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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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.

#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?

 

#DiverseAThon TBR

Here we go again! 

I seem to always find out about Read-A-Thon’s I want to join the day before they start. I really wasn’t planning on doing another one so soon after #ReadThemAllThon but I’m willing to do it for this. 

The #DiverseAThon is the reaction of four lovely, amazing ladies to the video questioning and putting diversity down that’s been going around lately.

I haven’t seen the video, nor do I intend to give it any attention (it doesn’t need another view, I’m sure) beyond supporting diversity in literature and in life.

I owe my open-minded inclination to inclusivity to reading. I’ve learned more than I even realize about the world and all of the different people that live in it from reading a wide selection of diverse books. These books have fueled my desire to travel and experience different peoples and cultures outside the United States. 

Diversity will always have a place and purpose in literature. Whether it be sexuality, race, religion, socio-economic…etc, a person cannot go through life without experiencing diversity. 

That being said! Here’s my TBR for this week long Read-A-Thon, starting September 12th and ending September 19th in which you can discover exactly what diversity means to you. There aren’t any challenges, the only guidelines being that it’s a week long and you read and discuss diverse books. 

Links to the hostesses YouTube announcements:

Christina Marie, Joce, Monica, and Whitney

DiverseAThon.jpg

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

Goodreads Synopsis

Sabaa Tahir identifies as a “British-born, American-raised South-Asian descended writer,” which makes her extremely diverse to me. I’m not sure how much diversity is within the book itself, but I feel it is every bit as important to support diverse authors as it is to support diverse content and characters!

This book has also been on my TBR forever, and being so late to the party, I already had it on hand.

 

the-rose-and-the-dagger

The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Goodreads Synopsis

I loved the Wrath & the Dawn. I loved the world, diversity, and learning about Middle Eastern culture through a Fantasy book.

The sequel is sure to be every bit as diverse. Not only is the book and characters diverse, but Ahdieh is also of mixed race. 

I adore her writing and the way she supports diversity in her books and makes it incredibly magical.

 

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

Goodreads Synopsis

I have been needing to read this book for months. I’ve heard so many good things about it. I support everything that is LGBTQ+, and always will. 

I love seeing more and more LGBTQ+ because I remember a time when the only place I could easily find such topics was diving through the depths of Mibba and Wattpad. 

My TBR’s are ALWAYS ambitious. Reading 3 books (including the semi-mammoth that is An Ember in the Ashes) in the span of a week, working full time, working out, and keeping up with my blog and bookstagram just doesn’t seem possible! But I’ll do my best. I love that we’re all coming together to support diversity in the best way we know how!

#ReadThemAllThon Wrap-up

My first ever reading challenge has come to an end!

I’m very happy to have participated in this challenge. Even though I didn’t reach my goal, I read a lot of good books and put a dent in my TBR!

august-wrap-up

My goal for this Read-a-Thon was to read 8 books, each following the rules of one of the challenges and earning me a gym badge and combat power points for the Pokemon I chose.

In the end, I completed 5 out of the 8 challenges…which I’m pretty happy about since my list was entirely over-ambitious.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge01-Boulder

Book Choice: The Raven Boys by Maggie SteifvaterCover_ravenboys_300

Status: Completed August 30th

Pages: 409

Thoughts: I don’t currently have a full review posted on this book. I’m not sure if I’ll post one but it wouldn’t count anyway. Just know that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I gave it a 4/5 Stars and I can’t wait to continue with this series!

CP: +40+20+2+2=64

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Book Choice: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera9781616956776-400x600

Status: Completed August 15th

Pages: 300

Thoughts: This book hit me so hard. It was the perfect mix of incredible happiness and the deepest, darkest sadness. I cried so much. So much. I gave this book a 5/5 Stars and I would read anything Adam Silvera created. I have a full review of it posted!

CP: +30+20+20+2=72

ReadThemAllThon-Badge03-Thunder

911Xmhn9+rLBook Choice: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Status: Completed August 16th

Pages: 327

Thoughts: This was hyped before it was even contemplated by J.K. Rowling. I didn’t find it fantastic, not anything compared to the 7 book series. It’s something completely separate for me. My advice: go into it with an open mind. I gave this playwright a 3.5/5 Stars. My full review is posted!

CP: +32+20+20+2=74

Evolution: Shinx to Luxio

+50 CP

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Book Choice: The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh51ZanRZ7R4L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Status: Completed September 3rd

Pages: 388

Thoughts: I fell in love with this book from the beginning. It took me no time at all to become enthralled in the beauty and darkness that is The Wrath & the Dawn. I loved the characters, the plot, and the writing. It was an all around amazing book and I gave it 5/5 Stars. I hope to get a full review up soon just because I need to express my thoughts on this book!

CP: +38+20=58

ReadThemAllThon-Badge05-Soul

Book Choice: Outlander by Diana Gabaldonoutlander

Status: Completed August 28

Pages: 627 (might as well have been 850)

Thoughts: THIS BOOK. This book is the one that killed all of my chances at completing this Read-a-Thon…and it was beyond worth it. I adored this book. I loved the plot and the characters. Gabaldon is a fantastic writer. This romance was more than epic and I will never get over Jamie and Claire, nor do I want to. I will be reading the entire series and I don’t care that it’ll take me forever. I gave it a 4/5 Stars and can’t wait to read the next one!

CP: 62+20+2=84

Evolution: Luxio to Luxray

+50 CP

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Book Choice: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwabthis_savage_song_cover

Status: Not completed by the end of the Read-a-Thon

Pages: 427

Thoughts: I didn’t finish this book in time for it to count for the Read-a-Thon. Although I could get points for the pages I did read, I’m not going to bother because I’m lazy. I enjoyed this book. I had some issues with it, but overall the good far outweighed the bad and I can’t wait for Our Dark Duet! I gave this book a 4/5 Stars (after changing my mind multiple times between 3.5 and 4).

CP: 0

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Book Choice: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maasacotar

Status: Not started/finished before September 4th

Pages: 416

Thoughts: I just started this book and am about 100 pages in. Enjoying it so far!

CP: 0

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Book Choice: The 5th Wavethe fifth wave

Status: Still chilling on my TBR shelf…

Pages: 457

Thoughts: None because I probably won’t pick this book up until October if I’m lucky.

CP: 0

Final Pokemon Update:
luxrayName: Luxray

Trainer: Amanda

Blog: A Bookish Invasion

Type: Electric

Evolutionary Stage: 3

Combat Power: +462

**CP Breakdown: +10 Startup+202 Pages+40 Reviews+100 Badges+10 Tweets+50 Evolution+50 Evolution