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.
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: May 22nd 2018
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After reading When Dimple Met Rishi last year and declaring Menon my go to Contemporary Romance author, this book made me sad. And angry. I did force myself to make it to about 80%, but I just… couldn’t.
Twinkle dreams of being a great Indian-American filmmaker and starts writing “dear diary’ entries to her favorite female filmmakers. When she decided to film a movie for a Summer Festival, she has to deal with the mysterious emails from a secret admirer she certain is Neil, her growing feelings for his twin brother Sahil and her changing friendship with her best friend.
The writing was something that actually surprised me: usually when the entire book is written in the form of journal entries, it feels stilted, yet this book didn’t suffer from that; it had a flow. The diversity was also on point. We had queer and POC side characters, not to mention our lead and love interest.
I also appreciated the subject of immigrants with families who live in a different country and all the struggles and feelings that go along with that. We don’t see that often in YA, so it was a nice addition to the story.
The main issue was Twinkle. Now, I understand that she made mistakes. I appreciate it; it made her feel more real. Yet… a lot of these conflicts could have been avoided and even resolved sooner with a simple evaluation of the situation. Twinkle is most definitely a big picture kind of person… and I mean… same. But it’s borderline
naive oblivious. Which is made worse with the lack of communication all around. And it came to a point where she didn’t know standing up for yourself began and being bitchy ended which made me downright dislike her to pieces.
There was also Twinkle’s motivations to climb the popularity ladder. Which I get in terms of her future career in film making. But as for high school… it felt very early 2000’s Disney movie ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, though I can’t relate since the high school I went to didn’t really have bullying and such. Everyone had their friend groups and everyone acted civil towards one another. Which Twinkle disregarded, especially towards the end.
The best part of the book was no doubt Sahil. Tough his excuses for why Twinkle was being an asshole and how they’re made for each other did start to irritate me as the story went on, he was such a sweet person who was head over hills for Twinkle; it hurt the whole time Twinkle led him on and each time she mentioned his brother Neil. Who, by the way, as soon as he called her Wrinkle, made my shit list. But Dadi was also someone who I wished was around more… or maybe not since Twinkle was an exploding time bomb and Dadi does not need to be subjected to.
I think my breaking point that made rate this book a two star was a scene towards the end where Twinkle pulls out the old you dress like a whore line on her friend. Because slut shaming is fun from a character who talks about how women are the underdogs and was a proclaimed “feminist”. At the end of the day, I couldn’t root for Twinkle’s redemption arc. These side character deserve better.
I’m still super excited for Ashish’ story coming up, but this made me sad with how much I disliked this one.