99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Book Review: 99 Days by Katie Contugno

Last Weekend, I impulsively visited Books-A-Million under the pretense of “I’m not going to buy anything.”

I bought two books. One was Matilda, a book I’ve never actually read but need to. It was only a few dollars so hey, why not?

The other was a glossy hardcover; the brand-new release of 99 Days by Katie Cotugno.

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Let me backtrack and tell you that I usually read ebooks or library books. Only rarely do I buy a hardcover book. On the occasion I do buy a hardcover new release, it’s a book I’ve been highly anticipating (for example, I will be buying Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot the moment it is released. I’ve lived too many years now without Mia Thermopolis in my life).  I’ve learned the costs of books can add up quickly.

I have never read Cotugno’s first novel, How to Love, although I have been meaning too for awhile. When I saw 99 Days on the shelf, I was drawn to it. First of all, it’s a beautiful looking book. I skimmed the inside cover and knew it was my kind of book.

What is my kind of book? A book that makes me feel feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of genres and I become engulfed by most books I read, but my favorite kind of books are ones like 99 Days. Books that capture the emotions of love or heartbreak perfectly.

Seriously, look how pretty this book is.

Seriously, look how pretty this book is.

I started reading 99 Days last night and about 25% of the way in, I sighed because I knew I wasn’t falling asleep until I finished it.  The narrator, Molly, makes terrible decisions in the most relatable ways. She’s recovering from a breakup with her first love,  Patrick, the same summer she is falling in love with another guy, Gabe. Here’s the thing: Gabe is Patrick’s older brother.

99 days is a story with very real emotions and is written in a way where I definitely felt feelings.  This may not be everyone’s favorite kind of book, but it’s mine. I’m anxious to read Cotugno’s How to Love and literally anything else she puts on paper (I read half her blog posts after I finished the book at 2 AM).

Worth the Read!

Worth the Read!

If stories of love and heartbreak are your thing too, then read this book. I could not recommend it more highly.

Book Review of Young Adult Novel, Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Book Review: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls, by Lauren Oliver (an author I adore), has haunted me ever since I finished it. Told from multiple points of view, Vanishing Girls is the story of two teenage sisters, Dara and Nick, who are struggling to heal themselves and their relationship after a car accident critically injures Dara.

While the two sisters were previously inseparable, when Nick returns home a year after the accident, she discovers Dara is no longer speaking to her. In addition, her mother is an emotional, over-protective mess, and both sisters are still struggling with the divorce of their parents. Meanwhile, a young girl goes missing nearby and the family becomes enthralled with the case.

To avoid giving away any major plot details, I’ll end the summary and instead tell you why I think you should read Vanishing Girls. 

Reasons To Read:

  1.  Unreliable narrator. Nick suffers from memory loss as a result of the car accident and struggles to remember the day of the crash. I don’t know about you, but I love a story-teller I can’t quite trust.
  2. It’s chilling, thrilling, and dark. There are portions of the story so suspenseful I actually found myself speed-reading to finish.
  3. Pictures! Not enough to be a graphic novel by any means, just a few black-and-white’s sprinkled throughout the book depicting the sister’s flashbacks. It’s a nice touch.
  4. Summertime setting. Relive your teen summer jobs, like Nick’s at the local amusement park, as well as your teenage summer romances.
  5. Superbly written. Oliver can sure craft a mean phrase.
  6. There’s a boy.
  7. It’s a heartfelt sister-story. Vanishing Girls captures the dynamics of a sister relationship. I don’t have any sisters, just an older brother, so a peak into the relationship of sisters is incredibly interesting to me.

It reminded me of another piece that gave me a peek into another sibling experience I’ll never have: being a twin. Made by Emma Hanewinckel (twin to Sara Hanewinckel), this clip will give you glimpse of twin life just as Vanishing Girls gives a glimpse of sister life.

Let me know if you end up reading the novel and you agree or disagree with my thoughts! Also, feel free to shower Emma with phrase about the video she made in the comments.

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J Watson

First Edition Cover

First Edition Cover

“You should read this book I just finished, ” my mom said to me, sometime in 2013. “I just couldn’t stop reading it.”

My mother has also recommended books to me that involve Jesus as the protagonist that aren’t the bible. Needless to say, I was skeptical.

A year later she checked out the audiobook out from the library and gave it to me. “Listen to it on your drive back to school! You won’t be able to stop!”

I had every intention of actually listening to it, but I did not. It wasn’t until two days ago in 2015 that I actually read S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, and as promised once I started, I could not stop.

Here’s why you should read this “psychological thriller” (Disclaimer: I’m only 70% sure I’m using that term correctly).

1. It’s a quick read. You really can’t put it down. Sorry for the skepticism, Mom.

2. This book features memory loss a la Fifty First Dates with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. At this beginning of the book, I would have listed this as a down side. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of anything Barrymore/Sandler, but I wasn’t sure how it would play out in first person narrative. However, this ends up being one of the selling points of the novel. You are so consumed with the story you end up wondering how terrifying it would be to go to sleep each night knowing you’d lose the precious memories gained that day.

Also, as a Psych major, the element of such a rare form of memory loss is fascinating.

3) The entire time you read the novel, Watson instills in you the thought that something isn’t quite right here. As a self-proclaimed smarty-pants, I assumed I’d be able to solve the mystery immediately. Wrong. Every instance where I was convinced I’d figured the plot out, I was wrong. This is an immeasurable quality in a book.

This book is definitely worth your time. Here’s the Amazon link:


Recently, Before I Go to Sleep was released as a movie. I haven’t seen it yet, but if you have please comment and let me know how it was!