Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 2/5
This book revolves around Dimple Shah, an Indian girl who’s about to head off to university. When her traditional parents, who are obsessed with finding the perfect Indian husband for Dimple find out about a summer program for aspiring web developers they decide to pay a lot of cash for Dimple to go. Only to set their own plan in motion: To introduce Dimple to Rishi, the perfect Indian guy they want their daughter to marry. Dimple however, doesn’t know any of this when she arrives at campus and this guy who she’s never met introduces himself as her future husband..
I was actually pretty excited to read this book when I came across it on my recommended list of books on Goodreads. I thought that finally someone had gone and written a book that was going to twist the arranged marriage trope into something readable again, but in reality I barely got halfway through the book before I pretty much realized that there wasn’t anything about the story I actually liked.
First of all, I felt like it was WAY too cliche. I can appreciate a good cliche story every once in a while. In this case however it just seemed to irk me. I think the “I hate my (sort of) arranged marriage but oops I fell in love with the guy anyway” trope is just too overplayed at this point. It felt like the author in addition to using that trope tried way too hard to make it original in some way by throwing in this competition at a university where (of course) Dimple ends up partnering with the guy her parents want her to marry. I didn’t feel like it was believable and I didn’t enjoy reading the story after I started realizing this was going to be one of those books where they’re going to end up together anyways. It got so many good reviews on Goodreads and I honestly don’t understand why. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this book is disastrous. I actually think the writing style was quite pleasant and I loved a lot of the references the author made to nerd/pop culture but other than that I could not enjoy this at all.
I also felt like the way their relationship was portrayed wasn’t very exciting to read either just like Dimple’s parents or Dimple herself who didn’t feel dimensional to me. As a core character Dimple came off as way too whiny and it seemed like the author was trying way too hard to make her authentic and edgy by constantly stating every 4 or 5 pages she doesn’t wear make-up and that’s she’s oh-so strong and independent. Even more so a lot of the aspects of this story, such as the app contest, came across as forced and in reality all the book pretty much discussed was Dimple and Rishi’s relationship.
All in all, I think that if the author would’ve committed herself to drastically and honestly modifying this trope I would have enjoyed it way more than I did now.