Sweet Thing: A Novel
<— THIS!!!!! 5 stars!!!! This is what I’ve been craving, waiting for… wanting, needing to read for weeks. Months. This was it. This was the one I was referring to, when I would bemoan that I wished I could find another book that would make me crazy for it. Oh, I mean… don’t get me wrong. I’ve read some pretty fantastic reads this year that I’ve loved and will easily make my best of 2013 list, but THIS is the one that just might make the top.
I received quite a few enthusiastic recommendations, and the only thing I regret was not having read this one sooner.
Elizabeth: I thought I’d suggest a book I just finished – Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino. I guess she’s a first-time author but you’d never know by how effortlessly the story was told. I was hooked from the beginning. I loved the NYC backdrop, the music woven throughout and of course WILL. He’s not a “rock star,” (though I love bad boy rock stars) but like the heroine, Mia, he is a talented and rising musician. They connect over music and it’s just a really great story. The heroine has “issues,” but overall they made sense to me. I won’t forget the book anytime soon. I don’t think the blurb does it justice at all and it definitely has quite a bit of angst…not too sweet
Jessica: Not sure if you’ve read Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino, but I absolutely loved it… The book is about a girl, Mia, who is trying to find herself after the death of her father. She meets a wonderful, funny musician on the plane, Will, who later becomes her roommate. Needless to say, Will is so awesome and he develops feelings for Mia. Of course, she screws up…repeatedly. Put it on your TBR list and give it a chance.
Karen: I never thought I would be recommending books that don’t feature a “bad boy” hero, but I’ve discovered that a hot man crazy in love is just as much a turn-on for me…especially when they get hurt and leave…turning the “tough” heroine into a blubbery mess! Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino. Will isn’t a bad boy or a rock star but he’s a musician and he’s hot…he totally reminds me of Andrew from Edge of Never. Mia wants Will but she doesn’t think he makes good “forever” material so she tries to maintain a “friends only” relationship…
There are a few LOL moments as well as several heart-wrenching scenes… the very last sentence in the book had me sobbing.
You guys were SO right!!!!! This is one of my absolute favorites this year, and just one of my plain old favorites, altogether.
But mostly because it gave me that feeling again. The feeling I got, from back in my earlier “indie” reading days, connecting to books that would soon become my favorites of all time. When I would find myself devouring one after another proclaiming a new favorite, each time and I just couldn’t choose my favorite between them (and still can’t, to this day). This books fits that era… those books, for me. I could relate, cry, laugh, and fall head-over-heels with the hero, deciding that no, this one, he <— was the perfect man (yet again). This was one of those from back in the day when I couldn’t believe my luck at the plethora of awesome reads out there to be discovered. And I’m delighted to know that there are more of ‘em out there just waiting for us!
Maryse: Wow, I’m in book-love with a Wilbur. *sigh* I’m loving “Sweet Thing”. My heart just keeps swelling. It’s gonna burst, I just know it. In a good way or bad way? That… I don’t know.
Jillian: He was just so…so…*sigh*!! I’ll take a Wil all for my own, thank you. Just don’t tell my husband!
Ashley: Oh I am SO glad you’re finally reading this. He is one of my all time favorite boyfriends!
Maryse’s Book Blog: it feels like the books I fell in love with a year or 2 ago… It’s hard to describe what I mean… It just has that old feeling. Or at least, I do…
Renee: Oh ‘Sweet Thing’ is so so so good! It was one of those books that I wished had never ended.
Kirsten: I loved Wilbur Maryse. Mia drove me a little nuts at times, but I could understand her, and where she was coming from. I enjoyed the writing style here, and was surprised that this was the authors first book.
Melissa: I kinda wanted to shake Mia though.
Sylvia: I fell for him hard, he had me at the airport in the beginning!!! Just read it last week and had a smiled plastered on my face after!!!!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Me too I wanna shake Mia. Gah!! And now, I wanna shake *spoiler*, and that’s not very nice of me, is it? I wanna cry.
Kirsten: LOL. Mia is just so scared, and wanting to control every aspect of her life, and obviously that isn’t possible. I Will though, and he had me laughing the minute he got to his seat on the plane.
Ashley: I was in knots through most of it. I didn’t know whether to scream, or cry, or laugh like a maniac. I was so sucked in by it!
Sadie: Heart swelling is a great way to describe “the feeling” with a good book. I too had complicated feelings for Mia…LOL (wanting to shake but understanding
Summer: It was so good and now I am in a rut. The last few books I have read just did not bring me in at all.
Maryse’s Book Blog: Oh… my throat hurts from the teardrop-induced “bones” trying to rip through my neck… U know? When u’re holding back and it feels like bones in your throat? This.
Ashley: Oh yes Maryse, next comes the body shakes from holding it back. Best to let the sob out now and save some pain. Sigh. I may need to reread so soon after finish. I need more Wilbur!
Kim: Love, Love, Love Will, so much. He’s right up there with Kellan and Travis for me. I need another….STAT!! Any suggestions guys?
Kerri: It is the best book I have read all year!
Maryse’s Book Blog: The emotional waves (my heart dropping and soaring) and the butterflies just keep coming.
Denise: I’m so glad you’re reading this Maryse!! I absolutely LOVED this book. I loved the author’s sense of humor and Will definitely ranks up there with my top book boyfriends. This was one of my favorite books of the year.
