A story about love and loving yourself, There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon is a delightful YA rom-com packed with feels and Big Mood.
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?
As a plus-size woman, I all about seeing more plus girls in YA (and in books in general), but ESPECIALLY when their portrayal is as wonderful as it is within the pages of There’s Something About Sweetie. Sweetie is just a delightful character; she is strong, smart, and comfortable in her own skin … even when her own mother makes her feel Less Than because of her size.
I loved the honesty in her developing relationship with Ashish, and the fact that her size only gives him a moment’s pause — but he never struggles with his attraction to her. (The most attention it gets is a little razzing from his friends, because she doesn’t fit his usual “type.”) If anything, Ashish struggles with the notion that he finds himself adoring this girl that his parents set him up with; the struggle being that she’s (1) his parents’ choice and (2) Indian-American. Her size has literally nothing to do with it (and that’s a GOOD thing).
Menon has already proven that she’s got what it takes to write a funny, smart, and sweet YA romantic comedy — and she successfully manages to weave in other topics into her narrative, giving her books both style and substance. There’s Something About Sweetie is no exception. I found this book utterly delightful and charming from start to finish. Look for it in stores May 14th.