When Dimple Met Rishi Review

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Rating: 4/5
Source: Netgalley

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 think I missed the hype train on this book a little bit, but I had heard so much about it over the last couple of months that when I saw it on Netgalley I just had to request it.

I haven't read much fiction from cultural backgrounds other than my own, excluding American (technically a different culture to a Brit) so this was really interesting. I liked that at the start of the book there was a lot of variations in the language spoken, it really conveyed the Indian-American lifestyle.

The majority of the book is told from Dimple's P.O.V. with a healthy sprinkling of Rishi chapters in their too.

I liked Dimple as a character, but it was Rishi that I really connected with. Comicbook artist, dorky smile wearing, family loving Rishi. I'm definitely a family first kind of person, so Dimple's need to get away from her parents didn't resonate with me as much as Rishi's desire to keep his parents happy. I love the two of them together though.

Ashish and Celia were brilliant secondary characters, I particularly enjoyed their scenes together. Other than the 'Aberzombies' (you know the sort, popular for being rich and good-looking) and the summer program instructor, Max, we didn't see much of the other students which was a shame.

Something I noticed was that Sandhya Menon left it just enough pages for you to start getting used to the pronounciation of a name, before slipping in that you were reading it wrong. I pronounced Rishi 'Reeshee' until Dimple corrected the other characters in a conversation over dinner, and then when Rishi's brother Ashish came into the story I said his name how it was spelt until it was pointed out that his name was 'Asheesh'. It was a comical observation, not a legit complaint just so you know.

My favourite scenes in the book were those that showed Rishi off as being an artist, as someone who doesn't even have the ability to draw stickmen, it's nice to read about that passion and creativity. I just loved Rishi in this book in general, when he gets to meet his comic book idol I felt the strongest connection to him, I too made an arse out myself when I met my idol - so I get you man.

The only thing that I didn't like so much was how quickly Dimple seemed to change her values, she even seemed to become self aware of this towards the end of the book. In my opinion,, this was less a book about girl who doesn't want to get married and more about a girl who just hadn't met the right guy. A lot of people who say they don't ever want a relationship are met with, "you'll change your mind when you meet mr/mrs right", obviously this was the case for Dimple but I thought she might put up a fight for longer than she did considering she how headstrong she was in the opening chapters.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, it just wasn't what I thought it was going to be. In hindsight that was probably my own fault, with a title like 'When Dimple Met Rishi' it was obvious that this was going to be a love story and not a 'lets just stay single' story. I'd recommend to any fans of YA, in particular romance, but also to anyone trying for a little diversity this summer.

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