Welcome back to the blog literati! I am so excited to share today’s review with you! I think I announced it earlier this year, but I have been SO lucky to have been chosen as a member of Sandhya Menon / Lily Menon’s street team! I am so grateful, Sandhya is a Colorado local and I had the joy of meeting her at the Colorado Teen Literature Conference in 2019. Today I’m pleased to bring you my review of Sandhya’s newest book, 10 Things I Hate About Pinky as part of the blog tour celebrating its release.
Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.
Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.
Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they’ll never forget
So grab something warm and put on some fuzzy socks and let’s jump into the review
10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Humor
Series: Dimpleverse #3 (Standalone)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 21, 2020
Audience Rating: Teen
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Obtained: I received and advance copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Purchase Link: Bookshop (I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you)
Representation: Indian-American, strong female characters, child out of wedlock, Obsessive Compulsive tendencies, sick parent, accidental arson, parent-child clashes
Content Warnings: Racism
I am generally not a teen romcom reader, but after picking up There’s Something About Sweetie last year, Sandhya Menon has quickly become a go to for when I want something utterly hilarious and sweet. We first meet Pinky Kumar and Samir Ashish in There’s Something About Sweetie and there was just something about their chemistry and how intensely they classed that made me wonder if we would get to see them star in their own love story. And of course the minute the title guessing challenge last year had me immediately going 10 Things I Hate About You and it just works. This was definitely a lazy summer paced read and we really get to see Pinky and Samir’s deeper sides, both individually and as a potential couple. My biggest disappointment is that reader’s don’t really get to see the relationship with Pinky’s mom evolve past “sulky teenager and overbearing parent” throughout the book and maybe that isn’t the focus of the story but it played a big enough role that I wish we could have gone more in depth there. Overall this was a solid summer romcom but definitely could have been stronger when it came to the relationship development between our MCs and the people around them.
Concept // 7/10 ★
Arc of the Characters // 6/10 ★
Writing Style // 7/10 ★
Plot & Pacing // 5/10 ★
Intrigue // 7/10 ★
Logic & Lore // 5/10 ★
Overall Enjoyment // 7/10 ★
What I Loved
- The spice between Pinky & Samir; while different than what we saw in TSAS it was still so much fun to see their constant snark become the beginnings of physical attraction.
- The Opossum; I’m sorry having Pinky with a pet Opossum who plays dead at the most inconvenient times was just absolutely hilarious.
- The Mother-Daughter dynamic; while I would have liked to see what happened AFTER the ending of the book between Pinky and her mom, the big reveal of her reasonings behind her strictness was actually pretty fantastic and having Pinky’s internal and outer dialogue about her feelings regarding her mom were just so well done.
- Pinky’s Dad; Pinky’s dad is the real MVP of this novel. He’s competitive, likes Boggle AND Pineapple on Pizza, and he’s just there for Pinky the way all dads should be.
What I Didn’t
- Lack of post-reveal Mother-Daughter dynamic; I just wanted to to see what would happen after the big ending. But such is the way of summer novels.
- Cash; seriously who in the world names their kid Cash? Ugh. He was a tool from the beginning and I hated him throughout the whole book. Seeing him and Samir face off was always fantastic though.
- Samir not talking to his mom; For someone who has literally been the caretaker for his mom the entire time she was sick, you would think that Samir would have been more worried about her. Like I get that he wanted to finally have his own life but HE BASICALLY ABANDONED HER FOR AN ENTIRE SUMMER WHILE HE HAD A SUMMER ROMANCE. I hope she ripped him a new one when he went home and she found out the truth.
- This is more of a criticism I have for all of Menon’s books, as fantastic as they are. But they’re all (at least the ones I’ve read) about rich people. And not that Indian-American’s can’t be rich and their families have worked SO HARD to get where they were over the generations, but like all of the character’s families are well off and there just hasn’t been a lot of economic diversity. I think Sweetie from TSAS was in a lower economic class, but was still middle class at least. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to write about rich characters and their stories but I would love to see more economic diversity in her novels going forward. (I can also probably say this about most books by most writers though, now that I think about it)
Check Out the Rest of the Tour!
July 13th: Bookish Girl Magic
July 18th: Bookcrushin’
July 21st: quintessentially bookish
July 22nd: Flipping Thru the Pages
July 23rd: Books. Libraries. Also, cats.
July 26th: unusual_conjurer
July 27th: Amairo Bookshelf
July 30th: Bohemian Bibliophile
Aug 1st: Reading with Lori
Aug 2nd: goldenseeker97
Aug 3rd: Fanna for Readers and Writers
Aug 4th: BookishOwl Reviews
I hope you enjoyed this review. If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought or if you have a review up drop it in the comments and I’ll hop on over to you!