This is a spoiler-free review. I will not be giving away any major plot details beyond the premise of the book.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon follows the story of an Indian-American girl named Dimple, who has grown up in a family that pressures her to follow Indian traditions despite her being born in America. Dimple’s parents set up an arranged marriage with a boy named Rishi without telling Dimple about it. But Dimple has no interest in getting married and settling down, especially if it’s a marriage her parents are pressuring her into. She wants to live her life the way she chooses to – and that includes college and becoming a brilliant app developer.
I loved this book so so much. I gave it a 5 on Goodreads and a 10/10 on my scale. I’m pretty kind with my ratings – I almost never give below a 6 because I don’t tend to finish books that I’m not enjoying so I don’t rate them at all. But there’s only a few books/series’ on my shelf that I’ve crowned with a 10. And I just had to do so for this book. It’s such a cute story that has so many layers, and I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. I loved Dimple’s emotional journey, and the conflict she felt within regarding choices about her life. It was inspiring to read a young character that is so career-driven and independent.
It was (mostly) the characters who made this book so incredible. I admired Dimple right from the beginning, and loved reading about someone who is from a different cultural background. Even though she was born and raised in America, she is always considered an outsider by many others because she is Indian. But Dimple doesn’t see herself as an ‘outsider.’ She knows who she is and identifies as American. Anybody who suggests otherwise is just wrong – and she knows it. As for Rishi, I didn’t like him very much at first. I could see that he meant well, but he seemed like a creep and a total pushover. But he grew throughout the novel and grew on me by extension. By halfway through the book, I loved Rishi and the dynamics between him and Dimple.
It was touching how, throughout the novel, Dimple and Rishi learned a lot from one another about choices, life, and relationships – not just with each other, but with everyone in their lives. The character development is strong, and it moves alongside the story in such a coherent way. Everything feels natural and real, shown to the reader by Sandy Menon’s fantastic writing. The book is written in third-person, but it jumps back and forth between being told more from Dimple’s point of view to more from Rishi’s point of view. It slid between the two so fluently, and each change felt like a natural shift in the voice with two distinct perspectives (which isn’t easy for a writer to do).
Overall, I just really loved this book. If you like YA, if you like contemporary, if you like reading about other cultures, if you like strong female characters, if you like romance that isn’t over-the-top, and if you like stories that are inspirational, funny, and moving… Then pick up When Dimple Met Rishi and read it.
MY RATING: 10/10
READ IF YOU ENJOYED:
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
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