*I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
What is it about?
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. (goodreads)
Book: 10 Things I hate about Pinky | Series: Dimpleverse #3 | Author: Sandhya Menon | Publisher: Hooder & Stoughton | Release Date: 21st July 2020 | Pages: 304 | Rep: Indian-American, Chinese-American, lesbian, black | TW: racism, cancer
What did I think?
Did someboday say fake dating? Because that is one of my favourite things. Also, a summer romcom with fake dating? Mh, delicious. That being said, I loved this book about character-wise very different people going on vacation together.
Pinky and her parents go on summer holidays with her aunt, uncle and cousin every year. This year though, a few things are different: Dolly, Pinky’s perfect cousin, tries something new and not-so-perfect. And Pinky, who is known to be the black sheep of the family, finally tries something new and, in the eyes of her parents, very perfect. When Pinky accidentally says that she has a boyfriend, there has to be one asap. And who would be better suited than her frenemy Samir, a guy every parent would wish upon their daughter. They make a deal and Samir joins them on vacation but it doesn’t turn out as they both expected.
Pinky and Samir went into their deal with goals, but getting to know each other better along the way complicates things a lot. I loved reading about these two, I loved reading about their thoughts but I also loved reading about how the perception of the other changes in their eyes. They both have this picture of each other in their heads that has them colliding and argumenting time and time again. But they also realize that there is so much more to the other. The two of them start talking more and learning, about themselves, each other and their surroundings and their family members. Their evolving relationship was so beautifully written and explored. Their relationship had its ups and downs, but it seemed realistic and I enjoyed reading it a lot.
I loved Samir and Pinky as main characters individually as well. Where Pinky is headstrong and temperamental and passionate, Samir is calmer and a bit more down-to-earth. They each have problems to cope with. While they are quite different, they somehow balance each other out and can give the other one exactly what they need. I also enjoyed the rest of the characters, that were mostly Pinky’s family. Exploring their relationships and how they became the way they are was a wonderful reading experience for me.
The plot was also something I enjoyed immensely. Pinky is an activist, always having a new project she passionately works on. When such a project comes up this summer, both Pinky and Samir work together, both using their strength to bring it forward and to get other people to help them as well. The mix of romance and family drama and hot summer was so much fun.
What I also need to mention are topics that weren’t main themes of the book but were talked about shortly, but so well. For instance, the racism Pinky and her family experience and how they act in these situations. Another topic was mental health. I loved how mental health and getting psychological help was discussed throughout the story.
Overall, I loved this book so, so much. It was such a great summer romance. I’d definitely recommend it, especially if you’ve enjoyed Sandhya Menon’s previous books in the Dimpleverse!