Title: 99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno
Date Started: May 9
Date Finished: May 15
Format: ebook from Bookshout
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.
I got an ebook version of this book for free for participating in an EpicReads Insider questionnaire. What initially drew me in about this book was the fact that it was for fans of authors like Sarah Dessen. But as I trudged along with the first ten days I realized that they got it wrong. This is nothing like a Sarah Dessen novel. At least in those novels you can root for the MC. In 99 Days I found myself dreading the next mistake she was bound to make – because let’s face it Molly was going to make mistakes. The chapters or “days” were insanely short. In fact, the only reason it took me so long to read this book was because I was reading another book at the same time. Sometimes you’d be lucky to get one page of text for the ‘day.’
Then there was Molly herself. As I said above I didn’t root for this MC. I wanted to. I thought her story was kind of contemporary novel-esque when 99 Days started. Lived in a small town was best friends with a girl named Julia who had two brothers – Gabe and Patrick. Due to the amount of time Molly spent at Julia’s place, she got adopted into the family. Started dating Patrick. Things got tricky when she wanted to go away to school and take advantage of an opportunity that was sent her way. They broke up, and Gabe was there to help mend her heart because he’s had feelings for her for ages. Molly tells her mom about what she’s done and the mom writes a romance novel about it. Obviously, shit hits the fan and luckily, Molly got to get away for a little bit before coming back for one last summer.
That’s a character I could root for. Especially as she tried to mend fences with those she left behind. But then…but THEN! She starts dating Gabe, which really isn’t the issue. It’s not even the fact that she tries to become friends with Patrick again, especially because he’s dating her new friend Tess. No, it’s what happens during their run. She makes the same bloody mistake that she did before. And you know what? I could have forgiven one mistake, but the fact that it kept happening, the fact that she almost had sex with Patrick in her bedroom when she was dating Gabe and he was back together with Tess… I just stopped caring at the point. In fact when Patrick outs what they did, I didn’t care. I cheered.
Final Rating: 2 out of 5 stars. I originally gave this a 3, but now that I’m writing this review I’m lowering it down to 2. There was no good conclusion. Molly repeated her mistakes that she spent a good chunk of the summer trying to atone for. And even the fact that it might have all been a competition between the brothers didn’t save this book at all. It just made it that much worse.
Bookshelf worthy? There are probably 99 better contemporary YA novels than this one.