When it comes to contemporary young adult romance, the author Sandhya Menon stands out. The author of When Dimple Met Rishi and From Twinkle, With Love, crafts stories about realistic characters. They have unique struggles, but all have one thing in common: They are Indian-American. Their culture plays a role in their stories, and I have enjoyed getting to learn more through these delightful books. Her new book, There’s Something About Sweetie is just as lovely.
THE PLOT OF THERE’S SOMETHiNG ABOUT SWEETIE
There’s Something About Sweetie follows Ashish Patel, the little brother of Rishi, and Sweetie Nair. Ashish is a basketball star who suddenly finds himself single. His parents are convinced that they could find him a perfect Indian-American girl. When they think of Sweetie Nair, they know they have found her.
RELATED: When Dimple Met Rishi Book Review
Sweetie Nair is a talented singer and a track star, but she is also “fat.” Her mother can’t see past this last detail and always tries to help her daughter out. When the Patels ask if Ashish can date Sweetie, the Nairs refuse because of her weight.
Confused and hurt, Sweetie embarks on the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she strives to show everyone what she can really do.
Since this book is a contemporary YA romance, Ashish and Sweetie do end up dating not far into There’s Something About Sweetie. It’s an enjoyable plot involving a contract with his parents, a variety of cultural dates, misunderstandings, and falling for each other. That’s how I would describe the story overall. It’s fun.
The book’s not completely cheery, however. Serious things happen, but like in the best YA contemporary novels, the book is an absolute joy to read.
Further, the writing is accessible, even if you don’t know anything about Indian-American culture. It made me feel like I not only got to spend time with wonderful people, but I learned something new. Not that the culture was shoehorned in there or at all forced. It felt organic and was just lovely.
The characters also have distinct voices. And although I was annoyed at some of them at times, I never hated them. In There’s Something About Sweetie, Menon writes realistic characters making mistakes and having misunderstandings. But she never makes one of the protagonists the villain.
Yes, one of them does need to do more growing up than the other, but it’s relatable. You love both Sweetie and Ashish throughout the novel.
On top of the main characters, the side characters are also great fun without taking over the story.
BODY POSITIVITY IN THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE
There’s Something About Sweetie tackles a topic slowly being discussed more.
In the Author’s Note, Menon defines the body positivity movement as “simply taking pleasure in the body you’re in.” Menon also points out that “fat is simply the opposite of thin,” and reminds us that for many people, fat has the connotation of also meaning lazy or bad. Sweetie is neither, and her Sassy Sweetie Project helps her realize this about herself.
RELATED: From Twinkle, With Love Book Review
This is a unique novel in that Sweetie is a fat girl. Not only is she overweight, but she’s also a talented track athlete and not altogether unhealthy.
But for some people, they can’t see past the number. This causes them to miss things about Sweetie. She’s an amazing singer as well as a good friend, a kind person, and an athlete.
Sweetie herself is always trying to blend into the background, conditioned to feel ashamed of her appearance.
Throughout the novel, she begins to take more pride in herself off the track, learning that she’s beautiful, no matter how other people see her. It’s a wonderfully positive message.
I have loved everything I have read from Sandhya Menon. She has quickly become one of the authors whose books I automatically buy.
I thought that I loved When Dimple Met Rishi or From Twinkle, With Love, but there was something about There’s Something About Sweetie. It could have been the body positivity message, or the way Ashish was recovering from a broken heart, the hilarious side characters, Sweetie herself, or the sweet relationship of Sweetie and Ashish.
If you enjoy Menon’s other books, stories about Indian-American culture, or contemporary romances, you will probably enjoy There’s Something About Sweetie. It’s a slow-moving romance with compelling characters and a positive message about loving yourself for who you are.
I would love to see this book as a movie. Netflix is making great films in this genre currently, for example. Actually, I think all of Sandhya Menon’s books would make wonderful movies. Come on Hollywood, get on that!
You can buy the book HERE.
Have you read There’s Something About Sweetie? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!
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