Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi
By Sandhya Menon
Published: May 30, 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.

My review:

Dimple is thrilled and surprised when her parents agree to let her go to Insomnia Con, a summer coding and web developing program at SFSU. It will be an amazing boost to her career prospects and the prize involves working with her idol, web developer Jenny Lindt to develop a real app. Of course she doesn't know that there is a catch. Her parents are hoping to set her up with Rishi Patel, the son of their friends. Rishi thinks that Dimple knows about him and their parents' hope for an arranged marriage between the two of them down the road. So he shows up at camp and introduces himself by saying "Hello, future wife!" which of course doesn't go very well. Dimple is beyond annoyed with her family. She'd hoped they'd support her education and career goals instead of just wanting her to get married. After all, she just graduated from high school!

Rishi has a completely different view of things. He is a dutiful son who wants to please his parents (the polar opposite of his rebellious younger brother) so he agrees to go to Insomnia Con, thinking that Dimple also agreed to their being set up. Unfortunately that is not the case but Rishi is determined to stay on at Insomnia Con and help Dimple win the contest. He may be a dreamer with a different view of arranged marriage (his own parents' arranged marriage story was very romantic which influences his views), but Rishi is a decent guy. As he and Dimple are forced to spend time together as project teammates, they start to become friends and perhaps something more.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. It isn't the first book about arranged marriage I've read but this one took a different turn which I liked a lot. Dimple and Rishi are really young still and I really liked Dimple and definitely related to her view of things. She and Rishi do make a good couple but I liked that their relationship developed more organically. 

Having grown up in a family that tried to push me several times into arranged marriages, I could appreciate Dimple's frustration (although my parents value education more and waited a few years longer than Dimple's did). Thankfully Dimple's parents aren't portrayed as ogres.They do love their daughter even if they were misguided and they support her career aspirations (though her mom is still pretty old fashioned about it). 

Aside from the romance, the book also involves friendship, nerd culture and family relationships. Both Rishi and Dimple have to figure out how to bridge the gap between their parents' dreams and expectations for them and their own dreams and plans. Dimple is really smart and she knows what she wants to do with her life but she wants her parents to believe in her too. Rishi has to decide if he wants to go into the family business or follow a more impractical career path but do something he truly loves.

Overall I thought this was a fun and enjoyable book. At times I was reminded of the movie Bend it Like Beckham. I would have loved this book as a teen (I grew up during a time when people like me weren't represented in teen literature at all). Even though it is a book about two Indian teens I think it has some themes that would appeal to teens universally. It is challenging to break away from your parents' dreams for you to follow your own and figure out what you want in life. 

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. I loved this book and read it in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. I could also relate to this book very much considering I come from a similar background. Glad you enjoyed it too. I wouldn't mind a companion novel following Ashish.

  2. I love the sound of this book and I am so glad I have a copy. I hope to read it this summer. I think the message is an important one and would definitely resonate with teens. Great review, Christina!

  3. I've heard so many great thing about this one, and I have it on my wishlist. I'm definitely going to have to break down and buy it soon. Great review!

  4. Glad to see this book getting so many positive reviews. It looks so cute, which made me add it to my eventual-TBR. Hopefully I'll read it sooner rather than later. :)


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