From Twinkle, With Love
By: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 22nd 2018
Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.
When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.
Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?
Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.
If you’ve been reading the blog a while, you might recall that When Dimple Met Rishi was the book that I was super surprised to find that I ADORED last summer. It was a perfect rom-com: a little cheesy, a little fun, tons of chemistry and just heart-meltingly sweet. So of course I HAD to preorder Sandhya Menon’s next book, From Twinkle With Love, especially because it sounded like the same kind of cute. (note, the two are both standalones).
Maybe because I had such high expectations after Dimple, but I didn’t like Twinkle as much as I thought I would. She had some harsher edges than Dimple did, some more weighing her down, and it was a little more high-school than I would have liked. I actually put it down for a bit and went to read something else–but when I finally picked it back up again I was glad that I had.
Things I didn’t like: the Mean-Girls esque plot of Dimple losing her best friend to the popular girls (yes, it happens, I have even experienced it personally, but it was difficult not to yell at Dimple to just let Maddie hang out with the popular girls and to find better friends). The love triangle was also not ideal, especially with how it was painfully obvious to everyone except Dimple. And the part where Dimple gets drunk on the power of being the filmmaker and in charge of auditions and decides to be just as catty as the girls she hates was a part I pretty much skimmed.
But there was a lot I liked. Twinkle was less forward than I wanted her to be at first, but I enjoyed the process of her learning to use her voice–both in her film and standing up for herself–and then learning to use it for good. She was also a fantastic outspoken intersectional feminist whose goal in doing film was to follow in Ava DuVernay’s footsteps and show that a woman of color could do the job. I enjoyed how she quickly assembled a team of heartwarmingly adorable nerd boys to help her out, and then how she reached across the aisle and made peace with the popular girls. Especially in the context of her film, I liked how she helped empower and showcase so many other people. I liked learning more about her odd little family. Although the cattiness was one of my least favorite aspects of the book, I adored how Twinkle learned to do better–how she forgave, and loved anyways, and how she inspired other people to do better as well. And I really enjoyed how all of this was set in the context of a gender-swapped Dracula film for a student contest.
And, of course, the romance I ADORED. I mean, the love geometry was awkward–but Sahil Roy was adorably nerdy, a perfectly kind and wonderful human, and rather swoon-worthy to boot. He encouraged Twinkle to step up and do her art, supported her every step of the way, appealed to her better nature…like, seriously, he was perfect. I have NO earthly idea why Twinkle kept stubbornly insisting on maintaining a crush on his brother…Sahil was obviously the better choice. And come on, is there anything BETTER than getting together with your crush’s kinder, sweeter, gentler (and identical) half?
I think Dimple and Rishi still possess my heart–but Twinkle was also adorable, and I really enjoyed her story.
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.