Molly Barlow has just returned from boarding school, where she spent her senior year after being literally chased out of her home town by haters. Molly's mother is a famous author and wrote a book about a girl cheating on her long time boyfriend with his brother. Then she tells everyone it is based on her daughter. So everyone knows that Molly cheated on Patrick with his brother, Gabe. And, Julia, the boys' sister who used to be Molly's best friend, is the worst at dishing out punishment.
Molly returns to spend the summer (99 Days) until she goes to Boston to college. No one has forgotten. No one has forgiven. Then Molly begins a relationship with Gabe, after everything she's been through. And to top it all off, she goes behind Gabe's back and starts up with Patrick again. Can anyone see what's coming? Pretty sure everyone can.
Teens are stupid, but how can you be that stupid. Molly finally gets to be friends with a new girl who doesn't know her past, and then finds out that girl is dating Patrick. UUggghhh. She weasels her way back into that family, all the while setting herself and them up for a huge explosion. She doesn't mature or grow at all. Well, maybe a little in the last 5 pages....
And WHY would her mother tell the whole world that the book about cheating is based on her daughter. No one could be that clueless, could they? Molly is adopted. I'm not sure why this is even mentioned, since we only get a few scenes with Molly and her mom. I wish this relationship were explored more.
I adored How to Love, Cotugno's other book. One of the high points for me in that one was how the characters matured and grew emotionally and how the characterizations were so well done. I didn't get that in 99 Days.
But as I said, I enjoyed reading 99 Days. From a teen perspective, it's probably a lot more entertaining. The writing is good. There are nice descriptions and the dialog is authentic. There are some interesting side characters (Penn) but none of the characters are really explored fully. The pace moves quickly enough that it was an easy book to get through, but maybe too fast for me to really sink my teeth into. I'll still be recommending this one to teens (after I recommend How to Love.)
Published by Balzer + Bray, April 21, 2015
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
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