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.
A summer vacation at the lake house with the family. A pretend boyfriend. Opposites attract. Enemies to lovers. 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon has all the ingredients of a breezy summer read.
The two protagonists could not have been more unlike each other. Pinky is a firecracker with her heart in the right place. Samir lives and breathes lists. As the story unfolds, they learn a thing or two from each other, some order and some spontaneity.
“…people change all the time. Maybe not in big profound ways, but in little, incremental ways that end up changing essential parts of them anyway.”
Although the book is a part of the Dimpleverse series (and also the final one), it can be read standalone. It is well-paced. The writing style is simple and easy to read. I enjoyed the generous peppering of light moments. Particularly the opossum Drama Queen who loves to play dead at the drop of a hat.
What I did find refreshing was that Pinky’s character was not a rebel without a cause. Through her character, the author subtly raises a very pertinent question? Why is a strong-willed, passionate teen considered a troublemaker?
“What was wrong with being passionate and fiery and outraged? What was wrong with wanting the world to change, to expand its collective mind, to dig a little deeper to find the last dregs of empathy it could muster up?”
Similar to the other books in the series, When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something About Sweetie, this one too focuses on family dynamics. The constantly admonishing mom who does not want her daughter to make the same mistakes she did. A stepfather who is as much a biological father. A “perfect” cousin who wants to rebel without considering the consequences. A typical desi uncle and aunt who love to toot their horn.
As much as I enjoyed the book, I felt it was more about Pinky than Samir. A balance between the two would have been nice. I wish the author had explored the mother and child dynamics more. Particularly in the case of Samir’s mom. We barely get to know her. I also felt a bit let down with the ending… a bit too perfect.
If you enjoy reading desi romcoms, I would recommend picking this book. It is a quintessential Sandhya Menon read.Blog Tour: 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon Book Review @smenonbooks #BookReview Click To Tweet
About the author
Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi, Of Curses and Kisses, and many other novels that also feature lots of kissing, girl power, and swoony boys. Her books have been included in several cool places, including the Today show, Teen Vogue, NPR, BuzzFeed, and Seventeen. A full-time dog servant and part-time writer, she makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado. Visit her online at SandhyaMenon.com, on Twitter or on Instagram.
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Aug 3rd: Fanna for Readers and Writers
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I would like to thank Sandhya Menon and the publisher for providing a digital copy of the book for the blog tour. All opinions are my own.
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