Author: Katie Cotugno
Published: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Categories: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
External Links: Book DepositoryGoodreads

Synopsis: 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?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

Review: When I first saw this book, I was captivated by the cover. It was simple and I have huge fondness over typography. Plus Lil Wayne song with same title keeps popping in my head like an official soundtrack. From the cover I then moved on to read the summary, surprised that it is about a young mother. I didn’t peg the book that it has serious issue to it. So I anticipated that the book it’s not the light and fluffy as opposed the bright and cute cover.

So how to love? I don’t know the how’s though but in this story, Reena was in love with Sawyer who happen to be the father of her daughter Hannah. It was your typical teen romantic rush between them until Sawyer gone ‘poof.’ He left without saying goodbye to her (or so she thought). When he returned he was surprised that she has a daughter and that child was his. But Reena is not letting him in that easily. She is still badly burnt; that she needed to raise their daughter alone and juggling her responsibilities as well. It was tough moving on from there. But it looks like Sawyer is not giving up and it will be hard for her not fall for him…again.

Like I sad in the beginning I didn’t think this one is a light story. Being a parent is a tough role. I salute young people who immediately given the task of raising a child. I’m not even a parent, taking care of my niece and nephew for quite some time is already a difficult job for me so what more to these people who are actually still kids themselves. One word, tough (but commendable). But at the same time they have to owe up to the decisions they made in the past. That’s how I see Reena and while I do find her infuriated most of the time, I get the reason why. But sometimes it was irrational especially the part for Sawyer, who was completely clueless about her condition before he even left. She has responsibility to him as well and shouldn’t have blamed him majority of the time.

How to Love come to me as a story of second chances…in everything. Love. Life. While at first I was sort of confused then slowly got overwhelmed by the pacing (which reverts from after and before). In some vague way, kind of helped me understand the story and how the characters went from this stage to the other. I’m not really fan of non-linear types but I sort of get it why it was necessary to have this story told in this manner. Overall, I was impressed with the characters on how they grow throughout their experience.

I received an eARC from Balzer + Bray Books via Edelweiss. Thank you.

Preview Quote: I’m gonna love you like nobody’s loved you… (from Uncorrected Digital Galley)