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Book Review: Ninety-Five Percent Human

Book Review: Ninety-Five Percent Human

Author: Suzanna Williams

Book: Ninety-Five Percent Human

Website: http://www.suzannawilliams.com/


Summary

“Teenager, Joe Kendrick, thinks he’s got problems. The farm he’s looked after since his father’s suicide is failing and his brother wants to sell it, his girlfriend has dumped him and his normally down-to-earth Nan starts muttering about seeing UFO’s. And all Joe wants is to live a ‘normal’ life.

Then he saves suicidal stranger Sarah from drowning. What Joe doesn’t know is that Sarah is a human/alien hybrid, sent to test viability of life on Earth, and, as she’s survived, hostile aliens are already planning their attack.

Ninety-five percent Human is the first in a two book, sci-fi adventure set amongst the Welsh mountains.”


 Review

For those who love a good old-fashioned alien romance (anyone else counting down the days to Star Crossed?), Ninety-Five Percent Human makes for a good choice of the YA variety. While not without flaws, it still succeeded in sucking me into the love story set against the beautiful backdrop of Wales. The setting actually drew me further into the tale than the romance did at first. I wanted to learn more about Joe and this adorable sounding Welsh farm that even hides a secret cave of quartz stones. When Sarah ponders how anyone could want to sell the place, I wondered the same thing, despite the clear financial hardships Joe faces with his Nan and brother.

After being thrown a loop about possibly selling the farm (in a place where everyone treats him like a pariah because his long gone mother had thought aliens were messing with the sheep), Joe comes across a girl named Sarah but it isn’t your typical meet cute. No, Sarah is trying to commit suicide by way of drowning. Admittedly, I’m not sure I loved the suicide thing as it reminds me a little of the weak minded Mirah in Daniel Deronda who similarly tries to drown herself when Daniel first meets her. I’m not a fan of Mirah because I didn’t buy the motivation behind the terrible act other than she is great at being the martyr. Likewise, I’m still not sure I believe the motivation behind Sarah’s choice (something I won’t spoil) but it did work in bringing the two characters together believably. It helped create this desperate need for Joe to help Sarah and to bring her into his home because she has nowhere else to go. Not to mention that there is this creepy guy after her and a tracking device in her arm…

As the story continues to unfold from plot point to plot point, the characters develop rather nicely. I feel like I know Joe especially well and appreciate this 3-dimensional and mature teenage boy doing what needs to get done for his family. I also liked his imperfection. When he let his guy friends ‘believe’ Sarah was his girlfriend who stays at his house, I kind of wanted to smack him for letting them believe things about Sarah that weren’t true. At least this flaw to appear macho made him feel real. Other compelling characters pop up as well that I hope gets more development for book two (this being book one of a 2 book series).

The strongest element of the story, outside of the protagonist’s characterization (I did want just a little more with the brother and Sarah), was definitely the romance. Both Sarah’s and Joe’s innocence as they slowly come together feels quite beautiful to read when you imagine them falling in love in a small Welsh town far from the big city. And as Joe comes to understand the truth behind whom Sarah truly is and how she connects to the mysterious sightings around town, the love story also becomes exciting when the action picks up midway. Sure, sometimes the novel goes from one dilemma to the next a little too quickly (which causes some villains to be a little underdeveloped and over the top) but at least I never got bored! Still, there was also some grammar issues throughout that were a little distracting. On the whole, however, if you just want to enjoy a sweet and clean star crossed type love story with some good coming of age drama, then this might be a good fit.

Adaptation Recommendation

I feel this would work best as a TV series. Because some of the plot points feel rushed, for a show the writers would have time to develop each plot point and every character in greater depth. Not to mention that a quirky Welsh town with strange alien sightings would just be great television because of the endless possibilities of interesting characters that could be incorporated into the show. An alien/human love story would just be the cherry on top for there can never be too many of them…at least for us Roswell fans.

Overall Rating

Three Star Rating border

“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce

me. Aren’t you?”

Romance Rating

Four Star Rating border

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”


Page Count: 273 pages

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance

Publisher:  Beresford Publishing House (November 07, 2013)

ASIN: B00ERHUD7W

Buy at:

Amazon US
Amazon UK


RELATED:

Our Interview with the author: Suzanna Williams takes the Petticoat Personality Test

Check out our other Literature Reviews

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By on January 24th, 2014

About Autumn Topping

In second grade, Autumn wrote her first story, “The Spinach Monster,” and hasn't stopped writing since. Intrigued by the tales her grandmother told of vampires, witches, and ghosts as a girl, she's always been drawn to the fantastic. Later, Autumn studied English and Creative Writing (continuing her love for classic literature and everything old-fashioned) and graduated with an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Currently, she co-runs this lovely blog and works as a YA Librarian.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Ninety-Five Percent Human”

  1. Really insightful review! I would never have found the grammatical errors and I think Sarah’s motivation is thoroughly believable…although i’m not sure i could have made the same choice! Other than that I completely agree with you! I really love all the descriptions of the Welsh countryside, as a Londoner it seems a long way from the hustle and bustle and all the high rises and I liked that I really felt like I was there! The fact that I feel as though I am in Joe’s head was also a big plus for me, and his rationalisations of everything were particularly funny! 🙂

    Reply

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