For fans of Sandhya Menon and Adam Silvera, a prom-night romantic-comedy romp about a Sikh teen's search for love and identity
Sunny G's brother left him one thing when he died: His notebook, which Sunny is determined to fill up with a series of rash decisions. Decision number one was a big one: He stopped wearing his turban, cut off his hair, and shaved his beard. He doesn't look like a Sikh anymore. He doesn't look like himself anymore. Even his cosplay doesn't look right without his beard.
Sunny debuts his new look at prom, which he's stuck going to alone. He's skipping the big fandom party—the one where he'd normally be in full cosplay, up on stage playing bass with his band and his best friend, Ngozi—in favor of the Very Important Prom Experience. An experience that's starting to look like a bust.
Enter Mindii Vang, a girl with a penchant for making rash decisions of her own, starting with stealing Sunny's notebook. When Sunny chases after her, prom turns into an all-night adventure—a night full of rash, wonderful, romantic, stupid, life-changing decisions.
Navdeep Singh Dhillon (He/Him) is the author of SUNNY G'S SERIES OF RASH DECISIONS (2/8/22). He has worked as a linguist in the U.S. Navy, a photographer, dishwasher, paperboy, ESL teacher in China, and is currently adjunct professor of creative writing and composition at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. He was born in England and spent his childhood in Nigeria, Tanzania, Dubai, and the Central Valley of California (Hi, Fresno!). While he speaks several languages, he is a Punjabi boy at heart =)
He holds an MFA in creative writing from California State University, Fresno, a post-grad certificate from the Writers’ Institute at CUNY, and is a proud two-time VONA fiction workshop alum. He is obsessed with Bhangra, Bollywood, baking, and Brazilian jiujitsu.
This was one of my highly anticipated books of the year, and it did not disappoint! Sunny G is such a brilliant mix of heart and humour. It had me laughing out loud one moment, and crying from Sunny and Mindii's grief the next. It's a book that manages to be about so many things: family, love, death, grief...and still manages to be an incredibly fun book. Can't wait for Navdeep Singh Dhillon's next book!
I enjoyed learning about Sikh Punjabi culture and religion through the eyes of the endearing main character, Sunny. The story was warm and humorous but I think the plot meandered around a bit so I never felt connected to the characters. There was a lot of reference to a fandom anime thingy I know nothing about so that created more distance. I really liked the characters there just needed to be more story development. Just okay for me.
Content Warnings: While the exoskeleton is filled with cosplay and a fun 24 hour prom night adventure, there are discussions of grief, alcoholism, ableism with Sunny's stutter, death of a sibling and grandmother, bullying, racism, and swearing in multiple languages.
I've given myself five stars because this story has a piece of my soul, or as we say in Punjabi, mera jigar. My liver, or in Farsi, my Golden Liver lol.
Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions is my debut YA novel and I am immensely proud of it. I love everything about it, from the multilingual jokes to the way death and grief and alcoholism are discussed, the pure chaos and joy of cosplay and fandoms, and all the people who populate this book, especially Sunny, Mindii, Goldy, Ngozi, and Biji. An extra star for my team who supported me in defanging the HP references and indulged me while I created a fantasy map for the seven sentences referencing the made up fandom like I'm Stephanie Garber or Sabaa Tahir lol.
This is the book I would have loved to have read as a teenager. Not just because it's about Sikh protagonist who stutters and questions his faith, but because it's a really fun story with intelligent teenagers tackling complex issues.
As a third culture kid, I am most at home with the unfamilliar. I grew up reading Russian and British and Australian and American books with a LOT of unfamilliar references (a Christmas ham you say?). I was very disappointed when I finally ate clotted cream because of how much I had dramatized it in my head, haha).
Sunny is filled with elements of the unknown.
He is a confident crocheting nerd who stutters, is Sikh, plays guitar in a heavy metal cosplay band, is very overthinky, and way cooler than I will ever be. It's the type of rep I would have loved to see on my bookshelf as a teen . . . and now as an adult.
