Book 26: 99 Days, Katie Cotugno

Curiousity seeped through me when I saw the title of this book. Why 99 Days? Is the number of days left for the story’s character to live? Or the duration of the characters’ love affair perhaps? Forgive me, I didn’t read the blurb since I found my copy online, intending to buy the physical book once I’ve got the chance to drop by the bookstore. But after reading it, this intention has been swept away.

What is it about? Molly Barlow went back to Star Lake for the summer. The town where she has a reputation, and labeled a dirty slut. In all fairness, she didn’t really sleep around with different boys. Just with one guy, Gabe Donnelly, who happens to be the older brother of her boyfriend since birth, Patrick. Imagine just how sick is that! There’s a big chunk in the book where Molly constantly compares the two, which I think is totally unfair even for brothers, and it appears that Patrick is this soft-spoken, aloof type of guy, as opposed to the loud, happy-go-lucky that is Gabe. So Patrick didn’t want her go to Arizona for college. Patrick breaks up with her. Patrick prefers to be alone with her that to mingle with their friends on a Saturday night. I still don’t think these things give her enough ticket to sleep with Patrick’s big brother. Actually, nothing gives her the ticket to do that kind of betrayal. And to make matters worse, her mom, who’s an author, wrote a book based on this tangled young love affair, disclosing the mess into the world. Now, everybody in town hates her, for screwing the brothers, especially Julia, Donnelly’s youngest, and her bestfriend from childhood. Now that she’s back for the summer, Molly finds herself alone, rejected and totally unwanted. That is until he bumped off into Gabe once again, she ended up going out with him. And just when she thought everything’s falling into place, with Gabe by her side and some newfound friends, here comes Patrick, who doesn’t seem to be getting over what happened. Now Molly’s torn between the brothers again, and this time, it’s the other way around.

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Betrayal at its finest. Until now, I still feel this ire towards Molly. If she isn’t a fictitious character, I might be one of those who’d throw rotten eggs in her window. I mean, what the heck? What was she thinking, screwing up those brothers? It’s just totally unacceptable. Okay, maybe it’s not entirely her fault. Gabe was fully aware since the beginning that Molly is his brother’s girlfriend. Couldn’t he just contain his feelings? Couldn’t he just get over it and look for someone else? It’s a foul move, not totally cool. And Molly allowed it to happen. Whatever reason they may have for doing it so, it will never be enough. I personally believe there’s no such thing as valid excuse for breach of trust. A year later, Molly’s back in town for the summer. Some people are supposed to have gotten over it, but apparently, they just didn’t. Especially those who were involved. I feel very emphatic for Patrick – he was the victim the first time around. But him coming to Molly despite his awareness of what’s going on between her and his brother, not to mention Tess, her girlfriend who happens to be Molly’s newfound friend, wow! Just wow! And there’s Molly, allowing everything to happen, seemingly glad to sneak behind Gabe’s and Tess’s back. In the end, I cannot blame the people for labeling her dirty slut for that matter.

History doesn’t repeat itself. People does. Patrick must have been disheartened big time, for what he’d been gone through. It wasn’t clear why he moved behind Gabe’s back – does he really still love Molly? It could be that he wanted so bad to win her back. It’s also possible that he just wanted to get even with Gabe, or maybe with Molly, too, which is too harsh, I think. No matter what the reason was, clearly, Patrick’s move appears to be a retaliation of what was done to him. The sad part is, he was being unfair to Tess as she falls on the rebound.

It took me days to finish reading 99 Days. I don’t know if I should recommend this, because I personally didn’t enjoy it. Cheaters and liars are my least favorite type of people, but then, whose favorite are they, right? The ending of the story is fine, though, just the way it should be. There really are things that can no longer be repaired. In the end, we just all have to move on and accept the fact that life happens, and leave the bad things behind.

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