Friday, May 17, 2019

There's Something About Sweetie (Dimple and Rishi, #2)
by Sandhya Menon

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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?

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I haven't read When Dimple Met Rishi, but now I really want to! They were mentioned a few times throughout this book, and now I'm curious about their story. There's Something About Sweetie was an impactful read that left me questioning myself as well as society. Sweetie is totally right, because "fat" isn't a bad word. Like she says, it's just the opposite of thin, and there's nothing wrong with that. 

I've struggled with my body and how it looks in the past, and my parents were a part of the problem. My mom would criticize me if I wore a shirt that showed my "pooch," and my dad would yell during softball games, "You could run faster if you unhitched that caboose!" In retrospect, I don't think my parents meant any harm, but their words were damaging. They made me question my weight and appearance, instead of being happy with the person I was. I could totally relate to Sweetie and her Sassy Sweetie Project. I wish I'd had her confidence in high school! 

Sweetie's relationship with her mother broke my heart. I wish her father had realized sooner that his daughter was hurting and stepped in, but more than that, I wish her mother would have defended her against verbal attacks and digs about her daughter's weight. She wanted to protect her daughter (usually by telling her not to eat this or wear that), but she would also let people say whatever they wanted about Sweetie's appearance and eating habits. 

Ashish was cocky and he knew it. Smoldering Ash? Hah! I really liked his group of friends and how supportive they were. Their friendship was easy and the result of many years spent together. I'm curious if Samir will get a book after this, because I think there needs to be a story about him and Pinky! Sweetie had great friends, too. They were encouraging and maybe a little too eager to fight on her behalf. 

Actually, that's my one quibble with this book... Sweetie's reaction to a perceived wrongdoing. I felt like she and her friends acted impulsively and out of character. I can understand why they would have been upset, but Sweetie jumped to conclusions without giving someone she trusted the benefit of the doubt. Instead, they did something completely unnecessary and over-the-top, and accomplished nothing. If anything, in that moment they were the ones being judgmental bullies. 

I really liked both Ashish and Sweetie's families! They wanted to be involved in their children's lives (maybe a little too much in some instances), but it was obvious they cared. The Patel's wanted Ashish to understand his culture, and the Nair's wanted their daughter to be accepted and not ridiculed (this was more her mother than her father). Parents do things out of love, but it doesn't always come across the right way.

There's Something About Sweetie was an encouraging story that will stick with me. Sweetie proved to everyone and herself, that she was perfect exactly the way she was. She loved herself and the life that she had, despite the ignorance of others. I think there were a lot of lessons to take away from this story, and believe a lot of people will be able to relate to the characters. 

24 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear you struggled with self-acceptance in the past, partly because your family unwittingly hurt you. It sounds like you're fine now though! Reviews like this are important, because they convey best than any other the real impact of a story, and let people know that they need a certain book in their life for the right reasons.

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    1. I honestly don't think they were trying to make me self-conscious, but they did. There words were in my head every time I bought clothes or wore a swimsuit. I'm totally fine now! I learned to accept my body ages ago, and have even embraced it now after kids. Yes, I exercise, but that's more for health than anything else. I have to keep my energy up with all these little ones! ;)

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  2. I am sorry to hear about your struggle and a bid=f part was because of your family. I has a similar issue because my Mon always commented about how I had big legs and needed to exercise them. What a great review and it made me at least feel happy that I did not do that to my daughters. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I have no idea what our parents were thinking when they made comments like that. Did they think it was helpful? That their comments would make us want to change certain aspects of ourselves? I'm determined not to make my children feel any less than what they are. I love them for who they are, and wouldn't change a single thing. <3

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  3. Even if they did not mean harm they were d*cks!

    aLso you must do Rishi in audio! :D

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    1. They're my parents, so "dicks" might be a strong word to describe them. I really don't think they were trying to be cruel, but they were careless with their comments. Their words stuck with me through college, and it took a long time before I saw myself differently. Looking back, I wish I had appreciated myself more as a teenager, because there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. Curvy is hot!

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  4. I really did love all the wonderful messages in this book and I definitely think anyone of any age can relate to them. So glad you enjoyed this!!

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    1. Yes! Some of the messages started to feel a little repetitive, but I enjoyed the overall story. Both Sweetie and Ashish were wonderful characters, and I'm sure a lot of people will be able to relate to them. :)

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  5. Everyone is loving this. Both characters and their families sound great. I bought copies for my nieces.

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    1. I hope they enjoy it! That was so awesome of you! My husband and I are known as the Book Givers. It's someone's birthday? We get them books! It's Christmas? More books! ;)

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  6. I haven’t read anything from Menon since When Dimple Met Rishi and hadn’t really planned to. WDMR was cute but I wasn’t blown away or anything - plus Menon’s style of YA is a little too sweet/cute for my taste. BUT... I really like the sound of this one. As someone who has struggled with weight/body image for my of my life, it seems like Sweetie would be plenty relatable. I could write a book about comments from family (that were never intended to be mean-spirited or hurtful, but were still rather thoughtless and long-remembered) so I relate to that, too. I might have to hit up the library for this one. Great review, Lindsi.

