Review: ‘How to Love’ by Katie Cotugno

Review: ‘How to Love’ by Katie CotugnoHow to Love by Katie Cotugno
Published by Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 389
Format: Hardcover
Source: bought in-store
Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he's never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

Almost three years have passed, and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena's gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she's finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn't want anything to do with him, though she'd be lying if she said Sawyer's being back wasn't stirring something in her. After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

Chapters/IndigoThe Book DepositoryAmazon CanadaGood Reads



I’m sorry if this comes out as a rant.. You have been warned..

Nothing really happens exactly..It’s just day to day mundane things except at the end there was a bit of drama. There’s no hook to keep you reading. I pushed this aside twice and picked it up again just so I can find out if he changes. There are chapters of her going to the mall and shopping and cooking food. It’s super mundane and utterly boring. I also don’t like the Before and After chapters because it breaks the momentum of whatever happened.


I dislike Sawyer soo much. Reena is supposed to be this smart girl but she keeps going back for more. She keeps putting up with his crap. Not only during the Before, but also with the After. Thought she learned her lesson? And the moment when we find out happens with Allie and Sawyer? Is this supposed to be the reason why he was acting out the entire time? I thought he was already a jerk before that. Then there’s the sweet and steady Aaron who wants her. Yet she wants the bad-boy Sawyer. Every time he would smirk I wanted to punch him. Ughhh I did not like him at all. He’s probably one of the worst YA boyfriends I’ve read about. Did I miss something??? Wasn’t this supposed to be some epic love story? I found it to be more like lust!? I didn’t find anything remotely interesting or passionate about these two. I’m sorely disappointed.. *sighs*


I’m guessing there was supposed to be so much more than just romantic love, but also family and friendship love. But again I didn’t find any of that. Her best friend Shelby keeps forgiving her for things and she didn’t even reach out to her. Talk about no effort. And obviously coming from a strict Catholic family she would have trouble being sixteen and pregnant, but good God she did not handle it well. Blowing up at her father that way. That’s pretty disrespectful to do to your parent. I wished there was more of an emphasis about how terrified she would be of having this baby at her age, and how her faith could help or destroy her. Yet there wasn’t any of that. It was all Sawyer goggles from then on.


I’m so sad I didn’t like this..It’s always hard to like a book when you dislike the characters.. Maybe someone else will have better luck than I did?


Why did you only love me when I was good? (256)
I couldn’t figure out how he could make me so happy and so miserable all at once. (308)

reading progress






  1. Heather

    April 6, 2016 at 8:16 AM

    I actually didn’t mind this book. I must have been more in the mood for it. I found it light hearted and a nice easy read. I enjoyed that there was no insta-love, which was a nice change from the previous romance novels I’ve read that year. I also enjoyed going back and forth between “before” and “after”. It really helped me connect with the characters and their growth. But again, mood and timing can totally influence whether or not you enjoy a book – plus not everyone can enjoy every book 😉 lol. Still love reading your review.

  2. Meme

    April 2, 2016 at 3:47 PM

    I haven’t seen this before I would know if it did before the cover is so so bright and colourful and this tends to draw me to a book, shame you didn’t like it I was thinking Oo I need to read this after reading the summary but I am not sure not after reading your review.

    Meme xx

    New Post:
    Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks Book Review

    • giselle

      April 2, 2016 at 10:42 PM

      Yes exactly! It drew me in because of the bright cover and the colour. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did

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