Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…
Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.
When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.
Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.
I’m not typically one to be disappointed by books, especially when I’ve had success with the author in the past, but this was such a disappointment. Every time I think of this book I sigh deeply. And the funny part is that I really thought I was going to love this book. It sounded like something right up my alley and given my love for Thorne’s first book, The Hating Game, logically this one should’ve made me fall in love, too. But this book is not The Hating Game. It’s nowhere near close to being that book. I’m sure that sounds like I was comparing the two books the whole time but I can assure you I wasn’t. But with the former, Thorne had created characters and a romance that I could really invest myself in and fall in love with over and over again and with this one, I felt literally nothing. Well, that’s not true, I felt a lot of annoyance. What happened, Sally? Really? How could you go from The Hating Game to…whatever this is? Ugh, I’m so disappointed.
- I truly don’t have anything remotely positive to say about this experience, which makes me feel so bad. The bonus epilogue for The Hating Game was probably my highlight of reading this one. And I swear, everything I’d been waiting to feel in the 300+ pages of this whole entire book was accomplished in that 5 page epilogue. That’s how much of a miss this book was for me. So, at least I got to see Lucy and Joshua again. I missed them.
- Honestly, this book started off being pretty good and I saw myself liking it. I liked seeing how Thorne was taking the idea of the alpha male and giving her female lead all of those characteristics instead. It felt like a refreshing change. But, just as you began to see who Darcy really was, everything about her got old really quick. The things that were supposed to make her “cool” and “edgy” turned into the idea that she’s trying too hard to put that facade on, and perhaps that Thorne was trying too hard with her character in general. It felt like she was the epitome of the “not like other girls” trope which is so tiring and I don’t have time for that anymore. I tried so hard to like Darcy but Thorne gave me literally nothing to work with. And then there’s Tom, who appeared to come off as your typical “good guy” but all of a sudden he had this alpha male complex which, to me, came out of nowhere and felt so out of place with everything I’d previously learned of him, which wasn’t much to begin with. It was like Darcy spent half the time telling me what a good guy Tom was but then when some kind of romance started blooming between them, he switched into a grossly protective alpha male, a switch that was as quick as turning on a light, and that was his persona the rest of the book. How that happened, I have no idea. Why that happened, I’m not sure either. But it was like these two were competing to be the most alpha person of this book and it didn’t mesh at all.
- On paper, this book should’ve worked. We had the secret crush trope, the brother’s best friend trope, and a slight second chance romance trope. But did it work? Nope! The biggest reason why this did not work was a) because we were only in Darcy’s POV and therefore only knew what was going on from her side of things and b) this book was only set in the present when it really should’ve had flashbacks to the past. If I’m supposed to believe that these two characters fell in love when they were kids, almost ten years prior to this book’s setting, then don’t you think I should’ve gotten some kind of flashback? I can’t just be told that Darcy and Tom love each other or care or whatever else you wanna say, I need to see it. I want to see how they met, how they interacted over the years, how small moments can be cashed in as love later on. I don’t want to be simply told what happened. The tropes that Thorne attempted to use here heavily rely on flashbacks, and it’s probably one of the only times that I can accept the flips between timelines, but she didn’t use them and therefore her story doesn’t compute. And like, if we get to the end and you have your characters telling each other how the other loves them, supposedly, then we have a problem. Literally, that’s what happened. Tom told Darcy how she loved him, apparently, and then Darcy told Tom how he loved her. What kind of nonsense is that? Additionally, Thorne was really repetitive with her writing in this book, too. Darcy always seemed to think about the same three things (which were apparently Tom, how much she hates her brother, and her heart condition), she and Tom constantly talked in circles, and the plot really went nowhere because we kept talking about the same things over and over. Every time I think of her writing in this book I get so mad because it’s almost like an insult to The Hating Game. I just…how? How did this happen?
- If we’re gonna call this a romance book, I want to see some quality romance. Did I get that? No, no I did not. What I got instead was a set of twins who are weirdly obsessed and possessive over some guy, who isn’t even that great in retrospect, and a guy who’s also possessive about them but loves the girl “just because.” I saw zero chemistry between Darcy and Tom, zero heat, and there was barely any kind of spark. I think seeing how possessive Darcy was over Tom was really what turned me off of this romance because other than that, there’s really nothing between them. But constantly referring to Tom as either hers or her brother’s was super odd and I don’t see how anyone can find that to be healthy. Darcy and Tom claim to know everything about the other, but how am I supposed to know that if I don’t get to see it? I’m told the same basic facts over and over again, particularly how Tom is just a giant piece of man meat, but I don’t know anything about his personality. I know that Darcy has a heart condition and is flakey as hell, but nothing more. I know nothing about these two, nothing about their love or romance, because it was already established by the time I got here. It was like I walked in on a conversation midway through and everyone assumed I knew what they were talking about.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- I have no idea what happened in this book. Maybe the pressure of living up to the success of The Hating Game was too much for Thorne, but what she did with 99 Percent Mine is in no way comparable. It has a slight plot that sounds great on paper, but with such a poor execution and truly one-dimensional characters, there’s no way for you to become attached to this supposed love story. If you liked this book, good for you, but it just wasn’t for me at all.
BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: 99 Percent Mine
Author: Sally Thorne
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Pages: 368 (Paperback)
Until next time,
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