Book Review & Discussion: When Dimple Met Rishi Book by Sandhya Menon

when-dimple-met-rishi-bookI honestly have pretty conflicted feelings about this book. On a surface level, it was a fun and easy read. Things fell together like a stereotypical Disney movie. The main characters, Dimple and Rishi, are cute together, and the first impression is very nerdy and heartwarming feel where a happily ever after is expected. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t particularly enjoy this book as much as I originally believed.

One of the reasons why I didn’t like this book was that it was extremely predictable. It literally follows every YA trope in existence. (I’m exaggerating.) I could guess everything that was going to happen five chapters before it actually did. There wasn’t any real conflict in this story–things fell together too easily. 🙁

Spoiler-free Summary: 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.

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.

One thing I really appreciated about this book was its exposure to Indian culture. 🙌 I really have to applaud Sandhya Menon for incorporating references and dialogue in such an organic way. However, it was somewhat difficult to follow because I didn’t fully understand every reference, so I had to continuously look things up on Google which broke the reading flow. A part of me wishes there were definitions of specific words or translations at the bottom of each page as footnotes. Also, I originally thought this book would highlight more of Dimple’s interest in STEM and the projects her and Rishi worked on; however, the book barely touches on this at all AKA don’t expect it.

I would rate this book 3/5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐ It’s a nice read, but it’s not blow-your-mind and break-your-heart amazing. It’s pretty average. Like I said, it’s a Disney movie–a fun (but predictable) story with a happy ending.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

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I was really engaged with the first half of the book, but the more I read, the more predictable the story became…

I can really appreciate Dimple standing up to her mother (because she’s such a hover mom), but I hate how her character is portrayed to be extremely unique and special at the expense of other girls. 😕 We’re constantly reminded how Dimple “is not like other girls” because she’s a driven female in STEM and defies gender expectations. Now, I’m all for female empowerment…but not at the expense of other females. Cecilia, Dimple’s roommate, and Isabelle, a “b*tchy popular girl” are depicted as morally inferior because they’re more popular, more rich, and more stereotypically feminine, meaning they shop and wear makeup. giphy.gifInitially, I thought the book was very sweet because we were watching Dimple fall for Rishi since Rishi is obviously whipped from the very beginning. But then, I realized…what is with this instalove? Rishi literally swoons when Dimple pours ice coffee on him, and he continues to yearn after her when she’s physically violent towards him. She’s extremely controlling of his actions throughout the book, and while some may interpret that as her being driven, it simply comes off as being rude to me.

The “Aberzombies” are incredibly one-dimensional, but I guess they need to be since they’re the villains with no redeeming qualities. They’re the obnoxious and privileged rich kids who win the entire competition due to family connections. I definitely agree that this does happen often in real life, but humans are much more complex than that. It was just another YA trope inserted to create an easy-to-hate villain.

Also, for a summer coding camp called Insomnia Con, there was literally no programming or work being done. This book was highly regarded for highlighting a female in STEM, yet we didn’t get any of this at all! 😤 The freaking talent show took up a third of the book, but there was not a single paragraph highlighting the process of them creating an app. Dimple and Rishi’s app idea was really good, but any further mention of its development was shoved off the table.

The ending was sweet, but it just didn’t feel realistic. Rishi giving up MIT to attend art school? I don’t buy it. I think it’s incredibly moving and I wish it were as easy for most people as it was for Rishi, but that just isn’t always the case…

I’m honestly still conflicted because there were hilarious and enjoyable moments in this book, but the more I thought about it, I realized I couldn’t fully praise this book because I didn’t agree with everything. I find it to be somewhat overhyped and average #srrynotsrry.  giphy (1)Still though, if Disney made this a movie, I’d watch it. 😉 It’s this continous weird love-dislike relationship.

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HAVE YOU READ When Dimple Met Rishi? WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! 💕

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25 thoughts on “Book Review & Discussion: When Dimple Met Rishi Book by Sandhya Menon

  1. Wow, admire your dedication on googling every references! If it’s me, I will just let it slide without even understanding everything because I don’t want to break the reading flow.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ~Skipped the spoilery part since I haven’t read this yet!

    This is actually the first review I read that was a bit half-and-half about liking this one. There are times when I’m totally fine with a contemporary read having a billion tropes, as long as the writing style and character’s voice are not annoying. It all boils down to personal preference when it comes to these, though!

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read this yet but I still went through the spoiler parts (I know, I’m a disgrace to the bookworms because I don’t mind spoilers 😦 ) But I’ve read so many reviews about this that states how predictable the story is so I didn’t mind spoiling it, I mean, what would shock me other than Dimple pouring coffee on Rishi 😀

    I can totally understand how, though a good cultural inclusion to the story can be super cool, it can be hard to understand if things aren’t hinted a properly. It’s sad that the book was that way because it’s already so rare to find Indian-settings in books and the few times it happens, not everyone can read it easily. Anyway, you’re amazing for looking up the references *salutes* ❤

    Loved this discussion and would read this soon, haha 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely read it Fanna! I’d love to hear what you think. It’s such a weird love-dislike relationship with the book because some parts were sweet but other parts were unhealthy/i didn’t agree with. Thanks so much for reading my discussion ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this one… surprised to see you only have it 3 stars. It’s still on my wishlist, for when I tackle my way too big tbr. God knows when that’ll happen! 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely recommend giving it a try! Some people love it, and some people don’t. There are parts where it’s really cute and fluffy, but others which I find hard to love. I’d love to know what you think after you read!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. i’m sorry you didn’t enjoy much! i do expect a lot of stem-related things in this book and it bummed me when you mentioned there aren’t much 😦 i heard a lot about how violent and controlling dimple is towards rishi, and i hate it when the mc seems different on the expense of other girls! i hope your next read will be better!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. AHHHHHH thank you! I’m so glad that I’m not the only person that went, “Ummm, what happened to developing that app?” I was thrilled when I first learned of this book being an Asian American STEM loving girl myself but was deeply disappointed that it was basically used as fluff to make Dimple “different” from other girls. I’m with you also on the girl on girl hate. I enjoyed the first half of the novel but quickly found myself bored to tears in the second half.

    Great review, it makes me glad to see that other people had the same views I did on the book because I was seriously feeling like a minority on this book. So hyped and it could’ve been so much better.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Uhm, did I just ghost write this or what? Very same opinion on the book, Tiffany! Although, let me just add that I really hated Dimple when something happened to her and Rishi. I was really enjoying this for the first half as well, until I just got tired of Dimple.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much for your sweet words!! I was really worried writing this review that people wouldn’t understand where I was coming from. It definitely wasn’t a bad book, but I didn’t love it as much as everyone else. It just became too predictable and I wasn’t loving the characters as much anymore.

      Thanks again for reading xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your courage in writing this review because I totally relate to every word you said! I actually think it focused more on the characters than on the plot itself, that’s why there was an imbalance which seemed off.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey, Tiffany! This book is now made into a Netflix series called “Mismatched”. However, it’s almost same, sweet yet predictable. I really don’t like women empowerment at the expense of other girls, it’s high time girls realise that “not being like other girls” isn’t something to be proud of. It implies being a girl is not great, the more you avoid the fact, the better you are.😑 Also, kudos to you to google the Indian references.🤗

    Like

    1. I’ve started watching Mistmatched, but I haven’t finished it yet. I’m super excited to continue though~!

      Like

      1. Ooo! That’s so great. I was excited as well because a popular Indian Youtuber made her Netflix debut in the show. That’s how I got to know about it. But the funny thing is…I don’t have a Netflix subscription😰

        Like

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