Book Review: Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino

11 Apr 2015

Book Title: Sweet Thing
Author: Renee Carlino
Series: Standalone
Release Date: August 20th, 2013
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
A USA TODAY bestselling contemporary romance about the complexities of love and self-discovery in the early post-college years.

Mia Kelly thinks she has it all figured out. She’s an Ivy League graduate, a classically trained pianist, and the beloved daughter of a sensible mother and offbeat father. Yet Mia has been stalling since graduation, torn between putting her business degree to use and exploring music, her true love.

When her father unexpectedly dies, she decides to pick up the threads of his life while she figures out her own. Uprooting herself from Ann Arbor to New York City, Mia takes over her father’s café, a treasured neighbor­hood institution that plays host to undiscovered musicians and artists. She’s denied herself the thrilling and unpredictable life of a musician, but a chance encounter with Will, a sweet, gorgeous, and charming guitar­ist, offers her a glimpse of what could be. When Will becomes her friend and then her roommate, she does everything in her power to suppress her passions—for him, for music—but her father’s legacy slowly opens her heart to the possibility of something more.



  “You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together... then you'll hear the sound of your soul.” 

 Holy motha of emotions. I never thought I'd live to see a day where a book could have pushed all my buttons like Thoughtless did and to go through a heroine as frustrating as Kiera all over again (minus the cheating and love triangle, thankfully). All I wanted to do is set my Kindle on fire repeatedly or throw it against the wall in hopes that it'll somehow be enough to knock some sense into the heroine, Mia. 

 I swooned, I yelled, I cried and I raged a helluva lot that it left me so worn out by the end of the book. But did I love this book? Without a doubt, YES.


 Honestly, this book left me in a mess. Where do I even begin? The prologue itself was already so thought-provoking and original, the writing was absolutely poignant and beautiful that I just knew that this read is gonna be different. Throw in an adorably chance encounter between both MCs on an airplane, little did I know I was going to be swept away by a hurricane of a story that is Sweet Thing

This is a story of Mia Kelly who moves in to New York after her dad passed away and left behind his cafe that has been home to many undiscovered musicians and artists. Being a musician herself (a pianist to be exact) and going through a quarter-life crisis at the age of 25, Mia who graduated with a business degree is figuring out her life as she's torn between doing the sensible thing by living the life she has planned out with her degree or to follow her one true passion; music. 

 But when one Will Ryan crosses path with her and opens up her eyes to a whole new life where music is concerned, she's about to realize that life is about taking chances sometimes and following your heart.


  Allow me to preface my thoughts by introducing my new book boyfriend: 

  Will Ryan, oh sweet motha of jeebus that is him. He stole my heart from the first moment he showed up and whipped out a rosary chain! He had such an irresistible charm that had me grinning from ear to ear everytime he burst out into a converation. His love for music comes alive through the pages when he speaks about it with such passion and he was just the most kind-hearted, free-spirited and forgiving guy you can possibly ask for.


 Now Mia really tested my patience with this read. Honestly I nearly DNF-ed this read 2 or 3 times because I was at my breaking point with this woman and the amount of frustration and RAGE boiled up in me was enough to send me into annihilation mode. In my eyes, she was such a hypocritical, judgemental b*tch that couldn't see the most amazing, patient guy standing in front of her and instead decided to f*ck things up with him SEVERAL times. I mean, C'MON!! I would sell my left kidney in a heartbeat to be able to find a guy like Will. 

 It broke my heart so many times for Will when Mia couldn't get her shit straight and being absolutely fickled about whether she should reciprocate her feelings for him. It left me feeling so angry at her that I had to put down my read, mentally write a hate note to Mia and take in deep breaths. But it's also at this point where I tried to reason out with myself on why she would act this way.


 And honestly, I'm glad that I did because I found it in myself to forgive her. Often in life, we always wonder if we make the right choices and if opting for a safer route is the right one indeed. People often forget that fear is something that drives us to do unwanted things and it's only when we screwed up is when we learn what truly matters in your life. I can see where Mia is coming from and while I don't approve of her choices sometimes, I get it.


  Sweet Thing is a journey of self-discovery filled with ups and downs, joyous and heartbreaking moments, finding friendship in the strangest places and most of all, taking that risk and fall in love. I really struggled with how to rate this one because on one end, it was beautifully written and there was just a certain depth to this read that strike a cord with me. The rich music setting also added another beautiful layer to it and there was just so much you can take away from this read. But on the other end, the choices that Mia made truly left me raging in frustration and made me all stabby. On an angst scale of 1-10, the angst was a very high 9 and I swear I could feel my veins popping during this read.


Weighing all the highs & lows of this read and how it affected me emotionally, I'd say it was definitely a solid 4-stars read for me. It's just one of those unforgettable reads that you'll look back and say "oh this book sure as hell did a number on me!" and I don't regret going through a single moment of it.

 I'm not sure how I've missed out on this author previously but she's definitely one to be on a lookout for. Considering this was a debut novel by her, I was captivated by her writing as this read consumed me from the very beginning and by the end of it, I was left in awe on how she brought everything back to a full circle. 

 I would recommend if this read if you're a fan of the music-setting read that's (be warned) profoundly heartbreaking yet beautifully thought-provoking as you embark on this journey of self-discovery ♥

  Sweet Thing is a standalone contemporary romance read. 


Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

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