Buy 10 Things I Hate About Pinky
Regular price: $18.99
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Reviewer: Melissa on July 22, 2020
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve been looking forward to reading 10 Things I Have About Pinky ever since I found out it was a thing because I fell in love with Pinky and Samir’s banter in There’s Something About Sweetie. These characters are opposites in many ways, and their differences cause some frustration and many arguments, but at the end of the day, there are also a lot of sparks flying. In other words, without even reading the synopsis, I requested it for review and was so excited when Simon & Schuster approved me on Netgalley for Sandhya Menon‘s latest novel. (The neighbours may have heard my resounding “yesssss!” without any context whatsoever.)
Before picking up this book, I had no idea how and why Pinky and Samir would find themselves together. It wasn’t like they would see through their frustrations with one another before being in close proximity, so it makes sense that while they both planned on spending the summer on the east coast, they might give fake dating a try. But why? That was a surprise for me. Samir was supposed to be in DC for a prestigious law internship, but it fell through. Before he could head back home, Pinky, who was in Cape Cod with her parents, Auntie Meera Mausi, Uncle Abe, and cousin, Dolly, finds herself accused of burning down their lakeside barn by her mother. She impetuously says that she has a great new boyfriend who her mother would love. This leaves her scrambling to ask Samir if he’d like to spend the summer on the Cape while they fake date. Pinky wants to prove to her parents that she can make good decisions, and in exchange for his help, she’ll get her mom, Veena “the Shark” Kumar, to give him his dream-come-true, corporate law internship during the school year.
True to form, Pinky’s parents are over the moon when they meet Samir, the bright, polite, and respectful, Harvard-bound guy introduced to them as their daughter’s boyfriend. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s all smooth sailing ahead. Pinky and Samir can’t help but argue and compete against one another, even in front of the adults, but it never gets to the point where the latter suspect anything is amiss. That said, the more time Pinky and Samir spend together, the more they realize that, sometimes, they actually agree on things and the more they appreciate many of one another’s qualities. It’s super cute the way they go from this, to practice kissing, and declarations of liking one another. There is still a lot of tension, especially due to a list that Samir wrote at the beginning of the summer in frustration. Readers will find themselves waiting for the other shoe to drop, and when it does, it will have an explosive and emotional impact on everyone involved.
Beyond Pinky and Samir’s relationship, the novel delves into the relationship Pinky has with her mom in a really great way. I actually got teary-eyed when Meera Mausi explains how a picture of her mom looking decidedly Pinky-like could possibly exist and the things that Pinky’s mom gave up for her daughter. (Pinky—and possibly teen readers—doesn’t see it the same way, but as someone older, I really got the idea that Pinky’s mom would do anything to provide for her child.
In addition, Dolly, who up till the beginning of this book had seemed like the “perfect” daughter, and was sometimes used as a comparison that Pinky could never attain, makes a lot of mistakes in her effort to be less predictable and boring. From burning down the barn accidentally and dating a rude and inappropriate guy who, she doesn’t really even like just to prove something to herself, things aren’t great, but like Pinky and Samir, she learns a lot over the course of the summer. I know Sandhya Menon said that there won’t be anymore books in the Dimpleverse, but I can’t be the only one who wishes that there’d be another book with Dolly, meeting and falling in love with someone next summer?! (Bi/pan/queer love for the win!) I don’t expect it to happen, but doesn’t she deserve to find real love after what happened this summer?
While I generally loved this book, there were a few things that could’ve been improved. First, even though Pinky and Samir learn that they actually agree on something in the novella, Love at First Fight, they act just as surprised as they did in the novella when they agree on something in this novel as if it were for the first time. This may make sense to those who bypassed the novella, but as a super fan of this series, I found this to suggest a continuity issue. Moreover, there was a plot point that didn’t exactly get cleared up by the end of the book. When Samir is at the airport on his way to the Cape, he lies to his mom, saying that the internship is going well, but he’s so busy he won’t be able to talk much that day. He continues the ruse when he arrives in Cape Cod, but then we don’t hear anything more about it. Did he come clean to his mom? Who knows? I guess it doesn’t really matter because he does get a killer internship anyway. Nevertheless, I wish I knew how his overprotective mom reacted to news of the lie even though she obviously was okay with him going across country for it in the first place.
Whether you’ve read the rest of the Dimpleverse yet or not, you seriously have to pick up 10 Things I Hate About Pinky! There are great Easter eggs for fans of the rom com upon which the title was taken, and the story is super sweet and full of chemistry—just as one would expect from this series. Of course, if like me, you love Sandhya Menon’s writing, especially When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something About Sweetie, then you simply must read this book.