Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: June 1st 2017
The arranged marriage YA romcom you didn’t know you wanted or needed…
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 hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han and Nicola Yoon, When Dimple Met Rishi is a frothy, funny contemporary romance set at a coding convention in San Francisco over one exciting summer. Told from the dual perspectives of two Indian American protagonists, Dimple is fighting her family traditions while 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?
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts On…
Despite their shared culture Dimple and Rishi are two completely different people. Dimple is ambitious, she wants to be the next Jenny Lindt and is determined that nothing, especially an I.I.H. (Ideal Indian Husband) picked out by her parents, will stand in her way. In comparison Rishi is willing to sacrifice his passion for his parents’ wishes. He is willing to settle for an arranged marriage and go into a field he has no interest in simply to please his parents.
And somehow, these two people are pushed to consider a marriage with one another.
When Dimple and Rishi finally come face to face on the SFSU campus for Insomnia Con Dimple makes it clear that she is not interested in an arranged marriage, and not interested in Rishi at all. Normally that would be the end of it, and Rishi is fully prepared to bow out of the competition and head home, until he and Dimple are paired together for the entirety of the event.
Despite their differences Dimple and Rishi find some common ground, and it’s this common ground that helps them as they work on their project and even learn from each other. For Dimple it’s about taking a step back, appreciating her culture and her heritage, and learning to relax every now again. For Rishi it’s about following his dreams and where his passion leads him despite the weight of his parents expectations. As Dimple and Rishi grow closer to one another so does the deadline for Insomnia Con, and the opportunity for Dimple to achieve her dream.
When Dimple Met Rishi is a brilliant story, but when I first read the blurb I did think the arranged marriage aspect would play more of a role in the development of both characters and their relationship with one another. However after Dimple makes it clear, within the first hour of their meeting, that an arranged marriage is not on the cards for her it’s never really mentioned again.
Dimple has almost had to work twice as hard to get her passion seen as more than just a hobby by her parents, but once she arrives at Insomnia Con she is determined that nothing stand in between her and her dreams. She sees the Con as her gateway to bigger and better things than the life her mother seems to want for her. When they first meet Dimple is standoffish around Rishi; for Dimple Rishi represents everything she doesn’t want from life.
I loved Dimple’s drive and passion. She knows what she wants out of life and is determined to run after it and grab hold with both hands. She doesn’t seem as involved in her culture as Rishi is. Dimple doesn’t want the life her parents have, the life her mother seems to try to push on her, which causes some friction but she stands her ground and refuses to back down.
Rishi seems to be the exact opposite of Dimple. He has dedicated his life to picking up the slack from his younger brother and wants to be the perfect son, carrying on his father’s legacy and agreeing to an arranged marriage. At heart Rishi is a romantic, he sees the relationship his parents have and wants that for himself. Rishi is the kind of person who constantly goes out of his way for the people he loves just to see them happy.
The relationship between Dimple and Rishi is not perfect. At the beginning Dimple almost resents Rishi for pushing his way into Insomnia Con which was supposed to be a chance for her to begin her career, and not to find a parent-approved I.I.H. She takes the project seriously and knows Rishi does not considering he only came to meet her. However Rishi sees very early on how much this means to Dimple and, realising he made a mistake, tries to fix it.
As more time passes both Dimple and Rishi are able to focus on what they have in common, and later how their different strengths are able to support the others weaknesses. Rishi is respective of Dimple’s ambition and wishes, and does everything he can to help her with Insomnia Con, and in return Dimple pushes Rishi further with his art, making him see he is worth more than simply an extension of his parents’ legacy.
When Dimple Met Rishi really is a book that has it all. There is a cute and fluffy romance, and a feel-good story reminiscent of some of my favourite contemporary authors. At the same time though there is incredible diverse representations in the characterisation of Dimple and Rishi, and a lot of important messages in this book. All in all I really enjoyed When Dimple Met Rishi, I just wished the arranged marriage trope had been explored a little more.
What did you think of When Dimple Met Rishi? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.
All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.