Genre: contemporary, romance
Format: paperback, 378 pages
Published: May 30, 2017 (Simon Pulse)
Rating: 4.75/5 stars
Summary (Goodreads): 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.
WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI has been on everyone’s “most anticipated” list for a while now, so I was excited to have it be one of my first summer reads. I’ve never read anything about arranged marriages (even though this didn’t end up being like I assumed it would be) but this turned out to be about way more than just relationships. Dimple is a sort of stereotypical rebellious girl–in the sense that her mother wants her to wear makeup, go to college primarily to meet a suitable husband, and focus on other things besides creating an app. Rishi is more traditional–his parents told him about the arrangement and he is genuinely excited, he doesn’t eat meat, he’s going to MIT to study engineering even though he’d rather be an artist. When they meet, it obviously does not go well. But, of course, they’re at the same summer program, and end up working together on a project (Dimple’s app idea) for over a month. So, of course, in the typical young adult novel fashion, they realize that they have more in common than they previously thought. I have to say, I like Rishi more than Dimple, but maybe because he’s a bit more of a dreamer and has more of my kind of humor.
One of the guys held his hand out so the door wouldn’t close, but Rishi smiled brightly. “Oh no, you go ahead,” he said jovially. “Our brains need a break from all the unchecked, casual misogyny.”
The guy immediately smiled and waved in response, but as the doors closed, they heard him say, “Wait, what’d he say?”
What I really liked about WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI was that although, yes, it is ultimately about romance, the characters are their own persons, and they continue to grow and improve, with or without each other. That’s something that has a habit of getting lost in young adult novels and I loved how Dimple and Rishi were still themselves, only braver and more open together.
“You’ve made me braver. It’s like you have this paintbrush, dipped in brilliant mauves and teals and golds, and you just totally redid my monochromatic life. I need you; I need your paintbrush.”
Anyways, this is a sad excuse for a review (I’m trying) but please read this wonderful, adorable, diverse book (also it’s set in San Francisco soooo)!