Cover Image: From Twinkle, with Love

From Twinkle, with Love

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Member Reviews

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

After loving Sandhya Menon’s debut, When Dimple Met Rishi, last year, I knew I would continue to pick up new releases from her. From Twinkle, With Love follows an Indian-American teenager, Twinkle, who dreams of becoming a filmmaker and telling her stories through films. One unique element of this book is that it’s told through an epistolary format, specifically through Twinkle’s diary entries. Twinkle uses her diary to write to female filmmakers who inspire her. I thought this format worked well for the story! It really allowed the reader to get inside Twinkle’s head– which, can I just say, was a refreshingly realistic teenage mind. Twinkle isn’t perfect; she makes mistakes and hurts the people she loves and sometimes struggles to believe in herself. But this just made her feel all the more approachable and real.

The romance was, as expected, adorable. It features the friends-to-lovers trope, which is a personal favorite of mine. Twinkle and Sahil don’t have a fairytale romance: they’re awkward, they aren’t always on the same page, and they both have personal things to work on that impact their relationships with others. Again, though, it felt realistic. I wish more YA portrayed relationships like theirs.

I also really enjoyed the friendships and family relationships in From Twinkle, too! Like with Menon’s debut, we get glimpses into Indian culture and life as an Indian-American teen, and I’m so glad this representation is out there. Of course, filmmaking and movies both play huge roles in this story, and that was a nice touch. Twinkle’s passion for film definitely shines through. I loved reading about the film she made over the course of the book, too! If you’re a film buff, you’ll absolutely enjoy this one.

Overall, From Twinkle, With Love gave me exactly the cuteness I expected, and also provided fresh, realistic characters and relationship dynamics. This has cemented Sandhya Menon as an auto-buy author for me. Highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an adorable, diverse contemporary!
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The voice of Twinkle did not suffer at all from the diary format which happens sometimes. I was invested in her story and thoughts (and now I have a list of directors to view). However I felt like the 0-RAGE!!!! plot event was a little abrupt. The secondary characters were not all needed. I will continue to read Menon; I'm curious if this was the first book to build a universe with all of the other hook ups mentioned.
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Not my favourite Sandhya Menon but important to the YA contemporary book selection. Reviewed on my channel in my monthly wrap up https://youtu.be/7Czh4h-tMfc?t=3m40s
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From Twinkle, With Love is written by the same author who wrote When Dimple Met Rishi, which is one of my favorite books of all time! From Twinkle, With Love tells the story of Twinkle, a teenage girl who aspires to make life-changing films that reach more people than her YouTube videos which only have a low number of views. Twinkle is asked to make a short film for an upcoming school event so she is working with the twin brother of her longtime crush! Will she be able to make a great film and also have a cute boyfriend after the school event? Read to find out!
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I was expecting From Twinkle, With Love to just be light-hearted, fluffy summer read. While it was light-hearted at times, this book was so much more than that. There were times when I laughed out loud and moments that made me tear up. I kind of wish I had a time travel machine so I could give high school me this one.

From Twinkle, With Love was told through letters, text messages, and emails. While I absolutely love this form of storytelling in books, I know not all readers do. It really works well here though so I wouldn't let the atypical style stop you from reading this one. I also loved how Twinkle pursued her dream with a single minded focus. Sandhya Menon did an excellent job of showing how and why Twinkle fought for her dream.

In general, the characters felt very realistic and like actual teenagers. So many of Twinkle's missteps were entirely relatable. I particularly liked her friendship with Maddie and how the two of them struggled to communicate despite a lifetime of knowing each other. The romance storyline was full of miscommunications, misunderstandings, and misperceptions. Essentially, it felt like a real high school romance. I did think that the dark Twinkle story arc was a bit overly dramatic. But it still worked and I liked how everything was resolved in the end.

From Twinkle, With Love was an absolutely charming book. I'd recommend this one if you're looking for a fun read that features some great humor, a feminist heroine, and a whole lot of heart.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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I absolutely adored Menon's debut novel, When Dimple Met Rishi, and I could not wait to read her latest novel, From Twinkle, With Love. Though I didn't love From Twinkle, With Love as much as I loved her debut novel, it was still thoroughly enjoyable and a delightfully sweet contemporary romance. 

