Published by Simon Pulse on May 14, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Diversity, Romance, Young Adult
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The irresistible companion novel to the New York Times bestseller When Dimple Met Rishi, which follows Rishi’s brother, Ashish, and a confident 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?
I absolutely devoured There’s Something About Sweetie! I loved When Dimple Met Rishi and was so excited to read a companion novel about Rishi’s brother, Ashish (and yes, Rishi does make a small cameo). To be honest, I couldn’t quite remember what happened to Ashish in When Dimple Met Rishi so I was a little bit lost at the start when his ex-girlfriend was mentioned, but it was an absolutely lovely read and Sweetie is a match made in heaven for Ashish.
I was a bit worried with this book because I wasn’t in love with Sandhya Menon’s second book, From Twinkle, With Love. It was cute but read a little bit junior for me, so I wasn’t sure if I would love There’s Something About Sweetie. Sweetie definitely does read a little bit junior (and high-school-aged Jenna would’ve absolutely reread it to pieces) but I honestly didn’t really mind. I found the plot to be compelling, the characters to be relatable and the romance to be an absolute swoon-fest. There’s Something About Sweetie, follows Sweetie Nair who is a champion sprinter but is carrying a little bit of weight, and Ashish, the star basketballer and younger son to the super rich Patel family. After being in a bit of a rut, Ashish agrees to let his parents matchmake him with another Indian girl – none other than Sweetie. Although Sweetie is interested, her mother is ashamed of Sweetie’s body and firmly objects the match. Sweetie and Ashish decide to date in secret so that Sweetie can experience what it’s like to do something that makes her feel truly confident and in charge of her life. Meanwhile, Ashish is interested in kicking the bad habit that is his ex. Sweetie and Ashish soon develop feelings for each other, but is it too late to reveal the truth to Sweetie’s parents?
I really connected with the plot of the book. While I haven’t experienced anything like it in my own life, I really related to Sweetie’s deference to her mother and her strong spirit. The book was an absolute page-turner and I just couldn’t get enough of Sweetie and Ashish’s dates and the cute story of two ordinary people who just want a relationship. And my gosh, their relationship was cute! I love that Menon writes these wonderful male characters who aren’t jerks and are just genuinely nice, and Ashish definitely fits into that category. He treated Sweetie so well throughout the book and I just loved him in the last few chapters of the book. Likewise, I also really loved Sweetie. She was proud and confident of her body and I enjoyed her Sassy Sweetie Project a lot. I loved that she stood up to her mother in her own way but never truly defied her.
Family is an important theme in this book and I loved the message that, while some parents may be strict, they really just want the best for their children. I also enjoyed the message that no matter how cool and independent you are, you sometimes do need your parents – and they’ve always got your back.
There’s Something About Sweetie lives up to its title. It’s a sweet story about two people who are finding themselves and, in the process, find each other. I loved the characters, their relationships and all of the family elements in this book. I’m looking forward to Sandhya Menon’s next book and I hope it’s just as sweet.
Rating: 4 out of 5