Cover Image: First Love, Take Two

First Love, Take Two

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Member Reviews

Thank you, Netgalley and Forever at Grand Central Publishing, for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

I loved The Trouble With Hating You and was very excited to see Preeti and Daniel's story coming out in September 2021. First Love, Take Two did not disappoint. I laughed, I cried, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself and could not put the book down. Sajni Patel created a loveable relationship between Preeti and Daniel while covering important topics such as mental health stigma, anti-blackness, and toxicity between generations. 

This is a second chance romance. I liked that Patel wrote a book that did not need flashbacks to Preeti and Daniel's first relationship. In most second chance romances, authors rely heavily on flashbacks to push the narrative and allow the readers to fall in love with the characters and story. That was not necessary for First Love, Take Two. Preeti and Daniel's chemistry leaps off the page, and the tension between the two is incredible. Daniel is incredibly supportive of Preeti's mental health journey and has definitely become one of my favorite romance heroes. 

I really liked that Patel did not shy away from writing about anti-blackness found in communities of color. Books with black characters often write about racism found in white communities, which is valid, but racism and anti-blackness can be found in communities of color and perpetrated by others who experience racism themselves. 

I rate this book five stars, and I absolutely loved the book. It's one of my new favorite romance books.
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I really enjoyed this book! I thought it was going to have a dual POV like in The Trouble with Hating You, but this one was only one POV. I don't like dual POV books very much, so I think I like this better than Sajni Patel's first romance. I thought the characters had great chemistry and I liked how they both had a life outside of their romance. I'm a sucker for the one bed trope and these two are LITERALLY FORCED TO LIVE TOGETHER! In terms of sexual content, this book was PG, which is a little disappointing since it is an adult romance, but that's my only complaint. I did really like how the author emphasized issues in the South Asian community like anti-blackness and refusal to seek help for mental health problems. The discussion around anxiety was really honest, authentic, and important. As a South Asian who struggles with anxiety myself, I saw my concerns about seeking treatment reflected in this book. I also really liked how Preete, the main character, stands up to the racist aunties. Many times in the South Asian community we never say the word racism or examine our brown skin privilege. This book is cute and fun but also delves into some really serious conversations. I can totally see this being a book club pick for my South Asian bookish creators book club.
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First Love, Take Two by Sajni Patel- 3 

Content warnings: heart-attack(mention), racism, anxiety, depression, talks of complications of pregnancy and cancer. 

Honestly, when I finished reading this book I was conflicted. I didn’t know what to rate this book, I didn’t know what to talk about this book. 

Preeti, is a final year resident and when she needs a place to new place to stay, her friend offers her a place, the only obstacle, her roommate is her ex. 

So as an Indian, I kind of liked how Sajni shed light on the fact that for the older generation how important the society is, like it’s an integral part in our cultural things like ‘oh what will people say’ and Priya who had an interracial relationship, it’s more of a taboo. I liked Daniel’s character and how supportive the side-characters were, especially the parents, I mean yes to more supportive parents in south-Asian books. Another thing I liked, the representation of aunties, we all have people like them in real life. I appreciated the open discussion of therapy and anxiety and of course how sweet Daniel was when he helped Preeti and also played a guitar once. This book also deals with touch aversion, my first book with this theme and the way it dealt with the issues were beautiful. 

Now, I wanted Daniel’s POV, I wanted to know more about him and his issues and his feelings because at first, it was a little difficult for me to connect with Daniel’s character because of the inconsistency of his feelings, sometimes he would be hurt and sad over their break-up and the other times he would be flirting with Preeti. Honestly, I found something missing in this book, I’ve come to terms with the fact that Sajni’s style isn’t really type, like its too juvenile and her characters are adults but the way they are written is too childish and predictable. 

Overall, it’s a fun book and for those looking for a second chance romance and a good Indian representation could try reading this book.
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In First Love, Take Two, Preeti is in the process of finishing her residency and finding a job but she is having to juggle her traditional family, an unwanted engagement, and her own overwhelming anxiety. To make matters worse, she has to room with her ex for three weeks. An ex that she never fully got over and who she never gave a reason for why she broke up with him. 

This book was so heartwarming. The relationship between Preeti and Daniel is something everyone should aspire to. Preeti managed to learn from her past mistakes and actually communicate what is going wrong. I love that this book didn't shy away from talking about racism and how women can sometimes be seen as objects to be talked over and made decisions for. Sometimes I wanted to scream at her family to actually listen to what she is saying instead of spewing vicious words. Also, I appreciated the discussion about how seeing a therapist or getting medication for anxiety shouldn't be seen as something to hide or be shameful of. I wish we could have seen some things from Daniel's POV because it would have been interested to see how he felt during his own family's drama. All I know is that now I want a Daniel because he is perfection. For me, this was a 4/5. 

