Book Review: There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

Happy Thursday, friends! Today, I’m bringing you a full review of all my thoughts on There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon. I decided to listen to this book via audiobook over the summer, and it FLEW by. As expected, this book was as sweet as its title and cover and had me craving for more. 🍬🍭 Sandhya Menon has crafted a heartwarming contemporary story with an adventurous plotline and fiercely independent characters you can’t help but adore. From the writing to the pacing, I could definitely see Menon’s growth as a writer from her debut novel, making me excited to see what’s to come next.

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE by Sandhya Menon

PUBLISHED BY Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster) on May 14th, 2019

GENRES: Contemporary

PAGES: 384 

ADD TO GOODREADS    //    BOOK DEPOSITORY

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?

Trigger/Content Warnings: fat-shaming & fatphobic language

There’s Something About Sweetie follows the perspectives of Ashish Patel and Sweetie Nair. Sweetie felt like the girl-next-door who was relatable and inspiring—she is just so passionate and gives her all to everything she does from running to family to love. To complement her boldness, Ashish is the confident, cocky, yet also soft younger brother of Rishi Patel, the main love interest in the Menon’s debut novel. 💞 Throughout the story, we follow their journey of falling in love and developing as individuals, and I really enjoyed reading about how they grew stronger and more understanding together.

As someone who grew up with insecurities about self-image, I found Sweetie’s character to be empowering and relatable. It’s no secret that Asian cultures have an ideal body type, and this idea of favoritism is further explored through people’s assumptions and treatment of Sweetie—to the point where her mother says Sweetie isn’t allowed to date Ashish because she’s fat and he isn’t. However, Sweetie doesn’t believe that she needs to lose weight for anyone. If anything, “fat” is a descriptive word that society has associated with a negative connotation. Menon challenges the fatphobia that is prevalent in our society and reaffirms with positivity and love the validity, beauty, and power of young fat girls of color. 💖

The word ‘fat’ isn’t inherently bad or gross. It’s people who’ve made it the way. ‘Fat’ is just the opposite of ‘thin’, and no one flinches at that one. So, to me, ‘fat’ is just another word that describes me, like ‘brown’ or ‘girl’ or ‘athlete’.

A year ago, I wrote a review for Sandhya Menon’s debut title, When Dimple Met Rishi, where I discussed why I didn’t wholeheartedly love the story. Comparing the two books, I can definitely see Menon’s growth and development as a writer—Sweetie and Ashish’s narration was easy to read, making them characters who were easy to love. The plotline also just felt much more fleshed out. ✏️ At the same time, I can also see where some of my faults as a reviewer were back then because I mentioned that I wanted more cultural references explained since having to put the book down and look references up on Google broke the flow of the story. Now, I’m seeing the pride in Indian culture woven seamlessly into the narrative.

Overall, There’s Something About Sweetie was a story of romance and growth. I’m honestly so excited to see Menon’s growing popularity as a well-loved contemporary author because it’s truly well-deserved. 🌟 I hope you give Sweetie and Ashish’s story a chance because they’re truly a pair that is easy to support. I’ve only read two of her books so far, but I’m definitely excited to pick up her next contemporary romance which is actually a retelling of Beauty and the Beast!

Have you read There’s Something About Sweetie?

What were your thoughts?

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19 thoughts on “Book Review: There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

  1. Great review, Tiffany! This one sounds so sweet, and I love how it combats the issue of the negative connotation associated with being fat in our society. I haven’t read anything by this author yet, but I have been quite interested in a few of her books! It’s great to know that you noticed some improvement in the writing between this one and When Dimple Met Rishi! ❤

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    1. Thanks, Kelly!! I would love to hear your thoughts on this book, and I really think it’s amazing to see how much the writing has improved. Plus, it’s just such a heartwarming story that challenges fatphobia in our society and embraces Indian culture! 😍

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  2. I haven’t read this one but it sounds really good. I’ve read When Dimple Met Rishi and did enjoy it but there were a few things I didn’t *love* so hopefully I’ll be the same as you and enjoy this more!
    Great review! & those gifs yumm🥰🥰

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    1. Yes!! I felt the same way about WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI. I thought it had many of its enjoyable moments, but I didn’t really like how predictable the story was. This one definitely resolved many of my prior concerns, and it made the story so much better.

      and yes!! I’m so glad that you like the GIFs too 🥰 I was very strategic about picking them out 😉

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  3. This is a wonderful review, Tiffany, I’m so happy you enjoyed this one so much. I really liked the author’s debut and have been looking forward to reading more from her, I need to get to this one soon. It sounds like the kind of contemporary I’d love and Sweetie’s character sounds so great, too. Thank you for sharing!! ❤ ❤

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    1. Yay!! Thank you, Marie!! ❤️ I’m really glad that you liked it. I think the writing and plot development has improved so much since WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it. It had so much more depth than I expected which made it really enjoyable to read~~

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  4. This is such a lovely review, Tiffany. I have been meaning to read Sweetie and Twinkle for so long. I enjoyed reading Dimple so was looking forward to read more from her. Plus she is an Indian so I can relate more to her stories 🙂

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    1. Yes!! I’m so sure you’re going to love it 💖 I personally think that the writing and story development has improved so much from Dimple so I’m super excited for you to read it!!

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  5. I also read her other novels and this book. I loved how much Menon grew as a writer in her books, and the fact that Indian culture was woven into this book without making us google what she puts was a such a huge plus that I really hope she does that in her future books. Are you excited for 10 Things I hate about Pinkie?

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    1. Yes!! I’m really glad that we both saw improvement in her writing, and it definitely makes me more excited to read her future books for sure. I think I’m also really excited by her romance book!

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  7. i read the book around two weeks ago and i definitely agree with all the points you talked about! i could relate to the character and i loved them so much i wanted to hug them, even though i had many issues with WDMR. and as you said, the author definitely developed her writing style and skills and i found it easier to get into and enjoy the story, and i could feel that since i read the two books one right after the other.
    amazing review!!! ❤️

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    1. ahh i’m so glad that we had similar thoughts!! i really enjoyed this book so much more, and it’s so great to see her writing improve 😍

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