Published by Simon Pulse on May 30th 2017
Source: Publisher Provided
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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.
You know that moment when you find a story so perfect that you must tell everyone about it? Well, that was me with When Dimple Met Rishi. I admit that I had high expectations going into it, and usually when I have those, I’m disappointed. But, that was not the case with this book.
Sandhya gives us a story of Dimple, who is so college-ready that her eagerness just jumps off the page. She is ready to leave for Stanford, but first she’s more than ready to attend a prestigious coding camp. On the other hand, you have Rishi. He’s such a traditionalist, and normally, I would so hate that. But, he’s presented with such sweetness, you can’t help but fall in love with him.
The two of them meet at the coding summer camp, and immediately there is tension and laughs. The laughs came from me because it’s exactly the kind of comedic first meeting I adore in my favorite rom coms. Rishi is so determined to fall in love with Dimple. And Dimple, well, she’s horrified at the thought that her parents pre-arranged (at least the idea) of marriage between her and Rishi.
As an immigrant myself, I love stories where ethnic traditions clash with modern American ideals. Dimple and Rishi present both sides of the argument. A girl who wants to conquer the world, and a boy who wants to stick to the traditions he’s been raised in. Tension for days, you guys. That wonderful push-pull that the best of all romances have (using my beloved Pride & Prejudice as a measuring stick) is so very evident here.
I want to call out two relationships that were delightful to read. First, the relationship between Dimple and her mother. Oh my gosh, was Sandhya at my house the summer I was leaving for college? I think she was. Dimple’s mother is a traditionalist’s delight. But, there is also love and kindness toward her daughter. And as the story develops, there is an understanding between them that grows. A respect from both sides. I truly loved that. It mirrored so much of my relationship with my own mother as I grew and matured.
Secondly, the relationship between Rishi and his brother, Ashish. It starts off so tense. Ashish is the exact opposite of Rishi. But again, in Sandhya’s deft hands, the relationship transforms into something more. Ashish was my favorite side character, and I’m so glad we will see a continuation of his story with the companion novel that will be released next.
As summer comes to a close, and a three-day weekend looms on the horizon, I encourage you all to pick up this book. It’s perfect — the plot, the characters, the sweet romance. I only wish there were more stories like this, and I’m so glad to have an author like Sandhya around.