Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Merrit Hicks (Narrator)
Audiobook, Duration: 10:01:46
Published October 1st, 2013 by HarperCollins
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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 life 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.

My thoughts…

I needed an audiobook to listen to while cleaning house and happen to come across this wonderful book that I knew nothing about. I wasn't sure what to expect but, what I got was wonderful! This book is filled with angst, heartbreak, sweetness and love.

Reena becomes pregnant with Sawyer’s baby and before she has a chance to tell him about the pregnancy, he leaves town. Renna has a difficult time adjusting to her new life raising Hannah. After graduation Reena was looking forward to leaving her small Florida town, going to college and then travel to all the places she dreamed about. Reena also comes from a devoted Catholic family with strong beliefs, her father has been treating her differently since he found out about her pregnancy.

“I think of how it felt to lose him, slow and painful and confusing, and how it felt to wonder if I'd ever really had him at all.”
Katie Cotugno, How to Love

Meanwhile, Sawyer has left town to work on himself. He didn’t like the person he was becoming using drugs and drinking. Sawyer travels and goes where he likes, he doesn’t have any contact with his parents or Reena while he is gone. He eventually checks himself into a rehab clinic to get the help he needs. In the beginning I had a huge problem with Sawyer, he was manipulative and didn’t consider Reena’s feelings. She was there for him, but he wasn’t never there for her.  

Everything has become routine for Reena until the day Sawyer comes home and declares that he’s there to stay. Sawyer is surprised to learn he has a daughter with Reena. Now Reena must work through her feelings both past and present to determine her and Hannah’s future.

This was a pretty emotional read, I really felt for Reena having to deal with her father’s resentment and Sawyer’s mothers dislike for her. I really liked Reena and how she handled the situations she found herself in. She was able to work through her feelings about Sawyer and not deny him spending time with Hannah, even though her hurt her in the past. Reena was such a good mother, always caring for Hannah’s needs first.

The story is told by each chapter going from present day to the past. I felt that the story was very realistic and being Catholic myself I can understand her father’s disappointment about premarital sex and unwed mothers. This book has serious topics of teen pregnancy, drug abuse, toxic relationships, family relationships, religious beliefs and death. It’s also a story about love, mistakes, and forgiveness.

“Nothing about you, my dear, has ever been lost on me.”
Katie Cotugno, How to Love
Happy Reading -J 


  1. Wow. This sounds like it would be pretty emotional to listen to. I couldn't imagine all the turmoil that these characters went through. Sounds like it was a good find. Love it when that happens.

    1. It was emotional, I teared up a couple of times. I blamed the tears on the cleaning products I was using ;) Have a great day Kristin.