As much as I love this story, it's not going to be everyone's cuppa tea. And that's okay. This is your space, not mine. My job as a writer is done and now I am on to my next story. I know I've done everything I wanted to do with this book, from the messaging to the pacing to the characters to the plot to the gabillion airbender jokes.
I know there will be readers who wish this was a different kind of book: with more kissing and romance, less kissing and less romance, faster paced, slower paced, less grief, more grief, lighter, heavier, funnier, serious, not set in Fresno, not so sweary.
But this is the book I wrote. I wouldn't change a comma even if I could. Okay, I'd probably change some of the punctuation lol. It's beautiful and it's printed and done.
I really hope readers connect with it and its nerdiness.
Much love to all my readers and a big thank you to everyone for reading my book (or attempting to!).
Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
This was such a great story, very heartwarming. Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions takes place in the course of one 24 hour ish period. Sunny has decided to reinvent himself after the death of his brother. The only thing he has left is his brother's notebook and he decides he needs to be more like him. To do this he's determined to make several rash decisions since his brother was always more impulsive than him.
He kicks this off by showing up to his high school Prom instead of going to the big fandom event with his best friend Ngozi and playing in their band. But when Mindii steals his notebook, he has to go after her. The two end up on a whirlwind all night adventure.
Y'all this book was so fun. Sunny and Mindii were so cute and so fun together. I loved seeing them get to know each other past the friendly school acquaintances. This was such a fast past book and the time frame of ~24 hours only added to it. This was such a love letter to all things nerd and specifically Avatar: the Last Airbender. Oh my god there were so many references to ATLA and I was living for it!
The ending of this is more open than I normally would prefer, but it really worked for this book. Sunny is still processing his grief, and learning to deal with his brother's alcoholism. He's also stressed because most of his friends are leaving while he still has another year of high school.
I loved this one so much. Between the disability rep and the relationships that develop in this book, it had my whole heart. Also seeing Ngozi make heart eyes at cute girls was such a damn mood. Definitely excited to see what Dhillon writes next.
Rep: Sikh Indian-American cishet male MC with a stutter, Hmong cishet female love interest, Sikh Indian-American gay male alcoholic side character (deceased), Sikh Indian-American gay male side character, multiple Sikh Indian immigrant side characters, Nigerian-British sapphic female side character.
CWs: Alcoholism/Alcohol discussion and consumption, ableism, addiction to alcohol (side characters), bullying, child death, death, death of grandparent, grief, racial slurs, racism, xenophobia.
This was a diverse, humorous and very informative book. This could have been a little better.
“Don’t just let life pass you by wondering what if. BE the IF.”
My Personal Thoughts
Personally, I liked the message it gave,“Don't be f**king scared to say that you are not mentally well”. Yeah, the cursing was quite a lot in the book. The chemistry was a little boring, but this is about teens and stuff so I'll not count that.
The characters in this book were really diverse, ‘Punjabis, hijabis, Laos, lesbian, and even trans gender’. This was 60% of the three star rating.
Sunny G actually handled the death of his brother quite well. I'm not a cosplayer so I have no idea how relatable he is.
The last scene in the gurdwara is my favourite in the entire book. I do understand his stuttering problem, many people have it, yet their parents are unwilling to send them for classes, the author should get credit for that!
Mindii was like.. alright. I don't know if others feel the same, but I feel like she didn't have enough book time to unravel her character, but it was just good.
Both Grandmas cannot be forgotten, can we? Biji was really quiet and had very little page time, I would have loved more screen time. Mindii's grandma was like a good grandmother in Mindii's POV.
Sunny's brother, Goldy was someone in pain. His death could've been prevented. His parents could've interacted more. He could've said more about himself to his brother. All I can say about him start with a could've. He's a great brother..
