99 Days
Goodreads ratings
3.37 / 5

"99 Days" Characters Analysis

By Katie Cotugno

young adult | 384 pages | Published in 2015

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.


Estimated read time: 7 min read

Table of Contents

  1. List of Characters

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Molly BarlowProtagonist
Patrick DonnellyMolly's ex-boyfriend
Gabe RodriguezMolly's childhood friend
Julia DonnellyPatrick's twin sister
Tess DonnellyMolly's former best friend
Zoe BarlowMolly's sister
Evan DonnellyPatrick's older brother
Emily BarlowMolly's mother

Role Identification

In the novel "99 Days" by Katie Cotugno, the main character, Molly Barlow, is a teenager who returns to her hometown for the summer after spending a year away. The story revolves around Molly's relationships with the people in her life, particularly her ex-boyfriend Patrick Donnelly and her childhood friend Gabe Rodriguez. Molly's actions and decisions throughout the book have consequences that affect those around her, leading to a complex web of relationships and conflicts.

Character Descriptions

Molly Barlow

Molly is a complex character who is trying to navigate the aftermath of her past actions. She is described as having long brown hair, hazel eyes, and a slim figure. Molly is intelligent, introspective, and conflicted. She is torn between her feelings for Patrick and her growing connection with Gabe. Molly's emotions often lead her to make impulsive decisions, but she also shows moments of vulnerability and growth.

Patrick Donnelly

Patrick is Molly's ex-boyfriend and the source of much of her guilt and confusion. He is described as having dark hair, blue eyes, and a muscular build. Patrick is charismatic, charming, and has a reputation as a player. Despite their breakup, Patrick still has lingering feelings for Molly, which complicates their interactions throughout the novel.

Gabe Rodriguez

Gabe is Molly's childhood friend who becomes a source of comfort and support for her during her return to town. He is described as having a tall and athletic build, with dark hair and warm brown eyes. Gabe is kind, understanding, and patient. He provides a sense of stability and friendship for Molly as she navigates the challenges she faces.

Julia Donnelly

Julia is Patrick's twin sister and Molly's former best friend. She is described as having long blonde hair and a petite frame. Julia is protective, loyal, and fiercely independent. She struggles with her own feelings towards Molly and her loyalty to her brother, leading to conflicts and tension between the two friends.

Tess Donnelly

Tess is Molly's former best friend and Patrick's younger sister. She is described as having curly red hair and a quirky sense of style. Tess is artistic, creative, and often marches to the beat of her own drum. Despite their fractured friendship, Molly and Tess still share a deep bond and have moments of reconnecting throughout the story.

Zoe Barlow

Zoe is Molly's younger sister and provides comic relief throughout the novel. She is described as having a mischievous smile and a spunky personality. Zoe is witty, outspoken, and always keeps Molly on her toes. Despite their occasional disagreements, Molly and Zoe share a strong sisterly bond.

Evan Donnelly

Evan is Patrick's older brother and plays a minor role in the story. He is described as having a laid-back and easygoing personality. Evan serves as a sounding board for both Patrick and Molly, offering advice and perspective as they navigate their complicated relationship.

Emily Barlow

Emily is Molly and Zoe's mother and plays a minor role in the story. She is described as having a caring and nurturing nature. Emily is supportive of her daughters but also struggles with the consequences of Molly's past actions and the impact it has on their family dynamic.

Character Traits

Character NameTraits
Molly BarlowIntelligent, introspective, conflicted
Patrick DonnellyCharismatic, charming, player
Gabe RodriguezKind, understanding, patient
Julia DonnellyProtective, loyal, independent
Tess DonnellyArtistic, creative, quirky
Zoe BarlowWitty, outspoken, spunky
Evan DonnellyLaid-back, easygoing
Emily BarlowCaring, nurturing

Character Background

Molly Barlow's background is central to the conflicts and relationships in "99 Days." She grew up in the small town of Star Lake and was involved in a love triangle between Patrick Donnelly and Gabe Rodriguez. Molly's actions, which included cheating on Patrick with Gabe, led to a series of events that caused drama and tension within their social circle. After a year away, Molly returns to her hometown, hoping to escape her past and start fresh.

Patrick Donnelly comes from a wealthy family and is known for his athletic prowess and popularity. Gabe Rodriguez, on the other hand, is from a working-class background and shares a deep connection with Molly due to their shared experiences and history. The dynamics between these characters are influenced by their backgrounds and the social expectations placed upon them.

Character Arcs

Throughout "99 Days," the characters experience significant growth and change.

Molly Barlow's character arc is one of self-discovery and learning from her mistakes. She initially feels trapped by her past actions and the judgment of others. However, as the story progresses, Molly begins to find her voice, make amends, and take control of her own narrative.

Patrick Donnelly's character arc revolves around forgiveness and moving on. He starts off angry and hurt by Molly's betrayal but gradually learns to let go of his anger and open himself up to the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Gabe Rodriguez's character arc involves finding his own identity and breaking free from the expectations placed upon him. He starts off as Molly's friend and confidant but develops deeper feelings for her. Gabe must navigate his own desires while also considering the impact his actions may have on their friendship.

Julia Donnelly and Tess Donnelly also experience character arcs as they confront their own feelings of betrayal and loyalty towards Molly. They must decide whether to hold onto their anger or find a way to forgive and rebuild their relationships with Molly.


The relationships in "99 Days" are complex and fraught with tension. Molly's relationship with Patrick is filled with unresolved feelings, anger, and a desire for closure. As Molly spends more time with Gabe, their friendship evolves into a romantic relationship, leading to a love triangle that adds another layer of emotional intensity to the story.

Molly's relationships with Julia and Tess are strained by her past actions, but there are moments of genuine connection and understanding as they all navigate the complexities of forgiveness and loyalty. Molly's relationship with her sister Zoe provides comedic relief and showcases the unconditional love between siblings.

The relationships between these characters are intertwined, with each individual's actions and decisions affecting the others. As the story unfolds, the characters must confront their own biases, grudges, and desires in order to find resolution and acceptance.

In conclusion, the characters in "99 Days" by Katie Cotugno are multi-dimensional and undergo significant growth throughout the story. Their relationships and conflicts drive the narrative, creating a compelling exploration of love, forgiveness, and the complexities of teenage relationships.