Sometimes a fun, young-adult love story is just what the doctor ordered, and this New Title Tuesday recommendation, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, is the perfect prescription.
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.
When Dimple Met Rishi is not just a whimsical love-story. It is also about finding your own identity apart from parents, peers, and significant others. Menon uses a light touch to address important issues such as racism, class-ism, and misogyny but doesn’t ignore their existence and the effects on young people.
I recommend When Dimple Met Rishi to anyone 13 years and up. Take note, sexting and sex are discussed. However, the best thing about the story line is that Dimple is focused on her future and her education. Rishi is focused on meeting his parents’ expectations for his future. Dimple also doesn’t allow herself to feel less-than when demeaned for being female in the male-dominated world of technology.
In fact, Dimple is a role model for girls and young women because she refuses to accept the judgement of those who do not accept or approve of her because of her race, gender, appearance, or status. Rishi is a role model for boys and young men. He does not shy away from being himself even if it is not cool, nor does he use violence or aggression to get what he wants.
When Dimple Met Rishi is wistful and weighty at the same time.
Happy Reading, Susan C.
Accolades for When Dimple Met Rishi
Summer 2017 Top Ten Indie Next Pick
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Teen Vogue’s 10 Diverse Books by YA Authors of Color to Read in 2017
Bustle’s 19 Best Young Adult Books of May 2017
Seventeen Magazine’s 12 Life-Changing Books You Have to Read This Summer
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