When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Synopsis: Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
About the Author: Sandhya Menon is the author of When Dimple Met Rishi. She was born and raised in India on a steady diet of Bollywood movies and street food, and blames this upbringing for her obsession with happily-ever-afters, bad dance moves, and pani puri. Now she lives in Colorado, where she’s on a mission to (gently) coerce her husband and children watch all 3,220 Bollywood movies she claims as her favorite. Visit her online at SandhyaMenon.com.
Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance
More Info: Kindle edition, 380 pages, published by Simon Pulse on May 30, 2017
When Dimple Met Rishi is a book that follows . . . you guessed it, Dimple and Rishi.
Dimple is a school/career focused, Indian-American, who loves coding. She doesn’t see eye to eye with her mother’s view on marriage. And she wants to experience life on her own. So, she is heading to Stanford at the end of the summer. But with weeks still ahead of her before she goes to college, she discovers Insomnia Con 2017 and immediately wants to go. When she finds out that the winning prize may include a concept critique with Jenny Lindt, her web development idol, she pleads with her parents let her go to the summer camp. She is skeptical when her parents agree, but takes their compliance and runs with it.
In San Francisco, Dimple meets her roommate . . . and her mother’s pick for her “Ideal Indian Husband.”
Rishi is a hopeless romantic. He goes to Insomnia Con ready to meet his life partner through an arranged marriage set up by his parents. He believes Dimple knows about the arrangement. But she doesn’t, so things go seriously wrong.
“Hello, future wife,” he said, his voice bubbling with glee. “I can’t wait to get started on the rest of our lives!”
Dimple stared at him for the longest minute. The only word her brain was capable of producing, in various tonal permutations was: What? What?
Dimple didn’t know what to think. Serial killer? Loony bin escapee? Strangely congenial mugger? Nothing made sense. So she did the only thing she could think to do in the moment—she flung her iced coffee at him and ran the other way.
They end up partnered together to work on the project for the competition. With Dimple’s idea and Rishi’s art, they attempt to make a great app to help people with medical problems, like her father’s diabetes and his inability to keep up with the changes to his prescriptions. They bond over meals, hard work, dancing, and fun. They challenge each other and fall in love despite Dimple’s vehemence not to commit to a serious relationship.
This book is amazing. I was smiling and laughing at various points. This novel just made me so happy. I laughed out loud at the scene where they first met (see above). I grinned at the description of Rishi fan(boy)ing for his favorite comic book artist. I’m pretty sure if I met some of my favorite authors, I would be incapable of speech as well. It was such a perfect and relatable moment.
That being said, I can see myself in so many aspects of the main characters. Like Rishi, I regularly call my parents to check in and talk about my day/problems. Dimple allowing Rishi to stay and be her partner out of guilt for her harsh treatment. I feel guilty a lot, sometimes for no reason at all, and can relate to worrying about human interaction. Also like Dimple, I get obsessive over my work. I’m a perfectionist at heart and want the end result to be perfect.
Despite my perfectionist philosophy, I enjoyed Dimple’s flaws. They are what make her so real and personable. There was some controversy over Dimple throwing coffee on Rishi, but I think her reaction was somewhat practical. I also enjoyed Dimple’s dedication to learning and education.
I wouldn’t mind me a Rishi Patel. As a student myself, I related to Rishi’s struggle of finding a career that is stable VS enjoyable. He is so attentive and considerate. The “date” that he takes Dimple on was so thoughtful and so perfect. He is down to earth too. Despite Rishi’s parents being rich, Rishi is not snobby. This is shown directly by the difference between Rishi and Celia’s friends.
Speaking of Celia, she was a good addition to character list. Her relationship with Ashish, Rishi’s younger brother, is like a story within a story.
Another interesting, albeit less mentioned, character is Dimple’s mom. Her mom is pushy and traditional. They don’t exactly relate. Her mom wants her to wear makeup and become a wife. Dimple wants to further her education and, like most teenagers, occasionally be lazy. The progression of their relationship at the end made me content. Although they weren’t present for the whole story, I was happy to see parental representation (for both Dimple and Rishi) in YA.
The cultural representation and search for identity were amazing. All views of the Indian-American culture were presented in a straightforward manner. The traditional vs non-traditional lifestyles were also shown. There are Hindi terms flawlessly incorporated through dress and customs. Seeing Dimple’s struggle with her Indian half and Rishi’s acceptance, demonstrate the multicultural struggle to fit in and to determine self.
One of the main points in the book is the dismissal and stereotyping of the rich, white people. While the “Amberzombies” do function to show aspects of the main characters’ personalities, the plot could have gone is so many different ways. I think Cait says it best in her review: A Page With a View: When Dimple Met Rishi Review. I was uncomfortable with the party scene when Dimple pressures Rishi to drink. Yes, peer pressure is real, and that scene shows how there can be a potential for danger through Rishi’s hesitation.
This is an amazing, diverse, fluffy contemporary book. However, I wish there was more about the coding and app development. But the pieces of plot match up nicely. The dual POVs made the story fresh, although I had a hard time distinguishing between their voice once or twice. The ending was somewhat cliché, but it brought the story full circle in an adorable fashion.
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If you're looking for a diverse (Indian-American) romantic-comedy, then you should read When Dimple Met Rishi. It's a contemporary YA book, filled with humor, reality, love, flaws, culture, and identity. 📱🖍️ #bookstagram #bookblog #bookblogger # YAbook #bookreview #PoreOverthePages #WhenDimpleMetRishi
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