Rummanah Aasi

Description: 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?

Review: I absolutely adored Menon's debut novel, When Dimple Met Rishi, and I could not wait to read her latest novel, From Twinkle, With Love. Though I didn't love From Twinkle, With Love as much as I loved her debut novel, it was still thoroughly enjoyable and a delightfully sweet contemporary romance.
  Twinkle Mehra is a self pronounced wallflower and groundling, a social status that complements her family's working class financial situation. Tired of being overlooked by her former best friend, Maddie, who has recently elevated her social status by hanging out with the popular crowd, and ignored by her busy working parents, Twinkle wants to be noticed by someone else besides her lovable, unconditionally supportive, and eccentric Dadi (her paternal grandmother). She is also an aspiring filmmaker who dreams of going to film school and becoming a great woman of color director. Twinkle fills her journal, given by Dadi, with entries dedicated to sorting out her feels and frustrations, addressed to her favorite female movie directors, among them Mira Nair, Sofia Coppola, Nora Ephron, and Ava DuVernay. The repetitiveness of directors that Twinkle writes to is indicative of the necessity of more female directors in the film industry.
 Twinkle is a fun, flawed character who is also frustrating to read about because you want to shake her and tell her she is making big mistakes. She has tunnel vision of becoming a new shinier version of herself which features a confident girl who speaks up for herself and be in a relationship with Neil Roy, a biracial white-Indian golden boy, who can elevate her status. When an opportunity arises to make her mark for a local film festival with Sahil, Neil's awkward identical twin brother, she reluctantly accepts the challenge as a way to become close to Neil, realize her romantic ambitions, and thus improve her social standing at school. As she chronicles her journey on working with her film, Twinkle's relationship with Sahil changes which makes things complicated especially when she begins receiving admiring emails signed only “N,” she assumes her mystery fan to be Neil. Like any other romantic comedies, Sahil has had a crush on Twinkle for years and the true identity of her anonymous fan becomes a tantalizing mystery.
  Menon knows how to write a romantic comedy. The budding relationship with Twinkle and Sahil is beyond adorable and grows throughout the book. It is agonizing to wait for Twinkle's light bulb to go off and realize that Sahil is the right person for her. Both characters share a love for film and are able to be themselves around each other. I really appreciated that the characters were able to show each other their good sides and bad sides instead of characters who just wear rosy tinted glasses because they are in love. I felt frustrated for Sahil when Twinkle would not be honest with him and fully commit to be with him. The inclusion of Sahil's anonymous blog and his text messages between his two best friends provide his viewpoint of his complicated relationship with Twinkle and made me laugh out loud several times.
 The familial relationship is also done quite well, particularly with Twinkle and her Dadi. I loved  how Dadi played an important role and constant in Twinkle's life. She was her confidant and support network when her parents were away. I also understood Twinkle's own feeling of neglected from her parents. I just wished we explored a bit more of her mother's mental health issues which were hinted in the book. I would have also loved to have seen more of Sahil's own insecurity of constantly being compared to Neil.
 In addition to all the various relationships in the book, the theme of privilege is well handled in the book from the obvious comparing and contrasting the have and have-nots of Twinkle and her circle of friends, but also of Twinkle and the at-risk kids that her father works with is also highlighted in the book. Though this book covered a lot more themes than When Dimple Met Rishi, it read much younger to me which is not a bad thing just an observation. If you enjoyed Menon's debut novel you will really like From Twinkle, With Love. Menon is quickly becoming my auto-read author for romantic comedies and I can't wait to see what she writes next.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some innuendo mentioned in the book. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma, To All the Boys I Loved Before series by Jenny Han
2 Responses
  1. I finsihed this yesterday. I liked it but not as much as Dimple. Twinkle frustrated me at times, and I was not a fan of the mean girl trope. However, the romance and the relationships were great.

  2. Oh my gosh, when I saw this cover I knew it was related to Dimple! I enjoyed that book so will add this one to my TBR.

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