When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
“Hello, future wife,” he said, his voice bubbling with glee. “I can’t wait to get started on the rest of our lives!” ― Sandhya Menon, When Dimple Met Rishi
I definitely have a sweet tooth, but When Dimple Met Rishi gave even me a toothache! I didn't anticipate it would be this sugary and predictable. Reviews led me to believe it was a little more multi-dimensional, but maybe I am simply not the right audience for the book anymore. It wasn't bad, it was just pretty boring. I knew exactly how it was going to end by page 50. The reason I didn't stop reading was because it was an easy book, which was a break from all the crime fiction I have been reading. The language is good and the premise fine, though nothing very original. The writing is saturated with super cheesy sentences, which felt cringey to me, but might seem sweet to people who are more romantic than I am (“And then she smiled a smile so dazzling, Rishi tripped over his own feet” or "He grinned, his heart soaked in happy”). As for the characters, Rishi is a sweetheart, and I wish more teenage boys were like him. He is kind and thoughtful and even though he is meant to be a bit traditional, he is very adaptable, too. Dimple on the other hand seems immature and precocious, and not even very nice. The author was clearly trying to make her very quirky and independent, but she came across as a bit of a brat. The conflict in this story is really one of identity, and to be honest, I didn't feel it was well fleshed out. Rishi wants to draw comics, but feels compelled to follow in his father's foot steps and study at MIT. Dimple is more independent and determined in what she wants to pursue, which is coding and making an app. They also discuss the idea of feeling a little out of place, both with Indian heritage, but raised in America. All this is well and good, but I felt it was all too tidy, too easy. Every conflict was neatly brushed aside and though this is a lovely idea, it felt a little too contrived for my liking. Again, though, maybe I am simply not the right reader for this book. That being said, I have read many YA books which have been mature and original and very engaging, so I don't really think it is the genre that is the problem for me. I think I somehow expected this to pack a sort of punch the way Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give did. I'm a bit disappointed, because so many people really loved this book, but you win some, you lose some. This was not a bad book, just not a good fit for me. Hope you enjoy it more, if you give it a try!