It is no secret that I have had a rough relationship with Menon’s books. Either I was not in the right mood to read them or I was just not the right reader. Either way, I adore the author and chose to give her third book a chance. I’m happy to say I did enjoy this more than the first two but I still had some issues with it.
The main thing I want to point out about this novel is that it was a wonderful and important #ownvoices book. The diversity found within the pages was outstanding. The protagonist, Sweetie, was excellent, powerful, and strong. She felt like a motivational leader, one that could inspire young readers to stand fast in their beliefs and know their self worth. While she was strong, she was still very insecure. I don’t know if that was included simply to move the story along and make her come across more relateable but it felt like that was all she did in her own head was comment about her body size. But to her friends and family, she was outspoken and confident about her size… so which was it? I know that may seem minor but it stood out in my head.
As for the rest of the characters, not so much. I did not enjoy Ashish’s character much. He did not feel genuine in my eyes. Everything he did and said felt forced, choppy, unbelievable, and just downright extreme. His POV chapters had me rushing to get through them because I wanted to hear from Sweetie’s POV instead. Ashish and the forced love triangle with his ex was not necessary. I saw everything about that hot mess coming a mile away.
This was a super quick and fluffy read so there was not much slowing the pace down. I already mentioned the unnecessary plot with the ex and I found myself mentally drifting away when that topic came up. I did not care what happened because it had been played out hundreds of times in other books. One part of the book that I would have liked to know more about was Sweetie’s mom’s history. Maybe a little more info on her backstory would have helped explain why she was so incredibly hung up on Sweetie’s weight. I get the, “I want what is best for you!” mentality, but there had to be a deeper reason why her mom was focused on her daughter’s weight in a negative way.
While I enjoyed this more than the first two books, I still could not fall madly in love with it. I tried, I really did. I had my issues, I rolled my eyes a lot, I shook my head. I won’t be highly recommending to anyone but I won’t push someone away from it either. It fell somewhere near the “meh, it was alright” on my lists. I believe I will still continue to read Menon’s books, hoping that the next one I read hits me right in the feels.