I cannot resist hype. I get really bad FOMO (I blame Twitter and Instagram) and so when I popped into a bookshop and saw When Dimple Met Rishi on a curated table, I couldn’t help but take it home with me. It had been all over the Twittersphere and so I had to see what I was missing out on. I already downloaded the eBook for review, but it’s just not the same, y’know? I love the cover, which shows a happy Dimple enjoying her iced coffee, and it looked like the perfect summer read – just what I wanted.
Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi is described as an “arranged married romcom”, about Dimple, whose aim in life is to go to university, get away from her traditional Indian parents and take over the tech world, and Rishi – handsome, rich, sensible – who signs up to coding camp in San Francisco to meet his proposed partner. But Dimple has no idea about any of this and is not quite ready to meet her I.I.H. (Ideal Indian Husband). Cue tipping coffee all over Rishi when he comes up to her for the first time and says “hello, future wife”. Let the romance begin!
When Dimple Met Rishi is the perfect YA contemporary read, for me. I struggle to enjoy contemporary romance if both characters aren’t super likeable, but Dimple and Rishi are perfect. (They’re not perfect people, but they’re my kind of characters). They’re geeky, albeit in different ways. They’re both smart, funny, talented and interesting. And you know what? They’re lovely. I admired Rishi’s enthusiasm for and knowledge of his Indian heritage, and Dimple’s determination to go her own way: she doesn’t know if she wants to get married, ever. But she knows she has the ability to be among the top coders, she wants to create an app that makes a difference, and she’s willing to work hard to do it. Both Dimple and Rishi are fiercely protective of the path they’ve chosen for themselves – and it was also heartening to see them question it, because life is still up in the air at seventeen.
I guarantee you’ll fall in love with When Dimple Met Rishi before the end of the first chapter. After a few pages, I knew I was going to love this story. It was wonderful to get that excited, fluttery feeling that comes with discovering something new – and wanting to tell everyone about it. I loved that the story was infused with Indian culture. Being introduced to Dimple’s mum was a pure joy, even if she’s super intimidating and often frustrating. I also loved seeing a girl who was passionate about STEM subjects and a boy who was passionate about art.
When Dimple Met Rishi has made it onto my favourites shelf. It made me happy and that’s what I’m here for, quite frankly.
“Oh no, you go ahead,” he said jovially. “Our brains need a break from all the unchecked, casual misogyny.”