Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Books I've Read: When Dimple Met Rishi
I was looking forward to reading this. I've been seeing the cover everywhere so it was exciting when I found it at the library on Friday. I was less excited when I started reading it on Saturday and highly underwhelmed by the time I finished it on Sunday.
Dimple is a smart girl from a traditional Indian family. She wants to be an app coder and is looking forward to everything she is going to learn when she goes to Stanford in the fall. Her mother drives her crazy, always telling her to change her clothes, her hair, to wear make-up and to always be on the lookout for the Ideal Indian Husband.
Dimple is overjoyed when her parents allow her to go to Insomnia Con, an app building course that might give her a chance to meet her idol, Jenny Lindt.
Rishi is also from a traditional Indian family, but unlike Dimple, he likes the rituals and behaviors required of him. The only thing he isn't sure about is following in his father's footsteps as a career. He wants to draw comics, but has already decided it is something better to keep as a hobby.
So far, so good. Love the details about the different families and their expectations. Where things started falling apart for me, was around about the time Rishi, who has also been accepted to Insomnia Con, and Dimple, first meet.
You see, Rishi goes knowing Dimple is going to be there and seeks her out. The two sets of parents have engineered the whole thing, certain Dimple and Rishi are a perfect match. But Dimple has been kept in the dark about the whole thing and believes she's going to the Con to work on her app.
But no app work seems to happen. Despite being furious when she discovers she's been duped by her parents, Dimple and Rishi hang out together. And of course they fall in love.
Most of the book deals with Dimple and Rishi dating while at the Con (which seems really odd because there is a talent show as part of it - the app coders I know aren't into performing, so that rang false to me) and various interactions with other teams who are not nice people.
The characters, other than Dimple and Rishi felt like sterotypes, and not even well drawn ones. And don't even get me started on how much I disliked Dimple within a few chapters....
So while I want to champion books that deal with people with different racial and cultural backgrounds, I also want to champion books that are worth reading, and this one really isn't.
But don't rely on me. Here's the blurb:
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.