"From Twinkle With Love" Book Review
Updated: Aug 8, 2019
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Contemporary YA
From Twinkle With Love by Sandhya Menon. It’s a novel written in the format of a diary. The owner of this journal is Twinkle, a 16-year-old Indian girl stuck between two boys: One boy (Neil) could bring her from invisible, groundling status to popular enough to be noticed not only by the student body but by her ex-best friend, Maddie. The other boy is the twin brother of Neil (Sahil), someone who is helping her produce her own film and make her directing dreams come true, someone she can’t help but fall for, even though at the beginning it’s his brother she wants.
This novel reads exactly like what you’d expect. I feel like one look at the cover and plot and you know the kind of story you are signing up for. Given the juvenile prose and plot itself, it’s meant for the younger side of YA, around 12-14.
Overall, the book is pretty solid. The author does a great job at staying true to this diary format, acknowledging when Twinkle is writing and blending the journal world with the real world. The format I think contributes to the youthfulness of the language, but it also allows us to really connect with Twinkle and better understand her. She feels unwanted not only by friends but by family. She is incredibly forward-thinking, addressing important issues such as equality and bullying. Overall, Twinkle has solid development as a character. It’s kind of like Cady’s arc in Mean Girls.
There’s a negative side to this, however. Some bad characteristics show up. Yes, it’s part of her arc, but sometimes it makes her too unlikeable. The whole idea of her falling for this great guy and still wanting to pursue Neil for status at the beginning is pretty annoying, especially when things start going really well for her. Slight spoiler coming up:
Eventually, in the novel, she makes some great friends, gets closer with Maddie, and even begins to have a thing for Sahil (who clearly likes her back). Yet, she still has this infatuation with Neil, who she thinks may be her secret admirer. She complains about her now complicated love life, as if it isn’t obvious Sahil is the one for her. She continues to consider his brother despite Sahil being so amazing and him expressing his awful rivalry with Neil. It’s selfish to even keep considering Neil and rude. Yes, she acknowledges this at the end. But during the book, it’s a pity party I’m not keen on attending.
Because of that, I’d give this novel a 3/5. I get the whole arc of Twinkle losing herself then finding herself again at the end, but the whole boohoo, Sahil likes me but his brother will help my status, just was annoying and hard to sympathize with. But, again, there was still solid development, likeable characters for the most part, great intimate and vulnerable scenes, and important issues addressed. If the Sahil-or-Neil plot point didn’t get on my nerves so much, I’d probably give this novel a 4/5.
On a side note, this novel will definitely make you curious to try some popcorn with M&Ms. It's pretty amazing.