Cover Image: From Twinkle, with Love

From Twinkle, with Love

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Member Reviews

Actual rating: 3.5 stars
This novel follows Twinkle, an 16 year old Indian-American aspiring filmmaker, who begins a film project for the Summer Festival with her crush's twin brother, Sahil. Twinkle is struggling with the fact that her best friend, Maddie, has new popular friends that she just simply does not fit in with. She definitely has some insecurities and is unsure of herself.

What I really liked in the story was Dadi and the backstory about Nani. I really liked Sahil for the most part. What (or rather who) I had trouble with is Twinkle. She was different than I had expected. She read younger than 16 at times...more like 13 or so in my mind. She was irrational and impulsive and...even selfish. She pines over Sahil's twin, Neal, for almost the entire book even though she kept saying Sahil was great and she liked him more. Neal could give her popularity. Times where she could have used a backbone, it was gone, but then when she needed to be a little more diplomatic, she went off the rails. It was just odd. Overall the story as a whole wasn't terrible by any means, but I felt some aspects were repetitive and it was hard to get over Twinkle's personality.

I am still, very much so, looking forward to When Ashish Met Sweetie.
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As a huge fan of "When Dimple Met Rishi," I was beyond thrilled when I saw that Sandhya Menon was writing another YA novel.  "From Twinkle, with Love does not disapoint!  This book has all the charm of her first novel with a healthy dose of teen angst thrown in for good measure.  Mean girls, big dreams, and learning who you are all collide in this wonderful story about what happens when you take chances.  5/5 stars.
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I was enjoying this book until I reached the halfway point. Until then, I was enjoying the characters. I liked that most of Twinkle's angst came from fear of losing her best friend instead of pining after the unattainable guy. Her relationship with Sahil was adorable. Then halfway Twinkle loses her temper and becomes a different person for a while. As soon as her best friends calls her mean, she becomes mean. I didn't know who this character was. Also there are some sections from Sahil's point of view but it's too infrequent and really not needed.
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Twinkle is a flawed character always trying to find a way to improve herself. This is a story of finding love, accepting yourself, following your dreams, and friendship. I look forward to reading the next book by this author.
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Sandhya Menon writes real girls, complex with hopes, dreams, flaws and personalities that are so damn relatable. 

From Twinkle, with Love follows the story of Twinkle a girl who feels ignored by her family, and friends. Twinkle just recently loss her best friends Maddie to the popular crowd. A crowd that is made up of rich kids something Twinkle is not. She feels like she is never going to fit in unless she dates Neil. She think that if someone like Neil wants to hang out with her , then she can get her best friend back. Thus, when Sahil Roy, Neil’s twin brother offers to work together she accepts with hopes it would help her get closer to her crush.

Sandhya Menon books are hilarious and make me cringe in the best way. They bring me back to high school. When crushes were your world and everything felt like life or dead. Her characters are way braver than I was in high school, let me tell you that. 

This book really related to me because I went to private school where some kids were way richer than me, so I know what is like and I felt Twinkle's pain like my own. 

Menon creates a really needed diversity. She creates POC girls who are three dimensional. Which is necessary in today’s literature. We need to show the world, us POC girls are more than maids, or comedy relief. We are deserving of our own story. 

Twinkle was so relatable. She is very quirky and fun. Sahil has a very charming personality a quality all boys in Menon’s book have. Perfect book boyfriend material. 

I feel like is necessary that Sandhya Menon tell us if this boys she keeps writing about, sweet, charming, caring, dedicated and honest are real and if they are where can I order one?

The only criticism I have is that sometimes the story is a little predictable, but nevertheless I enjoyed this book immensely . 

The story is told in emails, text messages, letters from Twinkle to famous film makers. Which made the book a very easy and quick read. I read in one sitting because I couldn’t stop!

Overall I have to say From Twinkle, with Love was a fun time. I would completely recommend taking this book as your beach read or read it during summer in your backyard or pool. 

