Sweet Thing by Renée Carlino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoy any book that gets me feeling for and with the characters. I felt a lot with this one. Mia is a 25 year old music prodigy with a business degree from Brown who moves to New York after the death of her father to take over his apartment and the coffee shop he owned that meant a lot to him and many others. Will is a musician who is quickly taken with Mia after they meet on an airplane and discover they are able to relate to each other about all things musical in a pretty strong way. Once they are both in New York they reconnect and Will ends up renting a room from Mia. She decides quickly that she wants to keep Will in her life as long as possible and believes that the only sure way to do that is to keep things on a platonic level. He makes it clear he would like more than friendship from her, and she consistently struggles with her strong attraction to him.
This is a book about figuring out who you really are, and figuring out how to live and grieve and love. This book could have turned hokey on any number of occasions, but it always managed to stay on the side of feeling authentic rather than contrived. It was refreshing to read characters that didn't feel like carbon copies of characters in other books, but with a few minor surface differences. Mia was an easy protagonist to connect and feel with. She goes through a lot and even when I didn't agree with her choices, I was willing to ride things out with her and trust her to grow and do better moving forward. I definitely felt the weight she carried around as she dealt with the loss of her father and also started learning new things about her family.
I was ready to find Will irritating after first being introduced to his character, but I (like Mia) got over that pretty quickly and he grew on me fast. This book has a nice amount of angst, which I always love, and kept me engaged throughout. I'm very glad I read this and will be recommending it to others and looking for other books in the future by this author. 4 strong stars (inching towards 4.5).