The writing was confusing. I couldn't understand most scenes for some reason. The entire book was just 24 hours. The plot seemed slow.
I did, however like the authenticity of many places, The Kavita places were interesting. I liked how the author wrote Sunny's arc. The author can do better, but for now. 3.25.
Friends, I really need to stick away from books that straight up say fandom in the blurb. Because honestly, this sounded like a really awesome book, and it was, except I keep getting caught up on fandoms and fanfic. I know there are audiences that love it, but I am not them. I really did like Dhillon's writing style though so I will be checking out future works!
I received an ecopy of this book through Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.
This was a fun YA #ownvoices Ferris Buellers day off-esque prom night story. It takes place over one night as straight-laced Sunny G, a Sikh teen who has drastically rejected a fundamental part of his culture and is dealing with his grief over the tragic death of his brother and Mindii Vang, a Hmong girl who is all about living life to the fullest.
Mindii steals Sunny's brother's notebook, setting off a chain of events that leads these two teens around the city on a series of increasingly rash and romantic adventures where they try new things and take chances Sunny never would have ordinarily taken.
I really enjoyed how well this story dealt with being a family member of an alcoholic, the diversity and cultural representation of the characters and that Sunny had a stutter he had to work hard to not feel self-conscious about.
Heartfelt with depth. This book is such a great YA story. I really enjoyed it on audio and definitely recommend for fans of books like Sway with me or Radha and Jai's recipe for romance.
Things I loved about this book: I thoroughly appreciate YA that is sprinkled with history! The reader is exposed to Yoruba, Hmong, Sikh, and Cambodian, and what I love is the underlying snark regarding the impact of colonialism on different regions of the world. (That might just be the history teacher in me totally nerding out during those sections). I really love how the author sneaks these tidbits of history into the story. This book is fun, and fast-paced, and, at moments, very heartfelt. Taking place within a night, it reminded me of a modern-day Ferris Bueller. There was an array of issues addressed rejection of culture, alcoholism, grief, and anger--all issues that teens often feel they are facing these alone. "Sunny G's..." reminds readers that kids aren't alone and there are so many people out there just as scared and angry. "Sunny G's...." is a bit difficult for me to rate because, on one hand, I absolutely loved learning about Sikhs, Mong, and Cambodian culture, but, on the other hand, I have no understanding of cosplay and fandom. Due to my lack of understanding, the fandom seemed a bit overboard to me, but what do I know? I don't hang out until the wee hours of the early morning role-playing characters. In my opinion, the fandom took away from the beauty of the story and what the author was trying to accomplish. Once the author moved beyond the fantastical element of his writing, he was able to dig into the emotional component of the story--which actually had me in tears. I just wish the author hadn't waited so long to get there.
This might be the nail in the coffin for me and time crunch novels. Particularly if there are no stakes involved. I do think that a single night can do a lot for a person, but there was a quality to this story that just didn't work. The events were too close together and each of them was so mundane that it really didn't feel like it should ahve any impact on anyone, let alone our narrator.
There were a lot of things that I didn't like, which was sad because there are nuggets of some really good things. Ultimately I think that the book would have been better served by ending a little sooner than it chose to, being at least twenty pages longer and letting some of the scenes really breathe in a way they weren't able to in this version. I don't think that it would have been a book I would have loved, but at least then it could have been a book I enjoyed reading.
As Sikh Punjabi person, I was so incredibly excited to read this book because there are very few books out there with Sikh Punjabi representation. This book did not disappoint at all. The representation, story, characters were all amazing. Something I really enjoyed about the book was how it touched a lot on Goldy's alcoholism because of how big of a problem it is in the Punjabi community. Another aspect which was amazing to read was learning about Mindii's culture as well. You could see how Sunny and Mindii both connected to each other through this learning of each other's culture.
