When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

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.


The Remnant Chronicles

The Remnant Chronicles

The Kiss of Deception (Book #1)

The Heart of Betrayal (Book #2)

The Beauty of Darkness (Book #3)

By Mary E. Pearson

Arabella, better known by her affectionately given nickname Lia, is not your typical wayward princess running from a marriage she didn’t choose. A strong, fierce, and empowered young woman, she does what her betrothed was too afraid to do. She flees their politically arranged marriage on the day of their nuptials with her trusted maid and friend, Pauline. In her wake, Lia leaves two kingdoms, historically at odds, meant to be joined by this marriage at the brink of war. She leaves the scorned prince determined to track down the young woman braver than him. Lastly, she also unknowingly leaves an assassin tasked with taking her life. Mary E. Pearson creates an inviting, intricate, and consuming world within the Remnant Chronicles. There is mystery, intrigue, magic, myth, legend, and ultimately, hope. The Kiss of Deception, which I’ve summarized above, sets the ground work for an enthralling series. The following quote will give you a taste of what you have in store if you read the series (WHICH I HIGHLY SUGGEST):

“Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.

            The wind knew. It was the first of June, but cold gusts bit at the hilltop citadel as fiercely as deepest winter, shaking the windows with curses and winding through drafty halls with warning whispers. There was no escaping what was to come.”                                                                                                                              –Kiss of Deception

There is no escaping The Remnant Chronicles once you begin. They’re just too good. Mary E. Pearson truly spins a web that tramps you after the first page. The books are from the perspective of three individuals: Lia, The Prince, and The Assassin. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I will say read the first book in the series carefully. Mrs. Pearson is quite a trickster, and I received a massive shock at the end of the first book. If you figure out what I’m talking about, please tell me your hypothesis in the comments section!

The Heart of Betrayal and The Beauty of Darkness have darker tones than the first book. It is in these two books that the overarching plot of the series truly comes to light. These books are grittier. They deal with love and loss. They deal with trust and betrayal. They deal with desire and duty. These books will take you through the gamut of emotions multiple times before their conclusion and what a conclusion it is. I can say with utter conviction that I loved this series. I read all three books within a week. I am NOT a fast reader. I truly mean this. Those who know me don’t believe this because I can read three books within seven days. Yes, I can do this, but it’s because I will literally sit in the same spot for three days reading from the minute I wake up until 2 a.m. and then begin the whole process over again. Mary E. Pearson’s The Remnant Chronicles are a series worth losing sleep over.

A Court of Thrones and Roses (ACOTAR) Trilogy

A Court of Thrones and Roses (Book #1)

A Court of Mist and Fury (Book #2)

A Court of Wing and Ruin (Book #3)

By Sarah J. Maas

            …. I am lost for words. The ACOTAR trilogy by Sarah J. Maas took my breath away, had me balling my eyes out, laughing myself silly, and literally running around my house screaming when my Nook began losing power in the last one-hundred pages of final book. I found my Nook charger and plugged it in in time; I know you were worried for me.

Where to begin with this series…where to begin? The first book, A Court of Thrones and Roses, could be described as a take on Beauty and the Beast, but that’s too simplistic of a description in my opinion. Similar to the Disney movie, the book does have a female protagonist, Feyre, and a so called “beast” in the immortal faerie of Tamlin. Feyre is taken away to a magical faerie land, Prythian, against her will in a bargain of sorts similar to one made by Belle for her father. There is also a curse on Tamlin and his people in Prythian like the movie, and there is the potential for romance between Feyre and Tamlin like Belle and the Beast, but the similarities between the movie and book stops here.

Sarah J. Maas is a masterful world builder. She has created three different lands and multiple races of humans and faerie species. She has constructed social orders not only amongst the humans, but the fae as well. She has developed intricate war histories dating back thousands of years. She has crafted various courts for the faeries each with their own personalities, abilities, and reputations. Sarah J. Maas has built a world that consumed me; I was completely transported into their world, and I never wanted to leave. I devoured the first two books within days. I then had a tortuous three month wait in between A Court of Mist and Fury and the release of the final book, A Court of Wings and Ruin. You are lucky. If you’re just starting the trilogy, you can read all three books consecutively.

