When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Book #1 in the Dimple and Rishi series
Number of pages: 400
Read 8/31/19 to 9/3/19
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.
This book first appeared on my radar when I saw a lot of hype for its sequel, There’s Something About Sweetie. I have my own set of go-to authors, as I’m sure most avid readers do, and I’ve realized over the years I need a bit more diversity. Don’t get me wrong, the authors I tend to read are not closed minded, but they are also smart enough to write in the voice they know and not try to attempt writing POC, which they are not. I’ve been making more of an effort to seek out authors of color and other diverse backgrounds to help me become a more well-rounded reader. This was a great book for that goal.
Seeing Dimple and Rishi, before they meet, in their home environments is a great eye-opener for trying to understand American women who have a strong traditional Indian foundation at home. The expectations they face from their families vastly differ from those they face with their peers outside of the home. Dimple is a very strong minded and strong-willed young lady. She is fiercely smart and doesn’t care what others think of her. Dimple often feels bad for disappointed her mom, but more because she can’t quite understand why her mom can’t see things from her point of view and at least try to understand her hopes and dreams are different than those her mom has always held for her daughter.
Rishi’s a very responsible young man. His parents aren’t overly strict with him, but they haven’t had to be. He’s the type to fall in line on his own because tradition is very important to him. Making his parents proud is also very high on his list of priorities. So much so that he hasn’t even realized how much he has quashed his own dreams along the way. I wouldn’t say Rishi is uptight, he knows how to have fun and is ready to laugh make jokes. But he doesn’t know how to deviate from what he feels are the important traditions in his world.
Oh, these two together are magic. They have so much to learn from one another. There is an amazing meet cute that had me giggling at the same time it had me feeling mortified for Rishi. Once things are straightened out, the chemistry between Rishi and Dimple is evident…even when Dimple tries to ignore the sparks. In the long run, there is no denying these two together are pure magic.
There are some slow spots along the way, but nothing that drags on too long. And the bumps and roadblocks that you would expect do happen, but the author does a beautiful job of telling the tale of how things work through to the end. I’m now looking forward to reading that initial book that caught my eye even more, as well as seeking out any other work by this author. I love how she shone a spotlight on so many things the children of immigrants have to contend with. (There’s a particularly telling scene in a restaurant that shows the completely disparate paths these young adults often take.) All this being done with a level of entertainment that gets her point across without the reader feeling lectured. That takes true talent.