Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. 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 got me to come to this party, and 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.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this book. I am so conflicted and confused that I don’t think I’ll be giving the book enough justice.
The book was written well. I couldn’t put it down. I literally burned the book as I read it for like four hours straight. It was that good!
The book is about a Molly Barlow who’s life became all sorts of complicated when she cheated on her boyfriend, Patrick, with his brother, Gabe.
There’s definitely more into this book, I just suck at giving out summaries.
“I don’t know how I became this person, one of those girls with a lot of drama around her.”
The main issue I have about this book? The story itself. Reading the synopsis, I didn’t really pick up that this will be totally about a love triangle. It’s not like I hate love triangles, it’s just that I tend to avoid them because it’s so confusing and I end up irritated with everyone. Well, I was a bit irritated with the characters of this book BUT something good came out of it. I’m also one with the person in the middle of the triangle that I end up confused as to whom to pick. I think I was pretty traumatized by the Shatter Me Trilogy when it comes to love triangles. One minute I was rooting for Patrick, the other for Gabe. Like Molly, I couldn’t make up my mind which brother to pick, until the story progressed and everything cleared out.
I wasn’t a big fan of Molly’s character. She’s pretty much stubborn, I guess. She’s had a rough relationship with her Mom, which is pretty much understandable as she’s one of the catalysts on how her life became complicated. I sympathized with her though, because it was pretty clear that she’s really sincere into building back the relationships that got destroyed in the process.
“It occurs to me, not for the first time, that you can never really know what anybody’s got hidden in the back of her secret heart.”
Gabe and Patrick were really confusing. Okay, at first I was rooting for Patrick because well, Molly cheated on him with Gabe so the latter was on my bad side definitely, but as I read through the book, I found myself liking Gabe more than Patrick because Patrick could really be an asshole most of the time. Gabe on the other hand was very straightforward with his feelings towards Molly. Although, that was practically breaking the bro code, it just seemed like he was acting out on it just because his feelings were real.
Another thing, the slutshaming (which I loathe with all of my pure soul) is present in this book, but Katie Cotugno’s writing was effective enough to make resolutions for it. It’s a great thing that she made it to a point that the main character stands up to it because honestly, that issue is quite hot when it comes to teens in high school. It was a great lesson to be picked up in the novel.
“You know what you gotta decide when you’re a writer?” she asks when I’m standing…
“Which stories to tie up at the ending, Molly,” she tells me. “And which ones you have to let go.”
Surprisingly, I found myself inexplicably drawn into the book, although I pointed out earlier that I kinda had a problem with the plot itself which was confusing as fuck. Haha! I would never imagine myself reading a book about cheating and complicated relationships but hey, I finished this book in hours. I guess, it was because reading this book gave me a clear view and understanding when it comes to this kind of relationship which, let’s all admit it, really happens in real life. It’s a great wake-up call and eye-opener, I’d say that was presented well in a young adult novel.