Sandhya Menon: When Dimple Met Rishi

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.

First of all, this book is goddamn adorable. Second of all, it deals with a major divide between traditional and modern ways of life:  how do we find love?

There’s been a lot of joking (and some not so joking) about how Dimple disrespects an iced coffee by throwing it at Rishi. But let’s be honest, we ladies are always on alert. If some guy walked up to me and told me I was going to be his future bride? I would DEFINITELY think he was a creep. Her reaction is definitely justified. Thankfully, Rishi makes up for the loss of that coffee tenfold in the book, and their friendship becomes a beautiful one.

I think that’s what I love so much about the book. Once the confusion is cleared up, they become fast friends, and it’s so lovely to watch happen. There is some sexy tension in there, of course, but Dimple and Rishi are just there for each other and I love it.

One thing I did feel a bit uncomfortable with was all the cash Rishi flashed around, and Dimple obviously did too. I just didn’t think it fit his modest, laid back personality–leave the cash fluttering to someone like Evan or Hari.

What really made this book, though, was the inclusion of the Hindi language (Rishi refers to it as Bombay Hindi). Sometimes with bilingual books, I feel like I am constantly having to stop, find a translation, read a bit more, stop, find a translation, read a bit more, etc. Menon wrapped her Hindi with context to allow non-Hindi speakers to still read the book smoothly–and maybe even learn a little bit! I felt included in the dialogue, and that helped me stay engaged.

But, this book is absolutely not about me, and I know there are so many Indian-American readers who love this book for the representation it gives. I remember when it first came out, how excited people were to finally see a contemporary young adult/new adult book about arranged marriage! Representation matters, and this book is way more than just an iced coffee on the cover.

DIVERSITYBINGO2017:  Contemporary World Arranged Marriage


This post contains affiliate links.

Leave a Reply


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: