When Dimple Met Rishi

Featured
 
3.3
 
4.3 (1)
927 0
When Dimple Met Rishi
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
May 30, 2017
ISBN
9781481478687
Buy This Book
      

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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Opposites Attack?
(Updated: December 02, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
A contemporary YA romance—heavy on the romance—with an Indian-American take on the attraction of opposites.

The story is told in alternating dual POVs, from the very different perspectives of two recent high school graduates: Rishi and Dimple. Both are highly intelligent and highly motivated, eyeing tech-oriented careers. But while Rishi is out to please his parents by denying his passion, Dimple is struggling to break free of her family’s (i.e overbearing mother’s) will and identity. They’re brought together by their parents at an intensive 6-week summer program, in the hope that they will make a marriable match. The kickoff problem being… Rishi is aware of this hope, while Dimple has been left in the dark.

What I Liked:

Dimple is a brash, strong-willed young woman with a general ambivalence toward her own physical appearance, and a determination not to be pressured into what her parents might want for her life’s direction. She’s been accepted to Stanford, is seeking a STEM career, and is doggedly set on giving herself every advantage to that end. Her pragmatism is admirable. As is her ruthlessness, up to a point.

Rishi is, at many turns, a refreshing take on a Beta male personality. Readers who are tired of the “bad-boy” trope may especially take to his prominent sappiness, intellect, and regular hints of snide humor. His mild demeanor, respect for his parents, and consideration for tradition makes him a strong opposites-attract contrast to Dimple.

I very much appreciated the caught-between-two-worlds aspect of second-generation Indian-Americans. (In truth, it was the primary reason I picked out this book.) It’s always encouraging to see more literary representation for the children of immigrants, and all the unique socio-cultural issues they so often must cope with—both within American society at large, and amongst their own families.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

-While I initially appreciated Dimple’s personal railings against wearing makeup or spending any time on her physical appearance (which she mentions ad nauseum), she often turned this personal preference into a pedestal from which to look down on any females who did or felt differently than her. She also engaged in roundly stereotyping—which I’m afraid was a disservice to both Indian-American women and those who may have been seeking a better understanding of where they are coming from.

“Looking nice, making an effort…these are the things girls value in our culture.”

“All those rules. You can’t date people who aren’t Indian. You can’t date, period, until you’re thirty.” She gave him a look and said, “Unless, of course, your parents are trying to set you up with a marriage partner. Girls can’t be interested in a career more than they’re interested in marriage. Wear makeup. Grow your hair out.”

- I really liked Dimple at first. Up to page 35 or so, I found her relatable and even endearing. But then, something in her characterization took a hard turn. It seemed almost as though her active resistance to her parent's oppressive expectations made her swing wide into caustic and sanctimonious territory. As the story and romance progress, Dimple even becomes borderline abusive at times. She punches Rishi in the ribs at one point—hard enough to make him cringe. (Had that behavior been gender-flipped, I seriously doubt Simon & Schuster would have published this book.) At another point, Dimple takes a very personal something of Rishi’s out of his bag without permission, looks through it, and then proceeds to send it to a celebrity he admires—all after he expressly requested this not occur. She does not apologize for the flagrant privacy invasion and disrespect of personal boundaries. And what’s possibly worse, the repercussions for this breach of trust are less-than-realistic.

-I was never actually convinced that Dimple was a programmer. (I realize that’s supposed to be one of the feature highlights of the book, but hear me out.) Even with the romance completely dominating, we get enough little nuances about how Rishi thinks and sees the world to convince us that he—against his own better judgement—is an artist. But Dimple... not so much. Beyond the initial pitch of her app, there’s almost no in-scene look into the process of designing, coding, testing, troubleshooting, etc. (Admittedly, I n=might not have noticed this as much if I weren't married to a code-head. But I am, so suspension of disbelief was especially difficult.) This felt like a missed opportunity to give readers a sense for what it’s like to actually reason and perform within this skillset.

-When it comes to agenda observations, 3 times is the charm (er…hex?) for this reader. One could ignore the repeated mentioning of one of the eye-rollingly cliché bully-rich-kids wearing or fiddling with a cross necklace, and perhaps even the one-dimensionally awful guy bragging about his mission trips to the 3rd-world countries he's mocking... But Rishi openly admitting to microagressing against Christianity via his word choices? That made the undercurrent impossible to mistake.

-Dimple and Rishi very quickly fall in “love” (or at least, sexually active infatuation.) But there’s nothing going on externally that would prevent them from being together. So when the inevitable will-they-or-won’t-they breakup moment arrives, it feels like forced internal complications—centering on cynical attitudinal choices rather than any true conflict.

