Thursday, July 20, 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi - Sandhya Menon

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon 
Format: Hardcover  
Rating: 4.5 Stars
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 othe
r figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

 Told from the alternating perspectives of Dimple and Rishi, this book is so a book that NEEDS TO BE READ BY ALL!  I loved this book so hard.  

Dimple and Rishi are both the children of parents who moved to California from India.  Dimple kind of feels like an outsider in both countries.  She feels like many white people in America don't really consider her to be American, and she says that when she visited India when she was younger, one of her cousins called her a foreigner.  (Newsflash for anyone who may be closed minded about this: Dimple and Rishi are Americans....)  Rishi, on the other hand, feels completely at home in both countries.  Dimple loves coding, and Rishi loves art.  Dimple is a bit.....pragmatic and Rishi is romantic and free and self-assured.  At the beginning, it may seem like they aren't really meant to be together, but once they meet and we see how they are when they are around each other, it is clear that they are perfect for each other!  

Okay, there was only one thing I didn't really like about this novel: when Dimple and Rishi first met at Insomnia Con, Dimple was physically aggressive towards Rishi for no reason.  (Sure she felt like he was kind of annoying the first day or two, but that's no reason to hit, punch, or jab someone in the ribs for no reason.)  Dimple did stop being aggressive towards Rishi as time passed, but she should have not been that way from the get go.  That sentence was awkward - but you know what I mean!  Now that we cleared that up, we can move on to:

 I loved seeing how Rishi and Dimple developed over the course of the novel.  Dimple starts out being very short sighted about her options.  She believes that she is never going to get married or have a serious relationship, because she can't have a career and a husband.  She sees life as being either one of the other.  Rishi also has a narrow view of his life.  He Loves Art!  I mean, LOVES IT!  And he's a very talented artist.  He even created his own comic book character - Ataya.  However, he *wants* to become an engineer because he thinks A) that is what his parents want, and B) that it will help him provide best for his future family.  Without giving too much away - stuff happens and he learns to be a bit flexible and follow his dream.  

I loved loved loved that this was a book about Indian Americans WRITTEN BY AN INDIAN AUTHOR!  I think it is SO important to have books about non-white people, and not only that but books written by non-white authors.  I certainly don't mean to imply or infer that white people shouldn't write characters of color.  I just mean that in this case, the author being Indian gives some real authenticity to the book that white people can't understand about that culture because we are white.  We can certainly try to learn more about other people's culture's and backgrounds, but at the end of the day, there are some things you can't really *get* about another's culture without being part of that culture yourself.  

I loved one thing each about Dimple and Rishi the most:
* I loved that Dimple sent in Rishi's drawings to Rishi's comic book idol.  
* I loved that Rishi set up a meeting with Jenny Lindt for Dimple!  She loves Jenny Lindt - and this gave her a chance to jumpstart her dream of building an app.  (I especially loved this, because the app is something that Dimple wants to develop to help people with chronic illnesses or disorder's to take care of themselves.  She thought of the idea because of her dad who has diabetes.)

I think the evolution of the two main characters was great.  You could see how much they changed even over just a period of six weeks.  Dimple and Rishi both grew enough and were real enough that I wanted them to succeed - which they DID!  

I also loved seeing the development of their parents.  Or rather - the knowledge from both Dimple and Rishi that no matter what their parents would always love an accept them, even though their parents did have more conservative views than Dimple and Rishi.  

Not only did I love the story and the characters, I also loved the humor.  I laughed throughout the entire book!  Two examples of just why this book is so funny are:

"You have pond's cold cream?" - Dimple's mom.  (Her mom was like that through the entire book.  Just... hilarious.)

"With a lurch, Rishi realized his brain was also diverting blood flow to other parts of his body.  He immediately began thinking about Nani, his grandmother with the hairy mole on her neck jowls.  Yep.  That did it.  Whew.  Crisis averted."  Rishi when he saw Dimple dressed up for their non date.

Adults and teens alike with fall in love with When Dimple Met Rishi.  I can't think of a single reason why you shouldn't read it right now!

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