Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After he’s dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they could find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up.
The Patels insist that Ashish date an Indian-American girl—under contract. Per subclause 1(a), he’ll be taking his date on “fun” excursions like visiting the Hindu temple and his eccentric Gita Auntie. Kill him now. How is this ever going to work?
Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death.
Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of.
Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other?
I highlighted so much of this darn book, y’all. I want to come on here and talk about how important and wonderful it is, but first, it just feels amazing to have a fat girl as a lead(and not the funny side kick), and also have a romance where weight comes up only in other people’s perception of Sweetie, not in the feeling that Ashish has for her, nor in his attraction or perception of her beauty. She’s beautiful. Not in spite of her fat. Not because of her fat. She just is. Beautiful.
And that’s something I wanted to say before I talk about how important the book is. It’s one of the reason’s why this book is so important. It is so important to me the sheer normalcy the is felt in integrating Sweetie as a fat character. Other books with fat leads that I’ve read have felt forced, or the same old, same old. The kid of fat stories we’ve been reading forever. Where the world revolves around her size, and hating her body, and everyone loves her in spite of her fat when they realize she’s got a great personality. Let me just say: THANK GOD THIS BOOK IS DIFFERENT. I am so dang sick of the fat stories we’ve been reading for a millennia and this book is a breath of fresh air. Also the moment that Ashish meets Sweetie and is like talking about how pretty she is? DANG SON YES
This book takes all the stereotypes about fat people and smashes them to bits. She’s a runner. And she’s fat. UM YES THANK YOU. People just assume fat people are sedentary and that’s that, but we play sports, we exercise, we don’t just sit on the couch and eat junk food all day(I walk like 3 miles a day. And I’m fat) I’m not sure if I’m conveying my point correctly so here’s a quote from the book that conveys it perfectly: “She’d finally begun to accept what she’d always believed in her core–that her weight did not signify anything bad about her, that she was just as worthy and talented as any thin person–was true, in spite of what anyone else might say.”
I honestly can’t even line my emotions up at this point. This book means the world to me. The body positivity, the empowerment, this book is the exact thing I needed as a teen/tween who was hearing the same horrible things and the same hate, but also the same “helpful” comments that Sweetie was hearing. I wish I’d had someone in my life who told me I didn’t have to wear baggy clothes and maxi dresses and maxi skirts. I could wear something tight, I could show some skin, and, gosh, I wish someone had told me how great I looked in skinny jeans before I’d had a chance to realize it myself.
I also love that Sweetie doesn’t realize she’s beautiful just because a guy is into her. The guy and the romance isn’t the foundation of her awakening and that’s important. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, you can be fat and beautiful. It doesn’t matter if no guy has been into you. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been told you’re beautiful. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. SCREW ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE.
This is first of all, a romance. so we’re going to talk about the romance. I LOVE IT. I love ASHISH. I love Sweetie, I love everything about them together. Ashish is so sweet and caring and I just love how he treats Sweetie. He’s loyal and he just really cares. Also the kissing is really great. REALLY GREAT.
This is getting crazy long now(for me) so I’m going to end in a second but first I HAVE TO talk about the friend groups. Both Ashish and Sweetie have amazing supportive friend groups and while there’s some drama, there’s so much love. And the way Sweetie’s friends went off on Ashish in that one scene was SO GOOD. I love how crazy protective they are over her!
The ending was so perfect and satisfying. While the romance did progress a little quickly, it is a chic-flic so that’s to be expected some what. I probably forgot to say a million things, so here’s the important thing: this book is worth the read. 100%