Title: 99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno
Publisher:Balzer + Bray, 2015
Edition: Paperback, 370 pages
Day 1. Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything. She has every right to hate me, of course: I broke Patrick Donnelly’s heart the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. 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 wouldn’t quit till he got me to come to this party, and I’m surprised to find 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.
Eighty-seven days of summer to go, and history is repeating itself. The last thing I want is to come between the Donnelly brothers again… but the truth is, the Donnellys stole my heart a long time ago.
I found it interesting to read/skim some of the reviews before attempting to arrange my own thoughts for this particular book. But first let me try to put general feeling towards this book into words: I’ve been considering buying this but now I’m glad that I borrowed it from the library.
So, the gist of the book: Molly is a college-bound young lady home for the summer – after running away for a year because of a scandal involving her, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s brother. Her adoptive mother used this said scandal to write a book and then had the gall to out her daughter, naming her as the inspiration behind the book. What an honour, right? Anyways, so the 99 days – hence the name of it – is the countdown for Molly to make it through summer before she goes away from college. But enter said ex-boyfriend’s brother and then the ex-boyfriend. Add in a vengeful sister and new girlfriend and nosy, judgmental double-standard young citizens of the town and that sets up the novel.
I enjoyed certain aspects of the novel: Molly and Gabe commenting on the double standard of how she was getting all the ill treatment for something they were both involved in. It definitely reflects our society and how the girl is to blame all the time whereas the guy somehow is glorified. It’s one of the things I liked about Gabe – how he saw this and stood up to others for Molly. But there’s something about Molly where you see her heading down the same, dangerous path — and it’s not like she hasn’t been done this path of destruction before. Yet she just heads right into it. You would think that a character who took such drastic measures to get away would learn to avoid situations that she gets into.
Anyways, it’s an interesting read if only to see how flawed people can truly be. Because that’s the thing about all these characters – they were all flawed. And I suppose in a sense, more real. Which I admire – but it would be nice to see some character development in Molly by the end of the novel.