Hello, readers! Today I have my review for 99 Days by Katie Cotugno and things will get spoiler-y, but I will post a warning before I go in to spoiler territory. I did not know what to expect when I started this book, but I knew everyone was excited for the sequel, 9 Days and 9 Nights. I had the physical copy of the book from my library, but then I found the audiobook on the hoopla app and decided to listen to the book by the pool instead.
Goodreads Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3.38
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Page Count: 384 pages
Genre(s): YA contemporary
Series: 99 Days #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: April 21, 2015
Plot: 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.
Review: I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads, but it is really more like 3.75 stars. This book was obviously polarizing for readers because the ratings are all over the place. I gave it a higher rating than most because I was entertained, which is what I want from a YA contemporary, but I also recognize the issues with the plot.
Molly Barlow is back in her hometown after she fled in shame a year ago. She slept with her boyfriend’s brother, Gabe, and then her mom wrote a best-selling novel about it. Molly is now home for the summer and wonders how she will survive the next 99 days. And that is really all you need to know before going in to this story.
Molly is, of course, the talk of the town after her scandal the year before. When she arrives back in town, she drives up to find her house has been egged by the boys’ sister, Julia. And my problem here is, no one is shaming Gabe. Everyone is acting like Molly was the only one at fault in this scenario. This was very frustrating to read, especially when she and Gabe start hanging out. There was no backlash at Gabe for hanging out with Molly, but Molly was still being treated like Hester Prynne.
Spoilers coming your way…
Patrick, the brother Molly cheated on, is now dating a girl named Tess. Of course Molly ends up taking a summer job where Tess works, and the two become friends. Wait. What? There is no way that the new girlfriend is going to befriend the ex-girlfriend that stomped on the boyfriend’s heart. But I digress.
Patrick is easily the worst character in the book to me. After Molly and Gabe start dating, Patrick decides he wants Molly back, so he starts running around on Tess. Excuse me, what? Am I supposed to be cheering him on while he is climbing in bed with Molly and find this behavior “romantic” or “sweet?” What was even worse was Molly’s behavior. As if she didn’t cause enough trouble by cheating on Patrick with Gabe, now she is running around cheating on Gabe with Patrick. This girl is dumb.
Molly’s mom is the second worst character in the book. What mother writes a novel about her daughter’s very scandalous personal life and then tells People magazine in an interview what the inspiration from the story came from?! I wish there was more resolution between Molly and her mom, but the author just skims over that issue in the story.
End of spoilers.
Audiobook Review: The narrator was enjoyable. Her Southern accent was terrible. It was so stereotypical. Other than that, I had no issues with the audiobook.
Final Thoughts: If you want a book of summer teen angst, this is the book for you! There was not one likeable character in this book, and yet I could not stop reading. I liked that each chapter covers the most important events of the 99 days of summer. The story was well developed, but I understand why some people may not have enjoyed it. I am curious to read the sequel, but I am also not ready to dive back in to Molly’s world just yet. Hopefully a year at college has caused her to grow up a little bit, but I seriously doubt that is the case.
Thank you so much for reading my review! If you have read the sequel, 9 Days and 9 Nights, leave me some spoiler-free thoughts in the comments.