Review: Sweet Thing by Renée Carlino



“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.


Hello everyone, it’s manu here! So, this book started in a really interesting way. There’s this woman at the airport with her two children, she’s a writer, and she meets a girl, Mia Kelly. As a writer she wonders what’s Mia story.

I wonder if she knows that sometimes we figure things out and then life changes and we have to figure it all out again. I’m sure she’ll learn that soon enough and I’m sure she’ll have her own story to tell…

After this unique prologue we get to Mia’s pov. She’s at the airport, going to New York where her father lived, he died a little before and Mia decided to leave everything behind and live her father’s life. He left her an apartment and a bar. Mia loves music and her dad did too, and even though he was in love with her mom, they separeted a few months after Mia was born. So, Mia has this idea of musician, as people without any real life expectation, as people who can’t commit. She’s sure she has it all figured out, she’s not looking for love, but she has a plan and that plan involves stability. Nothing that Will, a guitarist she meets on the plane, can surely give her; at least that’s what she thinks.

Will had always a way of speaking where even though his exaggerations were obvious, it seemed like he truly believed what he was saying. It was like Will’s perception really was reality.

As they sit next to each other on the plane, they immediatly hit it off. They both love music and they find themselves talking like they’ve known each other for all their lives. Will is handsome, full of light, he’s so bright, always doing something. He likes Mia and does nothing to hide it. But Mia only wants to be friends. So that’s what they do. They become best friends, it clearly hurts Will, since Mia is also going out with someone else.

The leap of faith is giving it a chance and not projecting your own crap on someone else because you’re afraid of failing.

Even though they would obviously be perfect for each other, even their friends ship them, Mia is scared. As Will starts getting notoriety as a musician, Mia is more and more afraid of loosing him, and starting a relationship would only hurt her more in the end.

I knew that if I gave myself to Will, I would be left in pieces… left behind. The only way I could hang on was to be his friend, even though every part of me wanted more.

I didn’t like Mia that much to be honest, she was judgy, even if she was the first one to do stupid things; she seemed to act by instinct but then as soon as she realized what she was doing she drew back. And that’s what caused a lot of drama. The first half of the book was a bit boring for me, mainly because Mia annoyed me. I usually don’t mind flawed protagonist, but I couldn’t get much into Mia’s mind, I was never sure what Mia was feeling and that was a little unnerving. I felt like I didn’t really know the characters until I got the the second half of the book, when the interactions between Mia and Will became more intense.

He held me with fervor, so tight I could barely breathe, and then he nuzzled his face in my hair and inhaled deeply before letting me go and walking away.

She kept pushing him away, but I finally started to feel something. The characters became more real, and I definitely enjoyed it more.

“I don’t understand you. There, I said it. How many times do I have to tell you? What do I have to do to prove to you that I’m not going anywhere? I’m leaving for a month; I’m coming back. I live with you, for God’s sake. You’re my best fucking friend, Mia. I wish it were more and I think you know that. You are the most guarded person I have ever met, yet everything you feel is right there on your face and you don’t even know it. Whatever you need me to be, I’ll be! Friends? Fine! Best friends? Great! I’ll do it, because I want you in my life more than anything I have ever wanted, So please stop with the don’t-forget-me shit!”

I was applauding Will so much after this speech! Mia needed someone to yell at her for a change.

Let me know what you think if you decide to read Sweet Thing!

manuela calloway sisters


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