If you like second chances, women who stand up for themselves, or a man who plays guitar to help with anxiety, then this one is for you. 

I received a digital copy of this book free from Netgalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Forever and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

I adored this book. First Love, Take Two is a second chance romance that follows our main character Preeti as she completes her residency & looks to find a permanent position. At the same time she deals with the aftermath of an incident from the first book in this series (which I haven’t read yet) and must find a new place to live all in the matter of a week. 

Enter Liya, one of her besties who has an empty apartment for the next few weeks. There is only one catch - she’s already promised the place to Daniel, Preeti’s first love who she maybe hasn’t completely gotten over. They agree to share the apartment for a few weeks, but under the condition that Preeti finally confess to Daniel why she left him and completely broke his heart six years ago. 

The romance in First Love, Take Two is super sweet. It’s a slow burn, but believable as these two characters find their way back to each other. Daniel is a caring and attentive love interest who still knows exactly what Preeti needs to take care of herself. And Preeti can give it right back. This book also touches on important issues that our characters must overcome to be together - elitism from Daniels father towards Preeti and her family, racism against Daniel (who is a black man) from Preetis community of aunties, and Preeti learning to stand up for herself and her family/friends against those same aunties and uncles who hold a more traditional view on what makes a good Indian daughter. First Love, Take Two also explores anxiety and the stigma that remains when a doctor may need help with that. 

All in all this was a wonderful book. As mentioned I haven't yet read the first book in this series (The Trouble With Hating You), but I definitely think readers may get more from the story if they read that one first. I did have trouble wrapping my head around the events that occurred in the beginning of First Love, Take Two, but that could be prevented had I read The Trouble With Hating You first.
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I initially didn't realize that this book was the second in a series, so at first I had a hard time acclimating myself to the characters and their experiences - the early chapters presume a certain level of familiarity with this world. However, I quickly got past this once the story focused in on Preeti and her experiences, and was able to immerse myself in her story.

While the romantic connection is a major plot point, I found myself relating even more to Preeti's experience as a daughter struggling between doing what's expected from her in order to please her parents, and pursuing what will make her happiest. She's trying so hard to be the daughter she thinks her parents want, without actually communicating directly with them about these issues. I really appreciated how honestly the author depicted the anxiety and other mental health issues that resulted from the pressure that Preeti put on herself - 

My least favorite trope in romance is when conflict could have been easily avoided by open communication, but in the case of Preeti and Daniel, I understand why they felt they couldn't talk through their differences - leading to heartbreak and six years apart. They needed time to repair the damage from their initial split, but seeing Daniel overcome his trust issues in order to be there to support Preeti through her issues hit me right in the feels - the first scene when he plays guitar had me melting! Their relationship is all the more impactful because they had to work for it and overcome very real issues in order to come back together.
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First Love Take Two is an adorable story about second chances, with one of my favourite trope of exes to lovers. It follows Preeti, nearing end of residency struggling to find a job and a place to stay. When a temporary staying arrangement comes her way, it comes with a surprise: her ex, Daniel Thompson as a roommate.

Sajni Patel incorporates the experiences of immigrant communities and the narrow mentality of some desi women on point. This book explores the pressure from harm done by gossiping aunties and racist societies. I loved how it showed the toxicity of a community and how it can be confronted by having a great support system and inner courage to point out the wrongs. I appreciated the book discussing the stigma around mental illness and therapy for it. As a South Asian, all this was familiar to read about.

Preeti's character was very heartfelt and relatable to an extent to me. Her anxiety particularly spoke to me. Her character arc is a strong one, I wanted her to figure her wants from the beginning of the book and I was glad to see her communicating, learning and correcting her mistakes as well as finding her happiness. Her touch aversion too was handled well.

Though we don't get Daniel's POV, his character was super sweet and charming. I loved that he was there for Preeti through her struggles, despite being hurt.

The tension between them! Loved every moment of it. You could feel the slight yearning and tension between them while they worked out the miscommunication between them. The forced proximity and one bed trope added to the spiciness.

The side characters, like Preeti's friends and Daniel's grandparents who formed a support system for Preeti and Daniel were a delight too.

