Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

To start off this review, here are some actual reactions from me while reading:

“Oh, Rishi. You have no idea.”

“Can I just keep reading instead of going to work?? Is that something I can do?”

“Can’t handle the cuteness!”

dimplerishiTitle: When Dimple Met Rishi

Author: Sandhya Menon

Publication: May 30, 2017

Rating: 4 Stars

I really don’t even know where to start with this book! It’s been one of my most anticipated reads since the moment I found out about it, and then I was lucky enough to win an ARC of it in a giveaway on Twitter. The excitement was real!

When Dimple Met Rishi is an own voices, young adult contemporary that follows the story of Dimple, a fierce, driven young girl who is ready to start her life after graduating high school. Those plans do not include finding her Mamma’s idea of the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Despite that, Dimple feels she’s made progress with them when they agree on letting her attend a summer program for web developers. There she meets Rishi, at first glance he couldn’t be more opposite of her. He’s a hopeless romantic, driven by practicality and Indian tradition. He’s all for attending the same summer program as his future wife. The thing about love is, it’s unexpected and unexplainable.

“Are you afraid that you don’t belong here? Or that you do?” –Sandhya Menon, When Dimple Met Rishi

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It has everything you could want a cute contemporary, perfect for summer, to have. Plus it was a romantic comedy and it was HILARIOUS.

When Dimple Met Rishi is told through the alternating perspectives of Dimple and Rishi. And they are both so lovable and relatable. Dimple is fierce, she knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it. I related to her a lot because I have the same fears and I get anxious about a lot of the same things as her. She won’t let anything stand in the way of her and her dreams. She’s the kind of role model we need teens to have. Rishi is traditional and “hopeless romantic” might be an understatement. He is everything I expected him to be and yet surprises me around every corner. I related to him also, because being the older sibling has had a huge impact on his life. He is kind and understanding, and the exact opposite of a stereotypical rich kid. He’s unapologetically himself, and he’s not afraid to stand up for the people he loves. I’m pretty sure he’s made it onto my list of favorite male characters.

It’s not every day in young adult literature that you get good representations of family and friendships between girls, and When Dimple Met Rishi had both. Dimple may not always see eye to eye with her family, but I could feel the love between them while reading. No matter what, they will always love each other. Rishi constantly shows how much his parents mean to him, and the lengths he will go to to make them happy. I really like the first born, second born dynamic between Rishi and his younger brother Ashish because it reminded me a lot of my sister and me. And then there’s the friendship between Dimple and Celia, which I found to be an excellent representation of friendship between girls. Every time I thought it was going to turn to girl hate, it didn’t. I loved that. They were there for each other and genuinely good friends from beginning to end, they had their differences of course, but what real friendships don’t have rough patches?

“I feel like an Indian American here, and when I’m in India, like just an Indian. I see them both as equal and valid for me.” –Sandhya Menon, When Dimple Met Rishi

Because this book follows two Indian-American protagonists who are the children of immigrants, I cannot speak on the representation but would like to point out that it’s an own voices novel and I’ll link some reviews I’ve seen from Indian reviewers! That being said, I love the insights into Indian culture and tradition, and how it’s a completely different take on arranged marriages than I’ve ever seen before in books. This book is important, with many important themes and dialogues.

Now we come to why I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5. It is beyond important and I think Sandhya has created a book that needs to be out there and it needs to be read. But there was quite a bit of use of ableist language throughout the entire book, it really could have used different wording in many places. Also, just the writing, in general, could have been brushed up on. I found a few plot holes that stood out to me, and also with the alternating points of view in 3rd person, sometimes Dimple and Rishi’s perspectives blended together. I’m not sure if that was purposeful, but I think it would have been interesting to read it where their perspectives were in 1st person. There are ways to use 3rd person to bring the audience into the story more deeply than in 1st person, but I don’t think that was achieved here. More than anything, the story being told in 3rd person perspectives brought me out of the heads of the characters rather than pulled me in.

“Like his heart was wrapped in microwaved Nutella.” –Sandhya Menon, When Dimple Met Rishi

All that being said, I definitely recommend this book! It’s so important. Below you’ll find some reviews from Indian reviewers that could speak on the representation in the book. Thank you for reading!

Mana’s Review

Aaron’s Review

Ivy Book Bindings (She isn’t Indian, but she’s South Asian American and I really liked her review)

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Minor Characters

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey on YouTube and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes.

