There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
Series: Dimple & Rishi
Published May 14th 2019 by Simon Pulse
Genre: romance, contemporary, young adult, #ownvoices
Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After he’s 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?
✼ ҉ ✼ ҉ ✼ ҉ ✼ ҉ ✼ ҉ ✼
sweetie’s kind and compassionate to others even though the world have failed her in some ways. as a perceptive and sensitive person, sweetie reads other people’s emotional state really well. her optimism and positivity transfers to others around her.
ashish still can’t get over celia who i didn’t like from when dimple met rishi. their relationship already felt unstable and toxic then. other than his inability to remove celia from his mind, it’s alluded that ashish feels inferior to his older brother in book one. it’s more prominent in there’s something about sweetie, especially when he pretend to nonchalantly dismiss his feelings. even though he can appear to be cocky and arrogant at times, he’s actually a soft and vulnerable soul. he’s uncertain about many things including himself.
the romance is adorable. sweetie’s the perfect girl for ashish, and i loved every single time ashish defended sweetie regardless if she was present or not. some stupid mistakes were made but it doesn’t drag out for too long. ashish and sweetie went on a few unconventional dates that were sanctioned by ashish’s parents which turned out to be surprisingly good for both of them. the pair communicated well throughout the book by being open and raw with one another (except for that one time), and were pretty straightforward about their feelings.
❝ But with Sweetie time passed in gentle waves. A conversation with her was like a warm hug and a cup of hot coca on a cold day – comforting, familiar, a place you never wanted to leave.❞
sweetie has some problems with her mother. most of it stems from her mother’s opinion that a girl should be thin to be considered worthy of having a handsome boyfriend, or be able to wear pretty clothes. she restricts sweetie from many things because of this, and consequentially, it made sweetie insecure a lot of times. although it’s not done out of malicious intent, her mom’s actions and words greatly upsets sweetie. despite this, i loved how much sweetie loves herself. sweetie doesn’t think being fat isn’t a bad thing, and celebrates herself as an awesome athlete, a wonderful singer and a gorgeous person.
overall, sandhya menon writes about great characters. the book heavily focuses on fat shaming and body image through sweetie’s character. the romance was great, but a little insta-lovey. i was laughing and grinning at their antics, and was busy wondering how their relationship was going to evolve. of course, the conversation that sweetie needed to have with her mom was lingering at the back of my mind through it all.