  Twinkle Mehra is a self pronounced wallflower and groundling, a social status that complements her family's working class financial situation. Tired of being overlooked by her former best friend, Maddie, who has recently elevated her social status by hanging out with the popular crowd, and ignored by her busy working parents, Twinkle wants to be noticed by someone else besides her lovable, unconditionally supportive, and eccentric Dadi (her paternal grandmother). She is also an aspiring filmmaker who dreams of going to film school and becoming a great woman of color director. Twinkle fills her journal, given by Dadi, with entries dedicated to sorting out her feels and frustrations, addressed to her favorite female movie directors, among them Mira Nair, Sofia Coppola, Nora Ephron, and Ava DuVernay. The repetitiveness of directors that Twinkle writes to is indicative of the necessity of more female directors in the film industry.

 Twinkle is a fun, flawed character who is also frustrating to read about because you want to shake her and tell her she is making big mistakes. She has tunnel vision of becoming a new shinier version of herself which features a confident girl who speaks up for herself and be in a relationship with Neil Roy, a biracial white-Indian golden boy, who can elevate her status. When an opportunity arises to make her mark for a local film festival with Sahil, Neil's awkward identical twin brother, she reluctantly accepts the challenge as a way to become close to Neil, realize her romantic ambitions, and thus improve her social standing at school. As she chronicles her journey on working with her film, Twinkle's relationship with Sahil changes which makes things complicated especially when she begins receiving admiring emails signed only “N,” she assumes her mystery fan to be Neil. Like any other romantic comedies, Sahil has had a crush on Twinkle for years and the true identity of her anonymous fan becomes a tantalizing mystery.

  Menon knows how to write a romantic comedy. The budding relationship with Twinkle and Sahil is beyond adorable and grows throughout the book. It is agonizing to wait for Twinkle's light bulb to go off and realize that Sahil is the right person for her. Both characters share a love for film and are able to be themselves around each other. I really appreciated that the characters were able to show each other their good sides and bad sides instead of characters who just wear rosy tinted glasses because they are in love. I felt frustrated for Sahil when Twinkle would not be honest with him and fully commit to be with him. The inclusion of Sahil's anonymous blog and his text messages between his two best friends provide his viewpoint of his complicated relationship with Twinkle and made me laugh out loud several times.

 The familial relationship is also done quite well, particularly with Twinkle and her Dadi. I loved  how Dadi played an important role and constant in Twinkle's life. She was her confidant and support network when her parents were away. I also understood Twinkle's own feeling of neglected from her parents. I just wished we explored a bit more of her mother's mental health issues which were hinted in the book. I would have also loved to have seen more of Sahil's own insecurity of constantly being compared to Neil. 

 In addition to all the various relationships in the book, the theme of privilege is well handled in the book from the obvious comparing and contrasting the have and have-nots of Twinkle and her circle of friends, but also of Twinkle and the at-risk kids that her father works with is also highlighted in the book. Though this book covered a lot more themes than When Dimple Met Rishi, it read much younger to me which is not a bad thing just an observation. If you enjoyed Menon's debut novel you will really like From Twinkle, With Love. Menon is quickly becoming my auto-read author for romantic comedies and I can't wait to see what she writes next.
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What’s not to love about From Twinkle, With Love? The title is adorable, the cover is STUNNING, and the epistolary format was really fun to read. In some ways, I loved Menon’s sophomore novel even more than her first, because it was just so much fun. Twinkle’s personality coupled with some of the tried and true YA tropes and laugh out loud writing had me itching to pick up the story at every spare moment I had the week I read it. However, there were a few elements that bothered me throughout the novel, a background sort of annoyance that I found hard to shake and ultimately lessened my enjoyment of the story a bit.

