From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon – REVIEW
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?
Told through the 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.
“I wanted people to see me, to like me for who I was and what I had to offer. I wanted to use my talent to transform people’s lives and how they saw the world.”
It’s been almost two months since I read this and I honestly have no excuse for taking this long to write my review. I loved When Dimple Met Rishi so couldn’t wait to get my hands on From Twinkle, With Love. I know everyone will be sick of me saying this but my labrador Roux is actually mentioned in this book after I won a preorder competition. Like Dimple, this book is perfect for summer. I often read more light-hearted YA contemporaries around this time of year as they can be such feel-good books, and this is no exception. Twinkle is a sixteen-year-old aspiring filmmaker with a crush on popular guy Neil and dreams of being popular. One of the main themes of this book is acceptance – of yourself and others, and I think it was handled really well and felt incredibly relatable.
“There’s only so much being invisible you can take before you just want to go supernova so no one can ignore you anymore.”
Being just sixteen, there are times that Twinkle makes mistakes like we all did at that age and they seem magnified due to the pressures of high-school and her need for social acceptance. Sometimes Twinkle was unlikable but it felt true to her character and reminded me of the poor choices teens make when trying to fit in. The thing that Sandhya Menon excels at is writing adorkable love interests who support the main character whilst contributing to her character development. Sahil is an absolute sweetie who I wanted to protect at all costs. I especially loved how he called Twinkle out on her behaviour and constantly pushed her to be her best self.
“Sahil is like gentle sun on a winter’s day. You automatically want to turn your face to it and soak it up.”
The challenges of teen friendships felt so real, especially the growing distance between Twinkle and Maddie as they got older. Sandhya made it easy to empathise with both girls but it’s always harder for the one left behind and Twinkle’s pain and confusion were palpable. I’ve actually seen a few people complaining that this book was too immature for them but it felt like it was written for the audience featured in the book and shouldn’t apologise for that. Just because it’s aimed at teenagers doesn’t mean older readers can’t enjoy it as long as they’re willing to remember what it’s like to be sixteen again. I flew through this book and would love to meet these characters again in a few years.