Once Upon a Book Club – March

Once Upon a Book Club – March

Once Upon a Book Club


Once upon a time, there was a group of women studying publishing in Edinburgh, Scotland. Neither of them was originally from the country, but they all had something in common: they had a fondness for romance novels. And so it happened, that when they crossed paths, it did not take long before a book club was formed.

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

Apologies for the extreme delay in posting the March book club discussion. ‘Eat Train Read’ switched hosts, and unfortunately experienced some issues during the move. But we’re back! And with a brand new look!
For March we decided to read the latest release by one of our favourite romance authors: Sally Thorne. We all read (and loved) Sally Thorne’s debut The Hating Game, and were really excited to read 99 Percent Mine as this month’s book club pick.

Be advised that this post might contain spoilers! We discuss various aspects of the book(s) and although we try to avoid spoilers, some aspects cannot be discussed without mentioning parts of what happened in the book.

Once Upon a Book Club – March99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on January 29th 2019
Genres: Love & Romance
Pages: 368
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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.

Caoimh on the plot

From just the blurb for 99 Percent Mine the plot had me hooked. The idea of being in love with your twin’s best friend, who was also in construction, had me swooning from page one. I loved the pace of the plot by Sally Thorne, it saw me struggle to put the book down to eat, sleep, move which I always think is a sign of a excellent book. I loved how the plot took the classic alpha male trope and flipped in on its head and instead gave that role to Darcy, who is a major badass can I just say. The only thing I wanted more of in the plot is a more drawn out ending. It felt a little rushed but the bonus epilogue did help my heart when it came to see Darcy and Tom living their blissful relationship on the road flipping houses.

 Iris on the characters

99 Percent Mine was an absolute joy to read. I was pretty pumped when I learned this book is a friends-to-lovers romance AND a second-chance-romance, two things that absolutely DELIGHT my hopelessly romantic heart. Finding out, after having read the book, that the characters have incredibly depth and develop beautifully throughout the story and you have a bestseller in my opinion. What a book!

Darcy’s monologue makes you laugh out loud. She’s intelligent and witty (not to forget that that she enjoys knocking down entitled frat boys a peg or two). She is entirely unapologetic in her ways, which is exactly what makes her such a great character.

Tom is hard-working and so very sweet! Can you just find me my own Tom? I’d be forever happy. I loved Tom and Darcy’s dynamic and the whole opposites attract thing they had going on. I just want MORE!

Lauren on the romance

The romance in 99 Percent Mine was FANTASTIC. It takes the childhood-friends-to-lovers/ brothers-best-friend tropes in an entirely new direction, and I loved it! Darcy has had a crush on Tom for forever, but when he tells her he loves her at 17 she’s just not ready to hear it. A few years go by, a few relationships, a lot of travelling, and suddenly these two are back together and fixing up her grandmother’s house. Watching these two try to navigate a relationship with so much history and so many other people involved was so entertaining. The chemistry between them: off the charts! I loved how well they went together: Tom is Mr. Perfect, and Darcy is Miss Tough Girl, and somehow they work! The banter that these two had, which can only come from years of knowing each other (and the genius mind of Sally Thorne), had me grinning at my book the entire time. And the kisses? So. Much. Chemistry. This romance had everything. My only complaint? I want more of it. Especially Tom, where can I find one?

Justine on her favourite scene

I know there are so many to choose from, and while some readers may disagree, one of my favourite scenes from 99 Percent Mine would have to be the first chapter’s opening scene.

The scene opens up with Darcy Barrett working at a bar, giving her unfiltered inner monologue on the evening unfolding, as she nears the end of her shift. There’s a definite rawness about her which comes through in her assertive, no-nonsense attitude. She enjoys breaking down ‘alpha-males’ with her deadlock stare, and has no problem knocking entitled frat boys down a couple pegs. After getting hit on by said “human Ken doll”, her response to his asking when she gets off work is: “Not for a million years.”

I loved the way this scene introduced us to Darcy’s edgy, albeit sometimes self-destructive nature. Right away, I understood that sarcasm is her default setting, and found her ferocity and sassiness oddly endearing. It definitely set the tone for what to expect from her as the story progressed. A huge applause to Queen Sally Thorne, for once again delivering us a bass-ass leading lady.

  • Plot 95% 95%
  • Romance 100% 100%
  • Characters 100% 100%

The Invisibles by Cecilia Galante | Review

I received this book for free from American Book Center in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Invisibles by Cecilia Galante | ReviewThe Invisibles by Cecilia Galante
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on August 4th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 400
Source: American Book Center


In the vein of Meg Donohue and Jennifer Close, comes Cecilia Galante's adult debut about the complicated and powerful bonds of female friendship--a compelling, moving novel that is told in both the present and the past.

Thrown together by chance as teenagers at Turning Winds Home for Girls, Nora, Ozzie, Monica, and Grace quickly bond over their troubled pasts and form their own family which they dub The Invisibles. But when tragedy strikes after graduation, Nora is left to deal with the horrifying aftermath alone as the other three girls leave home and don't look back.

Fourteen years later, Nora is living a quiet, single life working in the local library. She is content to focus on her collection of "first lines" (her favorite opening lines from novels) and her dog, Alice Walker, when out-of-the-blue Ozzie calls her on her thirty-second birthday. But after all these years, Ozzie hasn't called her to wish a happy birthday. Instead, she tells Nora that Grace attempted suicide and is pleading for The Invisibles to convene again. Nora is torn: she is thrilled at the thought of being in touch with her friends, and yet she is hesitant at seeing these women after such a long and silent period of time. Bolstered by her friends at the library, Nora joins The Invisibles in Chicago for a reunion that sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will change each of their lives forever.

The Invisibles is an unforgettable novel that asks the questions: How much of our pasts define our present selves? And what does it take to let go of some of our most painful wounds and move on?

What I thought

The Invisibles starts, as my literature professor would demand me to call, ‘in medias res.’ You jump right into the story, and as it progresses we find out that something has happened those years ago that the protagonist hasn’t fully dealt with. What it is you won’t find out until the end of the story, but as you get deeper into the story you start to crave the answer to this question. It’s this answer that has you turning pages faster and faster, until you finally finds the answer you’re looking for (bonus points: the answer is most definitely not a letdown!).

The characters were well-developed. The flashbacks to when they were in high school were welcome insights to how much the girls have changed over the course of fourteen years.

I really like how this book raises the question: How much of your past defines your future. I do think, however, that the author may have focused a little too much on this aspect. We slowly learn about all of the girls, and what their lives are like now, and to me it was a bit too much. A little bit too extreme here and there.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

All and all, I flew through The Invisibles. It’s the kind of read where you can put your mind on zilch and just read until you’ve reached the end of the book. Although it wasn’t the kind of book I’d normally go for, it was most definitely very enjoyable and a great book to bring with you on holiday!