BOOK STATS 

Plot: ✰✰✰✰
Characters: ✰✰✰✰✰
Writing Style ✰✰✰✰
Personal Experience ✰✰✰✰✰
Overall: ✰✰✰✰✰ (4.5 Stars)
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I read When Dimple Met Rishi when it came out last year, and I was interested to see what Menon's next book would be like. Twinkle and Sahil are delightful characters, and their chemistry carries the book, which is fortunate, because the plot is kind of a mess. I had N's identity figured out from the first email, and I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be an actual mystery, or if we were supposed to know who it was and then cringe on Twinkle's behalf, but I started losing patience with it either way. Ditto Twinkle's continuing insistence on holding out for Neil despite realizing that she and Sahil were meant to be together. I do, however, like that the book explored the depth and complexity of female friendships, so I will be purchasing it based on that and the strength of the love story. I think my romance readers will really enjoy it. (I would give it 3.5 stars, if that was an option.)
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I received this as an EARC for an honest review, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved this novel. When I read when dimple met rishi I loved it in the beginning but as I kept reading I felt like I wasn't as interested in the romance causing me to put it down many times. I was afraid I would feel the same about this one. Although I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the characters. The writing was never my favorite but this book was great. The story line was well written and the characters were well written as well. I felt as though I could connect with them and have an understanding on how their lives were going. I highly recommend this book. I gave it a 4.25/5 stars.
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Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Sandhya Menon is bringing much needed diversity to the world of teen romcoms, and is doing it really well. What Becky Albertali is doing for the queer community, this author is doing for Indian-Americans. From Twinkle, with Love follows the story of Twinkle, a quiet Indian-American teen girl who dreams of being a great filmmaker and finally snagging her long-time crush Neil. And ever since her BFF Maddie has started hanging with a popular and wealthy group of girls, Twinkle believes that dating her swimming star crush will launch her back into Maddie's world. So when geeky Sahil Roy (who happens to be Neil's less-cool twin brother) asks her to make a film for an upcoming festival, it seems like the perfect opportunity to launch her career and finally feel seen. 

From Twinkle, with Love is funny and adorable, the perfect romantic comedy about geeky teens learning to love and accept their quirkiness. It made me laugh, it made me cringe, and it definitely gave me some feels. The story is told through journal entries, text messages, and emails, mostly from Twinkle's perspective. One cool thing is that Twinkle addresses her letters to different female film directors and occasionally talks about some of them or discusses the problem of patriarchy and whiteness in the film industry. It isn't heavily leaned on, but just enough to make a well-received point and I would hope that interested teens might google all these amazing female directors. 

While the story is fairly predictable, the fun is really in the journey. Twinkle thinks she wants uber-cool Neil and resists her growing attraction to his twin Sahil (who is clearly super into her). But it's obvious that they would be perfect together, if they can ever just overcome the obstacles in their path. They are funny and very cute.

Twinkle is far from perfect and has some definite blind spots, but seeing her stumble and then grow from it is wonderful and her foibles just make her a very lovable character. And what's great about this book is that it is not only about romance, but also about friendship and family. Twinkle and Sahil are friends before anything else and connect over their shared love of films. We see Twinkle and Maddie face the growing pains that can come with having a childhood best friend who is changing and growing. Twinkle forms new friendships and learns to see past her own prejudice. And family is deeply woven into the narrative as well.

Twinkle's parents work a lot and are often disconnected and her mom seems to struggle with depression, leaving her to rely on her grandmother for a lot of day to day support. Her grandmother is a wonderful, sweet and quirky character with wisdom to share. We get to see Twinkle work through some of her issues with her parents, which I really loved. The depiction of what it can mean to live with a depressed parent felt important and realistic. There isn't a magic cure, but some things can get better. There are also references to Indian culture throughout the book, which add a lot of richness and cultural context. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is a fun, quick read that makes you laugh while highlighting the need for more women and women of color in the film industry. Plus, I think authors bringing a diverse cast of characters to romantic comedies are doing something really necessary and important. I definitely recommend this one! I received an e-arc of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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New release Tuesday!

Twinkle Mehra has big plans for her life. She’s going to get popular, get her best friend back, and fall madly in love with the mega-popular Neil Roy, and then she’s going to get into the film school of her dreams and become a famous filmmaker.

But lofty plans rarely are accomplished the way we want.

When Sahil Roy, Neil’s twin, approaches Twinkle with the idea for a gender-swapped Dracula film for an upcoming film festival, she is excited. She gets to make a film, and Sahil can probably get her close to her crush, Neil!