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    1. I can totally see that! Sweetie and Ashish's relationship was adorable and happened really quickly. I try to remind myself that they're teenagers, and sometimes love hits them fast. ;) I do think this one conveys a wonderful message, although some aspects felt a tad too unrealistic. (If you read this, I think you'll see what I mean.) Sweetie WAS relatable, and I really enjoyed her as a character.

      I know the feeling. I still remember most of the comments my parents made about my appearance. My grandma used to tell me I had great birthing hips, and I'll let you fill in the rest, haha.

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  7. I'm glad to see this. I got into a heated discussion that flowed over onto my blog because another blogger thinks 'fat' people have given up on life. And she got mad at me when I didn't agree with her. I've been overweight most of my life and had relatives make snide remarks that didn't help my self image but I've come to accept myself and I don't really care what anyone else thinks anymore. This sounds like a good read.

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    1. People are ignorant, and I've learned that arguing with them will not change that. They've decided they are going to think/feel a certain way, and it doesn't matter what anyone else tells them. My parents hold certain beliefs that I disagree with, and refuse to acknowledge a different way of thinking even when presented with facts and evidence. They say that people can find facts to support any argument, so I've stopped trying.

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  8. OMG Lindsi! That's something I've always been careful with my kids! No body shaming because it could lead to disasters! Obviously your parents were not bad people and you turned right but as you said this is a sensitive topic!

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    1. It was really hard for me during high school. I would compare myself to other people, and then think about how I could make myself look more like them. It was a very toxic cycle, and it took me many years to love myself. Meeting my husband helped! He's always loved me for me, and he doesn't try to make me something I'm not. Even after having twins, he told me I was the most beautiful person he'd ever seen. <3

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  9. WDMR was ah-mazing!!! I loved it, and I loved all of Menon's books, Sweetie included. OMG! I almost spit my water out, when I read "smoldering Ash". Ha! The family focus was really great in this one. I adored the Patels, and I liked that Menon gave Sweetie's parents an opportunity to explain themselves.

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    1. I cannot believe he referred to HIMSELF as Smoldering Ash!! Haha! I agree with what you said about Sweetie's parents. It's great that the author gave them an opportunity to learn and grow as a family, and it made me feel hopeful for everyone involved. :)

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  10. Oh no I'm so sorry to hear about your family unwillingly, maybe not even realizing it, but hurting you with these kind of comments. This is so frustrating and definitely leaves a mark, I'm really glad that it's all better now and you're wonderful, Lindsi, really. <3
    I'm so happy you enjoyed this book so much and could relate to the main character, we all need these kind of characters in our lives. I can't wait to read that one!
    I have read and really enjoyed the author's debut, so I'm also curious about their mentions and appearances in this book :D
    Lovely review! <3

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    1. I really don't think they realized the impact their words would have. They didn't make the comments to be cruel, but stated their observations. I think the issue was them thinking there was something wrong with having thick legs, a curvy waist, or a big butt. My body type is my body type, and they made me feel like it was wrong. I am definitely better now, and love myself despite what people have said in the past. I've had three kids, a set of twins, so my body shows that. However, I'm totally okay with it. I'm happy, I enjoy my life, my family is amazing. So what if my skin is a little stretchy these days? Totally worth it.

      I hope you have a chance to read this one soon, and that you love it as much as I did! I'm already on hold for the audio version of the first book at my library. :)

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  11. I am sorry for how you were made to feel by your family. I've been made to feel the same way by my extended family and I hated going on holidays with them when I was younger. <3
    I am very happy that you enjoyed Sweetie's story as much as I did. The characters were all so great. You should definitely go back and read Dimple & Rishi's book. Those two were adorable as well!

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    1. My grandmother was the worst! She'd make an elaborate dinner for everyone and then give me a salad. She said I needed to start thinking about my appearances in high school, because that's when I should start looking for a potential husband. She doesn't like the idea of women going to college, and thinks we're better suited to being wives and making babies. I can totally relate to wanting to avoid family holidays, haha.

      Sweetie's story was wonderful! I'm really glad it exists. There are people that will like the book, but there are others that need to see they're not alone. I'm on hold for the audio version of Dimple and Rishi! Hopefully the people in front of me listen quickly, haha. ;)

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  12. If you go back and read When Dimple Met Rishi, I hope you enjoy it. When I read the book, I was glad Menon showed Sweetie's parents learning from their mistakes too. It was so frustrating while I was reading to see Sweetie's mom thinking she was doing everything in her power to protect her daughter, when all the while she was the one who was hurting her the most.

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    1. A parent should be their child's biggest supporter and offer encouragement. Sweetie's mom constantly made her feel like she was less because of her weight. It was hard to read their exchanges over the course of the book, because Sweetie just wanted her mother's acceptance. I fully believe her mother loved her and only wanted to protect her daughter, but her actions did more harm that good. I'm really glad things worked out at the end! It shows you that people can change and learn to think differently. :)

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