Mini-Review: There’s Something About Sweetie

Title: There’s Something About Sweetie (Dimple and Rishi #2)
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 384
Review copy: Digital ARC via Netgalley
Availability: May 14, 2019

Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After he’s dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they could find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up.

The Patels insist that Ashish date an Indian-American girl—under contract. Per subclause 1(a), he’ll be taking his date on “fun” excursions like visiting the Hindu temple and his eccentric Gita Auntie. Kill him now. How is this ever going to work?

Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death.

Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of.

Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other?

Mini-Reivew: The cover of this book says so much. Sweetie is having a wonderful time and readers get to share the joy. Obviously, there is a problem or there wouldn’t be a story, but Sweetie truly has a lot going right in her life. In the ARC, there is an author’s note at the beginning and Menon lets reader know that this story is personal. At times in her life, Menon has been fat and she wanted to share a story of a strong, athletic, and fat young woman who is comfortable and happy with the body she has. Sweetie’s mother is very protective and wants the best for her daughter, but to her, the best is for Sweetie to be thin. This leads to many painful exchanges between Sweetie and her mother.

As someone who has been thin most of my life, I know my lived experience has been different than Sweetie’s. I appreciate books like these because many people, including myself, have conversations about weight and our bodies with close family members and friends. Loved ones are often contributing to the harmful attitudes people have about body shapes and sizes.

In addition to the body positivity going on here, there is a relationship blooming. It’s a fun one especially if you enjoy the contract dating trope. If you loved Dimple and Rishi, you’re sure to enjoy this sweet romance. One slight bump in the road for me was the timing. Ashish is a basketball player and his championship game is in May during Sweetie’s track season. Basketball typically ends in March so this was bothering me. It’s a small concern though and perhaps things are different in other states.

Recommendation: Get it soon especially if you love romantic comedies.