Unlike Menon’s debut novel which is set on a college campus, From Twinkle, With Love is very firmly a high school book, with the drama and tropes to go along with it. While I find I sometimes get bored with high school narratives, I found this one to be really funny, especially Twinkle’s internal dialogue which was cringe-y and hilarious- groundlings and silk feathered hats and all that. The variation in format was also really fun to read and helped the story keep up a quick and fun pace- the letters Twinkle writes combined with the text messages and emails from other characters helped really round out the story, and give the secondary characters some life and vibrancy (especially the guys- their texts were hilarious). I loved loved LOVED Sahil, and I think Menon has a talent for writing positive, respectful YA romances that are still swoony in their own way without being obvious. And I totally felt Twinkle’s angst about her feelings for Sahil- as a teenager you totally want to be with the popular, athletic, well known guy but by the time you’re in your mid-twenties you’re #TeamSahil all the way. I can see how Twinkle’s fickle heart may have irked some readers, but it’s actually not the part of the story I had a problem with.

My main issue with this book is I feel like there were a LOT of mean girl stereotypes and bullying that seemed rather one dimensional, or didn’t get the page time/context it deserved to make sense. At the beginning of the story, Twinkle is very blunt about having had a fall out with her lifelong BFF Maddie, and the whole premise of their now strained relationship felt really flimsy and took way too long to reveal. Honestly, in my opinion people were super mean to Twinkle and when she goes through her period toward the end of the book of self-righteousness I really didn’t mind considering how awful the other characters had been to her for so long. But then everyone blames her for not taking the high road. And I get it, as the protagonist in a YA, high school set novel it’s probably expected for the protagonist to be the bigger person and extend the olive branch, etc., but it just really irritated me that everyone sort of put the onus on Twinkle for that, like it was her responsibility. It was great and all that she chose to reconcile instead of being bitter, but I personally think that sometimes the expectation of the YA heroine being “nice” and doing the right thing in contemporary novels is tiring. 

Other than Maddie and Hannah and all of the other mean girl drama, this book was a lot of fun to read. The gender-bent movie theme that Twinkle and Sahil go for is clever, and I love how coming together to create the film brought down a lot of the social barriers and boundaries at the school. I also of course loved seeing Twinkle’s Indian culture integrated into the story. While her culture wasn’t as central to the overall plot as in When Dimple Met Rishi, it was still woven into the story and I absolutely ADORED Twinkle’s Dadi and her fusion of Indian tradition and new age American mysticism (and YAY for books that feature grandparents!!)

Overall: From Twinkle, With Love is definitely fluff, but it’s the fun, feel good kind fluff that will warm you while reading and make you remember your groundling high school days a little more fondly.
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Sandhya Menon has done it again! She has delivered yet another delightful read to warm all the desi hearts.

Her second and latest offering, From Twinkle With Love revolves around an Indian American teen Twinkle, who aspires to be a filmmaker, and her story (in this book) is told through the letters she writes to the female filmmakers she idolizes. Which I have to say, while a little disorienting at first, was a pretty interesting format to narrate a story, and I really enjoyed reading it.

Having said that, I have to mention here that when I first started reading the book, I was a little taken aback, because From Twinkle With Love reads a LOT younger than When Dimple Met Rishi (the author’s debut), and I guess at first I was expecting a more mature voice, possibly because of her debut, or even the model on the cover who is definitely older? Anyway I got used to it, because Twinkle’s voice is realistic and fits her age group perfectly.

And that’s another thing with this author. She is amazingly gifted when it comes to writing these super adorable yet extremely realistic stories. I don’t know how she does it every single time, but on one hand her characters are just like people you will possibly know in real life, and yet, they have this ‘larger than life’ kind of aura (?!) around them that distances you enough to sit back and enjoy the story.

Oh and did I mention I ADORED the love story? Because I did. And okay it’s quite possibly because I adored Sahil (Sandhya has mastered the art of writing swoony boys/men), but honestly, even outside of my bias, I loved how sweet, yet realistic their story was.

And while we are speaking of realistic, I have to say that in this story, the author has captured the essence of the turbulent teen years perfectly. From trying to navigate the ups and downs of friendships to sorting through the feelings of infatuation vs love to wanting to rebel against everyone, even against better judgement – spot on!

Of-course this also meant that there were times when I wanted to get into the pages and shake Twinkle out of her reckless stupidity. But let’s face it, there were times when my teenage self would have needed a good measure of aforementioned shaking too. So like I said, realistic.

