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Sweet Thing - Renée Carlino Sometimes, timing is everything.

My perception of a book has a lot to do with my frame of mind at the time of reading. There are days when I am irritable and have low or zero tolerance for characters who make stupid decisions. There are days when I am feeling carefree and happy that even shallow and forgettable books get my 2-thumbs up. The next book I read after finishing a disappointing one tends to get harsher judgement from me since I expect that book to take me out of my book funk. Oftentimes, I also find myself looking back at previously rated books and thinking that some of the books I used to think highly of are really not all that. You get the drift.

I'd have to say that my reading experience with [b:Sweet Thing|17609127|Sweet Thing|Renee Carlino|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1363208437s/17609127.jpg|24568561] was one of those untimely ones. Let me explain through two reviews. If you're a fan of the book, or if you have yet to read the book, I suggest you stop reading at the end of review no. 1. I'm giving you a heads up that I'll have no restraints in review no. 2 and some of my statements might be ungrounded. There will also be spoilery quotes included.

1.) Solid 4 to 4.5*!!!

[b:Sweet Thing|17609127|Sweet Thing|Renee Carlino|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1363208437s/17609127.jpg|24568561] is an amazing story that truly depicts the very essence of New Adult books. The main character, Mia, is an independent woman who is still on the hunt for her niche in the world. She knows that she wants to use her business degree, but her career endeavors were stalled due to the sudden passing of her biological father. She moves to New York City to oversee the cafe and the rental properties that her father left behind, and hopefully, maybe start her new life there too. She meets this cute musician, Will, on the way there and later on, she offers to let him rent the spare bedroom in her late father's apartment. She is adamant about one thing though, and that is to keep their relationship strictly platonic. At this time in her life, she is grieving and still at a loss with the direction of her life. She thinks that what she needs is stability - something that a starving artist like Will can't possibly give her. The attraction is obviously there, but it's a question of whether to follow her brain or her heart.

Will's character alone makes the book for me. He is cute, charming, talented, sweet and NICE. I know some of my favourite books feature assholish heroes but once in a while, it's great to find someone who's just a nice guy. And because of this very reason, I know a number of readers who were displeased with Mia. While I do not condone some of her actions, I do understand where she was coming from. She was coping with the death of a loved one. She's now responsible for the livelihood of several special people and she's just moved to a whole new city. She's at that stage in her life where she's thinking of her future and just wants what's best for herself. You can call her selfish, stupid or just plain unlikable but I thought that her apprehensions were warranted. It's just her meanness towards Will that bugged me.

I've always loved the integration of music in a story's plot. This book was no exception. I loved the fact that Will and Mia related to each other greatly because of their common love for music and their talents. I guess the only thing that's keeping me from considering this book perfect was that I found certain situations to be a little cliche. For instance, I thought that Audrey cheating on Will was an easy way out of a realistic conflict. I also thought that it was unnecessary for Robert to come off as a complete douche. Just because he couldn't relate to Mia's friends doesn't mean that Mia could come to the conclusion that an Upper West Side resident in a highly positioned corporate job has a superiority complex. Other than that, grammatical and typographical errors were minimal so they were easy to ignore.

Overall, I thought that it was a great story of self-discovery with a believable and touching romance. It's a story about healing and letting go. It's a story about cherishing the people who love you. It's about having dreams and working your ass off to turn those dreams into reality. It's a story about love and the risks that you take with it.


2.) ASDFGHASDFGH!@#$!@#$!#@$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2*

First of all, it's Eddie VEDDER. VeddEr. Not VeddAr. For someone whose musical preference include a lot of Pearl Jam, I'm just mildly offended.

Second of all, I know authors are influenced by books and writing styles they love and sometimes it's reflected in their writing. For instance, there is a series I adore that's written by an author I love who professed her love for this other series (which I also loved) some time ago. In one of this author's books, there is a line that when I read it, it automatically brought me back to the OTHER book (which she and I love), with that same line but used with different names (different characters, of course). The follow up sentence and even the context were also different so I thought nothing much of it, except that THAT was clearly an influence of that other book.

Anyway, my problem with [b:Sweet Thing|17609127|Sweet Thing|Renee Carlino|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1363208437s/17609127.jpg|24568561] is that there are too many details, maybe coincidental, that keep bringing my thoughts back to this other book I've read some time ago. And that book? I ship that book so hard it's not even funny. If you've read that book and loved it the following might hit a nerve:

Gap, fear of flying, New York City, roommates, walking into your roommate who's wearing her underwear, musical genius, aversion to mainstream success, Jesus, four track recorder, antique ring, suit pants, fear of getting left behind...

Ring any bells yet? How about these quotes?

Cocky bastard.

...cosmic, soul-shattering, air in your lungs kind of love.

"How many girls have you slept with since you met me?"

"People would die for the opportunity you were given. You won the fucking lottery and you're gonna throw it all away?...You turned it down for me?"

To love is brave.

She ripped my soul out, poured gasoline on it, and watched it burn.

"I made a huge mistake that I have regretted every single day. I've changed. I know what I want, but it's too late and I'll never get over that. I just want him to know that I'm sorry and that I did love him, I do love him and I just want to see him."

"I have to know that you're all in."
"I am," I said instantly.
"It's just me, nothing else, no fame, no record deal. Maybe I'll be a bartender forever, maybe I'll rent a room from you for four hundred dollars."
"Just you and your guitar?"
"I don't care, that's all I want. I love you."

This is what I mean about timing. If I had read this book first, I'd have stuck with review no. 1 above. I'd have loved it! I know that the conflicts in this book are fairly typical and that any music-themed, or more specifically, any rockstar-themed book would probably face the same issues. But I just can't bring myself to be objective about it because I really, really loved that first book. So much so that if I were asked what the one book I'd wish to have with me if I were marooned on an island, I would, hands down, choose that book. That's how special that book is to me. Of course, there is much, much more to [b:Sweet Thing|17609127|Sweet Thing|Renee Carlino|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1363208437s/17609127.jpg|24568561] than those similarities. I bet that if you've read this book first and loved it, you'd probably find that other book to be average, or you might not even like it at all.

Just to be clear, I'm not accusing anyone of anything. I don't even know if Ms. Carlino has read that other book. I'm just saying that my perception of this book is clouded because I'm admittedly biased. For lack of better analogies, remember how there was an initial backlash to Divergent because it seemed like a Hunger Games rip-off? (Sorry, I don't have any romance-related example I can think of) Some people found out that it was actually not (me included), but some people stuck to their guns and cried copycat even after reading Divergent. I'm saying that I am one of those close-minded people. Like I said, maybe the similarities were coincidental. Or maybe they were intentional, but it wasn't to "copy" but be more of an allusion to that other book. Anyway, I'm rambling now. In conclusion, I'd rate this book 3*, in between my two reviews.