Here is a link to the Goodreads group if you’d like to join! It’s pretty fun.

Long time, no blog post! For a few weeks, I tried my hand at the booktube thing, but I ended up not really making videos because of school and work and life. I decided I’d like to come back to writing blogs. It’ll get me into the habit of writing for myself every day again…I hope.

I’m sure y’all don’t really want to hear about all that! Onward with what you’re really here for!

This week the T5W topic is Favorite Minor Characters. Sam defined these as the characters that are less than side or sidekick characters (less, as in less involvement in the story not less meaningful to us).

I guess I’ll go backward from my number 5 to my number 1!

5: Rahim

“Well if anyone can talk their way out of a beheading, it’s you.” -Rahim

From The Wrath & the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh! He’s one of my favorite characters of both of the books. As much as I love the main characters, Shazi and Khalid, I love Rahim just as much! And like him way more than I like Tariq. He’s always there for his friends no matter what. He’s supportive, trusting, understanding, and always see’s the best in people.

4: Abby Suso

What to say about Abby beyond that she’s terrific? She’s a minor character in Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Upside of Unrequited. She’s an amazing friend to Simon and Molly! She’s always there and always supportive. You can’t help but love her. She has such a kind heart!

3: Tolya

“Yuyeh sesh.” -Tolya

Really I’m not sure whether Tolya or Tamar should be higher on this list because I just love them both so much. Tolya is Tamar’s twin brother from the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. He is fierce, strong, and hilarious when he feels like talking.

2: Tamar

“Ni weh sesh.” -Tamar

Tamar is Tolya’s twin sister. She is incredible! She is strong and unapologetically herself. I wish I had a book series just about these two. There is a short list of characters I truly like from this series, and these two are at the top of it. Along with Nikolai (of course!) and my number on this list.

1: Genya

Na razrusha’ya. I am not ruined. E’ya razrushost. I am ruination.” -Genya

MY BABY, GENYA! I love her so much. She’s also from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. She is a fierce warrior, and one of the strongest woman characters. She’s there for the long haul. She’s incredibly dynamic, makes mistakes and owns up to them. She does what needs to be done.

*Realizing that I need to reread the Grisha trilogy because I miss these characters*

That’s about it for this Top 5 Wednesday post!

Let me know in the comments some of y’all’s favorite minor characters!

Thanks for reading!

30 Days of Writing Prompts: Day Five

A little information before I get into my actual story.

This idea was created by Ali from HardbackHoarder on YouTube. She’s posting a prompt every day to get her, and anyone who participates, creative juices flowing. I found it to be such a fantastic idea. I think it will help get us all in shape for the crazy month that is the National Novel Writing Month. You may even find inspiration for dialogue, characters, or plots within these prompts! Anything can happen.

You can find more information at these links:

30 Days of Writing Prompts Announcement

30 Days of Writing Prompts Blog Post 

Day Five: Include these three things: A campfire, lightning bugs, and a note.

This prompt was found at OTP Prompts

The summer breeze blew through the trees that surrounded the small campsite. It’s not really a campsite, at least not one people knew about or that could be found on a map. Jada had found it years before Sam came into her life.

Sam wished, for the thousandth time, that she’s met her long before she had. They would’ve had more time.

The fire she built was minuscule and flickered threateningly in the wind. A small part of her hoped it’d go out.

She stood and put her hands in her pockets, feeling the crinkle of the smooth paper under her fingers. Her fists clenched to keep from trembling. With her back to the fire and she could see the flashes of light flying in and out of the trees.

Jada loved this place and Sam could never understand why though they’d been here plenty of times. How could the beauty of nature possibly compare to the beauty of Jada?

Before the incident the answer was simple: it couldn’t. But now she could see how alike Jada and the nature surrounding her were. Like the lightning bugs, she was a light in the darkness calling to Sam, flickering with warmth like the fire. Jada was the tree’s that surrounded and protected her, and the hesitant but strong breeze of the night.

This is where she could feel Jada. She couldn’t feel her in the small cemetery behind the run-down church. How could she?

Here’s where her memories of Jada lived, where she would hold them forever. Locked away.

Sam pulled the crumpled paper from her pocket almost harshly. Cursing herself for being so weak. She wished she were as strong as Jada was.

Sammy Sam,

It’s your birthday! Yay! You’re not my underage nugget anymore! You’re my of age nugget. I’m not sure why I’m writing this note because I’ll probably never give it to you. I’ve never been good at writing…you know that. I’d much rather tell you everything in person, but you mentioned the other day how cute and romantic you think hand written notes are.

Only for you.

You know how much I love you, I know you do. You tell me all the time that my feelings for you are loud and clear. Which makes sense…I think in general I’m a loud and clear person. But I never want to stop reminding you.

You deserve the world, Sam. I intend to be the one to give it to you. Every single day for the rest of our lives. Until there’s nothing else I could possibly give you, of myself or the world. You’ll have it all.

My heart is your heart. Your happiness is my purpose.

Yours forever until infinite,

Jay

The tears weren’t coming. Sam wanted them to come, she wanted the satisfaction of feeling her sorrow leave her drop by drop. Streaking down her face. The sorrow wasn’t leaving.

It never will.

Jada was more than the love of her life. She was her best friend, confidant, protector, supporter, happiness, soulmate, and so much more that could never be replaced.

Anger rose in her, quick and relentless. It was stolen from her, all of it. Her life, love, happiness. Jada was taken from her as quickly as an eagle dives for a field mouse and just as unforgiving.

She lifted the note, ready to rip it down the middle. She wanted to throw it in the fire, yell and scream. Punch the trees and stomp the ground.

A single lightning bug stops her. A single tiny, flickering lightning bug settled on the note.

Her anger vanished just as quickly as it appeared and all she could do was smile at the soul she felt was within that tiny life.

She smiled at the memories this place held for her. She smiled at her love, at her life. She smiled at Jada’s strength until the very end. At that moment she made a silent promise.

Only for you, Jada. I will continue living.

30 Days of Writing Prompts: Day Four

A little information before I get into my actual story.

This idea was created by Ali from HardbackHoarder on YouTube. She’s posting a prompt everyday to get her, and anyone who participate’s, creative juices flowing. I found it to be such a fantastic idea. I think it will help get us all in shape for the crazy month that is the National Novel Writing Month. You may even find inspiration for dialogue, characters, or plots within these prompts! Anything can happen.

You can find more information at these links:

30 Days of Writing Prompts Announcement

30 Days of Writing Prompts Blog Post 

Day Four: Imagine Person A, a student at the local university, drunkenly hitting on their professor, Person B, at a bar.

This prompt was found at OTP Prompts.

His eyes follow her as she stumbles across the derelict, hardwood flooring of the hole-in-the-wall bar. He’s never seen her here, though he knows her. She sits in the third row, three seats from the aisle every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of his 12:30 English Literature class.

Her beautiful dark hair, normally pulled messily atop her head, now hangs in loose curls down her shoulders. Her copper skin glows in the dim lighting of the bar.

He’s never heard her voice. He wishes to.

She’s a student. Not again.

His eyes pull away from her to find a tall, young man pulling himself onto the rusty red barstool next to him. The man’s eyes flash to meet his own. He looks away quickly, hoping the malice he saw there wasn’t directed at him.

Dark malice.

He feels warmth and smells lilac under tobacco smoke before he sees the person next to him. She moves close and slips her arm around his waist. He inhales deeply, shoulders straightening. Dark eyes are on him, then adverted.

“Vanessa, what are you doing?” He turns slightly to look at her, trying not to shift to much. He doesn’t want to shake her off.

“Mr. Cooper,” her smile is sinuous and the smell of mint and whiskey on her breath is addictive.

A voice just as smooth as her skin looks.

Her hand slides across his back and into his hair. She massages the blond curls between her fingers.

“This is inappropriate,” he wishes his voice held more conviction.

“I hear you’re quite—disciplined—in the inappropriate,” her hot breath brushes against his ear as she stumbles to form the sentence.

Her words register. A rubber band in his mind snaps into place, “what?”

“Ambition and success are very attractive,” with slightly less difficulty.  The hand not in his hair slides down his chest as she rocks on her feet. He puts his arm around her under the guise of keeping her steady.

“Maybe I should take you home,” his mind far from wanting to take her home.

“I can think of other things I’d rather do with you,” her lips touch his neck lightly. He hasn’t had someone in so long. The need builds inside of him. He’s reminded of last time, he doesn’t care. His larger hand encases hers and he slides from the barstool. His arm closes around her waist to pull her strongly into his side.

She doesn’t protest as he pulls her outside, he doesn’t give her a chance. They are at his car parked near the back of dark lot, the only lighting near the bar entrance.

He spins her around and pushes her up against the cold door of the black SUV. His lips are on her. Neck, cleavage, anything he can reach. His hands slide around to grasp her curves.

He pulls back slightly, finally noticing her stillness. There’s a small, malevolent smile playing on her lips.

“Revenge come’s in all shapes and sizes. This is for Sadie,” vengeful hate coats her voice.

Sadie.

“Wait—” the knife pierces his back, perfectly placed to puncture his heart. The knife is immediately pulled out and he stumbles forward. He misses Vanessa as she spins out of the way and hits the car.

Gloved hands catch his wrists as he falls to the ground and flip him over.

Blackness mars his vision as those dark, malice-filled eyes meet his once again.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to join in anytime!

Bookish Book Lover Tag

Finally! I’m doing my first book tag ever!

This has been a long time coming and I have a whole list of book tags that I, eventually, want to get to. Book tags seem like so much fun. I want to be part of it!

I wasn’t tagged by anyone to do this, but I’m not going to let that stop me. You shouldn’t either.

This tag was created by Shantelle @shantellemaryh and the rules are: use the original banner, answer the questions, use book covers, and tag your friends!

crooked kingdomWhat book are you currently reading?

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

Can you say Inej Ghafa? I’m in love with these characters, and this world! I’m trying to take my time because I never want it to end.

 

a-child-called-itWhat’s the last book you finished?

A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer

This book hit me hard. It was difficult to read, especially since I work in child care.

Favorite book you read this year?

Could this be a more difficult question? Probably not!

Can that be my answer? No…

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, and The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh…

You really couldn’t expect me to pick just one of those…

What genre have you read most this year?

I’d say fantasy. Young adult fantasy.

What genre do you want to read more of?

Historical fiction, contemporary…and is graphic novels a genre?

How many books have you read this year, and what’s your goal?

I’ve read 24 of 40 books this year! My goal might change though. I’ve read a lot more the last few months than I did in the first half of the year.

isleWhat’s the last book you bought?

The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz.

I have a slight (enormous) Disney obsession, and an obsession with decedents of original characters.

What book are you saving up to buy next?

What book am I NOT saving up to buy next would be an easier question…

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Walk the Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and many more.

How many books did you check out on your last library visit?

I have 8 books checked out from the library right now…as if I don’t have 40 books sitting on my TBR shelf already.

What’s a book you can’t wait to read?

A Monster calls by Patrick Ness (which is on my TBR for October) and The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (I can’t wait until November!).

What series would you recommend to everyone?

Should I go with the obvious answer of Harry Potter? Or something new?

How about both.

Obviously Harry Potter.

Less obviously (but still pretty obvious) the Six of Crows duology and The Queen of the Tearling trilogy.

Who’s an author you’re hoping writes more?

I hope Erika Johansen will write more in the world of The Queen of the Tearling even after the third book comes out in November. I also want more from Annie Barrows, she wrote The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I adored that book. She has one other book I haven’t read yet, but really want to. I need more.

What series’ coming conclusion makes you sad?

Six of Crows! This gang can’t leave me…I haven’t spent enough time with them yet!

The Queen of the Tearling. I love the world, characters, and plot…I’m not ready for it to end in November.

What books are on your wish-list?

So, so many.

Right now the one’s I want, but don’t want to buy for myself include:

The Muse by Jessie Burton and Splintered by A.G. Howard

I’m sure there are more that I haven’t thought about…

First book tag done and I’m not sure if I used enough book covers. If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged!

September Wrap-up

Another month down…

How is it already October?! Yesterday it was January!

Another decent reading month with 8 books finished, 1 book read halfway before I had to put it down, and 1 book started! I also participated in 1 read-a-thon this month, completely unplanned. Completely worth it.

After looking back through my original September TBR I was surprised with how many books I read that were actually on that list. I read 6 of the 11 books on my original list.

I read some really fantastic books this month and I’m excited to share them!

To the books!

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: I was compelled to give this work 5/5 stars. I was completely taken by it, and it still hasn’t loosened its hold on me even though it’s been a month since I read it! The characters, writing, and plot were fantastic. 

