Title: Ten Things I hate About Pinky
Series: The Dimple-verse
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: YA, contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse
The follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie follows Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date – with disastrous and hilarious results.
Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.
Samir Jha might have a few… quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.
Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir – who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy – to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they’ll never forget.
Another completely adorable story from Sandhya! I really hope the day where I do not finish a Sandhya Menon book with a huge smile on my face never comes.
When we were first introduced to the main characters of this story in Sweetie, I was not sure I would like them. They were seem through other character’s eyes, and so we saw more of the negative, a more biased view of their characters, and while I was intrigued as to how Sandhya would develop them, I was worried I would not click with them.
I was completely wrong, and I am so glad for it. Pinky is a very in-your-face character, passionate and stubborn and confident in who she is. Honestly, I did not relate with those aspects of her personality. But she is also sweet, and loving, and wanting to be accepted by her family for who she is, and that last one especially hit me hard.
On the other hand, Samir Jha turned out to be a character that is very much My Type and he is my son now. I don’t make the rules. No, but seriously, rule-abiding, non-confrontatational unless pushed – he was a bunch of contradictions in many ways, and someone for whom control was so important, so to see this character set out of the limits he placed on himself and balance Pinky out – one would think they wouldn’t work, but they do.
Sandhya tends to write mother-daughter relationships as another central part of her stories, and I love it. I love seeing the different ways the diaspora affects the different generations, and I love that mothers and their actions are never vilified, but slowly understood.
Pinky and Samir’s story is funny and emotional and wild, and it plays with one of my favourite tropes – fake dating! – and shows us that what we see is not always what is going on under the surface, and that being passionate and believing in something – or someone – can be a very powerful thing.