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Ninety-Nine Paperback – September 9, 2016
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Ninety-nine instantly draws you into the narrative of the main character Tamara. The pain she feels and the experiences she has are very palpable. Tamara is your typical broken woman who has seen too much pain in her life. She has a deep desire to try and outrun her own memories. She believes that she isn’t worthy of love and that her life is one destined for failure, heartache, and pain.
Tamara is drawn into a Vancouver diner one day after fleeing her hometown. She is running from a relationship gone bad. She starts to notice that the number 99 is everywhere and believes that it is some sort of omen drawing her into a place where she can potentially find some healing and relief from the pain of her past. Joe is the first person to show up and as a reader, you instantly fall in love with his good-guy attitude and kindness towards this vulnerable stranger.
The book moves at a nice and steady pace as you learn more about Joe, Tamara, and their pasts. Haxby and Rivas weave a wonderful story with strong character development and a plot that keeps you hooked as you read. You find yourself invested in the lives of these characters and the people who work at the diner. At one point, I wanted to throw the book across the room when I thought one of the characters was going to be killed off. I love when I get that invested in a story!
Towards the end, the book lives up to it’s Christian fiction genre. The authors start to write in more religious characters and Joe and Tamara find themselves talking more to God. I appreciate the story that Haxby and Rivas have created; however, the book wraps up quickly towards the end with a beautiful bow as religion comes in and saves the day. Ninety-nine adds to the multitude of Christian fiction out there that teaches that God makes everything right once you find him. Ninety-nine had the potential to break away from this common narrative and weave a deeper story of God joining in the mess and holding space for imperfection. I was disappointed at the perfect, sign-sealed-delivered ending. For me, that was a small disappointment after a book full of hooks, strong character development, and a fascinating plot!
I am looking forward to what these debut authors come up with next. Maybe we’ll be seeing more of Joe and Tamara in the future?
This book was about the struggles a person has, but not regarding faith (or at least it seems that way). Tamara comes from a broken family. She is in her early 20s and going nowhere fast, blaring the radio to Prince's "Party Like It's 1999", escaping her cheating boyfriend, when her car suddenly breaks down. Out comes Joe, a very handsome gentleman, who fixes her car and refuses to accept any payment in return. She is about to drive off when she notices the diner across the street where Joe came from...99 Diner, on Highway 99. She takes these signs as an omen and decides to live in the small town. Fast forward a year later and she is a waitress at the diner with Joe, and they have become very close friends.
Tamara struggles every day to overcome her past from her abusive father, and failing relationships with boyfriends. She has a constant gloomy cloud above her head. One very bad decision causes her life to take a downward turn. However, throughout all of the pain and agony, she fights to move forward.
Although I found the book to be predictable (the reason for the 4 stars), it was an enjoyable read. The characters are very likable. Tamara has dealt with pain, but strives to move past it. I enjoyed watching her grow and become a stronger woman. The Christian aspects weren't 'in your face' preaching. It was very subtle, and just enough to have me reflect on my own faith at times.
The ending had me crying.