Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Sweet Thing

When I was asked to review Sweet Thing by author Renee Carlino I was expecting a romance/women's fiction type story. What I ended up getting was a novel that's more new adult than anything else - but I think that's what made me love it.

Here's the synopsis:
Mia Kelly is a twenty-five-year-old walking Gap ad who thinks she has life figured out when her father’s sudden death uproots her from slow-paced Ann Arbor to New York City’s bustling East Village. There she discovers her father’s spirit for life and the legacy he left behind with the help of an old cafĂ©, a few eccentric friends, and one charming musician.
Will Ryan is good-looking, poetic, spontaneous, and on the brink of fame when he meets Mia, his new landlord, muse, and personal heartbreaker.
A story of self-discovery and friendship, Sweet Thing shines light on the power of loving and letting go.
You're probably looking at the cover and synopsis and wondering how I didn't figure out that the book might fall into the new adult category. You see, there was a different cover when Carlino first emailed me and it just screamed women's fiction. I'm so happy she changed the image because I think the new cover better reflects the story and Mia.

I love reading stories about characters who are close to my age, their mid-twenties, and still trying to figure out their life. This, to me, is new adult. The book had all the elements I love about women's fiction and romance with the added twist of not really knowing who you are and what you want out of your life.

I do have to say that sometimes I found the characters to be a little more angsty than they should be at 25. I suppose I should allow for some more drama as artists (musicians, in this case) are usually more sensitive but that's a major stereotype assumption to make. However, Will, the more angsty of the two, was almost 30. I felt like the way he (re)acted to some things made it seem like he was 20, not 30. It wasn't a huge deal but I did have to remind myself that I was reading about adults, not teenagers.

While Mia had a major life journey to go on and many issues to work through in her professional and family life, the romance in this story was what gave me all the feelings. A lot of people will talk about the sexiness of new adult novels and this book wasn't much different. There was so much sexual tension between Will and Mia and it was so dramatic - in the best possible way. I was constantly worried they wouldn't get their act together because I knew they'd be perfect for each other. The uncertainty created even more drama (and feelings) and made the story that much more of a page turner.

Getting back to Mia's journey...I think she handled all the curveballs life threw at her exceptionally well. Her family life is not conventional and she found out some details about her parent's relationship that really threw her. That being said, I don't think that story line was given enough presence. It was revealed and then sort of swept under the rug and not really dealt with. It was amazing to see her grow as a woman over the course of the novel and I think that's part of why I really enjoyed the story.

I would definitely recommend Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino. Sure, there were some bits that didn't thrill me with the writing and plot but overall I adored this story. I didn't want to put it down! If you're a women's fiction lover looking to see what new adult's all about or into young adult novels and want something a little more grown up, check out this book. It's a great read!

*A copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

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