I received this book for free from ARC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sweet Thing by Renée Carlino
Published by Atria Books on January 7th, 2014
"You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together…then you'll hear the sound of your soul."
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.
A "heartbreaking and romantic" (Aestas Book Blog) debut, Sweet Thing explores the intensity and complexities of first love and self-discovery.
I’m not a contemporary lover. I say this all the time and every time I say it I genuinely mean it. But sometimes I really have this urge to read contemporary books because I want to see something sweet. I want to get away from the bad ass tough chick who rides dragons and has a kick ass ghost as a best friend. Sometimes I don’t want to go on a hero quest where the chosen one must navigate perilous lands and treacherous sand pirates who only still pinky toes in the night. This is what compelled me to request Sweet Thing. It’s contemporary yes, but I needed something different, something uncomplicated, something with non-high fantasy names and 600 pages of quest and courts. Sweet Thing fit the bill, and to be perfectly honest, while I didn’t expect to love it I genuinely thought (from the blurb) that I would at least enjoy the journey. I was wrong. On all counts I. Was. WRONG!
It’s not the worse contemp book I’ve ever read. Not be a long shot; and I’m sure those who thoroughly enjoy contemporary novels will indeed enjoy Sweet Thing. But I have no patience for inner monologuing and naiveté characters and I feel that’s all there really was to Sweet Thing.
It started off fine. Mia (our MC) has just lost her father and is moving to New York to run his café. On her flight to NY she mets Will (the only thing that spared this book a .5 rating) who is a musician (sort of like Mia) and who is afraid of flying. They were cute, they were awkward they were characters I thought I could get behind and root for. But I just couldn’t! Even when fate throws these two together and Will becomes Mia’s roommate. Even when Will turned out to be the sweetest most thoughtful and hardworking person ever I couldn’t ship them. Mia, destroyed this story for me. She was grieving the lost of her father and attempting to find her way in life, and believe me I get that and I didn’t expect wedding bells in chapter one, I swear I didn’t, but I also didn’t expect a narrow minded hypocrite to dominate the pages.
Mia sees Will on the plane with his guitar case and the first thing she thinks is “starving artist who sleeps with everything he sees”. Never mind the fact that she doesn’t know him, that’s what he looks like to her so that’s who he is. And even when he proves that he is actually compassionate, talented, charismatic, romantic and hardworking she still jumped to put him into that ridiculous box.
Mia tells Will we can be friends but nothing more from page 1 to page 200-something. From page 1 to 200-something she inner monologues her jealousy when Will doesn’t come home, when Will goes out with a woman, when Will starts dating! But then when Will apologizes for hurting her (because obviously it’s his fault) she goes into a “God Will I don’t care! We will never be together we’re just friends!” bullshit campaign.
It’s like nonstop tug of war. She’d tell Will they were just friends, then she’d masturbate in front of him while he sings. She’d say, you’re like family to me and then she’d sit on his lap to cut his hair. He’d back off, give her some space and say he understands, then she’d throw a pity party about how he was out fucking all of NY (which so wasn’t true!).
The only redeemable thing about the whole book were the supporting characters. Everyone at the café, Will (especially) even jack ass the banker helped add a cozy environment and enjoyable dynamics to the story. They are the only reason I finished it. Oh and the sex…the sex was enjoyable. But that’s mostly because Mia wan’t talking. 😉