From Twinkle, With Love Review

book review

From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon follows aspiring filmmaker Twinkle Mehra as she creates a film for a local festival with film geek Sahil Roy. The film project grows more complicated when Twinkle finds herself crushing on Sahil despite her longtime crush on his twin brother who may be sending her flirty messages online.

After I finished When Dimple Met Rishi, I wanted to pick up this book immediately. While not my all-time favorite contemporary, When Dimple Met Rishi was a light contemporary read perfect for the summertime. While I didn’t go into When Dimple Met Rishi with high expectations due to reviews I had seen online, I definitely went into Twinkle’s story with higher expectations due to my experience reading Menon’s first book. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Twinkle’s story and found many problems in this book which other readers experienced while reading Dimple’s story.

I think the aspect of this book that I struggled with the most book would have to be the characters. Let me start of by saying I can’t fault sixteen year old characters acting like actual sixteen year old characters. I don’t mind the occasional face palm at a glaringly bad decision because it’s realistic. At the same time, I need to connect with the characters on some level which I found very difficult with Twinkle and Sahil.

I really appreciated how Twinkle wanted to change the world through her film making and stand up for her own voice, however, I think a lot of that message is lost through her actions. Towards the end of the book, Twinkle’s actions are very cruel and she bashes down anyone else’s ideas. While I understand some of the motivations for her actions and Twinkle does eventually somewhat apologize for her actions, this part of the book went on a little too long for comfort for me.

Additionally, I felt like Twinkle’s love interest, Sahil was basically Rishi 2.0 but not as well developed. Even though readers don’t see Sahil’s point of view through chapters in this story, you do get to see a little more of his personality through text messages. For me though, it wasn’t a lot of personality because his whole character just revolved around Twinkle and doing what she wanted. He has the hopeless romantic attitude of Rishi multiplied by one hundred. He had an attempt at a backstory of being overshadowed by his brother, but it wasn’t fleshed out enough for me to know him any better as a character.

Another problem I had with this book was the entire set-up. I thought with the letter format to famous female filmmakers, the film aspect would be more prominent in this book. I actually felt like film was more emphasized in the description of this book than the coding camp in Dimple Met Rishi, so it surprised me when it was featured even less than the coding camp in the actual story. Whenever filming was brought up, Twinkle would say “we just filmed,” but readers never actually get to see it. It disappointed me that I didn’t get to see all of Twinkle’s awesome film knowledge, her passion for film making, or even the movie at all. While this didn’t bother as much in Menon’s first story, since there was so many other elements I felt lacking, this did bother me a little more in Twinkle’s story.

Although I had several major problems with this story, I do think I would have enjoyed it more if I was Twinkle’s age. Looking back at books I enjoyed when I was sixteen, I think I would have enjoyed the drama and love interest a little bit more. However, reading at this point in my life, I just couldn’t connect to many aspects of the story. I give From Twinkle, with Love two out of five stars.

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When Dimple Met Rishi Review

book review

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon follows Dimple Shah, a recent high school graduate who plans to attend a coding camp over the summer and escape her family’s pressure of finding the ideal Indian husband. Little does Dimple know, hopeless romantic Rishi Patel also plans on attending the same camp. Instead of coding apps, however, he plans on winning his suggested future wife’s heart.

I’ve been wanting to read When Dimple Met Rishi since it was released, but decided to hold back on purchasing the book after seeing several mixed reviews. Luckily for me, my library added this book to its collection so I could finally read it! Based on the mixed reviews that I’ve seen, many readers were disappointed that this book did not feature a lot of the coding aspect. Since I knew that part of the book wouldn’t be extremely emphasized going in, I overall enjoyed this book even though it doesn’t stick out as one of my favorite contemporary books.

I think my favorite part of this book would have to be the two main characters. Dimple and Rishi both have a lot of respect for their culture, but also have complete opposite personalities. While Dimple is a headstrong, modern woman, Rishi tends to be a little more traditional and a hopeless romantic. Since this book does contain both of their point of view, I appreciated their distinct voices. Not only are you able to distinguish who is narrating the book, but you also see two different voices within the same culture.

Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the romance. Once Dimple and Rishi are able to move past their initial impressions of each other, they establish a sweet relationship that also shows a lot of respect for their partner and their differing views. Additionally, I really enjoyed at the end of the book how their relationship really came full circle at the end of the book.

As for the negatives of this book, I can see how some readers may feel misled by the book’s premise which may cause the book to not meet their expectations. From the book’s synopsis, it seems like the coding camp will play a large role in the story. Even though the coding camp definitely takes the back burner to the relationship in this story, I was pleasantly surprised how much it was incorporated because I went in with the expectation that it would be practically non-existent. I think if you go in with the expectation that will element may not be as prominent as expected, the story will be more enjoyable.

While When Dimple Met Rishi isn’t my all-time favorite contemporary book, it was a fun and easy young adult contemporary to read. I give this book three out of five stars.