Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Published by: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 2nd January 2018
Pages: 320, ebook
Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance
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.
When Dimple Met Rishi was one of my most anticipated YA releases of this year, and I have seen a huge number of reviews, some glowing with praise, others full of criticism. I had high expectations when I started this book, and unfortunately I was a little disappointed, although there were definitely parts of the book that I loved.
Possibly the best element of When Dimple Met Rishi, and something that it has been praised for in every single review I have seen, is the representation. Both of the main characters are Indian-American, and the whole way through the book there were references to Indian culture, as well discussions between the two protagonists on their own identities, and how they are treated by others. Personally, I found this part of the book very interesting and educational.
Honestly, I was not a huge fan of the dual perspectives in this novel – I have no problem with a story having more than one point of view, but personally I find that when a book flips too often between the two perspectives, as this book did, it can be a bit jarring. Nonetheless, I thought the writing was lighthearted and funny, and both Rishi and Dimple’s narratives were distinguishable and consistent, so it was very enjoyable to read!
There were aspects of the plot I loved, and aspects I really didn’t like. For example, I thought the setting of the book, a coding camp, was really cool and unlike anything else I had read in YA! However, there was virtually no coding in the story at all, which was disappointing, as Dimple was so passionate about coding, and it would have been a great thing to hear more about. I did like the parts in the novel which focused on Rishi’s love of drawing, and I thought that was a subplot that was interesting and well-developed!
I liked Rishi as a character – I thought he was really down to earth and well-mannered, and I loved how he refused to let the other characters in the novel walk all over him. I did not like Dimple as much, primarily just because she perpetuated the ‘not like other girls’ trope and was often very rude to Rishi (although I did love her refusal to tolerate any misogyny or double-standards from anyone else in the book!). And for me, their relationship was a little too close to insta-love for my liking – that said, when they weren’t being too intense about their feelings for one another, I thought they were really cute together, and had great chemistry!
Overall, I did like When Dimple Met Rishi; there were little things in the book that hindered my enjoyment slightly, and sadly it did not meet the high hopes I had, but I completely understand why so many other people love this book. If you have not read it already, I would recommend giving it a go yourself, as it is a very fun and light read!