Having said that, it was truly gratifying to see Twinkle grow and evolve as the story progressed, learning as much from her failures as she does from her victories, and blossoming into a wonderful young lady.

All in All: While far from perfect, this one was a SUPER FUN ride. And I’d highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys young adult romance, but I’m sure it will be a super special treat for the desi teens, who should definitely pick this up.
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Summary

This story follows Twinkle, who is a budding filmmaker. Along the way, she meets Sahil: the brother of her crush, Neil. She begins to receive e-mails from ‘N’, and is so sure that it is Neil. Unfortunately, she starts to develop feelings for Sahil and she is torn between which brother she finds herself truly in love with. The book is told through letters that Twinkle writes to her favorite famous female filmmakers with which she signs each ‘From, Twinkle’.

Likes

I truly enjoy Sandhya’s writing so much. I loved how Dimple was written and this has the same, lighthearted feel as that book does. These are not sequels or related stories by any means but they are similar in the elements of the characters that make them so lovable. Twinkle is one of my favorite contemporary characters: she is funny and quirky and smart. Her creative eye is so precise and I found her unique and creative takes on her project during the book to be interesting to read about. I was never bored reading this book and it kept me hooked the entire time. I also really enjoyed the character of Sahil. Sahil brought out the best in Twinkle and I loved seeing their friendship and further relationship develop over the course of the story. This is one of those love stories that was a little sappy but not one that I will tire of anytime soon.

Dislikes

I can’t really discount this book very much. I enjoyed it from cover to cover and it was an easy read. It was quite short and I thought it was the perfect length for a contemporary in between the many fantasy books that I tend to read. I didn’t give it 5 stars because I wasn’t completely head over heels, but I would read this book again and again!

Recommendation

I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of Dimple but also likes a wholehearted read. I also love it for #ownvoices and diversity is represented just as well in this novel, as it is in precious Menon novels!
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Obvious comparisons to Dimple here but I just love the kickass ladies Menon writes! This was a super sweet romance all-around, the dialogue given to Sahil was so swoon worthy at times. He truly was her rock throughout the journey. I could not stop laughing at the secret admirer though, LOL! It was too funny. At first I thought it was Sahil (never thought it was Neil, for the record) but when it became clear who it was, I howled with laughter. Ah, so good. Thanks for the fun treat that is this book. I'd happily read it again.
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*eARC kindly provided by Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing via NetGalley*

Refreshingly real and young adult. Twinkle is not a perfect person. She hurts people and makes mistakes and just can't ever seem to see her own worth. But she had to stumble through everything to learn that life and relationships are messy, and that you are the only one who can determine your own future and who you want to be. She's awkward, quiet, and doesn't always know how to speak up for herself, but it just endeared her to me, because I saw a lot of myself in her. And oh, the ship. It was ADORABLE. Sandhya seriously knows how to write the love and romance. I liked this a lot! The friendships were fun, I loved the movie they made, and it just had a lot of what it is being a teenager, and all the good and bad that comes with it. 

Rating: 3.5 stars
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I liked this way more than her first book, which was stilted and I didn't particularly care for the characters. Twinkle's story, however, is cute and fun and told in a really interesting way.
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4.5 Twinkling Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

This was a fun, adorable, sweet, YA contemporary that had me smiling the entire book.... there is something so readable about this author’s writing style.... in both this book and ”When Dimple Met Ricci” The characters were brought so amazingly to life....

Twinkle feels like lo woman on the social totem pole... in fact she refers to her self as a “groundling”... and the popular people are referred to as something to do with silk feathered hats.... Twinkle’s ultimate dream in life is to become a movie director, she idolizes all female movie directors... in fact this book is written in letter form, with twinkle writing letters to multiple different female movie directors... a epistolary novel...

