Monday, June 26, 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Hachette via NetGalley

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.
Review by Nara

When Dimple Met Rishi was a nice fluffy contemporary which I think will appeal to most readers of contemporary coming of age/romance novels. The story focuses on Dimple, an Indian American girl who is set up in an arranged marriage with a family friend's son, despite her not wanting to be married and wanting to focus on her career in web app development.

I think what made this book quite good, despite the relatively simple story, was how there was a large focus on Indian culture. I have to admit I don't know a lot about Indian culture except for what I gleaned from reading a book named A Fine Balance back when I was in high school. It was interesting to see the different value that Dimple's mother put on things like beauty and making "a good wife" etc. And looking at reviews from bloggers who have Indian backgrounds, it seems like Menon does an excellent job in portraying the Indian culture properly.

The character development was pretty decent, with Dimple being a young woman with relateable aspirations and ways of thinking. Rishi on the other hand was less Americanised and was more focused on traditional Indian values, and I think the balance between the two worked well. While the romance did seem a little bit on the swift side, it was still quite adorable. They are obviously pretty compatible, despite Dimple being pretty reluctant to become friends with Rishi in the first place.

Overall, a novel that was needed in the current diversity-seeking environment of young adult. Would definitely recommend to those looking for a light contemporary romance.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 2/5