(ARC) Review: How to Love by Katie Catugno

Book Title: How to Love
Author: Katie Catugno
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date:  October 13, 2013
Source: ARC from publisher, Thank you!
Rating: 3.5/ 5 stars
Get a copy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble 
Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he's never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated-and pregnant-Reena behind. 

After: Almost three years have passed, and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena's gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she's finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn't want anything to do with him, though she'd be lying if she said Sawyer's being back wasn't stirring something in her. After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

Reena was abandoned by her boyfriend without knowing he got her pregnant. And having religious parents make things worse as it already is. Her parents gave her a hard time. Ever since then, she struggles from acceptance of her family. 

Years have passed, and now shes used to their treatment to her and her situation. She thought of pulling things off but it went the wrong way. When Sawyer, her boyfriend, came back everything falls unexpectedly.

I had mixed feelings with How to LoveI wasn't fully invested into the story, not even with the characters.

Which sucks knowing that a lot of people enjoyed this book. But there's one thing I liked, or perhaps loved, in it. It speaks the truth. I loved that Katie Catugno chose credible main protagonists. They're real teenagers, who ventures out to the real world. It was refreshing yet saddening to think that these teenagers have gone through a lot of trouble because of love. Love is a positive emotion that induces positive feelings, not hurt. Pain and loneliness of raising a child was evident in the book. It felt so real that I was deeply sorry for Reena. 

I had issues with Reena's character. She was the geek, introvert type who is indecisive and a bit dependent. I liked the first two of her personality, the latter I didn't. There were moments in the book that I thought she over reacted on the situation. And sometimes she can be reckless. But throughout the story, she slowly developed into a strong, mature woman who knows how to deal with life.

The development between Reena and Sawyer's relationship was superb! It was well-thought out and it mirrors reality. I didn't know what will happen during Sawyer's unexpected comeback. All I could think that time was "awkward". Cause it really was, when you look at the big picture. But, eventually, they got out of it and had their confessions. Reena was at her best when she's with Sawyer. And that only implies that they are well-suited together. Although, I'm not really a fan of their relationship, I'm happy they got their happy ending.

How to love by Katie Catugno is a book about second chances, redemption and love. It isn't about cute first-loves or adorable couples. It is about feeling real love with the exemption of the pain and hurt.

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