REVIEW: When Dimple Met Rishi - Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi - Sandhya Menon
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 1st June 2017.
My rating: 4/5
Book depository purchase link.

This is the book that everyone is talking about. The release date was pushed forward by over a month and everyone is going wild. Seriously, it's one to keep your eye on.

You can tell right from the cover that this is going to be one of those diverse YA novels that the industry needs. Dimple is a young woman on the road to a career in coding and computing. She's desperate to win a competition that will see her idea for an app launched in the professional market. Although she comes from a traditional Indian family, she's not interested in make-up or finding the Ideal Indian Husband. Meanwhile, Rishi is set on following his parents' wishes and when he's told his future wife will be attending a six week long competition, he decides to go. When the two meet their clashing personalities for a vibrant and comedic narrative that discusses Indian American culture, arranged marriages and feminism in a light-hearted way. 

Told in alternating perspectives, Dimple and Rishi are both completely set in their ways and the way they bounce off each other is wonderful. I can see this perfectly translating into a rom-com on the big screen. I loved the balancing out of the characters through Dimple's mum and Rashi's brother as well as the other teenagers at the competition. In some ways, Celia was exactly the opposite of Dimple, yet the way they still managed to maintain a great friendship paved the way for Dimple and Rishi. 

The novel touches on so many topics, including bullying and prejudice. Dimple and Rishi even handled that differently but it didn't mean that either of them had a perfect solution and that was important. I loved the lack of perfections and conclusions and everything-will-be-brilliant. Their struggles and fears made their decisions all the more powerful.

I wasn't such a fan of the talent show which seemed a bit bizarre in ways. It didn't seem to have much relevance to the competition and I would have liked to have seen more chapters on how Dimple and Rishi prepared their product and how they could use any extra money towards it. It kind of felt like a plot device rather than a step in moving the story forward. In the same way, the way that sex was handled as a topic throughout the novel was very casual and not at all how I expected it to be. Maybe it's just me but I found it odd that it wasn't a bigger deal.

However, I highly recommend sinking into the world of Dimple and Rishi. It's well worth picking up and adding to your TBR. Just let me know what you think of it when you do!

Love, Jess

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for my ARC.

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