The only reason I would took off .5 is because it was a little slow for me at the beginning. I would 100% recommend this book!!
sunny g has one thing from his late brother: his notebook, which sunny decides to fill up with a series of rash decisions. among these decisions includes not wearing his turban, cutting off his hair, and shaving off his beard. he looks like a new person, and he decides to bring this look to prom, though he has to go alone. mindii vang ends up stealing his notebook, causing sunny to run after her, and make even more rash decisions along the way.
i was so excited when i heard of this story. there are only a handful of young adult books in which the main character stutters, and the story sounded exciting besides that as well. i also like books that take place over a short timeframe, and this one mainly took place on prom night. sunny was also a fun character which i appreciated.
now, for what i didn’t like. i felt like the story bounced around too much. which…i get it, a story about rash decisions will be scattered. but the way this was executed in the book just threw me off. they’d be in one place and then all of a sudden in another, and i had no recollection of them getting to that other place. so, i think the transitions from one place to another could have been better, because it just really confused me and took me out of the story while it was happening. i wasn’t super enthralled by the story itself, either. i’m wondering if this could have been better if it were given a longer timeframe (maybe taking place over the semester/school year rather than one night), but i’m not too sure.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I was tempted to DNF this book. It is not a bad book and that’s some thing I would like to stress. It’s just a book that wasn’t for me, I was bored while reading it and while reading it it felt like a chore to me. And thats not what reading should be.
This book follows Sunny the night of his prom. His brother passed away from alcoholism recently and Sunny has his old journal which has a list of rash decisions. Sunny, not being someone who makes rash decisions, decides to do it and in the process he learns more about his brother. I absolutely loved this box explanation of alcoholism and how it is an illness and a lot of people in society do not take it seriously. I also appreciate all the fun anime and avatar references throughout the book. As an anime avatar lover myself it was so cool. For me personally I just couldn’t connect with the character despite having so much in common with him and I didn’t care for the romance. I didn’t feel any fluttering or “awe 🥺” moments.
The representation of the story is great and I think it is a wonderful book to be on the shelves it’s simply just was not for me 🤷🏻♀️
This book had a few things that were great and wonderful, but overall, I wasn't a fan.
First, I'll mention the things I did like. The representation, Sikh Punjabi, is an obvious positive. I've never read a book with this representation so I was able to learn a lot about the culture and religion as it pertained to our main character, Sunny. As well, we see other representations through his love interest, Mindii, and a couple of other characters throughout the story. The author did a great job of bringing all of this together and telling it in a clear way.
Also, I thought Sunny's voice was a fresh and funny one. We get to hear his confident and outgoing thoughts in his head and then we see how it plays out in real life (which is never the same as his head). I think it would be so fun to have him narrate my life or my favorite tv show.
Now, onto my least favorite things. The beginning of this book was extremely slow. I like a fast beginning or at least a book that sucks me in and doesn't let me go. That wasn't the case with this book. We get lots of background and some flashbacks which I could have lived without. Or which could have been pushed back further into the story. It was just too much, too soon and I instantly grew bored. The story does eventually pick up, but I was already checked out by that point so it was difficult for me to reengage.
Additionally, there's the whole fanfic/fandom deal which is too much, too soon. At the beginning, when we're getting a lot of background and learning who Sunny is, we're also introduced to a fandom he likes. It's a lot of learn and contributes to the slow-ness and overabundance of information.
Lastly, I had bigger hopes for the romance. Like the rest of the book, it was slow. Don't get me wrong. Slow burns are my favorite type of romance, but not when they're boring and don't feel like they're developing at some points.
Overall, while there were some good things about this book, I wouldn't recommend it to others. The story was a good idea and the plot was even fun at some moments, but it wasn't executed well. I won't write this author off for forever because I think he still has some potential for great books in the future.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A few weeks ago @navdeepsinghdhillon was kind enough to send me an e-arc of his book "Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions" and I can happily announce that my printed copy has finally arrived! THANK YOU, DEUTSCHE POST!
