When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse (30th May 2017)
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.
I’d like to thank Pansing Singapore and Simon & Schuster USA for an ARC of When Dimple Met Rishi. All quotes were taken from the ARC.
I am quite certain that you’ve probably had this feeling before–the feeling of loving a book the moment you’ve read the first line. Now, imagine having this feeling more than once as you read a book.
A book that really made you feel something and you couldn’t help but rejoice because the book was just glorious and you just loved it. Said book is none other than the triumph that is Sandhya Menon’s impeccable YA debut that had me gasping for more.
“Dimple Shah, I am stupidly, idiotically, annoyingly in love with you.”
Here’s the DL on what you need to know about When Dimple Met Rishi. The main characters are Indian-American and their parents have set them up together, unbeknownst to Dimple. And so they meet, but sparks don’t exactly fly.
What can you expect from this gorgeous YA book? Humour, lots of heart and prepare yourselves to be serenaded by a never-ending parade of cuteness.
When Dimple Met Rishi could positively be a book equivalent of a swoonworthy Bollywood movie because you’ve got:
- the dramatic flair,
- the effortless humour,
- the smart and sassy one-liners,
- the unforgettable boy-meets-girl moment,
- a dance scene (what’s Bollywood without a dance sequence) and
- ultimately, the glorious moment when they both fall in love, like an actual, real-life love story.
“Rishi’s heart exploded into a thousand colours. The world was on fire. He put his hands on her face and kissed her like he might never have the chance again.”
Right from the start, I knew that When Dimple Met Rishi would be a gem.
You know why? The first chapter got me cackling like a hyena because Dimple Shah is just a fantastic YA heroine and I loved that she is her own person, determined to stand her ground and refuse to fit into the mold of an obedient Indian daughter who’s bound by her family’s expectations of her—more like her mother’s—and this was incredibly relatable!
Dimple Shah, how do I begin to explain Dimple Shah. Dimple Shah is flawless. She has two Fendi—WAIT.
I joke. HAHAHAHAHA. Dimple Shah is independent, ambitious and she is driven and determination to succeed and go to college. And, she called her Mamma out for her misogynistic views on women. #YasssssQueen
“When you think about it, our families are back in India, about eight thousand miles away. And they’re still so intricately connected to us. We have thei names, their rituals, their traditions. Their dreams sit behind our eyelids. I think it’s beautiful.”
I liked that Dimple and Rishi were both very different characters who have their own personal beliefs in matters of their own future, culture, traditions and I thought this really worked well in the grand scheme of things. I was rooting for them the moment they met—one of the most memorable scenes in the book, I kid you not—and my heart swelled with love and happiness when they ended up together in the end. (Sorry, if this might be a tiny spoiler but I do believe in happy endings, just like Rishi!)
“Rishi smiled again, but fully this time, unrestrained. It was like watching the sun rise, Dimple thought, or the streetlights come on at dusk. Gradual, powerful, brilliant, in a way.”
The romance between Dimple and Rishi can be summed up in one word: super-freaking-adorable-can-someone-get-me-a-fluffy-unicorn-plushie-cute.
I lived for those little moments when they both fell a little bit in love with each other. Oh my heart, I think I feel a sudden urge to read all the swoony bits in the book for the 856352830175th time. And the dialogue and banter and one-liners just made me honk/laugh/guffaw/grin/snort.
Have I mentioned that it’s funny? Here’s one more for the road.
“Rishi had heard once you were attracted to someone, your brain could actually rewire itself and make you think all kinds of sucky things about them were perfect. And then, once you’d been together awhile, bam. The gauzy lust-curtain fell away and you realised you’d married an alligator with bad breath.”
When Dimple Met Rishi is an utterly delightful coming-of-age story about two individuals who could have been pre-destined to meet—kismet might have something to do with this!—and they fall in love, all the while, discovering their true selves, rooted by their firm belief in their culture and traditions and making a mark in life. It’s hilarious from the first page, wonderfully swoonworthy and the romance is sweet with bursts of humour.
If When Dimple Met Rishi were a dessert, it would be a kulfi, which is a bit like ice cream and it’s fabulous and decadent. It might seem like your ordinary creamy confectionery, but when the fragrance and flavour of the spices dance and twirl in your mouth, you’ll be left with nothing but a satisfied smile on your face!