Remember the time when everyone including your friends loved a thing and you didn’t know how to react because you didn’t love it as much. Or to be honest didn’t love it at all? Well, I am gonna probably lose some friends over this review of From Twinkle, with love by Sandhya Menon. Let get it done with ok?
Twinkle Mehra is an aspiring filmmaker, who has had a crush on the school’s golden boy Neil Roy for a long time. She has made it her personal goal to break out of the groundling status (AKA commoners), in the high school cliched ranks, and get promoted to that of silk feathered hats, that is the popular ones.
To make matters worse, her childhood best friends Maddie had found new friends earlier this year and she is now among the popular clique, and she has to win her back.
When Sahil, a fellow film geek and the awkward twin of Neil Roy, asks her to work on a film for the summer festival, she takes it up as a chance to solve all her problems – get closer to Neil, win back Maddie, join the popular clique and shoot a film.
But what she did not expect was her falling for the sweet, understanding and adorable Sahil. What happens to their film and their romance forms the rest of the story in From Twinkle, with love.
Since I told you all pretty much how I feel about the book already, let us talk about the why part.
I was all excited for this book, because I had had met the author then and she turned out to be actually sweet and friendly. And most of my friends and many from the book blogger world loved it. But that didn’t sway my high expectations from my experience with When Dimple met Rishi. So I started reading with the correct level of expectations but hopeful that I will love it.
After a few initial chapters, I started disliking Twinkle as I found her annoying, self absorbed and hypocritical. As much as she spoke of breaking the barrier between cliches, she was obsessed with being in the popular group. She had a crush on Neil and constantly worried about ‘her connection with him’ even when she was getting closer to his brother, when she had barely spoken with him ever.
And she absolutely didn’t care about what Maddie’s interest in ‘being best friends’ with her. Or how Sahil would feel when he realizes that she is working with him to get to his brother, whose shadows he had lived under all his life. And she doesn’t tell him about meeting N, her secret admirer until he found out. I really wanted to like this book, you guys!
Also her character arc: Her character arc takes a positive change and then a negative so suddenly (and quite unnecessarily) that it had me double check if I were reading it correctly. Yes, she redeems herself at the end but the changes in her didn’t make sense to me.
Why am I talking only about Twinkle?
Because that is all there! From Twinkle, with love is written in the epistolary style with diary/letter entries of Twinkle and chat history of Sahil. The book offers no other character’s perspectives. But how did she write her diary when she was with others? Did she excuse herself for 30 minutes (that is how much long it took to write this review) when she is with others?
I liked the author’s writing style and easy flow. And it would definitely be a good book to start your reading habit even. I liked even the smaller characters like Dadi, Victoria and I wish we had deeper insights into their characters.
Things that worked for me
Finally a diverse book with an Indian MC, in a setting that I can personally relate to.
I loved Sahil and how understanding and helpful was.
Great book to start the reading habit with.
I liked the easy narrative flow, despite the epistolary style.
Things that didn’t work for me
I completely hated how annoying and cardboard-ish Twinkle was.
And her character arc didn’t make sense to me.
I wish the other (non lead) characters had more depth and character development.
Read From Twinkle, with love if you are looking for a fluffy, contemporary high school romance, with desi characters. Many other bloggers have loved it, so you might too.
When I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? years ago, I had been watching The Mindy Project on my television. And the show was before it became famous, I was even worried they would cancel it off.
It may have something to do with the fact that there weren’t enough shows that revolved around a WOC, and an Indian woman at that, who did not look perfect (in the Hollywood standards). Or maybe it was just because it was damn funny.
So I picked the book up and was absolutely surprised because not only this woman made the snarky early twenties in me laugh but also made me pause and think about things that were not spoken out so loudly then. Needless to say I loved this chirpy, crazy woman and her writing. Obviously when I heard she had another book out, I had to grab it.
I know I might be reviewing it a little late (as per my usual these days) but I am doing it anyway. So let us read ahead to know how Why Not Me? fared on my grown up scale, shall we?
In Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling keeps it real. She doesn’t sugar coat it nor make it sound like her life is a miracle. She says how the show’s success changed her. She talks about her insecurities which changed later into confidence, but she doesn’t belittle them. She talks about her flaws as they are. More than all, she is freaking hilarious.
There were some chapters that were a little so-so but the ones that were good were really good. There is a chapter on her confidence which was the best of the book and I loved it.
It’s just that, the truth is, I have never, ever, ever met a highly confident and successful person who is not what a movie would call a ‘workaholic.
Things that worked for me
Her cheerful yet honest voice that made it like we are best friends than a writer and reader.
I couldn’t help cheer a WOC who made it through sheer hard work. She is definitely a role model.
I loved her pieces on confidence and her imaginary alternate life.
Things that didn’t work for me
I didn’t find her as relatable as she was in Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? but maybe it was just me missing the dorky Mindy.
You might not enjoy this one as much if her shows didn’t appeal you.
Bottom – line
I love Mindy and that is exactly why I picked this book and I was quite happy with it. It is not a life changing book but it made me laugh a few times and kept me engaged till the end.
Though, I didn’t love it as much as I did the first book, I would recommend ‘Why Not Me?’ to anyone who wants to read a funny, celebrity memoir.
Let us chat
Have you read this one? Do you read celebrity books? What is your favorite celebrity memoir? Let us talk.
Do you know what is the overused word that I have been dreading to hear or read about a book? Nerds. Thanks to John Green, Chetan Bhagat and the likes, I am pushed to cringe physically when someone describes themselves as nerds. So when every book blogger I adore went crazy reviewing about the new YA on the block with two Indian leads who are nerds, I was not sure I would like the end of that melodrama. Still, I had to try it, right? Read more to find out what I feel about When Dimple Met Rishi
Dimple Shah has ambitious plans for her life and has been accepted to Stanford. She wants to attend a coding camp that might give her a chance to work with her role model. But her parents have other plans for her. Rishi Patel, her parents’ choice of the groom for Dimple, arrives at the Insomnia Camp to spend time with her. Dimple ambushed by her parents hates Rishi even before she gets a chance to know him. Does her opinion about Rishi changes after she knows him better?
Rishi is the perfect first born son for his Indian parents, who follows his dad’s footsteps into computer engineering. He falls for the girl his parents chose for him and agrees to woo her at the summer program she has enlisted to. Does this arranged marriage situation end up well for his hopelessly romantic self? Does he realize what makes him happy, than just being the model son? You have to read the When Dimple Met Rishi to find out more.
Dimple and Rishi are so opposite in their beliefs and value systems, though their origin and culture are the same. While she is a rebel and wants to shine out in the world for herself before she could think of marriage, Rishi stays true to his roots and wants to fulfill his parents’ desires. They are both perfect for each other and fight hard to keep on their courses despite the fact that they were falling for each other. Oh, by the way, I totally adored the other duo (Ashish and Celia) in the story, and I am more than excited to know that there might be a follow up on their stories too.
When Dimple Met Rishi is a cute YA contemporary that would make you grin in all the right places. This short read is what one needs one a bored afternoon to lift you from your slump. Yes, there are some stereotyping towards Indians. And even as an Indian from a similar background, I could not believe these kids were just eighteen. I mean I was never that serious even then. I actually pegged Rishi to be in his late 20s or early 30s, before I had read further. You know I had already another Rishi with whom I had the same problem.
There are a few Hindi slangs but not too many to be turn-offish and the writing is so fluid and breezy that I read the book in less than three hours. Is When Dimple Met Rishi
worth all the commotion it has created by the Twittersphere and the great reviews found online? I would say a YES! If you are in the mood for a YA/romcom this season your choice is right here.