- Reading level: 12+ years
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Simon Pulse (30 May 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1481478680
- ISBN-13: 978-1481478687
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 21 cm
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
When Dimple Met Rishi Hardcover – 30 May 2017
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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, shes more than ready for a break from her family, from Mammas 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 wouldnt have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developersright Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as himwherein hell have to woo herhes 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 didnt mean to start turning the wheels on this suggested arrangement so early in their childrens 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.
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I have even decided the cast in my head:
Dimple- Deepika Padukone
Rishi- Ayushman Khuranna
All tracks and background music by Arijit.
Yes, that's right. This book is literally like reading a modern bollywood romance!
WHAT I LIKED : I ADORED how this book showcased how arranged marriages really are. yes there are a few horrible families that send off their daughters and sons to marry perfect strangers but this is how it normally is. And I am so glad Sandhya Menon showcased it for what it truly is. No, parents don’t tie up their daughter in a rice sack and unload her at the wedding hall to marry someone she hates. No, they don’t kill her for not liking the first proposal that walked through the door. (Atleast not if they are sane). And this showed it off in the best manner possible. A lot of the arrange marriages I know sort of went with an informal meeting and then developed into affection which is how it is shown in this book and I’m relieved she has shown this in the light that it is meant to be shown.
Dimple and Rishi as characters are so realistic that I felt like I was reading about my friends. I love how unstable and emotional Dimple is, true to being a teenager who is being told that “a girl must marry and always look pretty” when she completely believes the opposite. Rishi is a true blue Bollywood style romantic good boy. Obedient to his parents yet willing to concede in certain aspects to the girl he has been told he is to marry.
WHAT I DISLIKED : While I am glad it is Indian I would have been a little happy if it didn’t have a lot of Bollywood clichés. Yes this is new and unique to foreigners but it isn’t al that uncommon to the rest of India and it once again north Indian washes the whole country. But that is all that I had a problem with, nothing else. And to be fair I am being super picky about this since it does represent India to an international audience who already thing India is Bollywood-Hindi and Naan.
I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a light read. This isn’t only limited to a YA audience. If you love big gestures and typical Rom-coms you will adore this book. It is also helpful if you are in a reading slump and want something to destroy it.
P.S. For those saying Dimple isn’t a realistic name, yes it is, shut up. For those saying she is annoying, yes she is, she is also eighteen and I can very well imagine how you are/were/are going to be at the same age. Stop whining and enjoy the damn book.
However, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to say this – since I just finished this book, and I am attempting to review it right away (unlike other books, where I let my feelings settle), I am possibly still in the bubble of joy that I was in, while reading this book, so my views are most likely biased in that sense.
But hey, if any book can put you in this kind of a happy bubble, I feel it totally deserves the gush.
But that’s not even the point. Honestly guys, I am just so happy that this book exists.
And there are several reasons for this, but the most important one is the fact that finally Desi kids in US will be able to see themselves and their culture represented in a book – front & center, and not just as a token character/reference to make the book seem more diverse. God knows we have enough of those!
Okay, to begin with – I loved the premise. It’s not the typical boy-meets-girl romance (well okay in some ways it is), these two get introduced because of an ‘arrangement’ for them to meet (an arrangement that only one of them – Rishi – is aware of) at Insomnia Con – a summer camp for budding coders, which is exactly what Dimple is.
She is the only daughter of immigrant parents, and has always felt this pressure from her mother to conform to the Indian way of life, while she has always felt American. Of-course the definitions of both those titles are debatable, and unfold as the story progresses, but for now, this background is important to know to truly understand Dimple.
Dimple also has a love affair with web development (and is extremely gifted in this area, which is why she got accepted into Stanford) and has this huge girl crush on Jenny Lindt, one of the top female entrepreneurs in the country, who is not only Dimple’s idol, but according to her, is also the shining beacon for the coming wave of girls in tech (Loved this thread of subtle feminism!).
In-fact Dimple’s reason for attending Insomnia Con is two fold – primarily to develop the app of her dreams, which will save thousands of lives, but more importantly to meet (and work with) Jenny Lindt, which happens to be the prize for winning Insomnia Con.
Rishi on the other hand, being the hopeless romantic he is, is attending Insomnia Con mostly to meet and get to know Dimple, because while he is accepted in an engineering program in MIT, web development isn’t his true calling. The thing that he is truly passionate about is creating Comics. But try telling that to Indian parents, right?
Which is why, Rishi doesn’t, and lives in denial, deliberately slotting his passion as his hobby. And no it’s not because he is a coward, he just cares deeply about the people in his life, and wants to do right by them, even if that costs him his dream (which again, he doesn’t believe is his dream, because, you know…denial).
Having said that, Rishi has many many wonderful layers to him. This is a boy who is sure of himself, who is grounded in his identity and his culture, and has no qualms about it. He not only accepts his cultural legacy, but revels in it.
There is a particular paragraph in this book, where he speaks about how he feels about his culture, his legacy, and his world view being an Indian growing up in America. And that is precisely when I fell in love with his character.
“I feel like I need to speak out, because if no one speaks out, if no one says, ‘This is me, this is what I believe in, and this is why I’m different, and this is why that’s okay’, then what’s the point? What’s the point of living in this beautiful, great melting pot where everyone can dare to be anything they want to be?”
To make a long story short, Rishi is just everything good and right in the world, wrapped in one hard-to-resist package.
Read full review on my blog - Shanaya Tales Dot Com.
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