’s back, and she’s confused, and while she doesn’t know it yet, things are going to get messy.

What you have to know about 99 Days before going in is that it’s a controversial read. And I mean controversial. Molly is not a perfect protagonist. She screws up a lot and she’s a mess and confused and as a result makes a lot of mistakes. Some people will find the mistakes she makes unforgivable, will probably hate this book for it. Others, while not liking the choices she makes, might understand her, maybe even feel for her, and just might end up liking or even loving this book. But whatever camp you fall in, you are going to have a reaction to this book. It’s impossible not to have one. 99 Days is… something else entirely.

The characters? Well, you are probably going to end up not liking most of them. But that’s sort of the point. They’re real people, they’re messy, they make so many mistakes. Sometimes the same ones. Sometimes they don’t learn from the past, sometimes they do. They keep quiet about things and get angry and screw up time and time again. And it’s not just needless drama, or at least, most of the time it isn’t. This is something that happens. Most people aren’t happy about it, but it does happen, and I’ve rarely seen it reflected in fiction.

As for the plot… Most of it I can’t tell you – you really have to discover that for yourself. But aside from all the drama, it’s also a coming-of-age story. Molly has no idea what she wants with her life – what she wants to major in, who she really is. She’s unsure of herself in so many ways. But throughout the story, she slowly starts to get stronger, more confident. She finally figures out what she wants. I really liked seeing that change in her because I could connect to so much of it – I’m not always all that confident, I don’t know what I want to study yet. It’s refreshing to see characters who have no idea what they want to do instead of all those MC’s who’ve known they want to be a doctor/a writer/an actress/a whatever practically since they were born. Of course, those people exist, but I really like seeing the more unsure characters too.

In the end, there is little I can say about 99 Days without spoiling you. Just know that it’s controversial, different, new. I personally liked it because of it, but this is going to be a polarizing read for sure. There will be plenty of people who will hate this, as there will be plenty of people who’ll love this. It’s perhaps not the easiest to read, or the most fun, but I really liked it nonetheless. 99 Days is something different entirely.

~Thank you Balzer + Bray for the review copy!~

3.5 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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8 Responses to Review: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

  1. This sounds a lot different from what I would expected – but now I’m definitely curious to read it. YA contemporary novels that are sure to incite a reaction definitely make for interesting stories, especially when there are a lot of ‘unlikable’ characters and you can either empathise with that or find it irritating. It definitely sounds unique, thanks for putting it on my radar Celine and brilliant review 🙂
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    • Celine says:

      Ooh yes, this one was definitely interesting! The whole story is people making mistakes and trying to fix them in even messier ways. I’m very curious what you’d think of this, because it’s such a polarising read!
      Thank you Eugenia <33

  2. Wow. I am intrigued. I am one of those people who love characters who makes bad choices (but hey! That’s what makes a book interesting, right?) and honestly I haven’t heard a whole lot about this book until now. But still I am curious to see what I’ll think of it. Glad you liked it!
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    • Celine says:

      If you love characters who make bad choices this is DEFINITELY for you. Everyone just makes mistake after mistake and everything is a mess, but it was a mess I loved. This hasn’t gotten a lot of publicity which sucks! This is such an interesting read. Thanks Kara 😀

  3. Okay, the mistakes she did before really piqued my interest. I like how you said that there are unlikable characters, but that’s the point about books, I guess. I’m all for realistic and messy characters that exist in real life. That’s really how life rolls. Great review, Celine! 😀
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    • Celine says:

      Ooh, well, everyone in 99 Days is definitely messy and screwed-up and realistic. Loved the dynamics between the characters 🙂 Thanks, Abby <33

  4. I kind of like how the characters here seem flawed, it makes them all the more realistic and I’m really interested in how controversial it is. Wonderful review Celine!
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  5. Hi Celine!

    I just got 99 Days from our local bookstore, and I’m really excited to read it and review it on my blog!

    I like your review, and I TOTALLY understand the feeling of I-need-to-write-how-I-feel-about-this-book-but-I-cannot-spoil!
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