Nerds and Beyond was fortunate enough to get an advance copy of the latest book in the Dimpleverse, 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by New York Times bestselling author Sandhya Menon. This book is an excellent rom-com with diverse characters that tackle real-life issues facing its young readers. The relevant topics range from parental pressure and communication, to environmental issues and finding yourself. Once you begin reading, it will be hard to put down.
Menon is a Hufflepuff living in the Colorado mountains and has written multiple YA novels focused on girl power, kisses, and swoony boys. This book marks the third in the Dimpleverse romance series, the first two being When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie. There are also accompanying novellas As Kismet Would Have It and Love At First Fight. Menon has also written adult romance books under the pseudonym of Lily Menon and has a book, Make Up Break Up, coming out on February 2, 2021. I love that she has consciously chosen to write under the name Lily to differentiate her writing style between her young and adult readers because there are “sexual shenanigans” in the adult books.
On the book’s release day of Tuesday, July 21, Menon will be talking with bestselling author Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) in a Zoom Pinky Launch at 7 p.m. EST, hosted by Wellesley Books.
If you haven’t read the book yet, there will be spoilers beyond this point.
The story focuses on 17-year-old Priyanka Kumar, who goes by Pinky. Her family is on summer vacation at the summer home in Cape Cod. Relaxing, right? Well, not for Pinky. She is seen as a rebel and mischief-maker by her lawyer parents, mostly her mom, because she is a social activist and “wears the social justice warrior badge with pride.” After something happens in the town, her mother is quick to judge and accuse Pinky of being the culprit. Pinky denies it, and her mother continues to point out her daughter’s faults, which lead to the boys she has dated. Why does it always go to the dating mistakes? To appease her mom, Pinky says she has a boyfriend, and he is one they would even approve. Enter Samir Jha.
Samir, whose character was first introduced in There’s Something About Sweetie, is stuck and trying to figure out how not to go home once his law summer internship falls through. When he gets the offer from Pinky to pose as her “boyfriend,” he sees it as the opportunity to get in good with her parents and get an internship with them as she mentions. All they have to do is fake date and fake be together until they can break up at the end of summer. They are complete opposites. I see no flaw in this plan, do you?
She is very impulsive, he predictable, she has made raccoon hospitals, he plans out every day. But the one thing they see eye to eye on is saving the town’s butterfly habitat. With the more time they spend together, and the more fake kisses they do, the more it becomes real, and they develop feeling towards each other. This has to be one of my favorite parts of the novel. Not only because I am a sucker for the friends to dating trope, but also because it is about saving butterflies, and the way they go about it. They are not from that town; Pinky and her family are just there for the summer, right? So, she doesn’t take over the cause or start a separate one. She joins in and helps with what the town is already doing. As an activist, she researches very thoroughly the causes she wants to help, and vigorously prepares to help them where and how it is needed.
The mother-daughter relationship plotline is relatable for many of us. They want better for us, so they know best. The book is very character-driven, so it focuses on this parental relationship well. They have a hard time, whether they mean to or not, communicating how they feel with each other. Pinky doesn’t explain why she is fighting for the causes she does and leaves out all the work she did before deciding, and her mother doesn’t explain why she wants better for her, that they are more alike than her daughter realizes. This book really does have it all!
If you would like to know more about Sandhya Menon and her books, you can find more information on her website and social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter. Don’t forget to pick up your copy of 10 Things I Hate About Pinky when released on July 21, 2020.