ARC Review: From Twinkle, With Love

From Twinkle with Love


Title: From Twinkle, With Love

Author: Sandhya Menon

Series: N/A

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Release Date: May 22nd 2018

Rating:

Three Stars

The next heartwarming YA romcom from Sandhya Menon, bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi.

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore—if only the world would listen. So when nerdy classmate and fellow film-obsessive Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a film for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle can’t wait.

The chance to showcase her artistic voice?

Dream come true.

The opportunity to get closer to longtime crush, Neil Roy—aka Sahil’s twin brother?

Dream come even truer.

When Twinkle receives an email from a secret admirer – the mysterious ‘N’ – she is sure it’s Neil, finally ready for their happy ending.

The only problem is that, in the course of their movie-making, she has found herself falling for Sahil—the wrong brother.

Twinkle soon realises that resistance is futile:

The romance she’s got isn’t the one she scripted…

But will it be enough?

Told through letters Twinkle writes to her favourite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, With Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

I rallied my courage. “What’s your idea?”
“You should make a movie for Midsummer Night!”
I stared at her. “Are you serious?” Midsummer Night was the biggest event of the year at PPC, before we got our measly onemonth-long summer break.

Twinkle wants to make films, wants to have her voice heard, but she can’t seem to escape from the sidelines. Her best friend is slowly pulling away from her to spend time with the popular crowd and her longtime crush doesn’t know she exists, but when she decides to team up with Sahil to make a film for the summer festival it seems like things are finally going her way. She’s spending more time with Maddie again, and she’s getting emails from a secret admirer called ‘N’.

At the beginning I was really enjoying this book, and actually thought I’d end up rating it higher than I did. Twinkle was a great character, and I was definitely invested in figuring out the identity of the mysterious ‘N’ who’d started emailing her. The story is told using Twinkle’s journal, with small scenes from Sahil’s POV, so I found I got a feel for the characters very quickly. From Twinkle, With Love had all the makings of a sweet contemporary romance I usually love.

“OH MY GOD. YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE THIS. I, Twinkle Mehra, wallfloweriest of wallflowers, have a SECRET ADMIRER.
This is not a drill.
I repeat: I have a secret admirer.”

The more time Twinkle spends working on her film with Sahil the more confident she becomes, in herself and her vision, but the more she starts to develop feelings for Sahil, the wrong Roy brother. Twinkle has a plan, the film and Neil are part of her ticket into the popular crowd and into the world Maddie has abandoned her for, but she’s finding it harder and harder to deny what she feels for Sahil.

I loved watching Twinkle’s character grow, but halfway through she became almost cruel, and the plot kind of turned into some kind of Mean Girls-esque revenge story which I really wasn’t a fan of. I did not like the actions Twinkle took and can’t understand them, but I can kind of understand feeling so fed up she finally lost patience with everything she’d been dealing with.

…The Characters

“Being a human belonging to the wallflower genus, I’m kinda used to swallowing my words instead of speaking them. (Dadi says it’s because my aatma is made of gauze and feathers, whatever that means.)”

Twinkle is confident in her dream, knows what she wants to do, but she’s not confident in stepping out of the shadows and putting herself out there. For the most part I loved Twinkle’s character, and while I can’t speak for the diverse representation I did relate to her feeling excluded from the popular crowd and her friend in high school.

What I had issues with were some of the things her character did. It felt very much like she was using both Sahil and in some ways Neil. I don’t think Twinkle ever really had a crush on Neil, she just saw him as her ticket to the popular crowd, and at the beginning she saw Sahil as her ticket to Neil. It also felt like she was playing with Sahil’s emotions, kissing him but still holding part of herself back for Neil and ‘N’.

“Are Mummy and Papa working?” I asked, biting off a chunk of banana.
“Yes,” Dadi said. “So it’s a Twinkle and Dadi night.” She grinned, genuinely happy, even though we had “Twinkle and Dadi nights” all the time because my parents are workaholics.”

I loved the relationship Twinkle had with her grandmother, who while her dad is too busy with work and her mum struggles with ‘bad days’ is the only family member Twinkle can rely on. However I would have liked to see more of the dynamic between Twinkle and her parents play out, especially when she confronts them about how she feels they’re not there for her.

“For instance, I know my brother is the epitome of the golden boy…Basically, everything has always come easy to him, and okay. Am I bitter? Nope. Do I like it? No, but I accept it. We all have our roles to play and stuff.”

Sahil like Twinkle has a passion for film, but his is more in critiquing films. Sahil is more ready to put himself out there and go for his dream and in the beginning he pushes Twinkle to go after hers. For most of his life Sahil has lived in the shadow on his brother Neil, despite being twins Neil is seen as the better-looking one, the higher-achieving one, and it’s a lot for Sahil to live up to.

The relationship between Sahil and Twinkle was sweet, and I loved that Sahil had been admiring Twinkle from far the same way she had been admiring Neil. However I kind of got a little tired of the back-and-forth on Twinkle’s part as she tried to align her feelings with Sahil for what she thinks her feelings for Neil are. It felt too much like she was leading Sahil on at times.


From Twinkle, With Love is a good story with a lot of potential and what I’m sure is great representation, I loved Twinkle’s passion for film and how her character grew throughout the book. Unfortunately it fell down a little when it came to the relationships. I’d still recommend this book though, I think if you enjoyed Sandhya Menon’s debut release you’ll enjoy this one too.

