I had a feeling I was going to love When Dimple Met Rishi and I did. I had heard such wonderful things about the book, so the hype was real. And it was absolutely met 100%!
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.
Since I loved so many things about this book, I am going to have to break it into bullet points. I just have to. It seems like I wouldn’t have to, because there’s endless things to talk about – but I don’t even know where I should begin!
- I adore dual point of views, but they have to be written right. Well Menon nails it. You never have trouble figuring out who is who because each of their narrative voices are so unique. There’s also a genuine skill in not getting bogged down in them, but Menon switches between them at just the right moments, always illuminating another element of their relationship or character.
- Dimple and Rishi have such dynamic characters. They are rich with personality, little quirks, and they ooze with relatability. They are awkward and endearing. I loved Dimple’s fiery spirit, her feminism and her insistence in following her dreams. At the same time I loved Rishi’s idealism, his fierce family loyalty, and his romantic spirit.
- I really connected to the way that Dimple felt out of place within her family – especially the line where she says she has ‘a lifetime of pent up rage’. That was the moment I fell completely in love with Dimple. She occupies spaces traditionally reserved for men and while she is confident and passionate, the sexism and injustice grates on her.
- This was pure romantic comedy with the addition of real substance and deep conversations. The plot was truly spectacular – it had almost a Shakespearean twist to it.
- We are able to see how their relationship and how their identity as individuals change throughout the book. I adored bearing witness to the ways they realize they are different and also similar. Their exchanges are so genuine – there’s a genuine warmth between them sparking beneath your fingertips (or in my case my ears).
- They have some great conversations about their identity – feeling too American in India and always Other in America. I loved that they talked about how it was a different experience for each of them. It was fantastic to witness this on the page because I often feel like this in spaces that are devoted to Chinese Americans. I experience this simultaneous fear ff both not belonging and belonging – that you can never measure up, but then also about being a fraud.
- Dimple and Rishi struggle with all sorts of challenges such as balancing family and ambition as well as expectations and dreams. This book is about the ways we can try to fit in, to mold ourselves to these boxes and circles and pretend that we can live in that space. It takes bravery and love to expand out of the limits we choose to accept and form genuine connections with those who see us for who are truly are.
Make sure you check out When Dimple Met Rishi, if you haven’t read it, on Goodreads. I hadn’t until now, and if you’ve also been missing out, remind yourself!!