Indian-American teens and their hilarious drama
About the Book:
Her main aim in life is to escape her traditional parents, get to university and begin her plan for tech world domination.
He’s rich, good-looking and a hopeless romantic. His parents think Dimple is the perfect match for him, but she’s got other plans…
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works even harder to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
As joyfully refreshing as Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han and Nicola Yoon, When Dimple Met Rishi is a frothy, funny contemporary romance told from the dual perspectives of two Indian American protagonists. While Dimple is fighting her family traditions, Rishi couldn’t be happier to follow in the footsteps of his parents — could sparks fly between this odd couple, or is this matchmaking attempt doomed to fail?
When this book came out earlier this year, the bookworm’s world was abuzz with the talk of the new laugh out loud YA rom-com. But I took my own sweet time to pick this book out. Nevertheless, the minute I started reading the book, there was not putting it down. I had written off the book as the typical second generation Indian American teen drama, of feeling rootless, being rebellious and the dreaded feeling of “othering”.
Instead what I got was to witness the sweetest story about a young couple who are brought together by unlikely circumstances. Yes, their parents were the ones who forced them together. But it seemed Dimple was ready to write off a perfectly good guy just because her mom picked him out! Good thing she settles down when she realizes Rishi isn’t looking to get married the minute she looks at him.
While Dimple has been at loggerheads with her parents for most of her life, Rishi has been the dutiful older son, forgoing his own dreams and aspirations, in light of his parents’ wishes. It made me sad to think that even today kids give up on their dreams because they’re too busy trying to fulfill their parents’! I really wish parents would stop living vicariously through their children.
The story of Dimple and Rishi spans through six weeks at Insomnia Con, where Dimple wants her app to win and Rishi is there in the hope of winning over the dreadful little spitfire. The story focuses heavily on the pair, and even Dimple’s roommate Celia and Rishi’s brother, Ashish are barely there in the pages. They dutifully play their roles as catalysts in the story that brings our heroes together.
Given that the story is narrated from Dimple and Rishi’s alternating points of view, albeit in the third person, there is little room for any other character in the story. What I liked about the story is how it is completely character driven. I finally understand what the hype about the book has been about. You rarely find a YA novel with Indian American characters as forerunners dominating the bestseller lists!
I’m glad to have found this book and I hope Sandhya Menon continues to write many, many more stories.
Two things that I didn’t like about the book, however, was firstly the book cover. Given Rishi’s love for sketches, they could’ve put something a little more creative on the cover. The cover just has Dimple sipping on an iced coffee. While that’s quite significant to the story, it just doesn’t appeal to readers. In fact, one of the reasons I’d put off buying this book was the cover! It didn’t tempt me enough. And secondly, the Hindi dialogues interjected with the story. While I understand it’s perfectly normal to use your mother tongue when speaking in English, it is annoying to read it when you’re reading an English novel. I have the same sentiments when I see French or Spanish suddenly pop up in my English novel too, by the way. Besides that — this is a lovely, breezy read and I quite enjoyed myself in the company of Dimple and Rishi.
Buy the book here: http://amzn.to/2zBM1L9