10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon
Published July 2020
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Romance
“But listen, people can change all the time. Maybe not in big, profound ways, but in little, incremental ways that end up changing essential parts of them anyway. It’s like a Rubik’s Cube – you start with one line at a time, and then everything begins to fit together.”
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
“I mean, really, it’s just these mundane moments. Setting up the tent, grabbing lanterns from the shed. Putting on sunscreen. But in the larger framework of life, it’s all so vital to who we are.”
I was very excited for this book, and when I saw my local library got it in, I was relieved I wouldn’t have to wait to read it.
All in all, this book was simply okay. I’ll admit it’s my least favorite of the three books.
And really, that’s all on me because I came to find out that I didn’t like Pinky very much. Or Samir. We don’t find out a whole lot about either of these two in Sweetie and Ashish’s story, except that Pinky is rebellious and Samir is, well, a bit of a stuck-up. So being able to explore their characters more in depth and seeing their own stories and feelings flesh out was really interesting, but I just never got around to falling in love with either of them.
I guess, maybe I was expecting more? More drama, more feeling, and definitely more time with the others… There just wasn’t enough to me. I was especially disappointed at our lack of seeing Ashish and Sweetie and the rest of Pinky’s friends in this one. It made sense since we were in a completely different setting, and we had new characters to learn about, but I still would have loved some time with the friend group.
The romance was rather lacking as well. I never felt the sparks between Pinky and Samir, and I feel like their “real” feelings started way to quickly. There were moments that they shared that didn’t seem like they could in any way be real because the thoughts were jumbled, rushed and seemed forced, and it came across as odd infatuation instead of love.
I also felt like there was this underlying theme of being unable to live “properly” unless you were as free spirited as Pinky, and given that the entirety of Samir’s personality is the exact opposite of Pinky’s, it just sort of rubbed me the wrong way, I guess?
There was a lot I did like about this book though!
- The arguments and relationship that Pinky had with her mom was very emotional and spoke in volumes.
- Dolly was such a good cousin! A bit dumb at times, but I loved her relationship with Pinky so much.
- Basically everything about the butterfly habitat, and how it became the main center of focus for the story. It worked really well with Pinky’s personality, and with her relationship with both her mom and Samir.
- Drama Queen!! She was a bit unnecessary but also so precious and perfect. (This is probably when everyone who hasn’t read the book is very confused.)
- The ending!
I would definitely recommend this to those who have enjoyed Menon’s books so far, or for those who fell in love with Pinky (or Samir) in the other stories!