I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon
Release date: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
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Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.
When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.
Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?
As soon as I saw From Twinkle, with Love on NetGalley I knew I had to have it. I had just finished reading When Dimple Met Rishi and was completely in love with Sandy Menon’s writing style, descriptions and characters. Writing this review has been so hard for me. Nothing wants to flow and my rating has changed multiple times. Is it a 2, 2.5 or a 3? Ugh! I may not have loved From Twinkle, with Love as much as its predecessor, but I overall it was full of ups and downs. I liked the idea of the book and the beginning…it’s the characters that make it hard for me to decide on a rating.
The story revolves around Twinkle, an aspiring film director who wants more from life. She’s desperately alone and basically an outcast in her school because people think that she’s “weird”. The story follows her time in high school and the challenges she faces such as her first love, losing friends and betrayal. The story is told in diary or letter format which allows the reader to thoroughly immerse themselves in Twinkle’s world.
I really enjoyed the beginning of the book. The first 15-20% of it was super cute and I smiled a lot while reading it. Then, things took a turn. I think my biggest issue with this book was Twinkle. I appreciated her drive and passion for film making, but that’s about it. Her narration initially didn’t bother me, however, as the book progressed I grew to dislike her. She came off as annoying, self-centred and selfish. It’s so hard to like something when the main character, who is telling the story, is like that. I honestly struggled at times to keep on reading because it’s told through Twinkle’s diary entries. Would I have felt differently if the book used a different format? Perhaps? I don’t know.
I do appreciate how this book features diverse characters and features a woman of colour on the cover. It also has some very important messages that all teens should read about such as equality, peer pressure, cliques and respect. However, it just didn’t end up being for me. I’ve said this in a dozen other reviews, but I need books where I can connect with the lead character, especially if that character is telling the story. I didn’t have that with this book and it made it very difficult to read through. I think I was also expecting something very different…less love squares and more adorable dialogue similar to When Dimple Met Rishi. So, even though this book wasn’t for me, I do think a lot of people, especially teens, will like it and identify with many of Twinkle’s problems.
About the Author
Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of the smash-hit When Dimple Met Rishi and From Twinkle, with Love. She was born and raised in India on a steady diet of Bollywood movies and street food, and blames this upbringing for her obsession with happily-ever-afters, bad dance moves, and pani puri. Now she lives in Colorado, where she’s on a mission to (gently) coerce her husband and children to watch all 3,220 Bollywood movies she claims as her favorite.
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