When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Published May 30th, 2017
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.
I rated When Dimple Met Rishi 4/5 stars.
This review, like all of my reviews, is spoiler-free.
When Dimple Met Rishi is about, well, Dimple and Rishi: two Indian teenagers growing up in America with vastly different perspectives on life. Dimple is a strong feminist with a penchant for coding, annoying her traditional Indian mother, and paving her own path. Rishi, on the other hand, takes great pride in his heritage and wants to please his family by being the perfect Indian son, which includes a quasi-arranged marriage to the fierce and fiery Dimple Shah. Their parents arrange for them to meet at Insomnia Con, a summer camp for teenage coders, at which Rishi plans to woo his future wife. The only problem? Dimple had no idea that she and Rishi were betrothed.
This book absolutely oozes sticky, gooey, adorable teenage romance, but it doesn’t necessarily start out that way. The balance of sass and sweetness is impeccable and so tastefully done. Our two main characters, Dimple and Rishi, are such perfect compliments to each other whether they’re at each others’ throats or gazing into each others’ eyes. They’re charming and quirky and really, really, really perfect. Also, Rishi Patel may have shattered my boyfriend expectations, but that’s whatever.
I absolutely adored the juxtaposition of the geeky coder vibes and the traditional Indian influences. These two aesthetics meshed so well together that they were practically seamless. Menon dropped so many phrases in Hindu that I started to recognize what they meant regardless of their context, but there was enough context to not feel overwhelming. I do wish that Menon had written a little more about the coding aspect, but the book was packed so full with romance, there was hardly any wiggle room.
Toward the end of the book, Menon added in a subplot involving Rishi’s younger brother, Ashish, that felt largely insignificant in terms of the entire plot. Ashish was an entertaining character and I enjoyed reading about how his typical-jock personality contrasted so drastically with Rishi’s. However, he didn’t serve much of a purpose other than to restate how different Rishi was from the average American teenage boy.
I think this book can be summed up by the image on the back: Dimple, wearing an orange kurta and big “geek” glasses, throws iced coffee on Rishi with a grimace on her face. Dimple’s fire and sense of individuality, set in contrast with Rishi’s sense of tradition and propriety, makes for a delectable tale that’s sweet enough to give you cavities.
Have you read When Dimple Met Rishi? What did you think?