ARC review: 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

 

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Source: ARC via Edelweiss

Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

… If Darcy Barrett hadn’t met her dream man when she was eight years old, the rest of the male population wouldn’t be such a let-down. No one measures up to Tom Valeska, aka the best man on Earth, not in looks, brain or heart. Even worse is the knowledge that her twin brother Jamie saw him first, and claimed him forever as his best friend.

Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. One percent of Tom has had to be enough for Darcy, and her adoration has been sustained by his shy kindness. And if she’s honest, his tight t-shirts.

Now Darcy’s got three months left to get her life together before her twin insists on selling the tumble-down cottage they inherited from their grandmother. By night, she’s working in a seedy bar, shooting down lame pickups from bikers. By day, she’s sewing underwear for her best friend and wasting her award-winning photography skills on website shots of pens and novelty mugs. She’s enjoying living the messy life, and a glass of wine or ten… until that one night, when she finds a six-foot-six perfect package on her porch.

Tom’s here, he’s bearing power tools—and he’s single for the first time in a decade.

As a house flipper extraordinaire, Tom has been dispatched by Jamie to give the cottage a drastic facelift that will result in a ton of cash. Darcy doesn’t appreciate Tom’s unsentimental approach to knocking down walls, and he really, really doesn’t approve of her current burnout boyfriend. They can’t be in the same room together without sparks flying- and it’s not the faulty wiring. One bedroom wall separates them at night, and even that’s looking flimsy.

Will Tom ever see Darcy as anything other than a little-sister obstacle to get around? And can she stand up to her most formidable opponent—her twin? This time around, she’s determined to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers, and he’s never managed to say no to her yet…

Let me just start off by saying that I’m pretty sure I have a reputation for being that person who constantly recommends The Hating Game to literally everyone (it’s pretty much my favorite book ever), so would anyone be surprised to find out that 99 Percent Mine was my most anticipated adult release of 2019? It’s doubtful. The second thing that I want to say is that I never, ever get approved for anything on Edelweiss and I almost cried when I got the email that I’d been approved for this book, so thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now, all of that said, I have to say that while I enjoyed 99 Percent Mine, I was a little bit disappointed. I went in expecting to have found my new favorite book, and that was my fault. I really should know better than to hype up books so much in my mind.

I don’t think that there’s anything necessarily wrong with this book. There were a lot of things to like: longtime friends-to-lovers, off-the-charts sexual tension, actual communication, characters who aren’t shy about their faults, lovable secondary characters, a whole subplot about underwear… I could go on. I love Sally Thorne’s writing style and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t fall in love with both Darcy and Tom. But there were a couple things that I just couldn’t get over that were problems for me personally, and again, not necessarily actual problems with the book.

The first was the constant back-and-forth between Darcy and Tom. This is so common in romance novels and I don’t normally have a problem with it, but I felt like it went on for so long in this book. Darcy and Tom were, in all other ways, so mature and they communicated so well, but the perpetual “should we or shouldn’t we” kind of drove me crazy.

The other thing that I didn’t love is that I never felt like we really got to know Tom that well. Sure, he’s perfect, Darcy loves him, he’s the best man on the planet… but aside from that, who is he actually? Everything we know about Tom has been said by another character and we very rarely get to see him in action.

In the end, I think it’s fair to give this book three stars. It kind of hurts me to rate it that low, but I also don’t want to fluff my rating just because Sally Thorne is one of my favorite authors. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to romance fans, but don’t go in expecting another Hating Game.


Have you read 99 Percent Mine? What’s your most anticipated release for 2019?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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Book review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Source: Purchased
Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman serve as executive assistants to the co-CEOs of a publishing house. The two are mortal enemies, dedicating time each day to throwing each other off their game, getting under each other’s skin, and trying to get each other to crack.  Their conversations are sometimes outright rude and other times layered under several levels of false sincerity.  Messing with each other is the best part of their day… but what does that mean?

I finally did it.  I gave in and bought this book.  I said to myself, “I want to end 2017 on a good note. This has to be my last book of the year,” and so it was.  I get the hype.  I enjoyed The Hating Game a lot.  There are a lot of things to love in this book, but my favorite was definitely the banter.  I love banter, and Sally Thorne, in her debut novel, has absolutely mastered it.

