Title: 99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno
Recommended for: 9th grade & up
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Cotugno, K
Synopsis: 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
My Thoughts: Seriously, this book left me kind of flabbergasted. One moment I was screaming YES YES YES but the next I was beating my head against the wall. Basically, the book is about a recently graduated girl named, Molly. Two years ago she made a terrible mistake and slept with her boyfriend’s (Patrick) brother, Gabe. They were kind of broken up-but maybe not completely, seriously it’s a perfect Ross yelling at Rachel WE WERE ON A BREAK moment. Anyway, she tells her mom, who then turns her story into her latest best-seller, which means everyone in town–and the country/world–knows about her mistake. She then decides to spend her senior year at boarding school, so this summer is the first time she’s been home since the book came out.
Turns out, Gabe really likes her and is the first to really welcome her home & the two enter into a relationship. This is where the book starts going downhill though. Molly has the perfect opportunity to stay on the straight and narrow, but instead decides to cheat AGAIN with Patrick, meaning she spends the whole summer making the EXACT SAME mistake that made her run away. She has the chance to fix everything and literally crashes and burns in the same manner. I mean, why?! I just….I can’t even.
There are some good points to the story though. The writing is well done & the characters, for the most part, are pretty believable. I also LOVED that the author tackled the whole double standard issue. Everyone is slut-shaming Molly, but Gabe, who basically betrayed his brother as well, remains untouched. He repeatedly points out that he is just as much to blame as she is in this whole thing. And it’s pointed out again, the second time around with Patrick, making the blame be shared equally.
All in all, though, I can’t really recommend this book. Interesting concept/premise, but ultimately a failure. Instead I would I look into the following read-a-likes for a more enjoyable read.
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Hahn
What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Catching Jordan by Miranda Keanneally
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler