I 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
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. Initially, 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. Still though, if Disney made this a movie, I’d watch it. 😉 It’s this continous weird love-dislike relationship.
Want to Buy This Book?
If you purchase the paperback or hardback version from Book Depository, I make a small commission which helps keeps my blog running. 🛍️ They have free shipping worldwide, so talk about a win-win solution!
HAVE YOU READ When Dimple Met Rishi? WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! 💕