Annike: So When Dimple Met Rishi is a book that has been very hyped over WordPress and because of this hype I went into this book with very high expectations. I was hoping for a story that really hooked me but I think it fell a little short at the end. Today I just wanted to review this book and let you know some of the things that I thought about the book in comparison to some other reviews I have read around.
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.
Ultimately, this book focuses on the two main characters of Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel (obviously) and it contrasts these two Indian teenagers of whom have very different outlooks on life in general and their traditional values. On one hand you have Rishi who happily adheres to the roles and traditions he thinks he must fulfill as the oldest son of his parents who strongly value their Indian culture. Rishi is both kind and smart, and I really liked his funny and carefree nature too. He was very loyal to pretty much all of his principles and this set him up as a very likeable character from the beginning of the book.
On the other hand, Dimple was a character who was very far from that. From the very beginning of the book, it was clear that Dimple found it hard to get along with her parents and agree with their morals. She didn’t want to simply grow up to get married or be only a mother. Instead she wanted to showcase her talent in computing and coding which was the driving force in the book’s plot. I also liked Dimple because I felt that she was the powerful female role in the story that all women should be reading about, however I sometimes found her to be very unpredictable and she seemed to lose a lot of her realistic drive throughout the book.
So, both Dimple and Rishi’s parents were looking at one another’s children as marriage prospects and from the beginning it was only Rishi that was aware of this arrangement. Nevertheless, Rishi seemed to understand Dimple’s resentment towards him from the beginning and throughout the book we watch the two of them fall in love for real. I do have to admit, there was something about the love between Rishi and Dimple that didn’t completely click for me. I thought they were just so different and while Rishi was always undeniably nice and willing to do anything for Dimple, she never treated him as well as I would have liked. Maybe I felt there was a bit of insta-love there too because even though the story happened over a 6-week period, we skipped around 3 weeks in one sentence 🙂
So, as well as the romance in the story, the book focuses on the goal of Dimple and Rishi to build an app that is better and more useful that any of the other contestants at the coding camp. I would have liked to hear a little more about this because apart from the general idea of what it was all about, I didn’t actually read a lot about Dimple and Rishi working on their project. One thing that I would compliment however was the way that the author focused on Indian heritage and gave me an insight onto this ethnicity in a very real way in which I have never seen it before. I loved the different characters within this heritage too, because it demonstrated the individuality of all people despite them belonging to the same religion or race and many of the characters were undeniably likeable.
Overall, while I did really enjoy the different characters and the plot of the story, I think a few things fell a little short. I found that I couldn’t delve into the story as much as I would have liked and I maybe only be let down because of the amazing reviews I had read before I started reading the book. I think that high expectations are really hard to ignore when you start a book that is quite hyped up and unfortunately I don’t think that it entirely lived up to my expectations. Saying that, it was a book that I really did enjoy and would definitely recommend because it was very sweet, quite light and an easy read that also had many valuable lessons to teach.