Narrator: Allyson Ryan
Published by Harper Audio on April 21st 2015
Genres: Death & Dying, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 8 hrs. 34 mins.
From the acclaimed author of How to Love comes another stunning contemporary novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen.
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 99 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 returns to Star Lake for 99 days of summer, the summer before college. She’s back to the place where she broke the heart of her first love, Patrick, with his brother, Gabe. Returning to this small town after this scandal is hard enough- but since her mother wrote a best-selling book based on this indiscretion, it’s embarrassing on a whole other level.
99 Days is Katie Cotugno’s sophomore novel, and each chapter covers a day in Molly’s summer. I liked Cotugno’s first book How to Love well enough, though not as much as some of my book friends. But when I saw the raves for 99 Days I had to give it a shot. And you know, I found it a really addictive read.
The subject matter – cheating- is hard to stomach, and the protagonist tries your patience by making the same mistake over and over. I liked Molly and wanted her to come through this bad situation okay, though she is frustrating at times.
Returning back to Star Lake is difficult for Molly. Her friends have turned her back on her, and she has to start over. She starts to get back on her feet at her new summer job, though even that is not a safe place from the bullying, and plus her coworker is dating her ex. She starts mending her friendships and dipping her toes into the social scene.
Soon, Molly starts things up with Gabe again, to the chagrin of Gabe’s family. Things get even more sticky when Molly goes running with Patrick on the sly. Is there unfinished business between them or is this all some brotherly rivalry going on? Her life is like a train wreck you can’t look away from.
I feel like this town is really rough on Molly, making her the scapegoat. The author makes a good point about double standards and how the boys aren’t made to suffer at all while Molly is constantly bullied. And wow- can you imagine your mother writing a novel about your love life? Molly can’t even confide in her mother about the bullying or other matters of the heart – what if she wrote another book?
I listened to the audiobook of 99 Days, read by Allyson Ryan, a new-to-me narrator. Ryan has a pleasant voice and sounds age-appropriate for Molly. She also does a good job with the voices of the guys, parents, and other characters. Ryan brings the story to life and conveys the right emotional intensity to the story. This is an audiobook I didn’t want to stop listening to.
99 Days won’t be for everyone, though I think it’s a good summer read that gives you food for thought.
I listened to 99 Days on Scribd. New members can get 3 months free with this promo code: https://www.scribd.com/promo/TheReadingDate (good until 9/21)