Mythological Goddess Spotting in...10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY by Sandhya Menon (+ Enter to WIN a copy!)

Love fairy tales and mythology?
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!

One of my all-time favorite sub-genres to read is fantasy that is inspired by or retelling a myth or fairy tale. When I see such lore inserted into contemporary novels, I weep with joy.

I love that it isn't just fantasy that gets these beautiful cameos, or even "modern-day retellings." Full on, normal, every day contemporary novels. Or historical. Or sci-fi. Or even non-fiction. When I see these inclusions, I get overjoyed.

When I was reading 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY by Sandhya Menon, I was delighted to see a couple of winks to the goddess Kali, whom Pinky adores, and readers are introduced to the goddess briefly, and then reminded of her in seemingly throw-away lines that seamlessly define Pinky and help flesh her out more, as you'll see below.

I grew up learning about Greek and Roman mythology, with a little bit of Egyptian and Norse sprinkled in, but I've always been so curious about the various mythologies in many countries throughout the world. This is one reason I was so overjoyed when Disney and Rick Riordan launched the Rick Riordan Presents line.

Recently, I have been really curious to learn more about Hindu mythology. The intrigue started when I read the delightful ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME by Roshani Chokshi -- I particularly loved an offhanded remark when you talked about how Urvashi made an outfit from skipped heartbeats that she sewed herself and wanted to read that story! I know next month, I'll be absolutely enchanted when I read the highly-anticipated fantasy debut STAR DAUGHTER by Shveta Thakrar, and have even more myths and gods and goddesses I'll want to read about. And now, thanks to PINKY, I want to know all about Kali!

According to Wikipedia,

Kali (/ˈkɑːliː/, Sanskrit: काली, IAST: Kālī), also known as Kālikā (Sanskrit: कालिका) or Shyāmā (Sanskrit: श्यामा), is a Hindu goddess. Kali is the chief of the Mahavidyas, a group of ten Tantric goddesses. Kali's earliest appearance is that of a destroyer of evil forces. She is the most powerful form of Shakti, and the goddess of one of the four subcategories of the Kulamārga, a category of Tantric Saivism. She destroys the evil in order to protect the innocent. Over time, Kali has been worshipped by devotional movements and tantric sects variously as the Divine Mother, Mother of the Universe, Adi Shakti, or Adi Parashakti. Shakta Hindu and Tantric sects additionally worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman.She is also seen as the divine protector and the one who bestows moksha, or liberation.[1] Kali is often portrayed standing or dancing on her consort, the Hindu god Shiva, who lies calm and prostrate beneath her. Kali is worshipped by Hindus throughout India and Nepal.

I'm not going to sit here and feed you the entire Wikipedia entry, which you can read here. But reading that short history was thrilling, and now I want to go and read all of the original tales because Kali is such a bad-ass female and why isn't there a whole fantasy novel inspired by her already? (But I do hope she'll pop up in Aru Shah since she plays a role in the Mahabharata-- or maybe she has and I don't remember!! I'm also behind on the series, eek...)

 Here are some sneak peeks at snippets from 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY that introduce us to Kali and her importance to Pinky.

First, of course, we have the introduction -- in the form of a bathing suit line. Something so innocuous as fashion has roots in mythology, and Pinky introduces us to the kick-ass goddess Kali:

©Copyright Sandhya Menon and Simon Pulse
From Pages 31-32, US e-ARC edition

Next, we have a couple of seemingly throw-away lines that mention Kali, and refer back to her Pinky's love of her while defining her further as a character:

©Copyright Sandhya Menon and Simon Pulse
From Page 75, US e-ARC edition

©Copyright Sandhya Menon and Simon Pulse
From Page 192, US e-ARC edition

©Copyright Sandhya Menon and Simon Pulse
From Page 277, US e-ARC edition

These little moments just added to the characterization of Pinky, while also slipping in some lore that I instantly was intrigued by and wanted to read more about. I love when books do that, you know? I love it when it's lore I adore which gives me that happy "gooey, bursting heart" sensation, but I also really love when it introduces me to something new and makes me want to go out and research and read all the things.

Is it just me, or do these moments get to you as well?


If you are able to, please purchases a copy from indie-owned Wellesley Books, who will be hosting Sandhya Menon's virtual launch party for PINKY!

You can order online through Bookshop and -- the store will receive a portion of the proceeds and it will help so much!

Interested in attending the PINKY Launch Party?
Sandhya Menon will be in conversation with Becky Albertalli (SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, WHAT IF IT'S US, YES NO MAYBE SO)
Tuesday, July 21st at 7 pm EST.

Sign up for the Zoom Webinar now!


You also have a chance to WIN A COPY of PINKY below -- it's truly the perfect summer read! It takes place during Pinky and Samir's summer vacation. I don't know about you, but personally, I love reading books that take place in "real time." I loved this book so much that I've already read it twice, and now I want you to have a chance to read it as well!

Enter below!


O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Sandhya Menon
Release Date: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Simon Pulse / Simon & Schuster
Received: For Review

Purchase Links:
BOOKSHOP *Order from and support your local indie or Wellesley Books, who is hosting the PINKY Virtual Launch Party! *


The follow-up to WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI and THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE follows Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date—with disastrous and hilarious results. 

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. 


You could win...

-  A copy of 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY by Sandhya Menon!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL
wherever Book Depository ships!

You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!

Winner will be emailed and must respond within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen.

Enter now!

...Stop by tomorrow for another chance to win, and check out yesterday's interview with Sandhya Menon for another chance to win!