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?
Title: There’s Something About Sweetie (Dimple and Rishi #2)
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age: Young Adult
Just like the first book, I loved this book from the beginning. I especially like the topics Menon decided to tackle through this book. One of them is weight and its correlation to likeability and how one is treated.
Menon tackles this issue through the eyes of Sweetie. She is perhaps the nicest and most thoughtful character I’ve ever “met”. Sweetie is a star track athlete, Indian, and fat. In an attempt to prove to her mom, those in the Indian community, and herself that fat girls can do anything skinny girls can, she begins the Sassy Sweetie project. During this time, we get to see Sweetie grow into a girl who is confident in who she is and confident in how others perceive her.
As a lovely companion to Sweetie, we get to learn more about Ashish. I wasn’t sure what to think of him after finishing WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, but I absolutely fell in love with him in this book. We see him fight against what he believes makes him inferior to his brother, strive to overcome his feelings for his ex, and work to become the guy he believes worthy of Sweetie.
Something I loved about this book is the growth we see in both Sweetie and Ashish. I think we didn’t see enough of this in the first book. They’re each working towards different goals in their lives, but they’re able to support and assist each other along the way.
A couple of other things I loved about this include their friend groups and Ashish’s healing time.
Ashish and Sweetie both have “large” friend groups which, I’m guessing, can be hard for authors. They have to make sure that we readers get to know each member of these groups as individuals who have different personalities and different pasts. Menon did a great job with this. She would give us small scenes with the main character and one of their friends. Through these, we had a little more time to get to know the friend separate from the group. There was even some inner friend group drama to show us the friends’ personalities a little better.
Also, I loved that Ashish didn’t just move on from his ex in the blink of an eye. He struggled to move one and was truthful with Sweetie about his struggles. This felt much more real than in some other books that I’ve read where the character is all-of-a-sudden over their ex with one look at their new love interest.
Staying on the romance topic, I’m still a big fan of slow-burn romances so I wish I could have seen more of that. Or at least been able to simmer in the tension for a little while longer. Nevertheless, I still really enjoyed Sweetie and Ashish’s relationship.
Overall, it was another slam dunk from Menon, obviously. It was a beautiful romance, a story towards body-positivity, and learning to be yourself.