For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review: There’s Something About Sweetie (Dimple and Rishi #2) by Sandhya Menon



The irresistible companion novel to the New York Timesbestseller 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? ~ Goodreads

Source: Library – audiobook. Narrated by Vikas Adam & Soneela Nankani

Review: I adored When Dimple Met Rishi, but From Twinkle, with Love by Menon was only a 3.5 star read for me. There’s Something About Sweetie returns to the Dimple & Rishi world – featuring Rishi’s brother, Ashish and with cameos of both Dimple & RIshi!

I didn’t really recall Ashish from WDMR, but apparently he was a bit of a player and cocky and much to his parents dismay, only dates American girls. After one such American girl breaks his heart, he consents to letting his parents fix him up with a nice Indian-American girl.

The girl they choose is Sweetie. Much to everyone's dismay, Sweetie’s mother doesn’t agree to the match and the reason broke my heart.

Sweetie is fat (her words) but happy, confident, a wonderful friend and daughter. Unfortunately, her mother cannot see past her weight – thinking that if she was thinner she could escape all pain and ridicule and lead the perfect life. She is relentlessly critical of Sweetie – monitoring her food, her clothes and, in this case, who she should date. She feels Ashish is above Sweetie in looks and wouldn’t match well – at least until sweetie loses weight. And she says this….out loud.

Gah – that almost physically hurt for me to read. I think everyone, even if it’s well meaning, occasionally says something passive aggressive or hurtful to loved ones but Sweetie’s mom was next level. And her dad, who Sweetie adored, was passive whenever it happened. I think what hurt the most was that it was clear that her mom loved her. She wasn’t an evil tyrant you could write off as a bad parent.

Luckily, Ashish and his family had no such qualms about Sweeties looks, in fact Ashish is utterly charmed by her and they decide to date anyway, behind Sweetie’s parents back but under Ashish’s parents watchful eye and contract where they go on dates that they believe will help him learn to appreciate his culture. Sweetie agrees as part of her “Sassy Sweetie Project” where she stops letting her mother’s judgment weigh her down and accept the good things that come her way.

I loved these two together. While they feel a physical attraction to each other, Sweetie is trying to find herself and Ash is still nursing a broken heart. They are incredibly open and mature about it all – discussing and supporting each other along the way. It’s a slow burn and solid friendship before it turns to more.

Ash’s parents are delightful!!! They made me laugh out loud and want to wrap them up in a big hug for how supportive they were and had Ashish's back whenever he needed them.

And the resolution between Sweetie and her mom was difficult, painful but realistic and wonderful. All parents of daughters should read this book to see just how their words can hurt and otherwise confident, beautiful teenage girl.

*This was one of the books that spurred my discussion post – Does reading YA make you a better parent?

This was a fantastic book in so many ways – I loved how Ash was given time (& understanding from Sweetie) to get over his broken relationship with his ex. Yes, it was over but feelings don’t just go away in a snap. The friendships and girl power was awesome, fat rep, and active parents rounded out this relatable and sweet YA.

I listened to this on audio and I thought the narration by Vikas Adam was off. Ashish was hurt and grumpy after his break up but Adam’s voice was so gruff (& old sounding) that I couldn’t get a sense of the cocky basketball player that he was supposed to be. Just that he was about to rip someone’s head off at any moment. I found his voice distracting but eventually got used to it. Soneela Nankani as Sweetie was great.

26 comments:

  1. It sounds like you really enjoyed this one....so, why 3.5 stars? Because of the audiobook issue?

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    1. Book #2 was a 3.5 star for me. I gave this one 4.5 on Goodreads

      I'll make that a little clearer.

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  2. God poor Sweetie. Her parents would make me lose my ish.

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  3. That sounds like a good story but I wouldn't want her parents.

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  4. Ash's parents were one of the highlights for me. I adored them, and I was really happy with the direction Menon took Sweetie's family drama. It was done well, and that is why I adore Menon's books. Did you read the WDMR novella? It was adorable.

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    1. I think Menon resolved the mom issue really well which was a tough thing to do. And I just found out about that novella yesterday! and requested it from the library.

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  5. Aw, this sounds so touching- I really want to read about Sweetie now! Thanks for putting this author on my radar!!

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    1. It was hard to read the mother daughter dynamic at times but it was resolved so well and adorable otherwise.

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  6. This sounds great, and so topical- nice to see the issue handled well. I can imagine it's hard reading about Sweetie's mom hurting her (even unintentionally) over her weight- I'm glad it sounds like there's a good resolution at the end.

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    1. It was handled well which is difficult to write believably.

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  7. But I loooooove Vikas! But yes maybe his voice is not really Akish

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    1. His voice wasn't bad - just not a cocky teen lol

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  8. I like the sound of Sweetie already. She seems like a character I could really get behind. But her mother... ugh! At least Ashish has awesome parents! :)

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    1. Her mother made me really sad. I do think the author wrote it really well. And Sweetie's confidence on herself never wavered.

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  9. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I've seen a lot of mixed reviews and it's always nice to see someone like a book so much even when it isn't for everyone. Too bad about the audio though. :/

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    1. I didn't really know much about it going in - which I think is better sometimes.

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  10. After feeling a bit lukewarm about her second novel, I am glad this one was back up to the fabulous standard that you love from her. The parent problem in this one sounds like it is going to be a bit heartbreaking to read!! I haven't read anything by her yet. I am going to start with When Dimple Met Rishi but this could be the next one after that!

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    1. It really was sad to read but otherwise she has a wonderful support system & it was written well.

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  11. I haven't read From Twinkle, with Love, but I really enjoyed Sweetie's story! When Dimple Met Rishi is next on my audiobook list. There's only one other person ahead of me at the library, which means I have just enough time to read With the Fire on High before it pops up. I didn't listen to the audio for this one, but I'm sorry Ashish felt off.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Eh... I'm so picky about narrators lol

      Dimple & Rishi are so cute!

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  12. I still want to read Twinkle, but I do think I'll end up liking Sweetie more (I really enjoyed Dimple!) I'd be so mad at Sweetie's mom - but I'm glad that Sweetie doesn't agree with her! :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. No, she's hurt by the things her mother says but because she's confident and believes in herself which was so great to see. She does not buy into it.

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  13. Oh I need to get to Dimple! Darn, it looks like I'm behind on another good series.

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  14. I'll have to check this one out. I know what you mean though; I have a weird physical reaction when I see people making fun of someone (in books, movies, etc). My younger brother was teased a lot as a kid for just being a little different, and it's always stuck with me. The characters sound endearing (well, most of them, lol) so I will have to also add this one <3

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    1. I get bone deep sad for the characters. It actually bothers me lol

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