Summary (from the publisher): 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.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
I’ve been counting down the days to the release of 10 Things I Hate About Pinky for over a year! The latest book in the Dimpleverse companion novels, 10 Things I Hate About Pinky is such a fun culmination of the fake dating trope meets frenemies-to-lovers. The book follows Samir and Pinky, Ashish’s best friends from There’s Something About Sweetie. After losing his summer internship and Pinky needing to prove to her family that she’s not as troublesome as she seems to be, she convinces Samir to spend the summer at her lake house and pretend to be her perfect boyfriend.
I devoured 10 Things I Hate About Pinky while floating around the pool and sitting on the beach. It is a truly a perfect book for summer, as Pinky and Samir do all kinds of summertime things on the fictional Ellingsworth – picture Martha’s Vineyard/Cape Cod, but less touristy. There’s days spent on the lake, visiting lighthouses, and of course, Boggle tournaments with Pinky’s whole family.
Pinky and Samir are complete opposites. Samir only has heart eyes for his daily planner and future spot at Harvard Law, whereas Pinky is more focused on the now, protesting and advocating for raccoon hospitals and persecuted rock stars. While Samir wants to spend some of the summer impressing Pinky’s parents enough to bring him on as a law intern, Pinky’s summer project is rehabilitating a opossum, much to her parents’ delight. As expected, as Samir and Pinky spend more time with one another pretending to be a couple, they slowly begin to figure out that the things they hate about each other might just be the things they love about each other. As also expected, there has to be some things that keep the couple separated, which mostly comes down to their misinterpretations of what the other said and fear about dating someone with the complete opposite personality. I think the predictability is ultimately what prevented me from LOVING this one, but I do think that the fake dating and enemies-to-lovers tropes were still well done
10 Things I Hate About Pinky also focuses on family, especially Pinky’s relationship with her mother. Pinky’s mom is also quick to blame her daughter for anything that goes wrong, given Pinky’s tendency to rebel and her history in some not-so-great situations. There is also some discussion around Samir’s relationship with his mom, as Samir is starting to seek more independence while still valuing their relationship. Pinky is quick to criticize Samir being a goody-goody and mama’s boy. However, she begins to understand why as Samir shares more about his past and his mother’s cancer. Pinky’s cousin, Dolly, is also spending the summer at the lake. Dolly is often seen as the perfect version of Pinky, although Dolly is testing the waters this summer with dating a lake boy. I really liked having Dolly as the couple’s sidekick and working through her own character development- does this mean we’ll get another book all about her??
All of the Dimpleverse books are a play on some classic rom-com movies, with 10 Things I Hate About Pinky playing on the movie, 10 Things I Hate About You. I watched 10 Things I Hate About You a few weeks before picking up that book, and I definitely saw the inspiration! I don’t want to be too spoilery, but there is a list involved and a scene towards the end that echoes Kat’s poem at the end of the movie.
Although I think There’s Something About Sweetie will always be my favorite Dimpleverse book, I now have much love for 10 Things I Hate About Pinky. I’m really hoping that we will at least get another novella – or maybe a full-length book?? – following the three couples. Overall, if you’re in need of a frenemies-to-lovers romance or a book to compliment your summertime feels, I highly recommend picking up 10 Things I Hate About Pinky!
10 Things I Hate About Pinky comes out on July 21, 2020.
This review is based on an advance reader’s copy provided by the publisher. By no means did this affect my thoughts or opinions.
Is 10 Things I Hate About Pinky on your TBR? What’s your favorite Sandhya Menon book? Share in the comments!