Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Teen review: Realistic fiction

Katie Cotugno's How to Love is a young adult novel based on an intellectual but naïve girl named Reena. Once she loses her best and only friend, her already good school grades become even better and she is permitted to graduate high school a year early and attend her dream college at just age 16.

However: her father's godson (and dead best friend's old boyfriend) keeps coming into her life and distracting her from her dreams. Once she finds out about the inevitable consequences of being careless with a boy, he's gone and probably won't come back. Eighteen years old, already with her precious baby, Hannah, she abruptly finds he's back in town and is causing tumult in her settled emotions.

Each chapter alternates between before and after, and I could not help but think of John Green's Looking for Alaska because of how it is split almost the same way. This was the reason I was originally drawn to the book, because it intrigued me in the same way. This particular story, in spite of the few similarities to one of my favorites, did not live up to what I thought it would be. It was lacking thematically, and Reena's irrational actions made me dislike her character motivation. Her brilliance is lost throughout the story as her imprudent behavior changes who she really is. I believe after what Reena has been through, she deserves more of a character development than she was given by Cotugno. I could not get into the story and I found it difficult to continue reading all 389 pages.

Despite the bothersome traits to the story, I would give it a 3/5 and might recommend the story to anyone who is willing to ignore that for the well written story and acceptably organized plot.

Reviewed by Amy Sepulveda

Editor's note: A book with a similar theme is Pregnant Pause, by Han Nolan

No comments:

Post a Comment