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?
From Twinkle, With Love is a super cute rom-com. I struggle to get through romantic comedies sometimes, but on the whole, I liked reading this one. From Twinkle, With Love is definitely one of the more fun and heartwarming books I’ve read recently.
I really admire Sandhya Menon’s leading ladies. Twinkle Mehra is so filled with ambition and passion for her filmmaking, which I adored throughout the movie – she’s definitely an underdog you can’t help but root for because all her intentions are so good. Twinkle is so into filmmaking because she wants to give people like her a voice. I could relate to her feeling ignored by everyone, so I was probably a bit more sympathetic than I should be because I wish I could stand up for myself like Twinkle did.
The romance was really cute. Sahil was precious as heck and frankly so was I was soooo frustrated that Twinkle kept putting off Sahil because of N, though, like, can’t you see that boy loves you oh my god. I feel like it wasn’t meaningful conflict. There was really good material about Twinkle’s and Sahil’s different views in film production, and I felt like the relationship conflict would have had some more weight if it wasn’t Twinke’s yearning to rise to popularity in the centre of it.
It was also really cool seeing such a huge and diverse range of characters. I can’t speak on the representation, but it is an ownvoices novel and I’ve seen a bunch of folks who love it. There’s also a ton of other POC and some LGBT representation too, which was really nice to see. The friendship vibes were great from this book, and it was sweet how Twinkle used her filmmaking to bring everyone together under unlikely circumstances. A lot of the conflict comes from Twinkle’s struggle with groundlings (nerds) and silk feathered hats (popular kids) so seeing those boundaries break was nice.
Honestly, one of the biggest reasons why I struggled to connect with this book and rated it three stars was because the characters felt so much younger than sixteen and seventeen. How they spoke and acted was reminiscent of thirteen or fourteen year olds. I don’t believe it’s a bad thing, especially with the discussions on YA and teen readers going on recently. But personally, it made me struggle to connect with the characters.
From Twinkle, With Love is an adorable rom-com featuring an ambitious Indian-American aspiring filmmaker. If you like rom-coms, I definitely recommend this book.