Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi
Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Date A Book/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
NOTE: I read this book as part of #AsianLitBingo, you can find my full TBR here.
When Dimple Met Rishi is like a sip of iced-coffee on a stifling summer day: refreshing, energising, and never fails to put a smile on my face. This endearing romantic comedy explores the whole spectrum of the young adulthood experience with sincerity and humour. Within these pages you will find an honest examination of culture and identity, as well as a thoughtful study on dreams and ambitions.
Dimple Shah is determined, opinionated, and fiercely independent. Her biggest dream is to become an expert web developer, and she definitely has no plans on hitching up with an IIH (Ideal Indian Husband) any time in the foreseeable future. Enter Rishi Patel, traditional, romantic, and intensely filial – he is 100% on board with his parent’s arranged date between himself and Dimple. Their first meeting is something straight out of a romcom – filled with miscommunications, twisted fate, and hilarity. What follows up on that is even better, as a friendship begin to bloom between our two protagonists – Dimple and Rishi constantly challenges one another, and this dynamic keep their interactions consistently engaging.
On the surface, Dimple and Rishi appear too fundamentally different to connect to one another. Yet, they have common ground in their implicit understanding on the importance of family and the weight of their parental expectations. More than that, Dimple and Rishi just click on intrinsically click, every moment shared between them sizzle with chemistry and compelling banter. I love the organic growth of their relationship over the course of the novel, especially how much they push one another to strive for excellence and achieve their dreams. It’s a story that feels familiar, but written with a warmth that prevents it from coming across as cliché.
Dimple and Rishi themselves are wonderfully realised characters. I loved reading from both of their point of views equally. Although I am not Indian, the reconciliation between cultural expectations and personal ambition felt keenly familiar. The book also openly embraces both Dimple and Rishi’s cultural identity in such an unabashed manner that it has me cheering.
Beyond Dimple and Rishi’s characterisation, I also loved reading about the well-developed supporting cast. Dimple’s parents, especially her mother, take the spotlight in their roles as well-meaning parents learning to understand their grown-up daughter. The development of the relationship between Dimple and Rishi helped strengthened their bonds with everyone else around them, and it was such a joy to read.
If you’re a fan of heartfelt romantic comedy, make a room for Dimple and Rishi on your favourite shelf.