Molly Barlow is facing one long, hot summer--99 days--with the boy whose heart she broke and the boy she broke it for . . . his brother.
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that's how I know everyone still remembers everything. She has every right to hate me, of course: I broke Patrick Donnelly's heart the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. 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 wouldn't quit till he got me to come to this party, and I'm surprised to find 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.
Molly is, understandably, nervous about returning to her home town after her mother wrote a very popular book on her tangled love life. I loved Cotugno's first book, it is one of my favourite contemporary love stories ever, so I expected great things from her next novel. And she really did deliver! Molly's complicated love life is the inspiration for her mother's new novel and all of a sudden, the whole town knows how Molly cheated on her boyfriend with his brother. Molly just needs to survive this summer, just 99 days, before she escapes forever to college. But she can't hide from everything.
Told day by day, we see Molly venture into her town, her old life, and get punished for it. It's pretty clear that Molly punishes herself enough but her old friends are quick to pick on her for past mistakes. However, Gabe to the rescue! Gabe, the older brother, was confident and stood up for Molly, and slowly brings her out of her shell again. They seemed to pick up right where they left off when she ran away and they did have feelings for each other but this is no way to start a relationship. Meanwhile Patrick was the wounded one, the jilted one, even though as it turns out, he wasn't exactly perfect either. But they grew up together and naturally came together, but that doesn't mean they're perfect as a couple.
The brothers constantly fight over her and I know she's entangled with both of them but sometimes I wanted Molly to turn them both down! The whole thing is insanely complicated and juicy, as Molly tries to juggle love, work and friends, all the while holding off the hounds after her blood. I knew that this book would break my heart, it was inevitable as soon as Patrick was drawn back in, but it was so damn good! A clever and heart-wrenching story of first loves and discovering yourself. Cotugno is officially on my auto-buy list if all she writes can pull my heartstrings like this!
Published 7th May 2015 by Quercus. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.