Twinkle is a Desi character, so reading this book, much like in When Dimple Met Rishi by Menon, I was excited to see a diverse family and to learn more about their culture. For instance, when Sahil comes to Twinkle’s house, instead of where I might call my friend’s parent “Mr. Jones” or by their first name, in this culture they call them “Uncle or Aunt (first name).”

(And yes, I know these diverse titles by WOC are not meant to educate white people, but instead so that all people can find themselves represented in books. However, I do take the opportunity to learn about different cultures and diverse reads like Twinkle help me educate myself.)

Beyond the awesome diversity in this book, the story is just adorable and squee-worthy. It’s a young adult contemporary, so you know it has a happy ending.

I liked From Twinkle with Love significantly more than When Dimple Met Rishi (which I did quite enjoy), so if you liked Dimple, you’ll like Twinkle! I can’t wait for the next installment, When Ashish Met Sweetie due out in 2019.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.
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** spoiler alert ** Fans of WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI will not be disappointed in Sandhya Menon's newest book. The main character, Twinkle, is another Pakistani-American girl who is the off one out of her class at a charter school in Colorado. Most of her classmates are wealthy, upper-class "feathered silk hats," as Twinkle refers to them, so she feels like an outcast because her family is not even close to upper-class. Her dad works in a youth home and her mom is a substitute teacher. When her best friend, Maddie, starts hanging out with one of the feathered hats, Twinkle feels pushed aside and ignored, not just by her friend, but by her family as well. 

Twinkle cooks up a plan to date Neil, the most popular and good looking boy in school, in order to get into the popular crowd and win Maddie back. Her plan is to make a movie with Neil's twin, Sahil, and win over Neil along the way, but she ends up falling for Sahil and making things worse between her and Maddie. Twinkle has to face herself, her family problems, and her friends before she can make things better between her ex-best friend and the boy she is falling for.

Twinkle is easily the most relatable character I have ever read; she is real and even when she knows she is doing something wrong, she can't stop herself. She allows her newfound director power to go to her head and loses sight of her original vision. Isn't this something that we all do? I loved getting to know this character and watching her growth. I also cried alongside her when she realizes how she feels about her mother's constant ignoring her and when she sees that Sahil truly cares for her. 
Overall, Sandhya Menon did an outstanding job!
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I read Menon's previous YA novel, When Dimple Met Rishi and this is very similiar but not in a bad way. The characters are new and fresh. It has the same descriptive writing style and you are well aware of the characters' thoughts and feelings. Like her previous book, it is a bit predictable but it did not stop me from enjoying the read.

Sahil is a very likable character (charming like Rishi) and Twinkle fights her feelings towards him (just like Dimple). I wish there was more freshness to this but without the comparisons of similarities, I liked it just as well. I loved Dadi (Twinkle's grandmother). She is so eccentric yet you get a sense of what she says is always important no matter how cryptic it may be.

The book followed normal teenage emotions that come with social cliques, friend loss, jealousy, crushes, etc. It was very relatable and I think teenagers will be able to find something that they can relate to with at least one of the characters. Twinkle's changes throughout the story will are real enough for teenagers to identify with. I feel like we've all done something not so sincere and believed in our reasons behind it. Our reasoning behind the bad actions had justifiable causes to us at the time. I'm a firm believer in doing what you want for yourself but sometimes it's good to listen to what other people see because we can all be blinded by our own selfish feelings. Sahil's love and perspective never strayed from Twinkle during these times and he can be seen as the perfect teenage boyfriend where Twinkle can be seen as any other teenage girl trying to find herself. Even with her flaws and mistakes, she is a relatable character that you as the reader feel for and understand.

This was a great book.
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A sweet, fun rom-com that leaves you with a smile on your face!
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From Twinkle With Love is the story of Twinkle, an aspiring filmmaker, who is facing issues with her best friend, some potential love interests, and her first shot at directing a movie for the end of the school year.

Being completely honest, this book wasn’t for me. It read as a younger YA novel, and while there is nothing wrong with that and it’s a good audience to target (not every teen is in their senior year of high school, after all!), it didn't resonate with me. I had a hard time rooting for Twinkle because she was quite repetitive in her feelings and her biggest passion (film-making) was not as prominent in the story as I had hoped it would be.

