When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi
Written by Sandhya Menon
Contemporary, Diverse, Romance
Expected Publication June 1st 2017
384 Pages
Thank you to Hachette Australia
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★★★★★
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 is one of the loveliest contemporary young adult novels I've had the privilege of reading and the epitome of young adult literature. Representative and diverse experiences with an affirming narration.

Dimple Shah is a spirited young woman who is determined to push patriarchal career boundaries. Before she attends Stanford University, Dimple plans to attend an internet development program for aspiring developers, much to the dismay of her traditional Indian mother who believes in the traditional roles of women. To marry and raise children.

Rishi Patel is a quiet and charming young man, a traditionalist that has abandoned his artistic passion to pursue an Engineering degree to placate his parents. Before attending University, Rishi will attend a development program to rendezvous with his intended, unbeknownst to Dimple who is accosted by the enthusiastic Rishi.

The romance was captivating.
And then he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her to him, one hand moving up to cup her cheek, thumb just under her jaw while his fingers tangled in her hair. Rishi kissed her with purpose, with meaning, like he believed this was exactly where they were supposed to be in this moment. He kissed her till she believed it too.
Dimple and Rishi are wonderful individuals. Determined and enterprising but ultimately family orientated. Dimple is comfortable within her Indian American heritage but challenges her traditional parental ideals while Rishi is a traditionalist. Although Dimple opposes the perception of the Ideal Indian Husband she remains faithful to her culture. The eldest of two children, Rishi perceives his younger brother as carefree while abandoning his own aspirations of becoming a comic book illustrator, burdened by parental expectations. Rishi allows Dimple to establish the parameters of their tentative friendship, consistently the gentleman.

The narrative traverses a six week period of the development program and over the course of the duration, Dimple establishes a friendship with a girl who she shared an internet friendship with prior to arriving. It also explores casual racism and stereotypes associated with socioeconomically prestige. It was incredibly sex positive and touches upon the choice of sex before marriage and faith, something I've yet to find within young adult.

The infusion of Indian culture was magnificent. Arranged marriage is often viewed as negative and often oppressive by western societal ideals, ignorant perceptions of forced unions and the lovely Mishma addresses the wonderful representation of Indian culture within her review and the concept of positively depicting arranged marriage.

Debut author Sandhya Menon has woven an incredibly endearing narrative, an affluent and opulent diverse narration that is inspiring and delightful. 

23 comments

  1. I've been a little unsure about this one because I'm not sure how good the writing would be, but your review may have convinced me!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. It's absolutely lovely Ellie, I loved the tentative friendship between Dimple and Rishi. He was such a wonderful support. I loved it and can't wait to see what Sandhya Menon is working on next.

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  2. Yay I'm even more excited now for this book. I loved that was cute but powerful

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    1. It's a brilliant read Tash and one that you'll want to enjoy again and again. It'll be one of my pick me up reads.

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  3. I just skimmed your review because EEEEEEE I'm reading it soon. I started getting a little nervous because I was seeing mixed reviews and I need this to be amazing lol SO I'm glad to see you loved it.

    For What It's Worth

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    1. No need to be nervous Karen, it's such a delightful read. Really lovely and well written and I loved Dimple, so spirited and pushed boundaries in a male dominated profession.

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  4. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I think you ust made me even more excited for this now! It sounds utterly wonderful!

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    1. You need this book Verushka! I'm preordering now that Hachette Australia have the rights to publication here. Such a wonderful read!

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  5. Love this review, Kelly! I'm thrilled that you loved it so much. I adored these characters so much too and connected a lot with both Dimple and Rishi. And of course, that romance! *SWOONS! So perfect! I can't wait to see what else Sandhya Menon has up her sleeve. If it's anything like this was, then it's going to be a very fruitful career for her. :)

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    1. I couldn't agree more! I loved it and I loved the representation of arranged marriage as a positive union. It was magnificent. Dimple and Rishi together were so lovely and I have such affection for quite young adult novels. It's such a comfort read.

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  6. I saw this book on a few "Looking forward to in 2017" posts and thought the blurb sounded fantastic and your review proves it - I MUST GET MY HANDS ON THIS! ASAP!

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    1. It's such a wonderful read Sarah, perfect for those cold winter nights when you're looking for a lovely, warm read with a beautiful romance.

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  7. I'm so glad you loved this one. I was sent an ARC the other day and I can't wait to start reading! Plus, the actual book comes out on my birthday, so that just makes me happy. I actually did a little bookstagram photo for this one - I don't do it often, but I want to more- if you're interested - www.instagram.com/laurenashleybecker

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    1. What a book to share your birthday with Lauren! I absolutely love the Bookstagram photo, so lovely and the cover looks wonderful doesn't it. I can't wait to see what you think of it!

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  8. Yay! I've been hearing about this one left and right and I'm glad you enjoyed it as well, Kelly! It'll definitely be worth it when I read it. ^^

    Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

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    1. It's so lovely Sophia, one of those books that is an absolute delight to immerse yourself in. It kept me reading long into the night. I can't wait to see what you think of it!

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  9. i am interested, considering most arranged marriage involves two people awkwardly looking at each other over a table in Chinese cases

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    1. This is definitely more involved than that scenario Ailyn, it's beautiful and so wonderfully portrayed as a positive experience. It's awkward at times but Dimple is such a refreshing protagonist and I loved the family involvement.

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  10. I've heard nothing but great things about this book and how wonderful it is, so I am so glad to see you enjoyed it so much too! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

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    1. Thanks Zoe and it's incredible. One of the loveliest contemporaries you'll read all year. I would love to see what you think of it.

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  11. This is the kind of book that I think of when I think of contemporary romance. It sounds so sweet and full of, like, whimsy I guess?? I've been looking forward to this one for months now, too! I'm so happy that it has GOOD representation. Also, that thing about sex before marriage and faith is so important to include in a YA book. It's something that a lot of people struggle with! Although I'm not really religiously affiliated, it was STILL an important question in my mind because it is quite stigmatized by the school health classes and such. I'm soooo excited now!

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  12. This sounds so good. I am not a fan of romances but the good reviews that When Dimple met Rishi is getting is definitely making me curious. Everyone seems to love it

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  13. I'm so glad more diverse books are getting published, and I'm excited to see how this one turns out. I've heard a lot of positive things, so I'm glad you were also a fan! It sounds like such a cute romance, and I'm excited to see how it incorporates Indian culture. Great review!

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