I received this for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.There's Something about Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 14, 2019
“Adorable, joyous.” —BuzzFeed
“I’m head-over-heels for this charming, funny, romantic, life-affirming book.” —Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Leah on the Offbeat
The irresistible companion novel to the New York Times bestseller When Dimple Met Rishi, which follows Rishi’s brother, Ashish, and a confident, self-proclaimed fat athlete named Sweetie as they both discover what love means to them.
Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After being dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they could find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up.
The Patels insist that Ashish date an Indian-American girl—under contract. Per subclause 1(a), he’ll be taking his date on “fun” excursions like visiting the Hindu temple and his eccentric Gita Auntie. Kill him now. How is this ever going to work?
Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death.
Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of.
Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other?
Oh. My. Stars. I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!! Obviously. I mean, I really loved When Dimple Met Rishi so I anticipated liking this one. But it is totally a new favorite. I meant to just read a couple chapters but ended up staying up until midnight to devour it without even realizing it was that late!
I identified with Sweetie and Ashish so much. They both struggle with feelings of self doubt (for different reasons) and are struggling to find confidence. Man, if that wasn’t me all through my life and up to present day! There were so many sections I wish teen me could have read! The author did such a great job of expressing the ways that they’re feeling while also showing how to embrace who you are, as you are.
I also really loved the feminist undertones (they’re overt… not really undertones but I can’t think of the right word because my brain is still high on my love for this book!) and the way this book addresses issues like standing up for yourself, balancing a desire to be your own person while still embracing and respecting your family and traditions, relationships between children and their parents and siblings, and so much more.
And the friendships! Those established as well as those developed over the story… they were so, so, so great. I love seeing characters (especially boys) be vulnerable with the people they trust. And a group of female friends (and honestly all teen females in the book!) who are not constantly trying to compete and one up each other! But just genuinely listen to each other and support one another! THERE IS JUST SO MUCH TO LOVE!!
Basically, you need to read this book. ASAP. I’m adding Sandhya Menon to my list of fav contemporary authors like Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, Emery Lord, Morgan Matson, and Jenny Han. Her books are ones I’ll re-read to make me feel better when I’m feeling down. Highest praise.