“Seriously? That’s what you think I should be relegating my brain space to? Looking nice? Like, if I don’t make the effort to look beautiful, my entire existence is nullified? Nothing else matters-not my intellect, not my personality or my accomplishments; my hopes and dreams mean nothing if I’m not wearing eyeliner?” – Dimple
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.” She is excited that her family finally lets her sign up for a summer program in app design.
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.
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.
Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance / 380 pages
We all know When Dimple Met Rishi. It’s been circulating in the blogosphere for quite a while. I was very excited to read this book because of all the positive reviews, though I’ve been warned about the cheesiness. In the end, I liked this book. It gives me a warm and happy feeling. But booooy is it cheesy.
I absolutely love that this novel features diverse main characters. Dimple and Rishi are both from Indian families who hold traditional values, yet Dimple and Rishi themselves are very different. Dimple is a strong-headed and independent girl, she is ambitious and she wants more than anything to aim for the career of her dreams. She could care less about having the Ideal Indian Husband, and she cringes at the notion of the obedient housewife who caters to her husband’s every single whim, with no room to pursue dreams of her own. Meanwhile, Rishi is proud of his heritage. As the older son, he feels the obligation to abide by tradition and be the perfect son and role model. He is a hopeless romantic who admires the loving relationship between his mom and dad, and he has faith in the institution of arranged marriage that it will take him there too. Through Dimple and Rishi, and their heartwarming, hilarious, families, I learned more about the Indian culture, which fascinates me.
The characters are well thought out, from Dimple and Rishi to the supporting cast. At first glance, Dimple is that sharp-tongued and sharp-witted girl who is driven by ambition. But we learn that she has a soft side and she is a romantic at heart. Rishi is determined to uphold his traditional Indian values, and he wants to be the Ideal Indian Husband. He is set to start MIT in the fall, because he is determined to graduate with a respectable degree and get a well-paying job to support his future family. However, he tries to deny his true passion, which is art. The supporting characters have lives and personalities of their own: from Rishi’s brother to Dimple’s roommate. It is amazing to watch their stories unravel before our eyes, and to see their relationships strength and change throughout the novel.
The writing is witty and made me laugh at just the right moments. The first few chapters drew me in completely, because both Dimple and Rishi are just so adorable and hilarious. I loved that they each have a distinct voice and it is fascinating to see the world from each of their points of views.
However, as the story progresses, I felt that both Dimple and Rishi lose their uniqueness and they become your typical lovestruck teenagers. And it just gets cheesy. The heart pounding and the butterflies in the stomach and so on and so forth. It gave me goosebumps and chills down the spine. That’s how cheesy it was.
I am conflicted about the POV switching in this novel. In general, I am not against POV switching. I’ve enjoyed many novels that are written this way. But is there a point when the POV switching happens too often? In When Dimple Met Rishi, there are often moments when a scene is broken into many parts, alternating between Dimple and Rishi’s points of views. To be honest, I am not quite sure what I make of it.
I loved the performance in the audiobook.
The Bottom Line:
Despite the cheesiness and predictability, When Dimple Met Rishi is a light read that warmed up my heart and made me smile. If you are interested in learning about the Indian culture, and in a mood for a good romance, you may want to give this a try.