This book was definitely written for an awkward brown nerd like me. It's fast paced, full of pop culture references, cosplaying and Punjabi inside jokes. Sunny is probably one of the most relateable main characters, I have ever read. He loves crocheting with his grandma, he stutters, never comes up with a good comeback, uses cringy hashtags and language that is probably outdated in next two years - and it works. It's fun and awkward and as someone who definitely was not a cool kid in school, I felt very seen. Same goes for Sunny's reactions to racist remarks by his popular, white classmate. Yep. Been there. Know how it feels.
The romance is very subtle, which I very much enjoyed. The entire book takes place during prom night, so most of the time, Mindii and Sunny are just vibing and eating. That's my level of romance right there.
While all the female characters in this book are well-developed and fun, the story focuses on male mental health and alcohol abuse. These are some very widespread problems in the Punjabi Diaspora and I applaud the author for writing about them. Our culture and Bhangra music definitely glorify drinking and macho behaviour - I really liked how these bigger topics were discussed while Sunny was grieving. I also liked how Sunny specifically did not fall into these tropes, but stayed an awkward hopeless romantic. Of course, a lot of the young men/ characters we see in this book are alcoholics and I did have to put the book down once due to some of the heavier themes. (Which to me shows that it was well done, but just be aware of it).
Definitely 5/5 stars. I really enjoyed reading about a Sikh main character!
The concept is there and so is the representation of a light-hearted (though it still has some sadness with the death of his older brother) manicpixiedreamgirl romantic comedy. However, I was turned off right from the start and couldn't get myself to engage because I found the writing of the main character cliched to the point of dripping pop culture out of his eyeballs that will date the book so quickly from the overabundant social media conversations to the interactions with the other characters this book would not calm down long enough for me to settle in- it went full throttle without a breath.
**Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Young Readers in association with the New England Library Collaborative Teen Summit for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my rating**
I read the first three chapters of this in a sampler a few months ago and knew I needed to read it in full. I'm so glad I was able to! Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions is such a joyous celebration of nerdy fandom, especially what that looks like with BIPOC characters, which I loved. It also examines grief and love.
Sunny G starts off at prom, where Sunny is expecting the "best night of his life" based on Teen movies. This goes off the rails when Mindii Vang steals his recently deceased brother's notebook, leading them on a wild ride throughout the night as they both discuss loss in their families and make a "series of rash decisions", from trying new foods to cosplay poetry night. The characters in this were really fun to read about. I think a good "comparison" would be it's like a mix of Darius the Great is Not Okay and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist with a little hint of The Sun is Also a Star. The similarities to Darius ALONE guaranteed I would read this (both feature a male BIPOC character who is on a journey of self-discovery and have nods to their respective fandoms, Star Trek for Darius and the Jamie Snollygaster series for Sunny).
The ending of this book, especially, was really sweet and I thought the way the deeper themes of grief and loss and acceptance were handled really well, especially for a debut. I've read some books with similar themes lately that weren't handled with nearly as much grace or care as Dhillon puts into Sunny's ending. I was really impressed with that, as well as how the arc went across the book to lead to that moment. It was a highlight of the book.
The infusion of both the Punjabi and Hmong languages into the book were beautiful and makes me want to listen to the audiobook, as well, so I can hear how it's actually pronounced instead of reading an approximation online. There is a point made that it isn't the way that it's spelled. I loved Mindii's comment that the spelling is "for [her and her culture], not for you all to mangle the pronunciation by what you think it's supposed to sound like." The book is highly quotable like this, but I thought that particular point was well done and something that made me stop and look up the way it was pronounced every time since I was reading the text version.