This one had that feeling. The feeling that all of my favorite books gave me, all wrapped into one. The “feel” was Flat-Out Love, Slammed, it was How to Kill A Rockstar, it was Beautiful Disaster, On the Island, Love Unscripted, it was Thoughtless, it was Rock Me… (I could go on… but, see where I’m coming from?). But I don’t mean it was a copy of those (sure there were similar situations but it created it’s own thing). Life situations that we’ve read, seen or lived before, but a story that totally stands on it’s own. These book examples were simply to give you an “idea” of that feeling that I’m talking about. Did you get it reading those? You’ll likely get it reading this.
What I’m saying is… it had all that heart, all of that emotion, all of that wit, that charm, the supporting characters, all of that angst and intensity, all of the hero’s absolute sweetness. It was that touching (but not preachy) message that filled me. Fulfilled me.
Nobody was really… “broken” here (although I love those reads too). But this one was lighter, in that respect. They were just people in their mid to late twenties adjusting to new life situations and in turn, developed an amazing friendship. *sigh* It was soooooo beautiful, you guys. And at times, soooooo deliciously painful.
What else did it have? It had that relaxed, yet skilled writing style. The important details and the tiny “background” details that you barely notice but that fill in the scenes. Complete the story. Nothing was skipped. Realistic. It didn’t feel rushed. It had the perfect relationship progression with understandable reservations and angst, along with just a few of those all-important over-the-top reactions. Nothing was overdone (oh, well…okay maybe some of the heroine’s reservations were quite… GAH!!!!) Hehehe… the foot-in-mouth syndrome afflicted her often. Yes, I face-palmed, and *if* I eye rolled it was ’cause I was mad at her… but I never eye rolled at the story itself (if I’m eye-rolling at the story, that’s not a good thing for me). It’s as if the author respected our “melodramatic limits”.
But, yep. Overall, it had that great flow. At times dramatic, even a tad melodramatic, but in a way that kept me hooked despite my exasperation. Read it in one sitting, and I didn’t get bored once.
What else did it have? Fantastic characters that I could see perfectly in my head right from the start. How they talked, how they thought, how they looked. Their facial expressions, the depth of their emotions…
Tears had poured from her eyes without any change in her facial expression. It’s pure pain and pure surrender when your soul cries without any fight from your body and that’s how I knew she was deeply affected.
This book played out like a movie in my head and I had no problem getting to know them. Connecting to them.
It had that female character that I merged with. That I became. That I could relate to on an uncanny level (whoa. I swear, it was like reading… me). I delighted in how much I could relate to her. Her irish heritage, family situation, her love of Damien Rice, her favorite drinks, her occasional 5am wake-ups and how crazy that makes her, even her love of planes because it took “it” all out of her hands and she could just… relax.
I love flying. It’s an escape for me. There is nowhere to be; it’s surrendering to fate.
There she was, in all of her life goals, musical abilities, and both her perfectly reasonable (and completely unreasonable) thought processes. She was emotional. She was real. And, she was also infuriating. Irritating. Even a bit mean at times (that part wasn’t “me” so much ’cause I know me, and I would have never been able to resist Will). I was shaking my head, wondering… how she could? How could she? There wasn’t a “dark” past to her, but she certainly had an occasionally selfish human side. Her issues stemmed from her hopes and dreams and her struggle against her own true self. But the strife it caused her, and others? Oh… the strife.
And it had Will. Some of you mentioned I would fall in love with another Will, and you guys weren’t kidding. I ABSOLUTELY did. Fell for everything about him. He was PERFECT in all of his wonderful quirky imperfections. OMG did I ever swoon!! I tittered and giggled, when he was being cute…
“You’re sweet,” I said, squeezing his hand.
“Wanna sleep in my bed tonight?” he said with a crooked smile.
“Not a chance, Wilbur.”
He shrugged, laughing it off.
I swooned when he was being serious. And I got teary-eyed when he was hurt…
His smile faded. It was the first time I saw a hint of sadness in his eyes.
… and when he purposely hurt back. He broke my heart. Or maybe my heart broke for him. Or both. I’ll let you experience all of that.
So what’s it about?
Mia moves to New York after her father dies, to take over his business and take care of his affairs. And on the plane to NY, she meets Will, a gorgeous “starving artist” type (he’s a musician) that is all too willing to chat. And as they do, they bond, and she’s attracted. BIG TIME!! Despite her plans for a set and secure business future (and possible future with a like-minded husband), the starving artist type “calls to her”. And she insists on resisting it tooth and nail.
“I want to meet a man who is a team player. Not someone who is swept up in his feelings and art.”
But Will is hard to resist and while she is determined to not have any romantic involvement with him, they are kindred spirits, with so many of the same likes and values and they make AWESOME friends. And eventual roommates. Yep. Roommates!!! Oh the fun (and the titillating agony)!!!
“Anyway, we can just figure it out as we go.”
I had no idea how meaningful those words would become.
I LOVED IT!! Can you tell? It gave me every emotion and in just the right amount. My perfect read.
Yes, the author did send this review copy my way, and yes, I was told my name appears in the story at some point (and to my delight, I forgot that tidbit until I “hit” it and I couldn’t help but be excited that “book-me” lives in their world!!). But I can promise you this (and I can promise you this with all of my reviews) but I really feel the need to make this clear on this one, because of just how much I want you to read this. This review, and how much I loved this book stems 100% from my own honest opinion and my own personal experience as I took in this sweet story. No bias, here. In fact, I’ve had it for awhile, and I’m saddened and deeply disappointed in myself that I didn’t read it sooner. This book has pulled me out of my reading slump and has invigorated me, and I could have had this feeling sooner.
But better late, than never, as they say, and I’m THRILLED to have finally read it. This was such a good book, you guys. I wanna read it again.
5 stars PLUS!!!!