99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne fulfilled the “Book with Flora or Fauna in
the Title” for the PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge. This was not my first
choice for the prompt. I had about a dozen. Greg Bear (sci-fi), Sherryl Woods
(romance), Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility) to name a few. In the end, I
read the Sally Thorne as it had been on my To-Be-Read pile for a long time.
(And I wasn’t ready to read White Fragility yet. I plan to for next year’s
challenge. I’m hoping to change my behavior for the better. But I digress.)
99 Percent Mine is the second book by Sally
Thorne. Her first, The Hating Game, is one of the best romances I’ve ever read. I loved it
from beginning to end. I’m not sure what to do with her second title.
I had some issues with the book right away. But it
was hot. Like smoking hot. Like a cold shower in the afternoon hot. The novel starred
a Latino hero. I’ve
been crushing on a certain Latino actor from a Netflix show for months now. Guess
who I saw as the hero? (Yes, David Castañeda aka Diego from The Umbrella
Academy. Don’t judge. He’s in good company with my other crushes—Jensen
Ackles, Evan Peters, and Benedict Cumberbatch.) I kept reading as it’s my last
book on the PopSugar challenge. I wanted to finish by the end of November to
prep for the next year.
what a read.
The book is a friends-to-lovers trope about Darcy
Barrett finally getting her childhood crush, Tom Valeska, and finding some
stability in her own life.
But there were issues…
seemed to be a problem. This surprised me as the book was published in January
2019. The Barrett family definitely had some “white savior” issues. The novel
discussed how all the principal characters lived in the same neighborhood. But
Tom Valeska was a poor Latino boy with a single mother who the Barrett’s took
in and “rescued.” Yeah, that felt kind of itchy to listen to. Both of the
Barrett twins treated Tom like their personal pet, while claiming at the same
time he was their friend. They claimed he was perfect and would and could do
anything for them. Just ask him, he’ll do it. The overtone was one of “Tom owes
us so he pays us back.” At one point, one twin calls Tom the other’s slave. It
was ugly and wrong.
Other people (reviews, colleagues, friends) had issues
with the heroine. She was wild, promiscuous, broken, and lost. She was vulgar
and demanding. I didn’t
have a problem with anything but her treatment of Tom. She wound him around her
finger and treated him as less than a person. She claimed how she owned him. He
was ninety-nine percent hers. She couldn’t share him with her brother, like Tom
was some toy. Throughout the book, she compared Tom to a wolf. She said he wasn’t
human, only animal. Tom was never like that. Not even in bed. She saw him as
her pet wolf. I didn’t care for that.
So, why did I finish the book and include it on the
blog? Because the sexual tension was riveting. Even with her ugly words and her
treatment. I’m white and middle class. That may be why I could finish the story
and write it up here. I also really liked Tom. He was a genuine hero, despite
his treatment. He was the kind of man every woman deserves, even if her family
craps on him. Well, maybe not if they treat him so poorly. Honestly, I cannot
see any of my friends of color liking the book.
I concluded this novel was another 50 Shades of
Grey. (Interesting, they both had a number in the title.) A hot mess, that
was very hot.
I give 99
Percent Mine by Sally Thorne Three Cute Chihuahuas.