My only real "gripe" is that there is a LOT of references to Avatar the Last Airbender in this book. I got the Snollygaster references because it's a large part of Sunny's life and an event they go to. I will also add that they delve into other fandoms as the book goes on. But the beginning was frontloaded with a LOT (I counted. It was 12) references to ATLA and how "Sunny only knows it because he watched it with Goldy (his brother)." That is too many for me. I tend to hold pop culture references against a book unless it's thematically relevant and while Mindii is very into ATLA (she dresses like a character), it was clear Sunny knew her references and didn't need to remind us each time that he knew because he watched it with Goldy. Just trust the reader a little more to remember that part and pick maybe the three most relevant references. Past that, it becomes too much for me. But that's my only issue in a otherwise GREAT book! That is excellent.
Overall, I would highly recommend this. It's funny and touching and a great read. I think many people will really love Sunny.
I enjoyed a lot of this book! The discussion Sunny and Mindii had about their cultures was really fun to read, and I'm so glad a fun book about a Brown boy going on a wild rash decision spree on prom night like this exists. I did feel like the themes the book was supposed to be exploring were not conveyed super well, and the resolution was not super satisfying to me, but I still think this was a pretty well-done YA contemporary. I would recommend this to anyone that likes fun rom-coms and thorough discussions of culture, and OH fandoms and cosplay and being a nerd was such a big part of this book and I mostly loved how prominent they were in the story, especially the excessive Avatar references, I was living for those.
DNF after 1 chapter. Didn’t appreciate the use of AAVE and the writing was cringey asf. Also, weird to throw in a Nigerian side character. Felt like they were just adding diversity. I also don’t like when non-Black folks try to write Black folks, even if the author grew up in Nigeria and Tanzania. They often miss the nuances and social aspects of a Black person. HARD PASS.
TW: racism, side character with alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction
From the premise alone, I loved the idea of Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions. Of a list of all these things we wish we would do. That we hold ourselves back from doing. Those, "If only I had the bravery". And so begins Sunny G's night. Sunny has a unique internal narration which you will have to read to believe me. And he was instantly endearing to me. This desire to want to embrace these decisions we are too afraid of. A desire to just be. And the bravery it takes to be us.
So from a thematic or story perspective, I couldn't wait to see where Sunny's night would go. Where our lives could go if we just took a moment to say yes. All these expectations we have of our life and of experiences. The moment we need to throw them out of the door. To embrace the spontaneity. But in Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions, there's also deep emotional vulnerability. Sunny is still reeling from the grief of his brother. Trying to figure out who his brother was and who he was to him.
I feel really bad sometimes when I put a book on the dnf pile. But here’s the thing, if I keep reading a book that I don’t like I’m going to give it a low rating and I’m taking time away that could be spent on books that I do enjoy.
Based on the description and the adorable cover I was really excited to read this book. But I honestly don’t think the description makes it clear how much of the story revolves around cosplay and anime. I don’t know anything about either. And I like learning new things, so I’m open to reading about something I’m not familiar with. But if the whole story makes the subject such a big part of the plot and assumes that I’ll already understand it? Then what happens is I’m completely lost.
I thought Sunny and Mindii were both good characters. I was rooting for him with his list of rash decisions. It’s a pretty serious story at times because Sunny is still trying to process his brother’s death a year earlier. It deals with alcoholism. It gives you characters with diverse backgrounds snd explains interesting details about their family’s backgrounds, their culture’s foods and some interesting historical details as well.
But I just couldn’t get past all the cosplay/anime. I tried, I really did. I made it about 175 pages, around 55 percent of the way, into this 300 page book. It was time for me to stop trying.
This will be a classic YA for this generation. The plot mostly takes place over one night, but the pacing is superb. Reading this book was like reading a hug, even with the conflicts and disagreements. Navdeep Singh Dhillon is a marvelous writer, I can't wait to enjoy what he writes next. Thanks to NetGalley and Dial Books for the early edition.
I love reading books about culture different from my own, because it brings me into a world that I've never experienced and teaches me something. Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions did just that for me.