“So painting your nails tonight, desperately alone?”
Lucky guess on his part?
“Yes. Masturbating and crying into your pillow, Doctor Joshua?” He looks at the top button of my shirt.
“Yes. And don’t call me that.”

Josh is so obviously in love with Lucy and she is blissfully oblivious.  Everybody knows it – their coworkers, their bosses, everybody.  This is one of my absolute favorite tropes.  I love the pining from afar.  I love it when someone misinterprets eyes darkening in lust for eyes darkening in anger. The best part is that Josh isn’t even subtle. He flat-out tells her several times, as part of their daily banter, that he’s attracted to her.  Lucy just assumes that he’s messing with her because that’s what they do.

“You guys have a weird dynamic going on.”
“There’s no dynamic. No dynamic.” I begin swigging at my coffee. It’s too hot and a terrible idea.
“But you know he’s in love with you, right?”
I inhale my huge mouthful and being to drown on dry land.

This book was just so much fun. It’s funny and swoony and the sexual tension gets so extreme that these characters just brushing against each other is enough to raise your heart rate.  I had the biggest smile on my face while I read this book and I cannot wait to see what Sally Thorne comes up with next.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I planned to read but never got to

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!  Today is all about books you planned on reading, but never quite got to.  There were a ton of new releases I planned on reading in 2016 – 61 total.  Of those, I read 32, but that still leaves a whole 29 that I didn’t!  Choosing the ten that I was most excited about was difficult, but here they are.

As always, Goodreads links below:

// if i was your girl // idol // the loose ends list // the geek’s guide to unrequited love // the hating game // morning star // holding up the universe // the passion of dolssa // draw the line // the inside of out //

Are there any books that you didn’t get to in 2016?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I wouldn’t mind Santa leaving under my tree

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!  Today’s theme is Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree.  Well, there are a lot of books I wouldn’t mind finding on Christmas morning, but here are ten near the top of my list.  (I tried to avoid books I’ve recently posted about.)

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

It’s a summer for first love, last wishes, and letting go.

Maddie has big plans to spend the last months before college tying up high school “loose ends” alongside her best friends. Then her beloved grandmother drops two bombshells: (1) Gram is dying. (2) She’s taking her entire family on a round-the-world cruise of dreams come true—but at the end, Gram won’t be returning home.

With a promise to live in the now without regrets, Maddie boards the Wishwell determined to make every moment count. She finds new friends in her fellow Wishwellians, takes advantage of the trip’s many luxuries, gets even closer to her quirky family, and falls for painfully gorgeous Enzo. But despite the copious laughter, headiness of first love, and wonder of the glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram, and she struggles to find the strength to let go in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, grief, and laughter.

A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody

When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true…

Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

From the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.

Draw the Line by Laurent Linn

Adrian Piper is used to blending into the background. He may be a talented artist, a sci-fi geek, and gay, but at his Texas high school those traits only bring him the worst kind of attention.

In fact, the only place he feels free to express himself is at his drawing table, crafting a secret world through his own Renaissance art-inspired superhero, Graphite.

But in real life, when a shocking hate crime flips his world upside-down, Adrian must decide what kind of person he wants to be. Maybe it’s time to not be so invisible after all—no matter how dangerous the risk.

Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler

What happens when the person you’re becoming isn’t the one your family wants you to be?

When Aaron Hartzler was little, he couldn’t wait for the The Rapture: that moment when Jesus would come down from the clouds to whisk him and his family up to heaven. But as he turns sixteen, Aaron grows more curious about all the things his family forsakes for the Lord. He begins to realize he doesn’t want Jesus to come back just yet—not before he has his first kiss, sees his first movie, or stars in the school play.

Whether he’s sneaking out, making out, or playing hymns with a hangover, Aaron learns a few lessons that can’t be found in the Bible. He discovers that the girl of your dreams can just as easily be the boy of your dreams, and the tricky part about believing is that no one can do it for you.

In this funny and heartfelt coming-of-age memoir, debut author Aaron Hartzler recalls his teenage journey from devoted to doubtful, and the search to find his own truth without losing the fundamentalist family who loves him.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

     Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Misha

I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

F*ck it. I need to meet her.

I just don’t expect to hate what I find.

Ryen

He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

What books are you hoping for this holiday season?