Title: From Twinkle, With Love
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: May 22nd 2018
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…
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.