First Love, Take Two
by Sajni Patel
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Pub Date 21 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 01 Apr 2022
Preeti never quite got over Daniel Thompson. Super-hot, plenty of swagger, amazing cook—the guy is practically perfect. And if it weren't for their families, there might have been a happily ever after. But it's hard to keep her sanity and libido in check when the man of her dreams is sleeping mere feet away. Can Preeti and Daniel find a way to stand up and fight for each other one last time . . . before they lose their second chance?
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Average rating from 378 members
I am just floored by this book. As a person in an interracial relationship and with generalized anxiety disorder, I related to Preeti so much. Personally, the depictions of an anxiety attack rang true to my own experiences. She has such immense pressure on her from her job and community and barely a moment to breathe. Add in moving in with your ex-boyfriend, navigating an arranged relationship, and medical drama? You could cut the tension with a scalpel. The clash of cultures here is never toned down to focus on the romance and I really appreciated that. Just because a book is marketed as a romance doesn't mean that it can't also discuss important themes such as racism and mental health. But don't worry - the steam that's here is STEEEEAMY.
*Thank you to Forever and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review*
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.
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.
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!
Okay, so this was my first romance novel in a very long time and let me tell you that I absolutely loved this book.
The premise is about second chances and standing up to your family/society for your choices. We follow Preeti, a chief medical resident, who is about to become a fully fledged doctor, and she broke up with the love of her life 6 years ago. Now, she’s looking for a roommate and guess who, it’s her ex, Daniel Thompson.
We get to see both of them fall back in love with each other, and it was done so beautifully that I wanted them to forget the past, kiss and make up. Both Daniel and Preeti’s characters complement each other and I loved their interactions. The book also explores the nature of how difficult interracial relationships can be, with families interfering, societal norms, and cultural differences.
There’s always the dreaded question that all immigrant Indian children, including me, have heard: “What will society think?” And let me tell you that it’s bullshit and that you should stand up to your choices and go for what you believe in. Sajni Patel explores that aspect of Desi culture really well, and I felt connected with Preeti. She was in no way a perfect character and that’s okay, because perfect characters are boring.
Daniel was also a great character, he has his own battles to fight and decisions to make. I wish we got to hear his side of the story. He supports and loves Preeti so much, it makes me want a Daniel of my own.
I was so engrossed in the book that I finished it in 2 days. It was a quick read and left me craving for more Romance. I’m definitely gonna pick up more books by Sajni Patel. Please check this book out! :)
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!
First Love, Take Two is a perfect example of what a romance story should be. Sanji Patel has you longing for more. The characters and storyline are adorable, quirky, intriguing.
Ok so I am literally the world's biggest fan of The Trouble With Hating You, and so I had high expectations for First Love, Take Two and I was not disappointed. Every aspect about this book is perfect, from the plot to the characters.
This book follows Preeti, a to-be doctor who is trying to fight cultural racism within her traditional Indian community. Daniel, a Black man, and Preeti dated for a while before she left him for no reason. This book shows their relationship rekindling and is so fun and romantic.
This book tackles issues such as racism, cultural expectations, mental health, touch aversion, and brief mentions of miscarriage beautifully. As someone who has undergone similar cultural issues, this book almost brought me to tears with the plot. It shows Preeti becoming stronger over time and tackling all these issues.
This book has definitely become one of my all time favourites. Sajni Patel's eloquent way of writing made me read the whole thing in one day because I could not put it down. Everyone should read this book right now. 5/5 stars.
Thank you to Forever Pub for an eARC of this in exchange for an honest review!
I love The Trouble With Hating You, so I was stoked to hear about First Love, Take Two! Preeti and Daniel are exes, and it's been 6 years since she broke up with him without any explanation. When Liya leaves her apartment and Preeti is in need of a place to stay, Liya offers it to her. There's only 1 caveat-Daniel is also staying there. And more? There's only one bed.
Like EXCUSE ME, there's a one bed trope FOR THE WHOLE BOOK. Who doesn't want that trope for the entire length of the book?! Preeti is on the way to becoming a doctor, and it was really sweet to see her working towards that. She also really values her parents and their opinions, but doesn't want to hurt them, so as Preeti and Daniel grow closer and Preeti realizes Yuvan just doesn't quite know her the way Daniel does, she's so worried about what her parents might think.
Daniel is also a total hottie, but I really enjoyed the discussions around racism, as well. There are a few moments that people should be careful of, because there is a stillborn birth in the story. It's not described in full detail, but there are a few paragrpahs, and it's mentioned again a bit later.
Otherwise, and absolute wonderful read!
