From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon
Genre: YA Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, #ownvoices
Publication: May 22nd 2018 by Simon Pulse
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 336 pages
Format: eARC from the author
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.
Huge thanks to the author, Sandhya Menon, for sending me an e-ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.
When Dimple Met Rishi will always and forever have a special place in my heart, no doubt. Sandhya Menon’s writing style for that book is spot on, and her debut easily turned me into a fan. I love her effortless way of telling a swoon-worthy romance that’s not just fluff. And so, to support her and Twinkle Mehra’s story in From Twinkle, With Love I am more than happy to be putting in a good word for her to each and every one of our readers. Read on to know my most favorite aspects of Sandhya’s sophomore novel.
Interesting Plot + Unique Writing Style = Invested Readers
When I first saw the cover and excerpt reveal for this book, I immediately squealed! I instantly grew fond of the synopsis, along with the first three chapters that I read. I love the idea of a whole book being written like a letter (or as journal entries), and I breezed through this book, just knowing that it’s central theme is empowerment, especially for women of color. I fully support diverse causes such as this, and to be able to read a book that mainly focuses on an Indian-American girl with hopes of becoming an accomplished filmmaker all while having to battle modern day teenage angst by way of coping up with failed friendships, first love, etc.? Dude, just take my money and get out of here! Seriously, that plot partnered with Sandhya-style writing? This book just goes to show how effortlessly talented Sandhya is in writing diverse romance stories and honestly, in my opinion, this is her best work yet.
Relatably Heartfelt Friendship Dynamics
Twinkle’s story in From Twinkle, With Love mostly revolved on her friendship with Maddie Tanaka, even if she’d deny it if you asked. Readers would know this right from the start, and as they turn more pages, they’d realize that the book they’re reading focuses on Twinkle’s journey towards knowing what went wrong, what she would do about it, and how she’ll inevitably come to terms with it. Seeing this unfold was heartfelt for me because I have plenty of failed friendships myself. I’ve went through some hard stuff that Twinkle also had to go through, and this made my reading experience all the more unique and special. We’ve all lost friends in the past, there’s no denying that, and so to see how Twinkle broke down just by knowing she’d lost her best friend to more popular or influential people was truly heartbreaking for me. I felt her anguish and most of the time, I understood her even if the other characters did not. This allowed for me to establish a fictional friendship with Twinkle, and rest assured that she’ll always have a special place in my heart.
Sahil, Skid, and Aaron’s friendship was also very interesting to me as well. Seeing how close and well-bonded they were made me crave for a friendship that’s as strong and resilient as theirs, and I can only hope that the bonds I’ve created with some of the people I’ve met in the past will be strong enough to their standard. I adored how they all had each other’s backs and how they knew the right words to say when one of them was feeling down. I’m a little sad that they weren’t that much of a highlight, but still, I enjoyed getting to know these characters both as individuals and as a trio of friends.
Y’all know I’m a sucker for romantic contemporaries, right? And so I’m happy to report that From Twinkle, With Love happens to be one of the best YA contemporary novels I have ever read so far this year, especially in terms of swoon and romance! Twinkle and Sahil’s love story swept me off my feet so fast and so easily, I hardly had any choice in the matter. Watching Twinkle slowly fall in love with Sahil Roy was BLISS in it’s most perfect form, and I enjoyed seeing their love bloom so, so much it literally hurt me to see this book end, even though I knew that their love will last forever. *giggles* Also, seeing Sahil fall more and more in love with Twinkle with each passing moment was so, so cute, I can’t even explain it. And the way he told his friends about her was so precious to me, it just showed me how pure his intentions for Twinkle were. *giggles some more*
“Sandhya Menon’s sophomore novel happens to be her best one yet (at least in my opinion). It features a colorful cast of amazingly well-developed characters, a gripping plot that’s a great mix of romance and substance, family and friendship dynamics that a lot of readers can easily relate to, and a writing style that’s impressive in all forms. Reading this was like riding an emotional roller coaster. One minute, you’re giggling at a romantic scene that will give you all the feels, and the next, you’re clenching your fist with anger because of the drama. Rest assured that From Twinkle, With Love will make you want to dream and aspire to become your best self, and I can only hope that you’ll let it.”
Have YOU read From Twinkle, With Love yet? If not, be sure to grab a copy from your local book store and start reading it! And once you do, let me know what you think of it down below in the comments section!
JM is a 21 year old blogger from Manila. He has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management mainly because it was too late when he discovered that literature and publishing is his true calling. He enjoys reading contemporary and fantasy novels as much as he enjoys playing video games and baking pastries. You may find him on his book blog, Book Freak Revelations, also on Twitter, Instagram, & Goodreads.