Twinkle was a likable, real, naïve, and sometimes very frustrating teenage girl.... she somehow got herself into a love Square...  Sahil the boy who has been crushing on her since he was 11, a secret admirer, and then the boy she has a crush on... Sahil’s twin brother Neil...Sahil was super adorable both inside and out, his twin on the other hand? Twinkle really drove me crazy in this situation... and the fact that she did not have a mother to talk to drove me even more crazy(The jury is still out on mom).... then we have supposed  BFF Maddie... first of all I hate the mean girl trope... but Maddie was not being a good friend... and whose to blame?Maddie! not her new group of friends...Ugh! Twinkle really needed a big sister, because mom was so busy pouting or something.... drove me nuts! As I was reading this I was coming up with all kinds of brilliant words of wisdom I should pass on to Twinkle, if I ever were to have the chance.... The biggest of these things being high school is only four years of your life, so in the big scope of life it doesn’t matter who you sit by at lunch in high school... oh and  probably more important... date the nice guy you have things in common with, not the hot guy you have nothing in common with! And in this case they are twins, so what’s the problem here?

As you can probably tell I got quite invested in Twinkle and her life... so do I recommend? Absolutely! Fabulous book with some lessons learned at the end, that I really appreciated! Things aren’t always as they seem and the popular feather hat wearing people have problems as well... if you are a parent I’d recommend for kids 12 and up, this is a very clean read...

*** many thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for my copy of this book ***
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I really liked the story (even if it was a little cliched). But, I honestly feel pretty conflicted over this story. The main character was flawed and showed significant growth, but the writing was jumpy and that growth was told to the reader rather than shown. There were sections where it was clear that the author knew she had to give information to the reader, but that she didn't know how to give it without the characters giving an expository schpiel about their backstory and family history. I also didn't really understand the problems between Twinkle and Maddie and felt like there was no real explanation for Twinkle's extreme change in character. 

On the other hand, I really liked watching the relationship between Sahil and Twinkle develop, and I thought the exploration of Twinkle's familial relationships was really interesting and valuable, particularly for teens who don't have good relationships with their mothers. I was also glad that there was complexity in Victoria's character, and that there were no scenes with Neil. I honestly think that that was one of the major strengths of the story--Twinkle realized Sahil was the right person without ever having to confront N (which was a weird storyline in and of itself--what girl in their right mind responds to an anonymous email from a "secret admirer" they know nothing about?? Sure, it could have been Neil or it could have been a serial killer, get real Twinkle) or talk to Neil. She realized it from within rather than depending on talking to someone else. Despite everything I was conflicted about in this book, Twinkle is such a strong character who is complicated and messy and pretty human, which is why I was really interested in finishing her story.
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This book was exactly what I hoped it would be.  It was a fun, light book that is a perfect distraction.  We have teenage angst, love triangles and likable characters that are easy to read about.  A solid fluff read or a palate cleanser - because we definitely need those every once in a while. Thank you, Simon Pulse, for my copy of this book
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Delightful! I just love Sandhya Menon and her bubbly, uplifting, feminist books. Twinkle is a smart, funny, and thoughtful teenager with big dreams of becoming a filmmaker. Her story of creating her first film and trying to discover the identity of her secret admirer is told in the form of letters to her idols, various female directors. The concept is well executed, and Twinkle made for a lovable protagonist. If you enjoyed When Dimple Met Rishi, you're sure to love From Twinkle, with Love.
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Twinkle Mehra wants to be a film director more than anything in the world, and she has big plans to make that happen. One day, Sahil Roy, the brother of her longtime crush Neil, approaches her with an idea to make a movie for the Midsummer festival, and Twinkle agrees to the plan. As Twinkle and Sahil work on the movie together, they begin to deepen their relationship, and Twinkle finds herself falling for him instead of Neil. Relationships become more complicated as the summer progresses, and Twinkle begins to question everything she knows about herself and the people around her. Will Twinkle find success with her movie and her friends, or will she lose everything when the building tension snaps?
I thought this was a great coming of age story about a girl who has always felt like she belonged to the wallflower group, but eventually finds out that she was just thinking the worst about herself and others. I personally sympathized with Twinkle and her struggle with her perceptions of herself and others as the plot unfolded. The characters and their feelings seemed so real to me. I loved the use of humor in the story... I found myself laughing out loud many times as I read. I didn't care for the profanity or the heavy prevalence of teenage angst towards the end of the book, but I was very happy with the ending. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary YA fiction. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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This was a breath of fresh air. From Twinkle, with Love sounds like your normal teen novel with a predictable story line. Well, there wasn't much predictable about this one! Yes, you can see the romance a mile away. And yes, some of the story line isn't the most practical. That said, Twinkle, the lovable and highly relatetable protagonist, is written in a way that most teens or young adults can relate to - diary entries. Twinkle deals with your normal sort of high school drama, but what makes it standout is the inclusion of women of color, people of color, an ambitious high school film project, and of course young love.
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This was adorable! I loved DIMPLE and was extremely excited to read Menon's sophomore novel as a result. Her formula of geeky smart girls plus cinnamon roll boys is a winning combination for me so far.

