Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A young woman returns to her hometown for the summer and is confronted with the fallout from a love triangle she was involved in the year before.


In "99 Days" by Katie Cotugno, readers are taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as they follow the tumultuous journey of Molly Barlow, a teenager who returns to her hometown for the summer after a scandalous affair with the son of her mother's best friend. The book explores themes of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery, making it a captivating and thought-provoking read.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set in a small town called Star Lake, where Molly Barlow's life takes an unexpected turn when she is caught in a love triangle involving her boyfriend, Patrick Donnelly, and his twin brother, Gabe. The scandalous affair becomes public knowledge, and Molly's reputation is tarnished. In an attempt to escape the judgment and shame, Molly leaves town and spends the next 99 days away from Star Lake.

However, her mother's book, which is loosely based on Molly's story, becomes a bestseller, thrusting her back into the spotlight. Molly is forced to return to Star Lake for the summer before she heads off to college. As she navigates her way through the 99 days, she encounters friends, enemies, and former lovers, all of whom have their own opinions and judgments about her.

Main Characters

Molly BarlowThe protagonist of the story, Molly is a complex and relatable teenager who is dealing with the consequences of her past actions. She struggles with guilt, shame, and a desire to be accepted and loved.
Patrick DonnellyMolly's ex-boyfriend, Patrick is torn between his feelings for Molly and his loyalty to his twin brother, Gabe. He is conflicted and often makes impulsive decisions.
Gabe DonnellyPatrick's twin brother, Gabe is charismatic and mysterious. He is known for his reckless behavior and has a complicated relationship with Molly.

Summary of Different Story Points over Chapters

Chapter 1-10: Returning to Star Lake

Molly reluctantly returns to Star Lake for the summer, facing the judgment and gossip of the townspeople. She reconnects with her childhood friend, Tess, and is haunted by memories of her past relationship with Patrick and Gabe. Molly tries to navigate her way through the complicated dynamics of her relationships with both brothers.

Chapter 11-20: The Arrival of Julia

Julia, a girl from Molly's past, returns to Star Lake and causes tension between Molly and Patrick. Molly becomes jealous and tries to win back Patrick's affection. She also starts to question her feelings for Gabe.

Chapter 21-30: Secrets Unveiled

Molly's mother reveals a shocking secret about Molly's past, which adds another layer of complexity to the story. Molly must confront her past mistakes and face the consequences of her actions.

Chapter 31-40: Forgiveness and Redemption

Molly begins to repair her relationships with both Patrick and Gabe, realizing that forgiveness is a key component of moving forward. She learns to forgive herself and others, leading to personal growth and self-discovery.

Chapter 41-50: The Final Countdown

As Molly's departure date for college approaches, she must make difficult decisions about her future. She confronts her feelings for both Patrick and Gabe, ultimately choosing her own happiness and independence.

Main Events

  1. Molly's return to Star Lake and the rekindling of old relationships.
  2. The arrival of Julia, causing tension between Molly, Patrick, and Gabe.
  3. Molly's mother's shocking revelation and its impact on Molly's relationships.
  4. Molly's journey of forgiveness and redemption.
  5. Molly's decision about her future and the resolution of her relationships.

Themes and Insights

Forgiveness and Redemption

"99 Days" explores the theme of forgiveness and redemption, highlighting the importance of accepting one's past mistakes and moving forward. Molly's journey is a testament to the transformative power of forgiveness, both for oneself and others.

Self-Discovery and Independence

Throughout the book, Molly undergoes a process of self-discovery, learning to prioritize her own happiness and independence. She navigates her relationships and confronts societal expectations, ultimately choosing her own path and embracing her true self.

Judgement and Perception

The novel also delves into the theme of judgment and perception, illustrating how society's opinions can shape an individual's identity. Molly's struggle with the town's perception of her highlights the damaging effects of gossip and prejudice.

Reader's Takeaway

"99 Days" is a captivating and emotionally charged novel that explores the complexities of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery. Through Molly's journey, readers are reminded of the power of forgiveness, the importance of embracing one's true self, and the damaging effects of judgment and societal expectations.


Katie Cotugno's "99 Days" is a beautifully written coming-of-age novel that delves into the complexities of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery. With relatable characters and a compelling plot, the book offers readers a thought-provoking exploration of the human experience. Whether you are a fan of young adult fiction or simply enjoy a heartfelt and engaging story, "99 Days" is a must-read that will leave you contemplating the power of forgiveness and the importance of staying true to oneself.

99 Days FAQ

  1. What is '99 Days' about?

    '99 Days' is a contemporary young adult novel that follows the story of Molly Barlow, who returns to her hometown for the summer after a scandalous affair with her boyfriend's brother. The book explores themes of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery.

  2. Who is the author of '99 Days'?

    '99 Days' is written by Katie Cotugno.

  3. Is '99 Days' part of a series?

    No, '99 Days' is a standalone novel.

  4. What genre does '99 Days' fall into?

    '99 Days' is categorized as contemporary young adult fiction.

  5. Is '99 Days' suitable for all age groups?

    While '99 Days' is primarily targeted towards young adult readers, it can be enjoyed by readers of various age groups who are interested in coming-of-age stories and contemporary romance.

  6. Are there any trigger warnings for '99 Days'?

    Yes, '99 Days' contains themes of infidelity, betrayal, and complex relationships. Some readers may find these themes triggering or uncomfortable.

  7. What are some similar books to '99 Days'?

    If you enjoyed '99 Days', you might also enjoy books like 'The Summer I Turned Pretty' by Jenny Han, 'The DUFF' by Kody Keplinger, and 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' by Jenny Han.

  8. Can I read '99 Days' as a standalone or do I need to read other books in a series first?

    '99 Days' can be read as a standalone novel. You do not need to read any other books before diving into this story.

  9. Is '99 Days' a romance novel?

    Yes, '99 Days' has elements of romance, as it explores the complicated relationships and love interests of the main character.

  10. Where can I purchase '99 Days'?

    '99 Days' is available for purchase at most major book retailers, both online and in physical stores. It can be found on platforms like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository.