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There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

Young adult

There's Something About Sweetie

by Sandhya Menon

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Excellent choice

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Quick take

Finding true love isn’t easy—especially when your parents are involved.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Light_Read

    Light read

  • Illustrated icon, Family_Drama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, LOL

    LOL

  • Illustrated icon, Brainy

    Brainy

Synopsis

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?

Free sample

There's Something About Sweetie

Chapter 1

Ashish

List of totally overrated things:

1. Love

2. Girls

3. Love (yeah, again)

Ashish Patel wasn’t sure why people ever fell in love. What was the point, really? So you could feel like a total chump when you went to her dorm room only to find she’d gone out with some other dude? So you could watch your mojo completely vanish as you became some soggy, washed-out version of your former (extremely dashing) self? Screw that.

Slamming his locker shut, he turned around to see Pinky Kumar leaning against the locker next to his, sketchbook in hand, one purple eyebrow up (as usual; she’d probably been born like that, all skeptical).

“What?” he snapped, adjusting his backpack with way more force than necessary.

“Oh.” Pinky blew a bubble with her gum and then continued chewing. She’d drawn all over her black jeans with a silver marker. Her parents would probably be pissed; no matter how often Pinky messed up her clothes for her “artistic statements,” their corporate lawyer selves could never get on board. So yeah, they’d be pissed. But not as pissed as when they saw she hadn’t thrown out that Pro-Choice IS Pro-Life T-shirt they thought was so “vulgar.” “Still IMS-ing, I see.”

Asking about IMS—Irritable Male Syndrome—was Pinky’s common refrain when Ashish was grumpy. According to her, it was about time people began blaming cis men’s emotionality on their hormones for a change. “I am not . . .” Ashish blew out a breath and began stalking down the hallway, and Pinky fell easily in next to him. She was tall—almost five feet eight—and could match him pace for pace, which was really annoying sometimes. Like right then, when he wanted to get away.

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Why I love it

There’s something about the approaching summer months that makes me crave a good romance. There’s something about a good romance that makes me want to tune out the rest of the world. And there’s something about that magical feeling that makes There’s Something About Sweetie impossible to forget.

After suffering a bit of a romantic setback, Ashish is done with love. Meaning there is no harm in letting his parents pick out someone for him because a.) he’s never dating again and b.) there’s no way his parents know more about his love life than he does. But Sweetie surprises him, and he realizes he’s not opposed to getting to know her better. Which is going to be a problem, because Sweetie’s parents don’t exactly approve of the match.

Sandhya Menon writes with so much humor and heart that her characters practically leap off the page. Sweetie in particular touched me deeply. I felt like I knew her and her story, and having the chance to pick up a book and see that reflected back was something that my high school self would have needed. I may be a touch beyond that stage of my life, but there’s still something deeply personal about reading a book that can move you in that way. I hope many others will find that same experience in this story.

Member ratings (268)

  • hallie b.

    greenville, SC

    like all rom*coms, there are plenty of moments when you want to YELL at the characters and wish they'd just be honest with each other & figure it out. but i love sandhya's books & this great fat fun.

  • Bree D.

    Dixon, IL

    3.5/4 ⭐️s: Sandya Menon writes another winner in the Dimple/Rishi universe! Sweetie & Ashish are such lovable characters whose romance & personal growth are fleshed out wonderfully. V charming!!!

  • Hayley G.

    Tampa, FL

    Sweetie and Ashish were so cute! I loved the development and characteristics of each character individually and everything they were dealing with, but also loved seeing them get to know each other!

  • DLyverance S.

    Crawfordville, FL

    Sweetie Nair, is truly a work of art. There is no other character that is as fulfilling and remarkable yet unforgettable as her! From start to finish, I was drawn in and didn't want it to be over! ;)

  • Jessie G.

    Des Moines , IA

    Ashish and Sweetie are set up by his parents. They go on four dates and find out it’s more fun than they thought. I love the connection to culture and the relationship they build while dating.

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Young adult
View all
Ruthless Vows
What the River Knows
As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow
Dragonfruit
The Reappearance of Rachel Price
Gwen & Art Are Not in Love
Check & Mate
Divine Rivals
Legendborn
Foul Lady Fortune
Anna K Away
I Must Betray You
A Wilderness of Stars
Warrior Girl Unearthed
Bloodmarked
Instructions for Dancing
These Violent Delights
The Boy in the Red Dress
Color Me In
Not So Pure and Simple
Throw Like a Girl
Frankly in Love
The Queen of Nothing
Wayward Son
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
Anna K
Patron Saints of Nothing
The Kingdom of Back
Yes No Maybe So
Looking for Alaska
Permanent Record
Full Disclosure
Oasis
Where the World Ends
I Have No Secrets
Song of the Crimson Flower
When the Stars Lead to You
All the Bright Places
Saving Zoë
Hello Girls
Symptoms of a Heartbreak
All of Us with Wings
The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World
Past Perfect Life
There's Something About Sweetie
Again, But Better
Sky Without Stars
How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom
Night Music
Shout
The Deceivers
The Astonishing Color of After
Top Ten
Turtles All the Way Down
Little & Lion
A Million Junes
And We're Off
The Sun Is Also a Star
Salt to the Sea