I loved that First Love Take Two tackled an interracial relationship between people from different classes. The struggles and clashes that come along with inherent racism and classism was portrayed realistically, This was a cute fun read and I'm excited to read more of the author's works!
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I think I liked this more than "The Trouble With Hating You". I loved Daniel, I loved his sister, and I loved his grandparents. Preeti was such a wonderful character! She was strong and vulnerable all at the same time. This was a really great read!
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I loved this one even more then The Trouble with Hating You! 

Preeti is an amazing main characters- she has so many layers
Her relationship with her family, friends, her work, her mental health, her past, her possible future, her career.

Daniel is up there with book boyfriends.
He cares so much, he's understanding, has his own layers with his family, past, and possible future. 

Together they have understandable miscommunications and foibles, but you know, you just know they care about each other and you want all the good things for them. 

I think you still need to read Trouble first because it gives more context to the drama of this book. 
Highly recommend!
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Preeti Patel is nearing the end of her residency and trying to juggle the stress of her residency, finding a job, her family, and trying to find a place to stay now that her roommate is married. However, the new place that she has found comes with a roommate - her ex Daniel Thompson, who she never really got over.

I completely, absolutely loved this book so much. Sajni Patel has such vivid descriptions, and I found myself engrossed in everything from the medical descriptions in the opening of the book up to the abundant details of the ending, taking me right into the heart of the scene. I loved reading the descriptions of food, which made everything more vivid and one of the ways I find to best connect to cultures. This book also touches on so many incredibly important topics while bringing in some of my favorite romance tropes, especially exes and "there was only one bed!".

This book touches on grief in a variety of ways - first from the way that Preeti and Daniel are both still grieving over their relationship and its unresolved end. Second, from Preeti's role as head resident at the hospital, and the grief that both the patients will have and the grief that Preeti as a doctor who often has to be the bearer of bad news. And the anxiety representation! I loved how the topic of anxiety is treated in this book, especially in the way that different characters deal with Preeti's anxiety, as well as the commentary on the social stigma of mental illness and seeking treatment for mental illness in this book. Her anxiety attacks were so real and I loved the way that Daniel would help her through them.

The characters were all so completely well done. I found Preeti and Daniel to be so well fleshed out. Both characters had some amazing family members that would support them so well. I loved Preeti's parents and Daniel's sister and grandparents, they're exactly the type of family you'd want to have in your corner - endlessly supportive yet will tell you exactly what you need to hear. I also love Preeti's found family - her group with Reema, Liya, and Sana. While the girls were all on different paths and busy with different things going on in their lives, you knew that they'd be willing to drop everything for each other in a heartbeat if need be.

I love the intersection of your culture and community, and how there can be toxicity in your community that isn't necessarily something you can escape safely without losing that entire community, but you can make it more bearable with the right support system and people uplifting you in the community. I also loved the commentary about how many cultures have rooted a deep respect for elders, especially in your family, and the way that this respect can either cultivate or destroy the next generation, depending on the intentions of the adults in question. The added difficulties that come from an interracial relationship and a relationship where the two people in question come from different classes - the possible struggles that come from expectations that clash in an ugly way when classism and racism rear their heads made the complexities of navigating this romance so worth reading.

Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and NetGalley for the ARC.
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I enjoyed this book so much!! There’s a marked improvement from the first book by Sajni Patel and that made this book all the more enjoyable. I loved the second chance romance and the slow burn of reignited feelings between Daniel and Preeti. I loved seeing Liya from the previous book pop in and also see the growth of the friendships. My favourite part was how these books address really problematic aspects of the Hindu and South Asian communities in a pointed way. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!!!
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Thank you so much to Forever at Grand Central Publishing for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

First Love, Take Two proved yet again why Sajni Patel is one of my favorite South Asian authors and romance authors in general. She’s so good at encapsulating the experience of the sons and daughters of desi immigrant parents and combining this experience with the most heartfelt romances. I loved every minute of Preeti and Daniel’s story, especially being a fan of second-chance romances, and I’m so excited for everyone to read this book when it comes out this September--especially if you’re a fan of the Trouble With Hating You like I am!

