From Twinkle with Love

336p. S. & S./Simon Pulse. May 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481495400. POP
RedReviewStarGr 7 Up—Aspiring filmmaker Twinkle Mehra wants to dismantle the patriarchy and show the world that a woman of color has stories worth telling. A typical teenager, she also has less lofty goals: shedding her "uncool" status, dating charismatic Neil Roy, and rekindling her strained relationship with her newly popular best friend Maddie. Complicating matters, Neil's twin brother, Sahil, is secretly in love with Twinkle. When Sahil offers to work with Twinkle on a movie for the Midsummer Arts festival, she accepts. Though she develops feelings for awkward, endearing Sahil, she holds out hope for a romance with Neil—especially when she receives emails from a mystery admirer. Made up of journal entries from Twinkle (addressed to her favorite female filmmakers) and supplemented with text messages, emails, and Sahil's blog posts, this bubbly, humorous novel effortlessly explores complex subjects, such as working-class Twinkle's anger toward her more privileged classmates. Though this is Twinkle's tale, the supporting cast is well defined, particularly Sahil, who grapples with his resentment of golden boy Neil. As in When Dimple Met Rishi, Menon gives her heroine room to stumble as she comes into her own; teens will be rooting for Twinkle the whole way.
VERDICT A sweet, smart gem for most readers, especially fans of Menon, Jenny Han, and Miranda Kenneally.

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