Dimple Shah, to her parents’ chagrin, is more passionate about computer coding than she is about finding a nice Indian husband. So Dimple is surprised when her parents agree to pay for a summer course that would help her hone her coding skills. That is, until she meets Rishi Patel, a hopeless romantic and obedient son who was the only one aware of the greater plan concocted by their parents to set them up.
There has been so much love for this book that I was both excited and nervous to read it for fear that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. When Dimple Met Rishi is indeed a very sweet story – I’m glad that the early reviews were not wrong about that. Menon has written a very vivacious and ambitious protagonist in Dimple, a girl who wants to defy cultural tradition and wants to code an app more than find a boyfriend. I enjoyed the dynamic between Dimple and Rishi, such opposites that complement each other so well. Notwithstanding their chemistry, I also appreciated Menon illustrating the interactions between them and the other supporting characters. I found it interesting to see Dimple’s friendship with Celia and how that kind of scenario plays out when very different groups of friends mix together in a social setting.
I do wish the author went a bit deeper into the coding aspect given that it was seemingly such a big part of Dimple, however I understand that it may have weighed down the book with jargon and lingo that may not have fit with the overall story. I also found it took a few chapters to really get into the narrative style, as it alternates POVs but is still told in the third person. That being said, this book is definitely a lighthearted read that comes as a bit of a breath of fresh air in a genre that is often so riddled with illnesses, and other atrocities that happen to the characters. While it does have its dramatic moments, When Dimple Met Rishi is otherwise a smile-inducing, feel good read.
I love that this story not only may have introduced a whole different culture to a wider mainstream audience, but it was also done so in a present-day setting. The fact that this story takes place in San Francisco, to me, helped illustrate the different cultures that exist right in North America. Different cultures in books don’t always have to take place in far away lands, they can be right in our own backyards which, I feel, is more important than ever to reflect.