I noticed some mixed early reviews so I was a bit nervous that Twinkle, as a character, would be frustrating for me to read. I like YA books where the characters are flawed and kind of learn / grow up throughout the novel, but I'm always hoping that it stays relatable. I can see why it’s polarizing because Twinkle definitely makes some rough and immature decisions throughout the book. She's used to being a wallflower and is feeling hurt that her best friend, Maddie, has moved into the ~popular girls~ group at their school, leaving Twinkle for just some scraps of her time. She has an overwhelming crush on Neil while balancing a friendship with his twin, Sahil. The two of them are working on a gender-swapped Dracula film together and very obviously falling for each other. Add in a mysterious secret admirer named "N" via email, and Twinkle is quite confused.

There are so many moments in this book where I questioned Dimple but for some reason I never lost faith that she would do the right thing. I could feel the changes inside of her throughout the book - some good and some bad - but always felt that she would turn things around by the end, or stop herself from making too horrible of a choice. It's hard to explain without giving too much away.

This book has a lot of great diversity and representation between all of the main characters and their families. I loved learning about each of them throughout the story and reading everything through emails, journal entries, and text messages. The ending made me tear up, which I didn’t expect, so this is very much a winner in my mind.
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Sandhya Menon’s From Twinkle, with Love is a light and romantic YA contemporary that is sure to delight fans of her first book When Dimple Met Rishi.  It follows high school student Twinkle Mehra, who is an inspiring filmmaker but also a bit of a wallflower who is really working on trying to find her voice.  She wants to use her passion for filmmaking to tell stories to the world but feels like she really needs to work on building herself up so that the world will listen to her.  When fellow film buff, cutie Sahil Roy suggests that they work on a film project together for an upcoming school festival, Twinkle jumps at the opportunity. This could be the big break she has been looking for, to finally share her filmmaking vision with more than just her five YouTube subscribers.  If she does this project, hundreds, maybe even thousands of people will finally see her work.  An added bonus for Twinkle is that working with Sahil could get her closer to her longtime crush, Sahil’s twin brother, Neil, who in her mind, she has scripted out a picture perfect future with.

As Twinkle and Sahil get to know each other better, however, Twinkle starts to unexpectedly have feelings for Sahil.  He’s cute, sweet, and everything she could possibly want in a boyfriend…except that Sahil’s not the boy she has been fantasizing about.  He’s not the popular brother who could be the key to Twinkle climbing the social ladder and reinserting herself into former bff Maddie’s new circle of rich friends.  Will Twinkle follow her heart to Sahil or will her desire to be noticed by the popular kids stand in the way of her chance at real love?

Twinkle: I’ll admit that Twinkle was a bit of a mixed bag for me, although I did like her overall.  I loved her intelligence and her passion for filmmaking and that she has all of these stories that she wants to tell.  Where I struggled a little more with Twinkle was when it came to the relationships in her life, whether it’s friendships, love interests, and especially her family.  Twinkle is messy and complicated in these areas, which I liked in the sense that it made her come across as very realistic, but at the same time, it also made her, at times, come across as a bit juvenile.  I lost track of how many times I thought “Girl, you have some serious growing up to do.”  I did feel sympathy for her most of the time, especially when her best friend Maddie basically ditches her for some new rich friends who aren’t even remotely nice to Twinkle.  Watching that relationship fall apart was pretty painful, but even more painful, was watching Twinkle desperately cling to it and obsess over how she was going to get Maddie back.