Content warnings: racism, stillborn birth
I devoured this book in two sittings! It was a great read with some heavy themes addressed in a balanced and thoughtful way. I also really appreciated the fact this was an #ownvoices and the authentic inclusion of family conflict with relationships and marriage in the Indian community. This is not a typical second chance romance and though some predictable story lines, I really enjoyed it!
First and foremost, I genuinely loved this book and I am not kidding when I say that I could not put it down. Second chance romances are not easy but Sajni Patel so masterfully wrote this that I don’t think I could ask for anything better. Even though I can’t personally relate to Preeti’s life, I was so deeply drawn into her story. This book is beautiful and intimate and raw and tender and at the end of the day just plain good. If you have ever liked romance, then you absolutely need to read this book.
FIRST LOVE, TAKE TWO is the story of Preeti Patel, Chief Resident at her clinic and steadily heading toward a fulltime position. But with roommate situations up in the air, she ends up sharing an apartment with her ex, Daniel, who she’s been avoiding for the past six years after breaking up with him. But there’s much more to the situation with that, and despite the fact Preeti thinks they both should have moved on, it’s clear they haven’t.
This book was a breath of fresh air and I am so happy that I got the chance to read it. I have so many good things I want to say about it, but I want to quickly get my minor issues out of the way. There were occasional moments where the chapters seemed to end at a weird time for me, like I turned the page and expected more. Secondly, there were a few moments with more modern slang that felt just a little bit forced. But frankly, I can’t think of much more to say that I disliked because this book is just that good.
Let’s start with the characters, and our main girl (woman) Preeti. Preeti is an absolutely incredible character and the thing I love about her most is that she is so incredibly human. A huge facet of this story is her dealing with her own anxiety and depression, and it was so well written and portrayed. Yes, it is a detriment to her but not to her character, in fact it only makes the character as a whole stronger. Even further, it’s not ever seen as something to be cured or changed, but instead some of the best moments in the entire book were Daniel helping Preeti with her anxiety, being that person for her that could make an overwhelming moment more bearable. Preeti is vulnerable but she’s also incredibly strong, and the book only furthers that arc of self growth and confidence. Throughout this book we see Preeti grow, most importantly, within herself, not because she needs to change for a relationship but in being better for herself.
And like any good book, Preeti is not the only amazing character in the book. I have to give an immense amount of love to Daniel who is possibly everything that could be wanted in a love interest because not only is he an amazing person, his character has so much depth and nuance that can speak for itself. But like Preeti, he’s not a perfect person, and once again it makes him all the more better. Preeti’s circle of friends and family is also incredible (obviously some are much more expanded upon in the first book in the series THE TROUBLE WITH HATING YOU), but Sajni Patel doesn’t even come close to slacking off as if the characters are already established. Everyone, from Grandma and Grandpa Thompson, Liya, Reema, Sana, Brandy, Preeti’s parents (Mummie and Papa) are so nuanced and complex and just absolutely delightful to read. I genuinely wouldn’t be mad to get a short story about each and every individual one of them because they’re just that good.
For the more plot driven, this book still fails to disappoint. It’s at heart, a romance, but it’s so much more than that. This book is watching characters learn and grow, watching relationships, romantic, platonic, familial, and more flourish under communication and care. This book is inherently character driven, but it’s also a journey. Preeti’s journey in becoming a doctor, the undertone of issues related to her relationship with Daniel, and most importantly to me her work on her own mental health provide important plot points that just further enrich the story. Sajni Patel didn’t hold back on any part and I’m so grateful for that fact.
Most of all, I think one of my absolute favourite things about this book was the relationships. Preeti and Daniel’s relationship is painful at times but so worth it. The very essence of second chance romance is captured as the two fall easily into old intimacy and slowly learn again how to truly talk to one another. It’s a second chance on the actual label, not on the love that never really dissipated. It’s hard to explain just how clearly perfect these two are for each other, in the way that they’re a safe place for one another no matter what, that intimacy isn’t just physical closeness but knowing the ins and outs of someone’s internal life. But the good relationships don’t stop there. The presence of Preeti’s girl group is exhilarating, not only to just see a group of women love each other so fiercely, but also to see the way they all work together in a balance. A group of well developed characters making an equally well developed friendship, what more could you ask for?
There are so many other good ones but I really need to talk about Preeti’s relationship with her parents. From the start, it’s clear that Preeti would do anything for them and this is a recurring theme throughout the book. Her love is clear and permanent. And that love is absolutely returned. Their relationship isn’t perfect and it’s clear that a part of the book is about how her relationship changes as she changes and grows. I can’t speak for the specifics of being within Preeti’s community, but what I can say is that the story of parents loving and supporting their child despite what others say is so near and dear to my heart, and once again, Patel writes it so well.
