99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on January 29th, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
“Maybe he’s 1 percent mine. That has to be enough.”
This is my first Sally Thorne book. I know several friends who loved The Hating Game and were eagerly waiting for 99 Percent Mine to have the same magic. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get the hype for Thorne’s work. At least not for this book.
99 Percent Mine follows Darcy Barrett who’s had a crush on her neighbour and her brother’s best friend, Tom Valeska, since they first met when she was eight years old. Unfortunately, since Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw Tom first, he technically claimed Tom first. Therefore, Tom is 99 percent Jamie’s and only one percent Darcy’s.
Darcy and Jamie’s grandmother, Loretta, passes away. She left her cottage for Jamie and Darcy with instructions on how it must be restored and then sold. Tom decides to do the renovation and that’s when Darcy and Tom reconnect. And, well, you know. It’s a romance novel, after all!
I’ll start off with what I didn’t like about the book. I was immediately thrown off by the words coming out of Darcy’s mouth. She spoke like Lorelai Gilmore if she was abrasive all the time. Not only that, the dialogue and constant back and forth felt awkward. I understand the dialogue worked for The Hating Game, but it seems to feel out of place here.
Tom and Darcy aren’t supposed to be at each other’s throats. They like each other and are dancing around their feelings all the time. There really shouldn’t be that kind of dynamic between the two. At least not the way it’s set up by the author given the characters’ background.
The second thing I didn’t enjoy was the author’s writing style. At least some of it. Thorne seems to write like everything needs to be said in one breath. She never gives the words time to breathe and settle. There’s absolutely no transition, which is why I was sometimes so confused while reading it. It feels like there’s never any connection between Darcy’s thoughts.
But that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this book at all. It’s a really cute premise and it dealt with some classic romance tropes in a way that was refreshing. I will say that Thorne has some great lines in the book. There are some very rich descriptions that are fabulous. I especially love the way Darcy describes Tom hair.
I can never decide if Tom’s hair is the color of caramel fudge or chocolate. Either way, yum. The texture is like a romance novel that’s fallen into the bath, then dried: vaguely sexual crinkle waves with the occasional curled edge and dog-ear. I want to jam my hand in it and make a gentle fist.
The book is filled with gems like that. Here’s another that I particularly found hilarious:
His torso looks like a pack of chocolate, with the squares visible through the wrapper. You know how chocolate has that matte-glossy texture? That’s his skin. I want to scrape across him with my fingernails. I want to start my weekly Halloween binge.
In the end, this was a miss for me. I think there are other fantastic contemporary romances out there that hit the mark.
I didn’t particularly like any of the characters. None of them acted like adults and grew to be very annoying throughout the book.
I didn’t even support the relationship. And that’s not a great sign for a romance novel. It seemed silly the way both of them never addressed their feelings in a mature way.
I’m definitely not done with Thorne’s work. It seems like the overall consensus is that The Hating Game is better so I’ll definitely check that one out. I’m just a bit disappointed in this after reading the wonderful The Bride Test by Helen Hoang, which I loved. Go check out that book instead!