This time in the author spotlight is Sandhya Menon, an author I’ve been reading since When Dimple Met Rishi was published in 2017. These diverse books are a lot of fun, with great characters, cute romances and a lot of fun.
We’ll start with When Dimple Met Rishi, which follows Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel on an adventure to a summer program for teens who are aspiring web developers. I really loved this book because Dimple is so headstrong and talented, and Rishi is much more likely to follow his parents plans for his life. Their differences create such a great relationship between them, and the book has some good lessons for teenagers. With the tech focussed setting and all of the drama, this is one of my fave YA romances. I feel like Dimple had such great character growth over the course of the book too!
The next book in the Dimpleverse, There’s Something About Sweetie, might just be my favourite of the lot. This time, Rishi’s brother Ashish is the star guy. After seeing Rishi’s success with Dimple, he challenges his parents to set him up with an Indian-American girl – but his parents insist on choosing the dates. Sweetie Nair is that nice girl they’re talking about. A star athlete, Sweetie is formidable. She’s also fat, a fact that her parents really can’t deal with. This is probably one of the most emotional of Sandhya’s books, as Sweetie’s relationship with her parents is complex. I really liked the romance in this one too – Sweetie and Ashish are so good for each other and watching explore their heritage through dates organised by Ashish’s parents was just so adorable. If you’re going to choose any of Sandhya’s YA to read, this is the one.
The most recent addition to the Dimpleverse is 10 Things I Hate About Pinky. This was one of the first ARCs I received from netgalley that I was really excited about and it didn’t disappoint. This one follows Pinky Kumar and Samir Jha, who share a mutual friend in Ashish Patel from the previous book. This one is a drama filled episode of fake dating with social justice warrior Pinky originally recruiting Samir as her fake-boyfriend to impress her corporate lawyer parents. Samir takes the opportunity, hoping to have good conversations with Pinky’s parents about becoming a lawyer – maybe even including an internship. You couldn’t pair two more different characters together, but that’s what makes it great. Samir is sweet, home-schooled so he can look after his mother, but Pinky teaches him to let go. Overall, this is a solid addition to the series – and I hope Sandhya writes about Pinky’s cousin Dolly next!
Aside from the Dimpleverse, Sandhya also has a book out called From Twinkle, With Love. This one doesn’t feature the same characters – instead it stars Twinkle Mehra, an aspiring film-maker who is asked to direct a film by Sahil Roy (the brother of her crush). This book differs from the other books as it is written in diary format, where Twinkle writes letters to her favourite directors. Twinkle really didn’t expect to start falling in love with Sahil – who could blame her, he is super sweet. If you’re looking for a super adorable contemporary romance, this is your book.
Sandhya has a fantasy YA out called Of Curses and Kisses, but I haven’t read it yet. She’s also publishing an adult romance called Make Up Break Up early next year under the pen name Lily Menon. It’s one of my most anticipated books of 2021 and I can’t wait to read it soon.
Have you read any books by Sandhya Menon? If you like YA I really recommend all of the books I’ve talked about.