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)

 

 

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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!