Contemporary (Teen)

Review: There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

A compelling YA contemporary from the author who brought us When Dimple Met Rishi!

Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This blog contains affiliate links. I make a small commission when you decide to buy books via the Amazon or Book Depository purchase links available in the book review's post.

I was really excited to find out that Menon had decided to venture back into the world she had created with When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon since I had enjoyed it SO much! This book was all about a side character that had briefly emerged in the first book and I was truly excited to see how the author would take his story and flow with it!

There's Something About Sweetie book cover

There's Something About Sweetie

by Sandhya Menon

Published April 14, 2019 by Simon Pulse
Series: Dimple and Rishi
ISBN: 1529325293

Data from Goodreads

Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After he’s 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?

My Review: Another Fresh Take On Being Indian-American

Just like her other novels, There’s Something About Sweetie brings a new perspective to the table and brings up important critiques on body positivity and acceptance.

The Pros: What worked for me

  • I loved that Sweetie was featured as a fat character. Societies and cultures have inappropriately equated the word fat with negativity: being fat DOES NOT mean ugly. It’s just a body type. I love that this novel reiterates this numerous times.
  • Not only does the author focus on body positivity, she also shows how difficult it can be to promote that when those around you believe otherwise. Seeing Sweetie struggle when facing discrimination from her loved ones was difficult, yet important, to read.
  • I loved Sweetie and Ashish. Sweetie has this cute whimsical voice, that is also logical. Ashish is a character who shows surprising depth and humor. They were cute together and I loved their interactions, and the positive influence it had on Sweetie.

The Cons: What I didn’t like

  • The author fell into the trap of using convenient resolutions(Click to reveal spoiler) Sweetie’s mother just had an epiphany moment and Sweetie just “got over” her own insecurities; I would have liked it to be more gradual and realistic
  • At times, there were too many monologues that just weren’t realistic to the characters; these are teenagers and most of them don’t articulate their thoughts in this way.

While I will always be partial to When Dimple Met Rishi, There’s Something About Sweetie comes in at a close second. I’m looking forward to reading more by Sandhya Menon! For now, I’m giving this a solid 4/5 stars!

4 thoughts on “Review: There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

  1. Every time a new Menon book releases, I’m forced to re-evaluate what my favorite book from her is. They’re all so good! Sweetie was in-cre-di-ble. Can we also talk about how this book not only dealt with the whole ‘fat is ugly’ problem, but also spat in the face of those who go around claiming it’s about health? Sweetie was fat AND a star athlete and I love it. The cover model is also undeniably gorgeous 😍

    1. Honestly – Sweetie is probably a tie with When Dimple Met Rishi … but now that I’ve read 10 Things I Hate About Pinky, I’m stuck once again! I honestly think she is just such a fantastic writer and her characters are both unique and approachable for everyone!

  2. i haven’t read any book by sandhya menon yet but everyone is making me read them! this is such a lovely and insightful review. im glad you liked this overall

    1. I really hope you give her a chance! She has this way of really making the Indian-American experience relatable to everyone, while still introducing other forms of diversity. And the stories are all super cute!

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