Here’s (a little bit less) than 99 reasons you should read this book.
99 Days by Katie Cotugno follows Molly, a recent boarding school graduate, who returns to her hometown for 99 days before she heads off to college. Molly, however, isn’t in for an easy summer. When she ran off the previous fall, she left a mess behind when her mother published a book based on her real-life love triangle between two brothers in her hometown.
I’ve recently seen a lot of reviews for book by Katie Cotugno pop on Booktube. Even though many of the reviews I watched seemed more mixed and negative than positive, they seemed like the perfect summer contemporary reads so I requested a few of her books from my local library. Much to my surprise, I had a fun time reading 99 Days and can see myself picking up another book by this author in the future.
The best way that I can describe 99 Days is that it is perfect for fans of the Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han. Similar to the summer trilogy, Molly was friends with a family for her entire life and then she gets caught up in a love triangle with two of the brothers. Patrick, her original boyfriend, is very similar to the moody Conrad, while Gabe is more of the light-hearted Jeremiah. Meanwhile, the main character Molly is very similar to Belly in the way that she makes many decisions that make you face palm, but understand because she genuinely acts like a teenager. Without giving away any spoilers, I actually enjoyed this book slightly more than the summer trilogy because it feels like it does point out some issues particularly with one of the relationships.
As for the messages in the book, I think it tried to spread a good message, but wasn’t necessarily successful in doing so. This book really tried to show the double standard in relationships mistakes between men and women. Molly receives a lot of hate throughout this book, while the male involved receives none at all. I appreciated how this double standard was called out in the book. I also really appreciated Patrick’s current girlfriend who went against the “crazy pretty girlfriend” stereotype by befriending Molly, pointing out the double standard people use against Molly, but also standing her ground when Molly completely disrespects her. That being said, there’s a lot of drama that distracts readers from these messages.
I think the largest problem people will have with this book is the drama created by the characters. The majority of the characters in this book knowingly and intentionally make choices that hurt many people without feeling any sense of regret. As a result, they continue to make those choices repeatedly and get upset when people call them out on their choices. As a result, there’s a lot of potential in the relationships (Molly and Patrick, Molly and Gabe, Molly and her mother, etc.), but they don’t really moved forward throughout the course of the novel. Although I want to see how this story ends (there is a sequel), I also don’t want to sit through the same old drama when I can pretty much guess how the story will end.
Overall, 99 Days is a quick summer read that love triangle lovers will really enjoy. While this isn’t my favorite YA contemporary, I’ve read others that I have enjoyed less. I give 99 Days three out of five stars.