I am seriously at a loss of words … how can I accurately explain how much I LOVE this trilogy? I can’t. It’s that simple. I will never be able to articulate just how obsessed, enamored, and enthralled I am with these books. There’s intricate plot and character development. A bit of more than PG-13 sex scenes – be warned.  There are harrowing fight scenes and battles that illustrate the grit and grim involved in warfare. Some people might say the first book is slow paced, that it inches to a climax. Fine, say what you will, BUT I will fight you if you say the second and third books in the trilogy are slow. Maybe fifty to a hundred pages in they hit a certain point, and then they are flying. There is a major battle, a new twist in the plot, and something else tugging on your heart strings one thing right after another. I’ve never read a 626 page book as fast as I did when I read A Court of Wings and Ruin. Gaaahhhhhh, I feel a flurry of emotion and odd summersaults in my stomach writing about this trilogy. It’s that good. It’s that consuming. I can proudly say I indoctrinated one of my friends into the ACOTAR Trilogy lifelong fan club; that’s how good this series is. I hope you join us and start reading the books right now! Please let me know if you’ve joined the club in the comments section!

As I’ve reiterated multiple times, I feel like my words fail to express how much these books impacted me. Click the link for a brilliant GIF review a fellow ACOTAR Trilogy lifelong fan club member posted on Goodreads. It accurately describes all I wish to express in images.


Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done

A real life story of two high school girls entry into the male dominated world of computer coding. Andrea ‘Andy’ Gonzales and Sophie Houser’s personal narration of how they came to create their computer game Tampon Run and how it then went viral is encouraging to girls everywhere. Not only does the book serve as an inspiring example for young girls everywhere that they can achieve their dreams no matter the gender inequality they might face, but it illustrates that there is no one path to success. You can take your time, turn a curve or two, and still find your way. You don’t have to know from the time you’re in elementary school what you want to do with your life and that’s okay.

This book is raw, enlightening, and honest. Here are two, now young women, who followed their passions and it lead them to extraordinary places. What’s most refreshing about this book is that these girls didn’t get to where they are today without fear, insecurity, and doubt. The girls openly discuss how much pressure they put on themselves in high school to be the best. They were over involved, obsessed with grades, and their harshest critics were themselves.

I was that person myself in high school. The biggest difference between myself, Sophie, and Andy is that I went to a public all girls school that gave me the support and confidence that they received at the Girls Who Code summer program. No matter your political views on single sex education or gender inequality in the work place, I can say that I would not be the young woman I am today without the experiences I gained at my school. I face the same self-doubt Sophie talks about,but I have learned, just as she and Andy did, to ask for help. It was by asking for help that I finally found my passion in life. Books, literature, YA fiction. This is what I love and always have, it just took my reaching out for to help me realize my potential. I can not express how much I related with this book. An unflinchingly truthful account of what it’s like to be a teenage girl in the 21st century and trying to finding ones passion.

With that said the farther I read in the book, I found myself comparing. Comparing my own life’s journey to their’s and being jealous of them. I found myself feeling inadequate because these girls were two years or more younger than me and they had already accomplished so much. But then I stopped myself and said, “Don’t be intimidated by their success, allow it to empower you. Allow it to show you that you can follow your dreams, accomplish the impossible, and hopefully make a great change just like they did.” Really look to their story as an example and not as a means to judge yourself harshly.

Andy and Sophie had no clue what they were doing or what they were getting themselves into when they coded their game and that’s okay. They learned as they went, asked for help, and grew on so many levels. Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea ‘Andy’ Gonzales and Sophie Houser is a great read for young girls and boys alike. Especially as they complete their high school education and enter into higher education or the rest of their lives because as I said earlier, there is no one path to success and Andy & Sophie prove that.