There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

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There’s Something About Sweetie

by Sandhya Menon

ebook, 384 pages

Published May 14th 2019 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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?

Trigger warning: fatphobia

What I like

  • Sweetie is honestly one of the best main character I’ve ever read. Right from the start, we see how sweet and empathetic, as well as how passionate and accomplished she is about track. And yet we also got to see how her being fat affected her relationship with her body and her parents. Her growth throughout the story was really delightful to watch because she really deserved the world and all the happiness it can offer to her 🥺💗 Her voice felt really genuine and honest and I just really love her.
  • Sweetie’s friends is an amazing support system that deserved more spotlight! I love their dynamics, how they encourage Sweetie and will always have her back. I’d love to read more about Ashish’s interactions with Sweetie’s interactions 😂
  • Ashish parents are the best- definitely on top of the “best YA parents” list. The mom, Sunita, is really warm, welcoming and empathetic. She welcomed Dimple with open arms and I can see her together with Sweetie really well, fussing over Ashish together 😂 The dad (can’t remember the name sorry!) is hilarious in a way “dad trying to get on with the kids and modern world” 😂 Despite them being the literal cool parents, it’s really nice how they still hold the traditional values and want their children to have it too (arranged marriage and all the traditions Ashish and Rishi grew up with) but they also respect the teens’ wishes (i.e. Dimple not wanting to get married immediately, Sweetie and Ashish relationships). I would love to read a book about their family life or even how the parents meet each other…
  • Ashish had some major growth throughout the book. At the beginning of the book, he was, for lack of a better word, a jerk. All he care about was his “mojo” and how he lost his touch with girls (and basketball, but mainly girls). It was really uncomfortable to read, but we also got to understand how hurt he was with Celia’s actions. What I love the most about Ashish growth is that it’s not magically happened because of Sweetie; all the qualities are always there, but he got to know her more he wanted to be a better person that deserved her that he care less about his image and playing it cool, not afraid to show the “good” side of him.
  • Ashish is also an amazing boyfriend. Their first meeting was amazing, I love how we can see how thoroughly whipped Ashish was with Sweetie, how their energy matches and being beaten by her and seeing her passion made her attractive to him. He’s also really attentive and helping Sweetie getting out of her shell. Their relationship was really equal: he let Sweetie take the lead with the romance and respect her boundaries, but at the same time, he’s also being honest with his situation with Celia. I think they communicate quite well and it’s really refreshing to read!
  • The dates are so cute! I love how it introduced us (and Ashish) to Indian culture but also the complex relationship between Ashish and his parents. Holi date has always been on my bucket list so it felt so good reading it in this book. I felt like living through them, especially during this current times 🥺
  • Dimple and Rishi’s cameo- It’s nice to see them thriving together 😍

What I didn’t like

  • Ashish’s attitude at the beginning of the book was really not it. It really sucks to see how hear his thoughts on how he sees girls and himself. I also hate how he responded to Celia, regardless of his intention, near the end of the book. It felt really dumb, as if it’s only there for the sake of conflict as it’s really obvious what kind of misunderstanding that could happen 😒
  • Sweetie’s mother. I’m really sorry, but every time she appeared on page I began to dread the words coming out of her mouth too. Her comments are really hard to stomach and I don’t think we’ve got enough explanations as to why she reacted that way. Was it because she was treated that way or because the commentary from that evil auntie got to her?? I’m not saying everything should have a reason but with the way the story ended I couldn’t understand her to justify her comments and actions throughout the book. The fact that she stood by and let the evil auntie bullied Sweetie also made me angry. I understand why the author chose to write this story, but it can be really triggering to read.
  • Pinky. I’m sorry but she was really mean, especially towards Samir 😦 I also have read their novella and it’s still mean 😦 With her and Samir being the main character for the next book, I’m actually really on the fence on whether I should pick it up or just skip it.

There’s Something About Sweetie is a super cute and fun read, filled with amazing friends and family, cute dates, and well developed characters. I absolutely love the message this book is trying to send, but I have to admit some parts were really uncomfortable to read which is why I prefer the first book. I also felt like the ending was perfect but the pacing was rushed. Overall it was a fun, cute, and an important read!


8 thoughts on “There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

  1. I’ve read When Dimple Met Rishi and absolutely LOVED it! I wasn’t a huge fan of From Twinkle with Love, but I think you’ve convinced me to try and pick this one up eventually! Menon’s writing is always so fun 😊 Great review!

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  2. Lovely review!! Thank you for putting this book on my radar! When Dimple Met Rishi is on my TBR and I didn’t know the author had another book with some of the characters 🥰

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