Book Review – From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Title – From Twinkle, With Love

Author – Sandhya Menon

Genre – Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary

My Rating – 2/5

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Goodreads Link

An aspiring teen filmmaker finds her voice and falls in love in this delightful romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi.

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?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

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I’m a 20 year old Indian girl so an Indian author, with characters that represent my own background and ADDITIONALLY a Young Adult novel had me so thrilled, but this is the second time I’ve been disappointed by the same author. When Dimple Met Rishi at least had a few redeeming qualities, but this book was downright infuriating.

Twinkle is an average American-Indian high school student who is a total “groundling” and a “wallflower”, which she manages to mention about every alternate sentence by the way. She aspires to be a great filmmaker and claims to be a feminist.

I’ll talk about the feminism first. The sheer amount of girl on girl hate itself completely nullifies any talk of feminism this book might try to raise. Secondly, and this is the main reason I happened to dislike this book, Twinkle seems to believe that simply dating a popular boy would lift her from her groundling status and make her one of the “silk-feathered hat” people. There are just so many issues with that! While the book does change the track towards the end, I found it unbelievably annoying that –

a) She kept going on and on about how all her problems would be fixed if and only if she becomes popular by dating Neil. That is such a wrong message. I spent my childhood not quite fitting in and was in fact even bullied at some point. Does that mean I should’ve gone looking for a boyfriend or seek popularity just to fix all my problems? What kind of a message does that send? Popularity is NOT all a person should aspire for in their school lives. I may not have been popular in my school, but I found friends with similar interests and personalities and I’m so glad I did because those are the friendships that lasted.

b) Twinkle is an extremely talented and insightful girl, so why is it that she can’t stand up for herself and take matters into her own hands?

Another thing that absolutely frustrated me about the book was the way she handles her love life. How can you POSSIBLY be stringing along a boy who loves you while crushing on his twin brother? Am I the only one who thinks that was absurd? That is such a terrible way of treating guys in general and I felt so incredibly sorry for Sahil.

Lastly, and this is a very minor issue that I don’t think would’ve bothered a lot of people but it did get to me – I did not like the way she spoke about her parents not giving her a cell phone or a car and her “authentically rickety house”. It might just be me, but her parents were doing everything they could to provide a comfortable and adequate life for her and Twinkle seemed far less than grateful. She only lashed out at them once in the book, but there were several mentions of it and I just didn’t appreciate her attitude towards her own family.

There were some moments where the writing was decent until I found lines like these –

I kept glancing at Sahil as we drove; it was like my eyes were magnets and he was Iron Man.”

This was so cringe-worthy! On so many levels!

I may have liked some other elements of the book if I could’ve just gotten over my annoyance with Twinkle but I couldn’t. 2 out of 5 stars.

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And that’s all for today! Hope you have a great day! Until next time –

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