I could continue to talk about this book forever, about all the little nuances and details that made it such a good and satisfying read. It can be summed up this way, FIRST LOVE, TAKE TWO has beautiful characters, a beautiful romance, and doesn’t shy away from hard issues because they’re still intertwined with the previous two points. It’s amazing and I applaud Sajni Patel for this absolute work of art.
*I received a free copy of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Sajni Patel does it again! I loved the first one and I loved this one just as much. I could really connect with the main character in regards to anxiety. Patel wrote it perfectly. It was funny, it was cute, and I really, really enjoyed it. I am glad I read it!
On the verge of realizing her dream of being a doctor, Preeti Patel should be ecstatic. But between the stress of her residency, trying to find a job, and managing her traditional, no-boundaries family, Preeti's anxiety is through the roof. Preeti also needs to find a new place to live and quickly before her best friends is back from her honeymoon. Fortunately, another friend offered up her apt but its comes with a temporary roommate......her ex who is back in town.
Sajni Patel's second novel did not disappoint. I absolutely loved it and could not put it down even though I normally have a hard time reading ebooks! First Love, Take Two embraces traditional Indian culture and touches on love, family, loyalty, diversity, and mental health. More than that, the novel references the issues and racism experienced by mixed-race couples. Patel is a talented writer that was able to shine a light on the negative reactions towards a relationship that crosses the cultural divide. She does this with compassion, insight and an empathy but also balances it with a healthy dose of heart and humor. There was nothing to hate on with this novel. If I could give this a 10 star out of 5, I would.
Pre-order your copy, release date is Sept 21st
Thank you #netgalley
This book really hit home for me. I have been in interracial relationships where I didn't feel fully accepted by my boyfriend's community and he did not feel embraced by mine. I love that the author talks about these kinds of real life issues and doesn't gloss over them. These are some of the challenges many interracial couples have to face everyday. The author does an incredible job at addressing the issue of anti-Blackness within the Indian community in this book and I appreciate how honest and frank she is.
The heroine Preeti an Indian woman, finds herself unwittingly becoming the roommate of her first love and ex Daniel, a Black man. These two are obviously still in love and never really got over each other. The only reason why their relationship ended was due to pressure from her family and community because Daniel is Black.
This time around the forced proximity of living together creates an unwinnable challenge for both Preeti and Daniel to keep their hands off of each other. They definitely can not! (Thankfully!) This leads to some delicious steamy scenes between them.
I really appreciate the balance of romance and real world issues in this book. Aside from race, this book focuses on issues like mental health, job and career pressures and family dynamics.
I really loved Daniel's character and my only criticism of this book is that we don't get his POV.
Overall, First Love Take Two is both entertaining and informative. It gives romance lovers like me a steamy romance with depth and an incredibly interesting story with real life issues that are completely relatable. I can't wait to read the author's next book.
Thank you Forever Publishing and Netgalley for my advance reading copy.
This is the second novel in The Trouble With Hating You series. While you don't necessarily need to read them in order, it does help to get background info as far as what happened in the previous book. This is Preeti's story.
Preeti Patel has enough stress in her life. Trying to find a job after her medical residency, dealing with her traditional family, an impending engagement to a man she really doesn't click with, and on top of all that, her temporary living situation comes with her ex, Daniel, aka the love of her life.
I really appreciate how this author tackles the deep down, ugliness that is the Indian culture. I really enjoyed The Trouble With Hating You, and liked this book just as much. She definitely knows how to write chemistry between her characters. There were several "HOT" situations! Obviously, things aren't always happy endings, but for her characters it is, for the most part, and I so appreciate that. It may not be how real life is, but it gives you hope. I appreciate that the bigoted, racist, judgmental people don't necessarily change, but MANNN I was so loving it when they got told off! Growing up in the culture, I truly got a sense of "hell yea!" from those parts of the book.
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!
SWOONY. Ok, so I loved this author's first book, The Trouble With Hating You and was so excited to get an advanced copy of book two in this companion series. I was definitely NOT disappointed!!
Normally I don't love second-chance romances, but the chemistry between these Preeti and Daniel was unmatched. I also do love a good forced proximity trope so the fact that they had to live together for three weeks was great.
There were discussions of many heavier topics in this book, but it never felt bogged down or like it was trying to do too much. The characters touched on their issues with mental illness, community gossip, racism, elitism, and family pressures all while still delivering the most ADORABLE romance.
I think if you're looking for amazing writing and a love story that perfectly ties in real issues and relationship struggles, this is the perfect book for ya!
4.5 rounded up. I could NOT put this book down and finished it in literally two days.