Book Review: Sweet Thing

Sweet Thing
By Renee Carlino
Available on Amazon

"Sassy and sweet, SWEET THING melts in your mouth and goes straight to your heart." -- Katy Evans, New York Times Bestselling author of the REAL series.

A USA TODAY bestseller, Sweet Thing tells the story of Mia Kelly, a twenty-five-year-old walking Gap ad who thinks she has life figured out when her father’s sudden death uproots her from slow-paced Ann Arbor to New York City’s bustling East Village. There she discovers her father’s spirit for life and the legacy he left behind with the help of an old cafĂ©, a few eccentric friends, and one charming musician.

Will Ryan is good-looking, poetic, spontaneous, and on the brink of fame when he meets Mia, his new landlord, muse, and personal heartbreaker.

A story of self-discovery and friendship, Sweet Thing shines light on the power of loving and letting go.

Note: The author provided a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: Mia moves to New York City to take over her father's cafe after his death. On the flight from Ann Arbor to New York, she meets charming Will Ryan, a talented musician she's immediately drawn to. Mia is attracted to Will, but fights her feelings. After agreeing to rent a room to Will, Mia is determined to keep their relationship from evolving into more than a friendship, even though Will makes it clear he wants more. A series of misunderstandings and disappointments lead to hurt feelings, broken hearts, and eventually, great personal growth. Can Mia look past her preconceived notions and personal hangups, and embrace the life she was meant to have all along?

Sweet Thing is a contemporary romance that will appeal to New Adult and Adult readers, but the story is so multifaceted and the characters so well-drawn, I would feel comfortable recommending this book to a wider audience. The tale delves into Mia's psyche--her insecurities, deep-seated fears, sense of responsibility, and prejudices. When her life is turned upside down, she's confronted with the realization that happiness isn't about following a plan--it's about following the music in your heart.

Music is a very strong theme in this book. Music lovers, whether they enjoy romance or not, will love this book for the musical elements alone. Non-romance lovers will enjoy the book because though romance is a strong theme, Mia's self-growth (in my opinion) is the central theme. This book reminds us not to judge a person based on appearance alone. Just when you think this book might be predictable, it will completely surprise you.

Mia is absolutely infuriating. While it's understandable why she would equate musicians with irresponsibility and promiscuity, it was still difficult to watch her make mistake after mistake based on her preconceived ideas. She was misguided, sometimes even cruel, and she had a knack for judging Will before getting the whole story. Will, on the other hand, handled certain situations in the book with surprising maturity. He defied expectation and had an amazing capacity for forgiveness. While Mia's evolution as a character was sometimes difficult to watch, her flaws added a depth to the novel I didn't expect to find when first turning the pages.

And, boy is this book a page-turner! It was impossible to put down once I began reading, and was gripping from the first page. I'm impressed with Renee Carlino's debut novel and am looking forward to her next masterpiece.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.