Another YA book! What has gotten into me? I had tried to get this on Netgalley but was refused (I have a 97% rating! What more do they want?) but saw it it was available immediately for the Kindle through the Maryland Library eLibrary Consortium so I downloaded it. I really prefer to read on my Kindle in bed, I have a tendency to fall asleep reading and hardbacks hurt when you drop them on your face so I’ve been scrolling the “read now” lists from the library for books to read at night. YA is good for this because it generally isn’t too taxing.
When Dimple Met Rishi is the story of well, Dimple and Rishi meeting. Dimple just graduated high school and convinced her parents to let her go to a 6-week coding class before college. Her mom is obsessed with Dimple finding a husband in college and Dimple is obsessed with college and coding. Rishi secretly loves drawing comics but is also very devoted to his culture and family and has decided to stop drawing, go to MIT get a serious job and get married. His parents told him that Dimple would be a good choice as a future wife so he arrives at app camp looking for her. Unfortunately, her parents did not tell her about Rishi and the meeting does not go well. He offers to go home but they find they really like each other. As the book goes on, Rishi wants Dimple to be his girlfriend while Dimple doesn’t want anything serious and instead wants to be friends and focus on school.
There is the usual “popular kids” subplot with Dimple’s wealthy roommate (and friend) friend’s being condescending and rude to Dimple and Rishi. On eventually apologizes to Rishi after she finds out that he is very wealthy and his dad is some big shot internet CEO. Her roommate Celia is nice and admits she watched some Bollywood movies to prepare for her rooming with Dimple which Dimple finds endearing. She also does the typical dorky-to-cute makeover on Dimple as Dimple prepares to go on a “nondate” with Rishi. Basic teen drama stuff but cute and pretty believable. Rishi did like Dimple a lot before the makeover but of course, he was amazed at her transformation. Just once I’d like a book when the girl has curly hair, glasses, wears casual clothes and doesn’t get a makeover yet magically is happy and perhaps with the boy/man of her choosing. At least Dimple kept her glasses! However, this is YA and as a fan of the teen movie, I can’t judge too much. And Rishi does things like let jocks talking about wet t-shirt contests go ahead in their own elevator by saying “Oh, go ahead, our brains need a break from all the unchecked, casual misogyny” which is nice.
I really did enjoy the book but there were a few scenes that I felt that a better writer and editor should have caught some errors in. I know it won a bunch of “indie YA” awards so maybe it was a small press but still! They were pretty glaring.
Dimple’s mother wants her to wear eyeliner like she did as a teenager. Dimple makes reference to this being in the 1970s which doesn’t make sense as Dimple is only 18 and her parents have been married 22 years. My mom was in high school in the 1970s and I have 20 years on Dimple. Her mother also wants Dimple to find a husband while she is young and I have the impression she was also young when she married.
Dimple refers to her dad as being too old to understand a complex app when she and Rishi are developing the diabetes reminder app at the summer program. Surely he is at most 50, and more likely in his early to mid-40s. That’s hardly elderly! He would have been in his (most likely) 30s when smartphones came out so it doesn’t make sense that he wouldn’t be able to use an app on his phone successfully. He isn’t in his 80s!
Dimple refers to her new kurta as having frayed in the wash but clearly describes fabric that looks old and faded not frayed.
I think I’ve mentioned it here before but I notice that it is pretty clear how old an author or director is by their work. Nearly every house in an independent movie looks like it is from the late ’70s-early ’80s even when it takes place in the current day. Veronica Mars claimed to have been obsessed with Cyndi Lauper as a little girl when she would have been popular a good 15 years before she was born. Cyndi Lauper was before my time even! Don’t even get me started on This is Us and their flashbacks which only half of the time are accurate. It is so annoying but very common. In the day of the internet, it is not hard to find out what was popular at any given time. I digress but it really irks me! It makes me wonder if the rest of the book is as sloppy.
The book did reference (and in a believable time frame) some of my favorite Bollywood stars so I appreciated that! I love how they came up with a dance for the talent show using a song from Krrish, which is totally the type of Bollywood movie these two would like. I liked the weaving in of Indian pop culture, family and food into a typical teen romance.
All in all, it was a sweet, feel-good teen novel. Perfect for a sick day or a beach day or when you just want something light. It is basically a cheesy ’80s or ’90s teen movie book form. But that’s okay, sometimes you just feel like a teen movie.