That said, this is still a book that many teens will relate to. Feeling less-than, worrying about losing your best friend to the popular crowd, being unsure of romantic feelings, familial issues, and struggling with self-confidence (having both too little or too much) are all prominent features in this book and are well-written.

Also, Sahil is a wonderful character! Perfect book boyfriend material and hands-down my favorite of the cast of characters. I adore seeing a love interest who is respectful and understanding but who doesn’t let his crush walk all over him just because he wants his love to be requited. He’s not just great boyfriend material, he’s an incredible friend. More characters like him in the future, please!
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I first of all want to add a disclaimer: I have not read Ms. Menon's other novel, the critically acclaimed When Dimple Met Rishi, although after reading From Twinkle, With Love, I am likely to read her other works as well. However, that also means I will be unable to compare her books with each other, and my ratings are from a first-time reader only. With that being said, From Twinkle, With Love was highly enjoyable. I was a little skeptical when I realized the book was going to be told through letters, but Menon did a great job of bringing Twinkle's perspective to life. Many stories are written through emails and letters, and while I appreciate the style, I have a hard time getting into those books. I did not have the same problem with this one.

I was a bit confused by the filmmaking process, honestly, but I understand that Menon is not a filmmaker and would probably have a hard time with all the tiny details. Otherwise, this book was a delight. I would definitely recommend it.
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I enjoyed this book, but not as much as Menon's first novel. I've read a slew of books about female protagonists with an passion in the arts (photography, film, drawing, etc.), and I don't think we got enough of Twinkle's film making process here. Who wrote the script? How did they decide all of the shots in under a month? I understand that every book involves some suspense in disbelief and that this was more of a narrative device to get these characters together, but it felt a bit weak to me. 

That being said, Menon again writes a sensitive, supportive male lead in Sahil. Twinkle's desire to be popular was brutally honest and realistic to a high school experience. I also liked the B plot of Maddie and Twinkle drifting and Maddie not understanding how to integrate friend groups; I think we all know what that can be like! 

Overall, I enjoyed the romance, but I think the movie making (both practice and passion) didn't feel authentic.
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This was a very adorable book with a compulsively-readable structure. Despite the title, I wasn't expecting the book to feature Twinkle's journal entries, but I loved the insight that they provided. Menon does a fantastic job of getting inside Twinkle's head and showing readers the world as she sees it. I did struggle to stay focused at a few points, mostly because some of the romantic subplots felt a little clichéd. But overall, I think this is a fun read that YA contemporary fans will enjoy. It's also perfect that it comes out in May, right before summer, because it very much feels like a summer-y, poolside-reading kind of book.
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Twinkle Mehra is just trying to survive high school. After her best friend goes awol when she becomes popular Twinkle feels increasingly isolated and lonely. When an opportunity arises to show off her love and skills directing a film for school she undertakes the effort hoping this will turn her life around and make her popular so she can get her crush, Neil. 
For the film Twinkle is working with Neil’s twin, Sahil, and soon realizes they have more in common than she thought. 
As a follow up to the adorable and thoughtful When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon has followup with another story about a girl who has a story to tell that is captivating and compelling and heartwarming. Menon has done a great job of bridging a gap in stories about young girls of color and their stories of growing up.
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Just as delightful as her debut, When Dimple Met Rishi. This story was well written with a great cast of characters. I enjoy the style of the story and there is something very specific about the way Menon brings these characters to life. I loved the relationship development and I hope she continues to follow the path of the first two of her novels in the future. I also must say that I think the cover art is perfect for these stories!
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Sandhya Menon's newest release From Twinkle, with Love is a novel that I was very excited for since I'm a huge fan of her debut, When Dimple Met Rishi. Menon's writing is so addicting and her storytelling is always a fun-filled adventure from beginning to end. There are many underlying messages that I think are super important (especially when it comes to diversity) and her characters are always so relatable. Not to mention, her romances are super adorable and in this one it was so different. I also loved how there was really no antagonist in this story which even added to the realistic aspects since most of the time in real life there aren't always villains --- just good people who make honest mistakes.

Overall, I cannot wait for more of Menon's future works, they have definitely become novels I highly anticipate each time a new one comes around!
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