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.
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Simon Pulse
Four and a half stars: A wonderful exploration of Indian culture, along with an adorable romance.
Dimple cannot wait to start school at Stanford, especially because she will get to test her wings and be free of her domineering mother. Dimple is so tired of hearing how she must find the perfect Indian boy, get married and have a family. Dimple loves computers and coding, and she wants a career. When an opportunity arises to attend an elite coding conference at San Francisco State University, Dimple wants desperately to go, but she doesn’t think her parents will pay for the program. She is completely stunned when they agree. Little does she know, their quick accession is because they have an ulterior motive. Rishi Patel, the son of their old friends, is also headed to the conference, and Dimple’s parents might have arranged for Dimple to marry Rishi. Needless to say, when a young Indian man walks up to Dimple on her first day in San Fransisco and tells her that she is going to be his future wife, she is stunned. How will Dimple get out of the marriage arrangement?
What I Liked:
- When Dimple Met Rishi is a terrific book. I liked that it exposed me to the Indian culture, that it had wonderful characters and an adorable romance. This is a book I would have passed on because of the cheesy cover, but thanks to the brilliant reviews, I picked this one up, and I am so glad I did. If you want a cultural experience with a fun romance, this is one to grab for summer.
- I loved learning more about the Indian culture. The author immerses the reader into the Indian culture. It was interesting to explore Indian customs and beliefs as well as learn words and terms. I especially liked seeing how two American Indians balanced their Indian backgrounds and beliefs in American culture. I loved that the author gives readers a chance to learn more about a different culture.
- Dimple and Rishi are fantastic lead characters. The book is told with alternating view points, so you get to be inside both of their heads. At first, I wasn’t sure about Dimple because she was standoffish and stubborn, but as the story evolved I loved her. What I admired the most about Dimple is her drive and determination. She wants a career, and she wants to do something important. I loved that she never lost sight of her goals. I also liked that she was nerdy, shy and awkward. Yet, she is beautiful and intelligent. She is a wonderful role model. Then there is Rishi, talk about swoon. Like with Dimple, it took me some time to warm up to him, but once I did, I adored him. I loved how kind, considerate and patient he was. Talk about a romantic at heart. I especially loved how Rishi wasn’t intimated by the popular boys. He always stood his ground. He is amazing. We need more guys like Rishi in YA romance.
- I loved the strong focus on family. Both Dimple and Rishi’s parents are supportive and very much a part of the story. In fact, two of my favorite parts of the story were when Dimple had a heart to heart with her mother, and when Rishi sat down with his father and discussed his future. I loved that both sets of parents were involved and played big roles in the story. I also enjoyed the evolution of Rishi’s relationship with his younger brother.
- The romance is all kinds of fun. First, don’t be put off by the whole arranged marriage thing. I know that is such a hard concept for many people to wrap their head around. Yes, there is sort of an agreement, but Dimple is free to make up her own mind. What follows is the formation of a friendship after a prickly beginning. This friendship evolves beautifully and slowly into something so much more. I loved seeing the couple come together and fall in love. It had all the lovely butterfly moments, and plenty of swoony feelings as well. It was a fantastic teen romance. I especially loved that it refrained from a love triangle and all the other ridiculous stuff.
- I liked the positive sex in this. The way it was handled was well done. I appreciated that the couple talked about it, and made the choice that was right for them.
- I loved that this was also a story about growth and choices. Both Dimple and Rishi are forced to make some big life decisions when they are faced with their fears. I liked seeing them confront their obstacles and follow their hearts.
- The ending was sweet and satisfying. Yes, I wanted more, but I was content the way it all played out.
And The Not So Much:
- First, the cover was such a turn off to me. It doesn’t portray the sophistication of the story. It looks cheesy and immature to me. I saw it and wrote it off as something for young teens. This book is much more than that. So disregard the cover.
- I was disappointed that there wasn’t more about the coding. I was excited when Dimple discussed her idea for inventing an app, and was anticipating following her through the journey of creating her app, but then there was nothing after the initial introduction to her idea. I wanted to see her in action, I thought this was a miss in the story, especially since a big part of the story is centered around Dimple and Rishi competing in the contest.
- I hated the way the whole contest was decided. It was a terrible turn of events.
- I liked all the Indian words and cultural references, but I was frustrated that sometimes some of the words and phrases weren’t defined. I wish the author had defined everything.
- I was frustrated that I didn’t get the whole back story on the supposed arranged romance. I wanted to know exactly what the parents decided. Why didn’t Dimple’s parents tell her the truth? I wish this portion have the story had been explored further.
When Dimple Met Rishi is a fantastic YA romance for everyone. This is a book that explore the Indian culture, which I enjoyed. I couldn't get enough of the adorable romance, and the story. Without a doubt, one of the best YA contemporary romances I have read in a long time. Definitely give this one a shot.
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.