One of the things I liked the most about Twinkle though was watching her finally find her voice.  She starts off as somewhat meek, thinking things but never saying them. But as she grows into her role as a film director while working with Sahil and her classmates on the film project, she really comes into her own and finds her voice.  This, too, is messy because she goes off the rails a bit before she finds the right balance, but again, that just made it feel all the more realistic.

Sahil:  I think Sahil could give Rishi a serious run for his money in the precious and adorable department.  I’m sure the title character of this book was the one who was supposed to steal my heart but instead, it was Sahil all the way.  Sahil is so kind, patient, and selfless, and he’s also a little reserved and sad at times because he lives in the shadow of his superstar twin brother Neil. And like Twinkle, Sahil has a passion for films.  I thought it was so sweet when he worked up the nerve to ask her to work on a film with him for the school festival, especially after learning that Sahil has had a mad crush on Twinkle since they were both 11 years old.  And my heart just ached for him knowing how he felt about Twinkle, while at the same time, knowing that she’s busy scheming how to get his brother to notice her.  I spent a lot of the novel worrying that Twinkle was going to accidentally squish Sahil’s heart into a million pieces.

Unique Structure:  One of my favorite aspects of From Twinkle, with Love is the way Menon presents most of the story through Twinkle’s journal entries.  I thought it was just brilliant that instead of just randomly writing entries in her journals, she actually addresses them to her favorite female directors such as Sofia Coppola and Ava Duvernay. As someone who has always wanted to keep a journal but consistently failed at it miserably, I couldn’t help but wish I had thought of doing something like this.  And there’s more…While most of the story is presented from Twinkle’s perspective, we do get a little of it from Sahil’s perspective as well in a combination of bro-texts to his two bffs and some not-so-anonymous posts to his blog about his love for “Sparkle.” You know, because no one would EVER figure out that Sparkle is Twinkle, lol.  (Have I mentioned that Sahil is the absolute most precious and adorable part of this entire book?  Because yeah, he totally is!)

Groundlings vs Silk Feathered Hat Wearers:  I think this is going to be one of those things that really annoyed me but won’t bother most people, but the constant use of this comparison throughout the novel really drove me crazy after a while.  At first I thought it was clever when Twinkle started writing about Shakespearean theater and comparing herself to the groundlings (those with little money who would go to see the plays but stood on the ground at the theater because they couldn’t afford to purchase a seat) vs. the Silk Feathered Hat Wearing types who could afford the seats and who pranced around in fancy clothing acting important.  Twinkle’s dream is to use her filmmaking talents to rise up from “Groundling” status so that she is no longer invisible to those of higher social status.  While I didn’t necessarily have an issue with Twinkle’s dream, it drove me batty that literally every time she talked or wrote about the dream, she mentioned the actual terms ‘Groundlings’ and ‘Silk Feathered Hat Wearers.’ It went from feeling clever to feeling repetitive.

Too Many Love Interests:  I actually think the story would have been a stronger read for me with less focus on boys and more focus on filmmaking.  There were just too many potential love interests floating around – Sahil and Twinkle, or is it Neil and Twinkle, or no, wait, is it the anonymous email-writing secret admirer and Twinkle?  For someone like me who isn’t that much of a romance reader, this was just too much for me.

One final area where I struggled a little is that Twinkle seemed very young and immature at times.  She mentions in the first journal entry that she is sixteen but there were times when I thought she came across as much younger than that, more like 14.  Thankfully she did start to show some growth and maturity as I moved through the book, but it threw me a little in the early goings and made it a little harder to connect with Twinkle than I would have hoped.  I think maybe my expectations were just misplaced because Dimple and Rishi seemed so much older and more mature in Menon’s first book.

From Twinkle, with Love explores a lot of themes that readers are sure to find relatable – love, friendship, family, finding one’s voice, and following one’s dreams. While I didn’t find it quite as captivating a story as I did When Dimple Met Rishi, I still thought it was a solidly entertaining read and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to fans of contemporary fiction.
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