99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

99 Percent Mine book cover99 Percent Mine is Thorne’s followup to her very successful debut, The Hating Game. I was really looking forward to it because I quite enjoyed The Hating Game.

The book features Darcy Barrett, a tough woman with a bum heart. Darcy is very different from the heroine in The Hating Game, which I liked (a lot of authors write the same character over and over). Darcy’s a photographer and bartender with a habit of traveling the world. We don’t know why at first, but we soon learn it’s because she’s in love with her and her twin brother’s childhood friend, Tom Valeska, who she needs to get away from. Because he’s got a fiancé who’s perfect.

The setup for the book is that Darcy and her brother (Jamie) have inherited their grandmother’s cottage and have been ordered to remodel and sell it. Enter Tom, who’s a general contractor just starting out. This will be his first big job. Darcy is currently living in the cottage while she waits to head off to international locations (as soon as she can find her missing passport, that is). Jamie’s living elsewhere and he and Darcy have had some kind of falling out. Although it takes a little while, Darcy finds out Tom’s single again and she throws herself at him. He rejects her and from then on out, she thinks he’s not interested even though his behavior makes it very unclear whether that’s true or not.

Once Tom starts on the house, Darcy inserts herself as though she’s on his crew. I think the remodeling makes for an interesting backdrop for the story (this may be because I’m going through some house remodeling myself…).

Darcy isn’t necessarily easy to like. She’s definitely quirky and interesting but she exhibits some frustrating behavior, like not taking her rather serious heart condition very seriously. I’m also a little confused about the role of Jamie in the story—he comes off as a bit of a jerk and doesn’t seem to need to be there, in my humble opinion. Tom himself is interesting—he’s difficult to read. Like, he seems a little hot and cold toward Darcy but without his point of view, I can’t figure out why or what his real motivations are.

Still, this is a fun and I think unique read. I’ll be honest—I don’t think it’s as good (especially emotionally engaging) as The Hating Game was, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out. I’m also very curious to see what Thorne does next.