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’ve never read anything by Katie Cotugno before but this book sounded like it’d be a good read and I’ve read nothing but good things about the author online (on Goodreads mostly) so I went into this read pretty excited to read it. Plus, I really liked the cover so I was sucked right in.
This book follows Molly Barlow as she goes home for the summer before college starts (in 99 days). Molly is returning to the home where she’s an outcast. The outcast that cheated on her boyfriend with his brother. Everything wouldn’t have been such a huge deal if her author mother didn’t write about the whole ordeal in her next book that became a bestseller. Her boyfriend Patrick found out about it through the media and all hell broke loose.
Being back in town hasn’t been much fun for Molly. Her car has been egged, people have pointed and laughed at her and just made her life a living hell so she thought it’d be much easier to wait out the 99 days until she can leave home for college by hiding out in her room and watching documentaries on Netflix. The only person that has been remotely nice to her outside of her mother is her ex-boyfriend’s brother, Gabe. The guy she cheated on Patrick with. When she starts hanging out with Gabe again, she thinks that things aren’t that bad. But then Patrick comes back and things go to shit all over again.
99 days shouldn’t have been too long to keep it together, Molly. But holy cow, it was.
Molly’s character drove me bat shit crazy throughout this entire book. In the beginning, seeing the way that she was treated and feeling bad for the way things went down, I thought that Molly would make better decisions. I thought she would have learned her lesson that you can’t go around playing with people’s emotions but being young and dumb and completely real, Molly didn’t learn a damn thing. Watching history repeat itself when Patrick comes back to town made me so freaking mad.
It started off with so much promise too. Molly was remorseful for her actions. She never wanted to hurt anyone but shit happens and you live and learn, right?
In the end, I didn’t hate Molly but there were times while I was reading that I thought that I would. Parts of the book where I was so freaking frustrated that I would actually growl out loud. I adored Gabe and the way that he was with Molly. The way that he was mad that she got stuck with the blame for what went down that night. I loved that he was open and honest with Molly from the very beginning and when Patrick came back into the picture, it was Gabe that I felt bad for. It was Gabe that my heart felt for.
I know that Molly learned her lesson in the end but I didn’t really like how she was trying to make what happened the second time around on the two brothers fighting. I felt like she was trying to pass the buck and I wanted her to be genuinely sorry for her actions because a tiny part of me didn’t think she was. Her actions hurt so many more people than just Gabe and Patrick. She hurt Tess and Julia and Colleen. She wasn’t completely to blame for everything but I felt like she was trying not to accept her part in the whole mess and I wasn’t a real big fan of that.
I will say that this book was a compelling read. As frustrated as I got, I never thought to put it down. I never wanted to DNF the story. I just wanted Molly to wake up and stop being such a dummy. Eventually, she gets there but it took some time and I was glad that I finished it but still, she drove me nuts and in the end, I was still kind of low-key mad at her.
Grade: 2 out of 5