There's Something About Sweetie
Hey, I'm back! I've still been working on pulling out of my November reading slump, but I think I'm getting there. And....I got a long-overdue blog makeover! I love how it looks. The images were done by Kat of Waffley Cute Designs, and I'm pretty thrilled.
On to the books -- I've enjoyed several of Sandhya Menon's fun and romantic YA stories now, and I say that as a not-very-into-romances person. I barely put it down for hours! This is actually a follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi, and there is a third book as well, which I haven't read.
Sweetie Nair is a track athlete, a talented singer, and also on the sturdy side. In a world that places a huge value on being slim, she tries to proudly claim the title of fat athlete, and mostly succeeds -- except with her mom, who is forever harping on the need to slim down so that the good things of life will come to her. Ashish is a basketball star who likes to think of himself as a player -- except his girlfriend dumped him a couple of months ago. He's lost his mojo and is desperately trying to hide his broken heart.
Ashish's mom claims that she could set him up with a nice desi girl and that he would like it. Ashish figures this is the last possible thing that could possibly happen, but is so fed up with life that he dares his parents to do it. They pick Sweetie, but Mrs. Nair turns down the idea on the grounds that Sweetie isn't good enough for Ashish -- at which point Sweetie decides to take control of the situation and prove to her mom that she isn't completely un-dateable.
The story is very funny, very cute, and also very of-the-moment. I loved it. Sweetie and her friends are fantastic, and Ashish is good too... but I do also wonder if using terms like 'fatphobic' won't end up dating it in ten years. As a sturdy kind of woman myself, I love having a heroine who isn't a size 2; I just wonder if some of the wording isn't a little too trendy. It's a pretty small complaint about a really wonderful novel. Now, how to get hold of Ten Things I Hate About Pinky -- ?
I do love Menon's series of titles featuring girls named things that are routine in India but unusual in English-speaking countries. Dimple, Twinkle, and Sweetie are names that have appeared in film and media in India, and I just think it's very fun to do a YA series of stories featuring them.