As mentioned, second-chance romances is one of my favorite sub-genres of romance. There’s always so much tension between the two main characters after having not seen each other however long they’ve spent apart, and this was certainly the case between Preeti and Daniel. Every scene in which the two were in the same room as one another, you could feel the history between them--and the forced proximity trope in this book definitely added to that. I will say at some points towards the beginning of the story, it was hard to feel the connection that Daniel had to Preeti because we didn’t get to see his POV during this book. In The Trouble With Hating You, we had a dual-POV from both Liya and Jay, which is why their relationship felt more developed as a whole. However, because we only see Preeti and Daniel’s story from Preeti’s POV, their relationship naturally felt one-sided. I would have been interested to see some scenes from Daniel’s perspective as well, especially during Reema & Rohan’s wedding, when he first knew he could be running into Preeti. I do understand why this scene and transition from The Trouble With Hating You to First Love, Take Two wasn’t included in the book, since this scene's focus was on Liya’s confrontation with Mukesh and the aftermath, but considering this could have been the first moment where Preeti & Daniel got a glimpse of each other after being apart for so long, it did feel a little glossed over.

Speaking of Daniel, he’s probably the sweetest love interest that I’ve ever read about in an Adult Romance. He was there to support Preeti, even after six years of having his heart broken by her, every step of her journey in this book. I adored how he always put Preeti’s needs first when she was having an anxiety attack and never diminished her feelings when she was having an attack (I died during the scenes in which he played his guitar for her). I also really loved the anxiety rep in this book, and thought that the Alien face-hugger was a really great metaphor to describe the feelings people with anxiety have when they feel an attack coming.

I think my favorite aspect about this book is the demonstration of intergenerational conflict between Preeti and her friends and their parents & relatives within the desi community. Sajni Patel does a really good job in her books of highlighting the issues that older generations in the desi community bring and inflict on their children. I loved how one of the themes of this book and the series overall is how Preeti and her friends vow to make a positive difference as the younger generations of the desi community and ensure that no one ever is mistreated in any way in generations to come. I think that this reflects a lot of the sentiments and mentalities that many young Indian-Americans have as well. I loved the scenes in which Preeti stood up to her fois, her parents, and Yuvan whenever they said anything offensive--I feel like it gives a lot of courage to other Indian-Americans who didn’t have that courage when they were younger. It was also super refreshing to see Preeti’s parents be so supportive of her relationship with Daniel, especially after reading about Liya’s dad in The Trouble With Hating You.

Overall, First Love, Take Two is a super adorable and powerful second-chance romance with amazing rep! Be sure to pre-order this book or pick it up once it comes out this September!
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Sajni Patel is the MASTER at picking apart the South Asian community for all its flaws. THE TROUBLE WITH ATING YOU focused on sexual assault and the victim blaming that is oh so prevalent in our society and FIRST LOVE, TAKE TWO focused on the racism and anti Blackness in our society. Both books did a phenomenal job of exploring the impacts of gossiping, rumours, and the "log kya kahenge" ["what will people say"] mentality on young women.

The romance in this book is God tier and oh my gods I want a Daniel Thompson in my life. Preeti's character arc as she develops thicker skin, goes to therapy, and unlearns the idea the mess in her life is her fault was amazing to read. I think as South Asian women, we all go through this journey of having to unlearn some of the toxic traits that we may not even realise we developed while growing up in the community. 

My only complaint with this book is the pacing. Much like with THE TROUBLE WITH HATING YOU, I often found myself confused by pacing of the novel and the way the love interests interacted early in the book. 

Nonetheless, I cannot recommend that you read this book (and THE TROUBLE WITH HATING YOU) enough!
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First Love, Take Two
I was absolutely thrilled when I got this ARC. The characters are just out of this world. Preeti is a charming woman that you just find yourself rooting for from the beginning. Don’t even get me started on Daniel he is the best person and supporter any relationship could ask for. I love light romance reading because you know how things will end, but that never stops me from being surprised at every twist and turn along the way. 
Also, I think the romance genre generally gets a bad rep for not bringing any substance or important topics into their work and I just have to say how wrong that is, especially in this book which hits on important topics like mental health and racism. Don’t count it out because it’s a romance, but boy it does have plenty of STEAMY content wrapped up in as well! 
A gigantic thank you to NetGalley and Forever by Grand Central Publishing for the ARC
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First Love, Take Two is the second book in the The Trouble with Hating You universe, but you don’t have to read The Trouble with Hating You prior to reading it! First Love, Take Two follows Preeti Patel, who is nearing the end of her residency, trying to find a new place to live, and securing a job. It just so happens that her temporary housing arrangement comes with a surprise: her ex, Daniel Thompson, who she’s never quite gotten over, despite the fact that they broke up six years ago.