-I went into this thinking that the touchy subject (to most Western minds) of arranged marriage was going to be explored/explained. But the arranged part ends up more of a pre-conceived suggestion, to which little or no pressure is applied after the intended couple encounter each other. All tension there fizzles out early on.

Content Notes: -There was an abundance of casual/non-committal sexual situations both depicted and suggested. The one actual sex scene was only semi-graphic and did make clear mention of condom use. While the prose is simple and serviceable enough that it often felt on level with early YA, the overall feel and content sat closer to the New Adult range.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0  (1)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Already have an account? or Create an account
A cute, diverse read.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
When Dimple Met Rishi was on my most anticipated list for this year. One of the things I love about YA is the diversity. Whether it's sexual orientation, gender, religion, or ethnicity, I am always looking for different books that have these things. I picked this one based on the Indian heritage and traditions. It didn't disappoint me. I did only give it 4 stars just because it was predictable as most YA romances are.

But it still made me smile. Dimple was such a fun person. I loved her passion and drive. She wasn't going to let tradition get in the way of her happiness and she was spunky. I always love a strong female in books I read. Rishi was just adorable. I will say he got on my nerves a bit when he was so uptight (seriously, how many boys want to talk about sex instead of just having it), but I really liked him. He was sweet and loving. Ashish and Celia were great additions to the story and I ended up really wanting more from both of them.

The story line was interesting with the coding and comics, but I really liked reading about some of the Indian traditions. It's hard growing up in the US and trying to understand how people still think arranged marriages are ok. Or how you don't date until you're much older unless it's arranged. It was nice to read about the ideas from both sides. The girl who wanted to really move away from tradition and become independent and the boy who loved those traditions. I liked how they were able to get each other to see both sides and find ways to honor both. I definitely want to learn more about their customs and traditions now and hope we see more YA books with Indian stories.
Good Points
Diverse
Cute Story
Indian heritage and traditions
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Fifteen-year-old JL Markham's life used to be filled with carnival...
The Lost Legends
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
All her life, Princess Adalina heard tales of the legendary,...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In a series of interwoven fictionalized stories, Deborah Noyes gives...
In the Hall with the Knife
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A murderer could be around every corner in this thrilling...
Birthday
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Boyhood meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this...
A Betrayal Exposed (Not Every Girl Book 3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Olivia Davenport’s life is finally going smoothly, until if falls...
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A heartbroken teen, with the help of her best friends,...
Freaky in Fresno
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Influencers. Movie nerds. Beauty queens. And one pink convertible. Have...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death marked her from her very first breath. ...
Only Mostly Devastated
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Will Tavares is the dream summer fling―he's fun, affectionate, kind―but...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Defending everything they know could cost them everything they...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They wanted a chance; they were given a choice: ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Under pressure. Under fire. Some will rise...and some will...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The action of Hunger Games, the scope of Maze Runner,...
Lucky Caller
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With the warmth, wit, intimate friendships, and heart-melting romance...
Echoes Between Us
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Veronica sees ghosts―more specifically, her mother’s ghost. The afterimages...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.3
"JACK KEROUAC IS DEAD TO ME is Gae Polisner’s most recent YA Contemporary novel. Like in her other books, she..."
Woven in Moonlight
 
5.0
"Woven in Moonlight is a beautiful and lush fantasy, based on the culture and history of Bolivia. It is set..."
 
3.0
"WE ARE ALL HIS CREATURES by Deborah Noyes is a series of eleven short stories about the beloved showman, P.T...."
Jane Anonymous: A Novel
 
4.7
"JANE ANONYMOUS follows two timelines: one while Jane was captured for 7 months and one after she is back home...."
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
 
4.3
"FINDING MR. BETTER-THAN-YOU starts off like a cheesy romantic comedy, but ends up being a lot more fulfilling light-hearted YA..."
Freaky in Fresno
 
3.7
"FREAKY IN FRESNO is a spin on the old novel, FREAKY FRIDAY. Ricki (nickname for Lyric) had a falling out..."
Only Mostly Devastated
 
4.3
"ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED is a charming YA contemporary romance that follows Ollie. Ollie had lived in California, until this year..."
Neffatira's First Challenge
 
5.0
"The descriptions are very beautiful and you can perceive the feelings of the characters to the point of empathy. ..."
Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood Duology #1)
 
4.3
"INK IN THE BLOOD is an engaging and atmospheric YA fantasy. Celia Sand was delighted when she was chosen to..."
What I Want You to See
 
4.0
"WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE is an interesting book that discusses homelessness, choices and their intersection with privilege, as..."
The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School
 
4.7
"'The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School' by Kristin Mahoney is an endearing look at an often hard time..."
 
4.0
"The insatiable oasis will hunt down the thieves of this book and tear them apart, limb by limb, devouring their..."