Published by Simon Pulse on May 30th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.
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.
One of my goals this year was to read more diverse books and the one that I kept hearing about is WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI. I was intrigued by the title and the cover of the book. It sounded like an interesting read because of the names. They aren’t names that you might hear every day. WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is about Indian culture specifically arranged marriage and diverging from typical beliefs that Indian families pass on from generation to generation.
Dimple is a character that stands behind her beliefs. She feels that her family beliefs are a burden on her, in a way. She does not believe in finding the “ideal Indian Husband” but instead wants to go to school, get a job, and do what she loves. She is passionate about being herself. She does not wear makeup, she embraces her true self, and she doesn’t change for others. I love that she is confident enough to be herself despite what her mother wants her to be. She fights for what she believes in despite her mother having different beliefs. Dimple doesn’t want to find the “ideal Indian Husband” and be a stay at home wife/mother. She wants to work and make her own path. She is a very inspirational character to anyone.
Rishi is very different from Dimple. He knows about the arranged marriage between him and Dimple and is a character that wants to please his parents. He wants to follow what they believe and please them. Rishi comes from a wealthy family but does not fall into the rich family stereotype that he is surrounded with at school/Insomnia Con. Through the short time that he was at Insomnia Con with Dimple he started to form his own opinions and be himself instead of follow what his parents wanted. Dimple inspired Rishi to be himself without even meaning to. He was able to let more of his personality out around Dimple.
The humor in this book made it so much fun to read. I absolutely loved the snarky nature that Dimple and Rishi had. Together they were both hilarious. The arranged marriage aspect of Indian culture interests me so much because it’s hard to think about that being relevant today, but it is relevant in some cultures. Dimple was really against it and instead wanted to focus on herself and her career. She respected her parents and their beliefs, but really wanted to do what was right for herself.
The contemporary aspect of the book was so adorable. Dimple and Rishi just clicked upon their first (or second…) meeting. I loved that the love story wasn’t the main part of the book. There were other things going on throughout the whole story like Dimple’s friendship with Celia, Rishi and Ashish, and Insomnia Con with everything else but the relationship between Dimple and Rishi being the main focus.
Sandhya’s writing was so easy to follow. I loved every minute of this book and really wanted to savor it, but also wanted to know what happened. I can’t wait to read more from Sandhya! I loved learning about a culture that I am not familiar with at all. I loved how the book gave me a look into the Indian culture while encouraging readers to be themselves and not be pressured into doing what your family wants.
Overall I would highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a diverse read from a debut author. It deserves all of the attention that it has received and will receive.