	There’s much to love about First Love, Take Two, but I wanted to start with this: I often feel like interracial relstionships depicted in media are between a person of color and a white person, and I really appreciated that that wasn’t the case in First Love, Take Two. I really appreciated how First Love, Take Two addresses anti-Blackness in the South Asian community, classism as well as xenophobia. Another thing I really appreciated was how mental health was portrayed in First Love, Take Two. Mental health is something that’s rarely discussed in families of color, which can make it really difficult to seek help. The way Preeti’s anxiety and depression was written really resonated with me personally. 

	Preeti is a charming heroine who carries a lot on her shoulders, and someone who I just couldn’t help but empathize with. Watching her grapple with what made her happy, protecting her family, and doing what was expected of her was something that felt very real. I think I spent most of the book just hoping that she would figure out what would make her happy, or rather, content. I also want to add that I haven’t read about a main character who is touch averse before, and I appreciated how that was written.

	David, on the other hand, was just charming. As a love interest, he was everything! I found him to be just so sweet, and I loved how much he cared about his family. You could so easily tell how much hurt he was in, and how he still deeply cared about Preeti, despite his own hurt and anger for the situation. Despite not having talked in years, he still remembered every detail about Preeti, and knew how to calm her down when she was struggling with her mental health. 

	There was just so much tension between Preeti and David! I spent a good chunk of the book wanting them to just communicate and talk it out, but I understood why they couldn’t. I’m not a big fan of the miscommunication trope, but I think it was really done well here. Despite it having been six years since the two of them broke up, you could tell how much Preeti and David still loved each other, and still remembered how to support and take care of one another. They were just so tender, and I think that when you know someone so well and when they trust you with their heart, it’s so easy to be careless with it — especially when they’ve hurt you before. And I think it shows a lot of emotional maturity that both Preeti and David were able to put their own feelings aside, despite the lack of closure, the hurt and guilt, to properly be there for one another.

	I loved the ensemble cast of characters; Preeti’s friends, and David’s grandparents were such a standout to me. I found them all so lovable, and I’m really excited that I can go back and read The Trouble with Hating You for more adventures with everyone! 

	Overall, I truly loved First Love, Take Two, and I cannot wait to read more of Patel’s works in the future! As I’m not South Asian, nor am I Black, I highly recommend you seek out ownvoices reviews.
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What. A. Gem.

I absolutely loved Patel's first book and enjoyed her YA book as well so I was thrilled to read this book.
I finished the book in one day and was invested from the first chapter (which is very rare for me!).

I appreciated the way Patel gives readers an unfiltered view of Desi culture with an emphasis on the "next generation" who are learning to find their voices and improve communal norms.

If you're looking for me, I'll be out searching for my own Daniel.
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Full review will be up on pop-culturalist.com and my IG page @meetcuteromancebooks. 

WE FINALLY GET PREETI'S BOOK!!! Sajni's books are becoming a favorite right under Uzma Jalaluddin's books. I adore her writing style and the characters in this book are top-notch. This book is about second chances and while I normally don't believe in second chances (because people have the tendency to make the same mistakes - this book definitely opened my eyes to it).
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5 stars 

I love this book so much! sajni patel continues to write the best desi diaspora books i've ever read. i hope she never stops writing because this book was phenomenal. I wish i could go back and reread this again for the first time. 
I haven’t come across many books that particularly focus on touch aversion and Patel does a fantastic job of representing the challenges, fears and consequences of touch trauma.
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This book right here, nails second chance romance. It’s definitely a trope that is hard to do in a way that the reader isn’t hating on one of the characters. This author did it was such grace that you cannot help but cheer for these two characters to overcome their roadblocks to come back together again. 

I absolutely loved Daniel. He is absolutely a cinnamon roll hero, and one that takes charge to be the best kind of support that Preeti needs. Though I wish Preeti communicated more about her needs, I am so glad we got to see and be a part of her growth. 

This author definitely has a beautiful way of writing, her descriptions are so vivid, I can easily imagine this book in my mind. 

This book touches on a lot of very hard subjects. Please make sure to read the authors note at the beginning of the book for content warnings.
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i just found the book very predictable, and i think i’ve discovered that sajni’s style just isn’t for me. her character voices come off as juvenile, and makes me feel like she is better suited to writing ya (and, in fact, i think that’s why the knockout is the book from her i’ve enjoyed most). preeti just frustrated me as a character and the main “conflict” honestly didn’t feel impactful to me. i liked the love interest and i really appreciate the author for trying to normalize calling out toxic behaviors within our communities, standing up against racism and anti-Blackness, and normalizing mental health struggles and seeking treatment for the same, and that’s why this book gets my 3 stars here, but the story itself just wasn’t very special to me.
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