I don’t know if you’ve noticed but When Dimple Met Rishi was and still is everywhere on social media: Goodreads, Twitter, and specifically on Instagram. It seems like everyone is currently reading it – except for me, of course, because like usual, when I decide to pick up a popular book, the hype has worn off and the book is yesterday’s news. Well, not this time, guys!
Dimple? Rishi? What is she talking about? Well, Dimple and Rishi are high school graduates and are heading off to college in a few months. However, if it were up to both their traditional parents, they would have been married by now. And parents wouldn’t be parents if they weren’t trying to set up their kids. If an arranged marriage worked for them, why not for the kids also?
Rishi is romantic and believes in a traditional and stable arranged marriage. So when his parents send him off to a summer program to meet his future wife, Dimple, he is totally on board with it. Dimple, however, not so much. Her parents may be traditional but she is everything but. She wants nothing but to break free from her mother’s constant tries to find her the “Ideal Indian Husband”. So when the chance of a summer program for aspiring web-developers arises, she takes the chance and signs up. To her surprise, her parents let her go because they wouldn’t send her there if it weren’t for her education, right? But when Dimple meets Rishi on campus, it is clear that her parents sent her away with a hidden agenda.
I think there are not many YA or NA books out there that deal with the traditional beliefs and values of Indian families – at least what I know of. I was intrigued with the blurb and I couldn’t wait to read a fresh and new storyline.
Besides Indian food and studying about arranged marriages back in school, I don’t have very many contact points with the Indian culture. With this novel, however, Sandhya Menon, born and raised in India and now living in Colorado, introduced the reader to a little bit of that Indian culture. We learned about clothes, food, traditions and of course kaajal. 😉 The fact that Menon used Hindi words instead of the English translations for certain types of food and clothes, plus the fact that both Dimple’s and Rishi’s parents talk Hindi, made the story even more interesting and authentic.
I really liked getting to know Dimple and Rishi, but they couldn’t have been more different. They were like water and oil in every aspect of their lives: family, education, tradition, and those differences were the only things they saw in each other for the longest time. Their stubbornness of holding onto each others beliefs made them blind to see how good they actually were for each other. The longer they hung out with one another, the more they opened themselves up to accept other beliefs and possibilities. I really liked the change in both characters’ personalities.
The storyline was simple and refreshing but unfortunately a little too predictable. Still, When Dimple Met Rishi is a really sweet and adorable YA novel about dreams, first love and the first big steps into adulthood. I can’t wait to read more books by Menon.