WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, by Sandhya Menon, Simon Pulse, May 30, 2017, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)
I don’t exactly know what I was expecting before reading When Dimple Met Rishi, but what I read was delightful.
When Dimple Met Rishi tells the story of two Indian-American teens — Dimple and Rishi — whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage.
Dimple Shah has her life planned out. She’s going to Stanford in the fall. After a few years, she’ll have her degree in engineering and will become a web developer. It’s a plan most parents would be proud of, but not Dimple’s. She’d rather her daughter find the “Ideal Indian Husband.”
Dimple thinks her mom has finally softened on the subject when she agrees with Dimple’s father to pay for a summer program for aspiring developers. They even let Dimple drive herself there. Maybe they think her education is more important than finding a husband after all.
Or maybe not.
Rishi Patel has spent his whole life listening to how his parents met and fell in love. That’s what he wants, too. So when his parents tell him his future wife is attending the same summer program as him, he’s ecstatic. Rishi believes in tradition and is actually excited to be arranged.
He might be a little too excited.
“Hello future wife. I can’t wait to get started on the rest of our lives,” is probably not the best introduction in the best of situations. With Dimple, it’s downright dangerous.
It’s not hard to jump to conclusions when a “husband” is suddenly foisted upon you. The same can be said for a rejection you never saw coming. Clearly, someone missed a memo or two on this whole arranged marriage thing. But the two are stuck with each other for the rest of the summer, and Dimple isn’t about to let this situation get in the way of her goals, even if that means falling for someone she’d never expect.
When Dimple Met Rishi is unexpected and funny and lovely. Author Sandhya Menon has created complex characters that make you want to root for them. She seamlessly bridges the culture divide, making her novel easily accessible for all readers.
What makes this romance work is the quirky characters. Dimple and Rishi are both dorks, but dorks in different ways. The interplay between the two of them has you wanting things to work out from the beginning.
When Dimple Met Rishi is everything good about contemporary YA romance. It’s imaginative, real, humorous and heartfelt. Most importantly, it’s authentic. I literally did not want to put this one down and am eagerly looking forward to Sandhya’s next novel.
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