When Dimple Met Rishi [Book Review]

Whenever I read books on my nook app, like I did with When Dimple Met Rishi, I like to highlight any words, phrases, or sentences that I particularly enjoy while I’m reading.

Loved Words/Phrases/Sentences:

dampness of disappointment pg. 8

The woman was relentless, with the jaw muscles of a jungle predator pg. 24

beatific pg. 27

gobsmacked pg. 54

they were timepieces, not watches pg. 64

the Alpha Omega Toe Jam legacy pg. 84

drawing had always been a tempering balm pg. 112

bereft pg. 141

insouciance pg. 218

cuff links that winked under the recessed lighting pg. 273

her ultrasound picture at the grainy blob/glorified amoeba pg. 296

decimated pg. 300

For this read I also highlighted multiple of Sandhya Menon’s italicized words which were borrowed terms from Hindi. Her incorporation of heritage and culture into this YA Fiction/Contemporary Romance makes it feel so much more real and so much more important. Sandhya Menon’s voice is able to shine through her words, making this contemporary novel a dive into Indian culture and a look at arranged marriages for Indian Americans raised in America. The two different perspectives of Rishi and Dimple shows the two different sides of the equation, both of their thoughts on arranged marriage and their cultural heritage.

Dimple’s character development can be seen from the beginning of the novel, her thoughts are well conveyed and her actions go along with her characterization and don’t stray until you see her change with the book, with love. By the end you can still feel who she was at the beginning, who she still is inside, but you know she’s learned and grown and found herself closer in adulthood. 

Also let’s talk about her best friend while she’s at Insomnia Con. Celia. Her character also goes through a lot of self discovery and self realization. She’s always been the outcast and never had her moment with the popular kids in high school, so when the popular douchebags take a liking to her, she morphs herself to get along with them. Then by the end she has her moment of clarity on the middle of the stage, in skimpy attire, surrounded by idiots. Celia had a rough few weeks, but in the end it aided her and her development because she learned the value of true friendship and still gained a dear friend, Dimple, by the end of the story. Although in some cases that true friendship may not have been recovered, in this hopeful story it was and it leaves the reader feeling their own sense of hope in the world. 

I did have some problems with Rishi being so perfect, he respects his parents and does everything with them in mind. Sure, there are many of us who follow ourr parents wishes, but his entire life is dictated by them and there’s no moment in which he wavers from that. He doesn’t even realize it at the end of the book, he decides to follow his dreams, but doesn’t bother to change his mind about other aspects of his life. He’s so understanding and hardly gets mad. He just feels too perfect, with no real flaws, besides the flaw that exists in perfection. It just felt a little unbelievable for me, especially since everyone has some kind of moment of rebellion when they feel misunderstood. I found it hard to believe that Rishi could be such a perfect human. 

Although it was the story about a computer science enthusiast who went to a coding event, there wasn’t a lot of focus on the coding or the project she was working on. I understand it’s a romance story, but the coding and science aspect didn’t come through so much. I was also a little confused why Celia was at Insomnia Con, since she didn’t seem that interested in coding or computer science for most of the book. 

When it comes to the actual love story, I was a little disappointed that the romance truly began 1/3 into the novel. There wasn’t enough of a build up for me. Dimple changed her mind about boys pretty fast and it was all about their relationship and their love from that point on. When the romance is painfully dragged out throughout the book it feels so much more satisfying when something finally happens. This could be because I usually read romance arcs that are thrown into books from other genres, and maybe that’s just my preference. 

I would definitely recommend this book to any reader, especially loves of romance. Even though I had some qualms with the plot or characters of the novel, I sped through it and finished it within three days. I enjoyed reading it and it was certainly entertaining. I’m so pleased that more diverse authors and books are finally finding their light in the literary universe. It’s about time that we hear more voices in literature and read the stories they have to tell. I will definitely be reading Sandhya Menon’s other novel From Twinkle, with Love.

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