Need Movie Now: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

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.

Source: GoodReads

When I heard about When Dimple Met Rishi it was on my TBR list pretty automatically, but I’ll admit it, I was a little skeptical about the whole arrange marriage angle.

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Okay, a lot of skeptical.

I think part of it is a culture thing.  In the US, arranged marriages aren’t really seen much.  I also took a course in law school on human trafficking, so I know how these marriages can go when they go wrong. And then I read that one book a few years back with a disastrous arranged marriage.  And finally, I know of someone who keeps avoiding being put in an arrange relationship by her mother so…it’s really hard to romanticize something like that.

Good thing is that Menon really doesn’t force the marriage angle at all.  In fact, Dimple’s reaction to the whole thing was so on point.

Oh, God, I love Dimple.  She is everything I want and more in a YA protagonist.   First of all, she’s direct to the point and bad ass.  Also, she’s interested in STEM which is highly unusual for a protagonist  in a YA book.  And it’s a genuine interest too, not some pandering interest ( a la that dumb ass Codes and Clues game in the Nancy Drew series).  I wish there would’ve been more discussion about her app, because it sounded really cool, but I did enjoy the parts that did focus on her and what a woman who is interested in STEM might potentially face.

I also enjoyed Rishi.  He was adorable.  At first I was kind of annoyed by him, because he did come off as slightly creepy in the opening pages of the book.  But it’s quickly revealed that that creepiness is really nervousness, and he really does develop as a character throughout the book.   Though, he still deserved that coffee in his face at the beginning of the book.

And oh yeah, the cover.  Totally fits the book.  I hardly ever can say that about covers, but this one fits.  And the cover models were actually how I pictured the characters.

The plot, is your pretty standard falling in love at a summer camp sort of thing with both Dimple and Rishi coming to realizations about themselves.  Menon makes the characters come alive, and I really like the infusion of Indian culture in the book.  It’s not done in a hammy way, but for readers who aren’t familiar with this culture will find it interesting.

The one  thing I did not like about this book was the side plot involving the Aberzombies.  I think it was in part suppose to be comedy relief, but all these characters came off as annoying and the whole bathing suit thing came off as borderline offensive and stupid.  It was the only thing that made me think about lowering this book from five stars to four.  However, I didn’t though.

Overall, if you want something cute and frothy to get your mind off of things, read this.  It’s a jut kiss already book  and it will take your mind off of things, while making you think about some other things.  Is it perfect, no.  But overall the faults it had, did not take away from the enjoyment (that much).

Overall Rating: An A.  A- if I want to be ultra picky.

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