In this heartwarming and fast-paced novel takes place over a day, Sunny is hoping to completely reinvent himself after his brother's tragic death. The only thing Sunny has left of his brother is a notebook and he decides to make a series of rash decisions in order to live life to the fullest, which is far from his usual personality. When Sunny meets Mindii, the night starts to get interesting and what ensues is a journey of self-discovery and fun.
This is the first book I've read with a Sikh Punjabi main character. Sunny was such a fun hero and I found him incredibly endearing. From his stutter to his loyalty to friends and family, Sunny grew as a character (even in such a short timespan of the story). I appreciated his grief journey and how frank and honest he spoke about it throughout the book. I found myself highlighting many passages, as they are helpful with my own grief journey. I also loved Mindii's portrayal as reckless and impulsive, but then also enjoyed learning about her Hmong culture and history.
Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions was a fun and entertaining YA novel. It publishes February 8.
CWs: Alcoholism/Alcohol discussion and consumption, ableism, addiction to alcohol (side characters), bullying, child death, death, death of grandparent, grief, racial slurs, racism, xenophobia.
This just…wasn’t it. The novel has so much potential, but I felt like it tried to do too much too fast. I’m bummed about it because so many kids that don’t often see themselves reflected in a novel would see themselves here! Our protagonist are Sikh and Hmong and I learned a ton about both cultures - that is probably the one shining light in this book for me. The characters are super into cosplay and their respective fandoms which kids could also identify with. The main character, Sunny, is also grappling with his grief and anger after his brother died due to his battle with addiction. SO MUCH potential! However, it went too fast. The entire novel took place between the start of prom, an evening event, and 4:30 am that next morning. What all happened between? Far too much. If I remember correctly they: went to prom, left prom, went to Sunny’s family Barsi for his brother’s death anniversary, visited their friend Ngozi’s family event, went to Denny’s, put on cosplay, went to the Hmong market, went to Mindii’s (the Hmong, love interest protagonist) family bakery, went to Sunny’s family store, visited a donut shop/cafe with a cosplay poetry slam, went to a cosplay party (and the cops showed up which was NOT resolved), stole (borrowed?) an ice cream truck, went to a DND campaign at the library, back to the poetry slam, and finally a visit with the ghost of the brother (except it was all a dream). I’m all for the suspension of disbelief but DANG you expect me to believe they fit that into one evening while likely dealing with Fresno, California traffic? FresNO way. This isn’t even touching the way holes in the plot we’re unrealistically resolved or left gaping open. Or that everyone involved in the story was SUPER into cosplay.
Anyway - If you couldn’t tell - not my vibe. Some of my 7th grade students sound interested in it, so maybe they’ll convince me to change my view? But I doubt it…
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
There was a lot in this book that I liked, from the friendships to the grief, to the family dynamics, to the burgeoning romance between Sunny and Mindii. However, I think one of the issues was that maybe I wasn’t meant to be the target audience for this book in that, I’m not a huge fan of any particular thing. I don’t do cosplay, I don’t write fan fiction, I don’t go to Comic-Con and I think a lot of the book relied on some knowledge of a particular fanbase that I’m not even remotely familiar with. And I think had I been more familiar with it, maybe this book would’ve resonated more. As it is, I liked the family stuff and the friendship stuff and Sunny coming to terms with his grief over losing his brother and I just wish there had been more of that instead of all the fanbase stuff that was interwoven into it. Regardless, the book was charming and I would definitely read this author again.
CW: grief, off page death of brother, alcoholism, recover, rehab
This book was so fun to read! It often had me laughing out loud with some of the punjabi phrases used such as "inchie tape" and watching the tea "ubbal", I loved seeing this kind of punjabi representation which I rarely ever see in books! I enjoyed the fact Sunny and his personality moved away from the stereotypical moody brooding guy. His distinct personality made me fall in love with the book and I looked forward to sitting down and reading it after a long day at work.
Although it was a fun read the author did an amazing job at portraying grief and the problems of alcoholism in the punjabi community. I cannot wait to see more from this author!!