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: It honestly pains me to give This Savage Song 3/5 stars. If I were unbiased, it would undoubtedly deserve a 4/5 stars based on imagination, character complexity and development, and plot. But I have conflicting emotions toward this story and these characters. I’m hoping to get a full review up for it soon. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: This was the first book by Sarah J. Maas I’ve ever read, and I was not disappointed! I can see why so many people are obsessed with her work. I gave this 4/5 stars. I enjoyed almost everything about the story from the writing and the way Maas weaved Beauty and the Beast into the story to the plot. I did have some issues with it, but overall the book was fantastic.

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat: This book received 3.5/5 stars. I thought it was enjoyable in regards to characters, diversity, and plot. The writing is good, it fit well enough with the time I see the story set it, but sometimes it seemed over the top. I’m looking forward to reading the next books because I want to see how it could turn into romance.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz: I rated this book 4/5 stars. It was a part of my reading for #DiverseAThon and I enjoyed almost everything about it. I adored the characters, the writing was where it fell off for me but it didn’t take out the enjoyment I had reading it.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: I accomplished reading it before the movie came out! Yay. I gave it a 4/5 stars. I loved the plot and the writing, the peculiar children are so interested to me I could read about their lives forever. Jacob became the issue for me, I loved his character, but it was off. His age didn’t mesh with his thoughts. And I wasn’t a fan of the trope I found this book to have. Other than that it was fantastic and I’m excited to read the second one and see the movie.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: There are no words to describe my extreme obsession with Six of Crows, the world, plot, and characters. I want to give it an infinite amount of stars, but since that would be crazy I’ll make peace with giving it 5/5 stars. The plot was incredibly unique, and that characters were so complex and interesting. I love every single one of them and will definitely be reviewing Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom!

A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer: I didn’t rate this book because for me how can I rate something someone had to live through. If I took every element out of it besides writing I’d give it a 2/5 stars. But I can’t take away from the impact the story had on me. It was definitely a difficult read, but also incredibly enlightening and insperational.

an-ember-in-the-ashes

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: I was so sad when I started this book for #DiverseAThon and ended up putting it down halfway through. I could feel myself falling into a reading slump, and it wasn’t helping. I had such high expectations for it that I think it may have ruined it for me. I didn’t enjoy the writing, and I didn’t connect with the characters. I may go back when hype around it has died down and try to read it again.

There you have it! My September Wrap-up!

Did you read any of these books this month? Did you enjoy them?

#DiverseAThon Wrap-up

Another (late) read-a-thon wrap up!

I’m somewhat ashamed to say that I only FINISHED one of the books on my #DiverseAThon TBR, but the point of the read-a-thon was not to read as many books as possible, it was to read DIVERSE books. It felt good to read in support of a movement. Diversity in literature is incredibly important. We need to learn about each other, understand different cultures, people, religions, sexualities, etc. other than your own. Reading has helped me do all of these, and fueled my desire to go different places and immerse myself in different cultures.

This read-a-thon was created and hosted by four amazing booktubers and ran from September 12th to September 19th.

diverseathon

My original TBR included 3 books:

an-ember-in-the-ashesAn Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Status: I had such high expectations of this book because of the amount of hype surrounding it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. That being said, I was able to get halfway through the book before I finally allowed myself to put it down. I just couldn’t invest myself in it the way I wanted to. I hope to return to it later with a clear mind.

 

ari-and-danteAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Status: This book pulled me out of the book hangover/slump I felt coming on. It was the perfect book for me to read after reading a constant stream of fantasy books. It was the only book I finished for the read-a-thon, but it had all the elements of the perfect book for the DiverseAThon. This book was an Own Voices book, and also included people of color, and the main characters are both part of the LGBTQ+ community. I’ll have a book review up soon!

 

the-rose-and-the-daggerThe Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Status: I didn’t even get to start this book, and I’m incredibly sad. Before this read-a-thon started I was reading ACOTAR and then Captive Prince, so I lent out my copy to someone…I still don’t have it back…

 

 

Even though I didn’t read many books for this read-a-thon, just being involved in it was a profound experience. The amount of people that came together to stand up for diversity in literature, and in life, is incredible. It’s so important that everyone has representation, something or someone to identify with.

Did you participate in the read-a-thon? What did you learn from the experience?