*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
AHHHH I really loved this new YA! It’s light-hearted, sweet, and too good to pass up for a summer read. Dimple Shah is a kick-ass young lady. She loves to code and has a dream to create an app that’ll help her Papa track his diabetes. She’s a no nonsense kind of girl who’s got her mind focused on her career and her passions. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and to ask what she wants. She knows she couldn’t live with herself if she didn’t just go for it. She is flawed in her quickness to act, her over the top fervour, and her occasional irrationality, but these flaws make her so incredibly real and relatable.
Mirroring her is Rishi Patel, a traditional boy from a traditional family who just wants to live up to the dreams that his parents have for him. He believes deeply in his religion and culture and has a deep desire to share them with the world. His devotion to his family may just stamp out the one passion he’s ever had, the one thing that makes him who he is — his art.
Menon writes a hilarious and endearing story of Dimple and Rishi–their meeting, their friendship, their romance, and so much more. Her writing had me laughing out loud continuously through the novel. Not many other books have this same power, YA or otherwise. Dimple and Rishi are both incredibly intelligent young people who are witty and who have insights that are perhaps a bit beyond their years, but we can forgive them of this minor details because in their navigation of love and romance they are as hopeless as any teen in the first throws of love. Their relationship is very touching and sweet and these two characters make an incredible team.
My only criticism would be the development of secondary characters like Celia and Ashish. Both characters play important roles in the lives of the protagonists and they are important to the plot, but we don’t really get to know them at all. Their characterization seems a bit half-hearted, but they both have important and interesting things to contribute to the book as a whole. I would have loved to see even more time spend on them, fully rounding them out and bringing them to life.
I can see this being the YA book of the summer. It’s fun, it’s incredibly relevant, and it’s so easy and enjoyable to read.