Have you ever read a book that has you smiling ear to ear like a giddy preteen about to get their hands on the final Twilight book? When Dimple Met Rishi was that book for me. Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down. I read in the car. I read while walking across campus for class. I read on the sardine packed Aggie bus and proceeded to fall over because I was paying more attention to Sandhya’s magical book instead of holding on for dear life as the driver hit the brakes. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say this book is magic.
If you’re reading this and shaking your head because YA romance just doesn’t float your boat, I implore you to hear me out. This book is more than boy meets girl, tragedy strikes and tears them a part, and somehow they end up with their happily ever after. Sandhya’s book is a coming of age story with a complicated, driven, and strong female lead. Dimple Shah refuses to be the perfect Indian daughter her mother wants. She doesn’t like wearing makeup, feels more comfortable in jeans and converse, and prefers her “specs” over contacts (Girl same, you will never see me without my glasses). Her mother’s biggest concern is making sure Dimple finds her I.I.H – Ideal Indian Husband and that’s the farthest thing on Dimple’s mind. She wants to be a badass computer coder and go to Stanford to make that dream a reality.
Insomnia Con is a budding coder’s heaven – the chance to code an app all summer long competing for the prize of a life time – having THE Jenny Lindt, powerhouse female coder, help you get your app market ready. Dimple doesn’t believe her frugal parents would ever pay for her to attend Insomnia Con yet how could the plot of the book develop without Dimple going??
According to the summary on the back of the book, “Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic”. He’s also the perfect Indian son. He wants to please his parents, in his wife choice as well as career choice. Rishi has no interest in Insomnia Con, but if it means a chance to meet his future wife – why not? Rishi, his parents, and Dimple’s parents are already writing up the marriage announcement but if I’ve done any justice in describing Dimple, do you think she’ll go along without a fight? You’ll just have to read the book to find out!
Sandhya’s writing style is quick and witty. She artfully pens what it is like to be an Indian-American teenager and the cultural pressures that entails. I know I butchered the Hindi word pronunciation and if I had one “issue” with the book it would be that there wasn’t a pronunciation guide at the back of the book. Instead I just bugged my friend who speaks Hindi endlessly until I was saying the words correctly – sorry not sorry Divya! I loved learning about Indian culture and it was eye opening to see even a small representation of the cultural conflict children of immigrants face. I cannot say it enough – I LOVED THIS BOOK!! It’s unique, quirky, with a realistic and empowered female lead, and REPRESENTATIVE! I learned so much, laughed, cried, and never wanted to leave the vivid world Sandhya crafted.