Tuesday, June 11, 2019

There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

Summary from 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?
I loved this one. I’ve really grown to love and respect this author. I needed something light that would be easy to read on a plane and take with on a vacation. This was literally the perfect book for that. I loved Sweetie. I am Sweetie. You know, except for the whole loving to run thing. I related to her on so many levels, particularly on the level involving her relationship with her mother.
This book is a fluffy rom com that I needed at the moment. But, it was also more than that. It was body positivity book. It was a book about a fat girl learning to love herself and learning to be independent (and sassy too). I love that Sweetie owns her whole self in this book and stands up for herself and stands against people’s initial perceptions of her. I love that she’s a fat athlete, that wins races. And I love that she doesn’t feel like she has to change so other people are more comfortable with her.
I love all the dates these two go on (even though they were all sanctioned by Ashish’s parents). I loved the party, the restaurant scene, the open mic night, and all the typical teen book moments. I loved the family drama. And I feel like Sweetie’s relationship with her mother mirrors so closely to mine. There’s equal parts love and friction. But, I’m so happy for the way things sort of resolved.
I guess my one qualm here is that stuff seems almost too resolved. I’m an adult and I’m only sort of coming to terms with things about body positivity that Sweetie has come to terms with super fast. My mom and I still have some conflict (though we are exceptionally close now). I guess realistically, I think some of this is just too good to be plausible. Though, most romcoms are like that in other areas…Still, though, I loved this book. I loved the characters, the drama, the quintessential teen scenes, the romance, and the positivity. I need more books like this one. I read it basically on one plane ride. I give it a 9/10.

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