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YA Review: There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

Title: There's Something About Sweetie
AuthorSandhya Menon
Year Published: 2019

Genre: YA fiction (romance)
Pages: 376
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map): USA (CA)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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? 

Review: I enjoyed Menon's first two books, From Twinkle with Love and When Dimple Met Rishi so looked forward to this one. The author has an Author's Note before this book in which she talks about being fat at various times in her life and how difficult it was in her Indian American family who praised thinness. She wanted to write a book with an Indian American main character who was comfortable in her own skin and she has done just that.

What I love most about this book is that most of the characters are able to look beyond each others' exteriors and see what is on the inside. No. Wait. That isn't totally true. The characters in this book are able to see beauty in the physical that people often don't see. And Sweetie is totally comfortable and happy with who and how she is. It's so refreshing.

And Ashish and Sweetie are so in like, they are so kind to one another, and they were a joy to read about. They support one another, are honest (mostly) with one another, they have great, supportive friends, and there is a happy ending. So satisfying.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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