Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review: Sweet Thing by Renée Carlino

Title: Sweet Thing
Author: Renée Carlino
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: August 20, 2013
Purchase: Amazon  |  B&N

From Goodreads:

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.”

Sweet Thing is exactly that – a sweet and beautiful thing.  From the very unique opening perspective to the last, I was drawn in and never wanted to see this story end.  I was a willing captive to this amazing journey that began with a fated airplane meeting filled with witty banter and sweet smiles that set my heart racing.

As Mia struggles to come to terms with her father’s sudden death, she moves into his apartment and begins running his café. She begins re-connecting and reminiscing with old friends and loved ones as she settles into her new life. However, Mia’s most daunting task is attempting to keep her distance from her new roommate, Will.  There are hearts in need of healing, moments of self-discovery, and a story of two young people so in love that it took my breath away.

“I had never wanted anyone so badly – my body ached for him as I sat on my floor wondering how I could make things right.”

For those readers who have grown tired of and fear the instantaneous love between characters, I have to share that the pace of the connection between these two is unhurried; intricate; and, at times, painful… but as a whole, it is perfect.

Will and Mia’s story is a mesmerizing one; and combined with the music throughout the pages, this book quickly captured my heart. Though I am far from being the classically trained pianist that Mia is, our love of the instrument definitely led me to have an instant connection with her.  The fact that both she and Will are musically gifted and surround themselves with inspiring greats from Johnny Cash to Bon Iver had me transfixed and happily engrossed.  And, okay, I can’t not say it:  Will Ryan is so incredibly hot.  He’s sexy and endearing, and my toes may be so permanently curled that I’ll never wear flip flops again… but I’m okay with that.  He’s worth it.

“I decided that playing the guitar should be a prerequisite for manhood.”

And Mia and Will aren’t the only captivating characters in this story – the secondary characters are such a treat in that not only are they fantastic and eccentric but they serve as a clear reminder that you don’t have to share the same DNA to be family. And then there is Jackson:  the very best friend there is.  The kind of friend that I thank my lucky stars for and the one that changes your life like no other can.

I was blown away by Renée Carlino’s writing.  She painted the most amazing pictures with her words, and I feel as though I have seen places I have yet to visit in real life.  She wrote in such a way that it touched me on a level too personal to share in a review.

“I finally played the music my father had begged me to hear 
when I was a child; it was a song of peace and contentment
 and my ugly, obedient hands could play it flawlessly.”

Sweet Thing has given me a bit of a book hangover.  Instead of reading the current book in front of me, I find myself staring off into space thinking about Will and Mia.  There is a re-read in my future for sure.  Ms. Carlino is on my auto-buy list, and I can’t wait to get lost in her story-telling once again.

“It’s what faith looks like, and I was glad at that moment
 to finally be able to recognize it.”

My Rating:

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