From Twinkle, With Love

Image result for from twinkle with loveFirst Lines: Hello, namaste, buenos dias, and bonjour, Mira Nair!  The basics.  Name: Twinkle Mehra  Age: Sixteen  Occupation: Sadly, a junior at Pikes Peak Charter in Colorado Springs.  And ugh, the only one who’s still sixteen.

So after Les Mis, I really needed something that was going to be cute and fast.  In a word, short.  I needed something vastly different than what I had just read.  This has been on my shelf for a little while, so I thought it worth a try.

Twinkle knows in her bones that she’s meant to be a filmmaker.  She has stories to tell and the determination to be one of the few female directors–and one of the fewer of color.  But Twinkle is also a wallflower who feels like no one ever listens to her.  So when Sahil Roy approaches her about doing a movie for the school’s Summer Festival, Twinkle’s on it.  And the best part?  Sahil is the twin brother of Neil Roy, Twinkle’s crush since forever.  When the mysterious N begins emailing Twinkle about his crush on her, Twinkle just knows it’s Neil, finally seeing her.  The only inconvenient thing is that in the process of making this movie, Twinkle is discovering she’s falling hard for Sahil…but is that enough?

This is a romantic comedy, plain and simple. There are awkward moments (people tripping over air, babbling incoherently, etc.), everybody pairing up, and lots of tension. It started off really goofy, got a bit cliche, got emotional, and ended with that emoji with the hearts for eyes.  (Clearly, it’s a Shakespearean comedy at this point.)  I wasn’t looking for a life-changing book here and I feel like defending it because that’s so not the point of it. It’s meant to be an adorable love story.

I will say that it was like a sucker punch to the feels though. I mean, I was reading this on my birthday and I was just weeping. That’s totally what I wanted to happen… But there were moments that were just so real you couldn’t help but react to them.  Or at least I couldn’t.  Twinkle and my high school self…we had a lot in common.  And it hit me hard.

Twinkle is kind of a fun character. In love with Neil Roy, Twinkle is pretty much oblivious to anyone else. And then when Sahil Roy, Neil’s identical twin brother, suddenly shares Twinkle’s love of film, she starts noticing him more. Then she needs to start questioning what she saw in Neil to begin with. She’s a devoted filmmaker who writes this story as though it’s her diary, with each entry being written to a different famous female filmmaker. I liked that Twinkle was so devoted to being herself and representing people like her. It’s an admirable goal.

But, in my opinion, Sahil was the scene stealer. That boy was cute. Everything he did radiated sweetness and it was just adorable to read every scene he was in. I loved that.

The only “down side” to this was that I felt the dialogue wasn’t always realistic. Sahil and Twinkle (among other characters) do talk like teens, but there were also moments where one would go, “It’s clear you’re not listening right now. We’ll continue this conversation later.” I mean, it’s fabulous in terms of communication skills and I wish more people talked like this rather than getting angry, but I have never once heard a sixteen year old say this. It seemed like it was there more to provoke thought than to actually sound like the characters. Maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, it was cute and I devoured it pretty quickly. Definitely a nice change of pace from what I had been reading.

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