A funny and heartfelt novel filled with quirky Indian-American characters.
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After thoroughly enjoying When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, I knew I wanted to read more by this author. Lo and behold – I found this novel! I loved that the author was going to continue to stick with Indian-American characters but had also decided to go with a very different scenario than in her previous work. Here are my thoughts:
From Twinkle, with Love
Published April 22, 2018 by Simon Pulse
Data from Goodreads
Summary (Goodreads): Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy-a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2. When mystery man N begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil. Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?
I had a fun time reading this novel … but it wasn’t as good as its predecessor. Now, before I comment on this, I do want to mention that When Dimple Met Rishi is not connected to this novel in any way whatsoever; From Twinkle, with Love is NOT a sequel. That being said … I just couldn’t stop myself from comparing the two novels even though I knew I shouldn’t. I’ll get into more detail about this later on.
The Pros: What worked for me
- I really liked that it features an Indian girl pursuing an unconventional career path. In this novel, Twinkle is an aspiring filmmaker, a decidedly non-STEM related (STEM = science, tech, engineering, or maths) field. It’s fantastic seeing Indian characters pursuing artistic endeavours because, I’ll be honest, Indian people tend to fit into the stereotype of always pursuing something STEM-related. It’s a change I wholly support!
- The plot was also very cute, just like with When Dimple Met Rishi. I love the lightness that the author brings to the story because it makes me smile and enjoy the ride.
- There are heartwarming moments, and scenes that make you really feel for the characters. I think that the different personalities that were developed here were great, and I got to connect with all of them very easily.
The Cons: What I didn’t like
- I didn’t really love the way the story was written. The format was via journal entries addressed to Twinkle’s idols as well as excerpts from text messages. For some reason, it just didn’t work for me.
- I wish that the story had been told from Sahil’s perspective and not just Twinkle’s; it would have made the romance come alive a bit more. As much as I like reading Twinkle’s thoughts, it’s always fun to see the other side of things.
- I also think the author was a bit … heavy-handed with some of the themes she was trying to bring to the forefront. I won’t say too much because it would spoil the story but at times, I felt like I was being bashed over the head and it was all a bit much.
Now, I want this criticism to be taken with a grain of salt. As I was reading this book – and as I’m writing this review – I was aware that I was comparing this novel to When Dimple Met Rishi.
But the fact remains that …. this novel just wasn’t as good. The characters were great, and the plot was interesting but the execution just wasn’t at the same level as in the previous novel by this author. And that did colour my enjoyment of this novel.
This is still a really cute story. It’s just that my expectations were quite high coming off of the previous novel. In any case, this is a good novel, and I would recommend it to people who enjoyed Sandhya Menon’s other work. I’m giving it a solid 3/5 stars!