Friday, May 26, 2017

Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Young | Contemporary | Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC


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 (goodreads). 

When Dimple Met Rishi was a delightful, albeit corny at times, read!
Plot: Oh Sandhya Menon, you have written the perfect summer read! I'm not a contemporary reader, but after I read the summary of When Dimple Met Rishi I knew I had to have it! This novel was nothing short of refreshing and just good fun! It took place over the span of 6 weeks at a workshop at a local university called Insomniac Con. Dimple saw this as the perfect venue to showcase her skillset and Rishi thought it would be the perfect place to meet his future wife. Needless to say, things did not go as planned. Because this book did take place over 6 weeks, the romance did feel very whirlwind and did not hold back in the cheesiness. 

In addition to the romance, I loved how Menon was able to address a wide variety of topics: being a child of immigrants, women in STEM, and just knowing your self-worth. One thing I want to comment on is that while I consider this book to be mostly from Dimple's perspective, it does alternate between both her and Rishi's voice, and these alternative perspectives are done within the chapters. I think that is worth mentioning because it took me a few chapters to understand the flow. 

Characters: Dimple Shah was a force; she was intense, introverted, but wasn't afraid to speak her mind. I can't even begin to express how much I loved her. As the daughter of immigrants, she felt like she never belonged - that she was too "American" for her Indian family and that they didn't have the same priorities. Rishi was the complete opposite. As the oldest son, he was determined to drink up his culture and do as expected of him. He considered himself very practical, but his artist's heart made an appearance time and time again in When Dimple Met Rishi. I absolutely loved how the parents played an important role and their family dynamics. I also fell in love with Menon's commentary on privilege. At a web development workshop, Dimple was surrounded by young white men, and she really fought to prove herself. 

Worldbuilding: When Dimple Met Rishi took place primarily in San Francisco and that was a perfect setting for this novel. Having never been to San Francisco myself, I felt a part of the landscape. Menon described every natural phenomenon and view so well that I could imagine myself there right alongside Dimple and Rishi. 

Short N Sweet: When Dimple Met Rishi was the perfect coming-of-age novel for this generation. 

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