Monday 27 May 2019

Review: There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

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?

Review: I was always going to love this book, I mean it is a Sandhya Menon novel with a fat main character and lots of lovely romance what's not to love? Let me tell you exactly what I loved about it though...

Sweetie is just the best character to spend time with. I love the fact that she is fat but she is also an athlete and also a kick-ass singer! She doesn't let her being fat hold her back or stop her enjoying life but it does cause a lot of tension between her and her parents. I love that she decides she wants to be a sassy woman and go for what she deserves out of life. She really grows as a character over the course of the novel because of the things she experiences and events that happen to her and her family. I loved watching that journey and I would LOVE to hear more from her in the future!

Ashish is our other main character and he also goes on a bit of a journey over the course of the novel. He is just as independent at Sweetie is, or so he thinks. He has experienced some heartbreak (we met him in When Dimple Met Rishi) and now he is struggling to get his mojo back. He realises just how much his family especially his parents can actually be there for him. I loved watching his relationship with his friends develop over this novel too-I think friendship is often reserved for female characters in YA fiction and it was great to read about male friendships and the ups and downs in this novel. 

There are some great date suggestions in this book. I really enjoyed watching as Ashish's parents send him in four allocated dates, the first of which is at the temple. They provide some real comedy moments but they also provide an emotional backdrop for some of the deeper character revelations during the storyline. They were definitely great fun. 

I think that my favourite thing about this book was the fact that Sweetie realises she may have some fat phobia inside of herself and is actually missing out on some experiences or holding back in others because deep down she does believe her fatness is holding her back somehow. This is something I have definitely experienced as a fat person and something which just doesn't get talked about enough in novels in any genre. I love that fact that Sadhya Menon expose this and the fact that Sweetie shines a light in this herself, it was a great way to explore what it means to be fat. 

We met Ashish in When Dimple Met Rishi and so there are some cameos of characters from that novel. If you don't want to be spoiled for that book the  definitely read it first, you won't regret it. But no matter what you do, I definitely recommend picking up There's Something About Sweetie and diving in right away. 

To order your copy just click the link: UK or US

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