What did you think of From Twinkle, With Love? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.

22 thoughts on “ARC Review: From Twinkle, With Love

  1. It’s a pity this turned into a lot of mean girl drama- I had that issue with when dimple met rishi, but it’s annoying here considering how good the mc’s development sounded. It’s a pity it fell down in terms of the relationships.
    Great review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah the whole meal girl/girl hate trope is one I cannot stand, and I was so disappointed to see it in this book because it had such a lot of promise to start with. I really hate girl-hate in books because we need more strong female friendships. 🙂
      Thanks so much. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really great-well written Review! I’m anticipating this one, but I’ve begun to hear some not so great things about Twinkle recently :/ I’m glad that you could connect to her a bit and liked her, but I’m sad that she turned out to be a bit more revengeful and cruel towards the end of the book. I’m definitely not a fan of too much back-and-forth so I’ve become a little bit more unsure about this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. Yeah I haven’t seen too many reviews but personally I don’t think this one was as good as her debut.
      I liked Twinkle at the start, but the way her character changed made my feeling change for the worse as well. Oh I’d still recommend this book, especially if it was one you had been anticipating. You may end up really enjoying it after all. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely review, Beth! I’m so sorry to hear that this book kind of turned out Mean Girls-esque at a time, I wouldn’t have expected that, but I’m glad I’m warned about it now! I’m glad though to hear that there is a great relationship with Twinkle’s grandmother, we too rarely see that in young adult books 🙂 I’ll be looking forward to reading that one sometime, I’m still curious, given that I really enjoyed the author’s debut, too 🙂
    Thank you for sharing!! 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie! 🙂 Yeah I really can’t stand the girl hate trope in books so this was a major pet peeve of mine when I started seeing it in this one. At least you know going in.
      Ha, yeah you know how I love well written family relationships, and I really do hope you enjoy this book Marie. I’ll be interested in seeing your review for this one.
      That’s all right, and thanks! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked When Dimple Met Rishi well enough, so I’ve been kind of looking forward to this new one by Menon. It’s a shame that some aspects of the book didn’t really work out. A love triangle and ambiguous character behaviors can be really frustrating. A bit disappointing how Twinkle’s character seems a but manipulative and some relationships aren’t fully developed, but at least there are other parts of the book that work out just fine. With all the mixed reviews I’ve read for this one, I think I’ll go in reading with lowered expectations, just in case LOL. Lovely review as always Beth 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was the same (I liked When Dimple Met Rishi well enough so I was looking forwards to this one too). Love triangles are always going to be a bit of a no-go for me, and I think flat relationships are the death of YA contemporary books on a way too. Yeah that’s a problem I’ve had with books before, if I can’t get behind the main characters actions, especially if the book is told in first person POV, I can’t enjoy it much you know?
      Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love triangles really are a bit worn out as a YA trope, eh? If done right, they still work for me. But most times, not so much haha. And oh yes, flat relationships can kill a book real fast, especially if it’s a YA romance/contemporary. But at least it sounded like some things still worked in this book, so I’ll hold on to that to motivate me to read it someday LOL.
        No worries ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They really are, and yeah we all talk about when they’re done right but how many books have you read where they have been done right? (For me it’s just been The Infernal Devices trilogy)
        Yeah it wasn’t an all-bad book, there were a few positives but I think too many negatives for me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Beth! I read When Dimple Met Rishi so I am curious about this new release as well. I’m happy to hear that there are aspects you enjoy about this book, although I agree that it can be frustrating when we don’t understand the characters’ actions. I also find it annoying in love triangles when the MC (usually a female) flips back and forth between two prospective love interests – like, decide already lol 🙂
    Great review ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh did you enjoy When Dimple Met Rishi then Sophie? I feel like if you love it you’ll likely enjoy this one as well but I just wasn’t a massive fan of Twinkle’s character which ended up putting me off. Yeah that annoys me about love triangles too, it just seems really unfair to be leading people on.
      Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I enjoyed the first half of When Dimple Met Rishi since I loved Dimple’s strong-willed and independent personality but I felt that she lost some of that later on when the story was more focused on the romance with Rishi.
        Characters are so important, so I can see how it can really throw off a story if a character isn’t relatable or likeable.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Honestly its been a while since I picked up When Dimple Met Rishi so I can’t remember what I thought about her character at first. Yeah it’s always my number one pet peeve when that happens, and always lowers my rating of a book in the end. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you had slightly better luck with this one than I did. I just finished it last week and I really didn’t like it 😦 I just found the characters so flat but also obnoxious and the plot super predictable. I guessed who N was within the first 100 pages. I agree with you about disliking how Twinkle kind of plays with Sahil’s emotions while holding out for Neil/N. Overall this one simply didn’t work for me :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I can’t say I loved this one but I still enjoyed the story overall. Oh I definitely agree with you on Twinkle playing with Sahil while holding out for Neil and N. In a way though it felt like she was using both because the only reason she was interested in Neil was so he could bring her closer to Maddie’s circle, which just struck me as really off. I guessed who N was as well, kind of obvious so I’m not sure how Twinkle missed it. :/
      Have you read When Dimple Met Rishi? Did you enjoy that one better?

      Like

      1. Yes, I LOVED Dimple. That was honestly the only reason I stuck with Twinkle through the end; I loved Dimple so much that I hoped against hope that it would improve since the author’s first book was so good.

        Liked by 1 person

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