April 12, 2015 • Cee • Reviews

katie cotugno - 99 days99 Days by Katie Cotugno 
April 21, 2015
Balzer + Bray
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* E-ARC courtesy of Edelweiss + HarperCollins

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.


I received this book for free from Edelweiss + HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “Julia Donnelly eggs my house the first night I’m back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything. “

This pretty sums up my reading experience of 99 Days—

Day 1: Ready to embrace 99 Days.

Day 25: Totally sucked into this story. Need to know more.


Day 99: Thank god I’m finished with this book. *tosses book away*

99 Days follows Molly Barlow who returns to her hometown for the summer and discovers that her scandal with the Donnelly brothers has not been forgotten or forgiven. She has to deal with the repercussions of her actions as well as an angry Donnelly sister who makes her feelings about Molly very clear by egging her house and whatnot; the two Donnelly brothers who seem to still have feelings for her despite everything that happened; a friend who isn’t there for her (but she really isn’t at fault); a mom Molly refuses to talk to because of her part in the scandal; and a summer job that gives Molly her only sense of peace.

Six Things Molly Should’ve Done, But Didn’t in 99 Days

  • Find better, non-bland dudes as love interests.

Molly has grown up with the Donnelly boys all her life, so she’d naturally gravitate towards them (or as I like to say, she never had a chance). There’s Gabe, the older brother and the social butterfly who has a lot of charisma, and there’s Patrick, the younger brother who’s the quiet one and prefers to hang out at home. Total opposites. (Very cliche.)

Guys, they were so bland like white bread without any spread like butter or jam. How can I like any of them when they didn’t have any personality? They were so boring and horrible and manipulative! One is a boy who always got what he wanted and the other is a boy who’d make you chose between him and your friends. No thanks! I started judging Molly for her poor choice in boys. You can do better, Molly! Trust me.

  • Don’t respond to your ex’s texts.

Molly, I’m looking at you.

It’s pretty much a bad sign when your ex, the one you cheated on, texts you to hang out. Odds are, he is probably up to no good. At times I wanted Molly to question why Patrick acted the way he did because to me, he was acting weirdly. It would’ve saved Molly of another love triangle mess.

  • Ovaries before broveries.

Don’t ditch your friends for dudes. Just don’t. It’s a golden rule in friendship. I’ve been on the receiving end of this (where I had a friend who always put her boyfriend first all the time), and it’s not fun. It’s a really shitty thing to do. You just end up alienating your friends, and that’s what happens to Molly. Because of various reasons, Molly and her best friend Imogen aren’t on the best of terms, which sucks because Molly doesn’t have a support system. And when she does make friends, her actions land her in hot water.

I just wanted more Imogen because she’s such an important part of Molly’s life, but the story doesn’t focus too much on her, which is disappointing. And of course, more of Tess, who is really a sweet character.

  • Don’t ignore your gut instinct.

Always question the intention of exes you scorned. Be suspicious. If you feel like you’re doing something you shouldn’t, stop and assess the situation. If you want to kiss your ex who happens to have a girlfriend, don’t. Worst mistake you can make. Just let it go.

Molly’s instincts are all over the place. What she decides to do can be frustrating too because the results make everything go in circles again and is so contradictory (but very human). I found myself going, “Stop, Molly! That’s how you got into this love triangle mess in the first place!” She will have to deal with her bad decisions again, and she’d be outcast again. I can’t fault Molly for her decisions because her actions are very human. Who wouldn’t want to feel that familiarity of an ex-boyfriend? But it gets really annoying over time.

  • Don’t let Julia push you around.

Put your foot down, Molly! Don’t let Julia Donnelly bully you!

Say no more to being egged or the nasty notes with dirty slut written on it. Gabe, Julia’s older brother, has as much of the blame as Molly. (That’s one of the things that Molly should’ve reminded Julia.) It’s interesting to see the lengths Julia will go to make her feelings about Molly known, but her characterization was a caricature of a mean girl with a hidden secret. I had a hard time believing her as a character, and I wished there was more development of Julia because she would’ve been a wonderful character to delve into.

  • Make a fresh start! 

Well, Molly does do this eventually. (Which wasn’t soon enough for me. It could’ve saved me the trouble of reading this rather pointless book!)

No Donnelly brothers. No love triangle. No judgement for past decisions. No nasty name-calling. Nothing. (But I guess that’s not much of a plot.)


99 Days seemed promising at first, but with a snap of a finger, the story turned boring and didn’t really resolve anything. This book lacked the “so what” factor. Why should I care about these bland characters? Was it entertaining and did it keep me on the edge of my seat? At first. Were they developed well? No. Did the characters make me want to read more about them? Nope. By the end, it just seems like Molly is doomed to repeat this messy love triangle. Yeah, she realizes how shitty of a friend she is, but we don’t really get a resolution with her romance with the Donnelly brothers. We’re just back to square one, which makes me wonder, what’s the point?


4 Responses to “REVIEW | Things Molly Should’ve Done, But Didn’t in 99 Days”

  1. Missie says:

    Sounds like an interesting concept that was not fleshed out well. I think I am going to skip this one.
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. Rachel says:

    This is actually super interesting to me because one of my friends LOVED the book and I was like OH I need to read this one asap!! and obviously you have very different feelings on it. This is the thing I love about books: how people can respond so differently. I’m definitely interested in seeing what I think about it! (btw love the structure of this review!)

  3. tara says:

    i had high hopes for this book. it seemed interesting at first. but the characters were too underdeveloped and the story seemed like just dumb teen drama happening with cursing. patrick’s character was confusing, so was Gabe and Molly was just in the middle of things. i dont like that eveeyone goes their seperate ways at the end of the book. there is no resolution, no part where we learn whom Molly gets with. i personallly hope that Molly ditches both boys, focusses on her career and maybe marrty someone new.

  4. […] The Novel Hermit’s review: “99 Days seemed promising at first, but with a snap of a finger, the story turned boring and didn’t really resolve anything.” […]

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