Title: 10 Things I Hate About Pinky
Series: Dimple and Rishi #3
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Published: July 21st, 2020 (Simon Pulse)
Synopsis: 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.
Thank you to the publisher, Simon Teen, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Priyanka ‘Pinky’ Kumar is very passionate about the various social causes she supports, no matter how obscure, something her corporate lawyer parents aren’t too pleased about. After years of being homeschooled due to his mother’s ill health and smothered by her overprotectiveness, Samir is venturing all the way to DC for an internship with a reputed law firm. But when his internship falls through, Samir is not quite ready to return to California. Pinky on the other hand is tired of being harassed about her poor decisions even on vacation and comes up with a plan to have Harvard law-bound Samir, her sort of frenemy, be her fake boyfriend for the summer to prove that she is more than her past bad choices.
Unlike Dimple and Sweetie, Pinky was simply not a character I could remotely connect to though I get the feeling that many teenagers would be able to relate. I actually sympathized and identified more with Samir who is finding his feet and holding on to old quirks that made him feel in control of an uncertain life. They both have a lot to work through as a result of past experiences and it’s lovely to see the story unfold as they begin to realize that despite being complete opposites, they might not dislike each other as much as they thought.
Pinky was as interesting as I expected her to be, after the glimpse we got of her in previous books. She is an extremely driven character, if rather hard-headed and argumentative. Samir is her exact opposite – meticulously organized, responsible and levelheaded. The opposites attract trope is not typically one I enjoy, but I really liked the way it was presented. It’s amazing how real and flawed these characters feel, and how relatable. Their character arcs were wonderful and it was all too easy to get caught up in the story. Although this is a rom-com at it’s heart, just like the other books, Sandhya Menon manages to make it more than just that with a great message of being true to yourself while finding your way in the world.
But I have to say, after the works of art that were When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something About Sweetie, this book was a bit of a letdown for me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there was just something missing in this book in comparison. It was also not entirely believable how neither of them ever got in trouble for all the lies, particularly Samir, who basically took off to Cape Cod for the summer while telling his mom he was in DC. The whole thing was just very out of character for Samir. The ending felt incredibly rushed compared to the easy pacing of the rest of the book, and things were tied up, in my opinion, a little too well. In fact, I have to say that a lot of the story could have been trimmed down as it seemed to be constantly jumping between plot lines, from Pinky and Samir’s agreement, to Dolly’s problems, Pinky’s complicated relationship with her mother, saving the butterfly habitat and more.
Overall, it was nice to return to the world of Dimple and Rishi one more time with these familiar characters, and 10 Things I Hate About Pinky was a fun and light-hearted read, perfect for a summer afternoon. It’ll definitely make you want to read the previous books all over again!
10 Things I Hate About Pinky releases on July 21st, 2020.