When Dimple Met Rishi
By Sandhya Menon
Published by Simon Pulse
Age Range: 12+

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“It’s not always as easy as boy meets girl. In the case of Rishi Patel and Dimple Shah, it’s more like boy is
arranged to marry girl, and girl attacks boy with iced coffee.”  —Booklist

Description
The rom-com that everyone’s talking about! Eleanor & Park meets Bollywood in this hilarious and heartfelt novel about two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage.
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.

Reviews & Accolades
“In this bright and funny debut novel, Menon introduces two intellectually gifted teens from traditional Indian families who meet at a summer tech conference in San Francisco. The twist: Dimple and Rishi’s parents have arranged their marriage. Rishi is aware of the arrangement; Dimple is not. Rishi longs for a traditional marriage like the one his parents have, but Dimple is adamantly opposed to her parents’ efforts to push her toward the same, favoring a career and education over family. After a disastrous initial meeting (Dimple throws iced coffee at Rishi), the two creep toward friendship and love, a slow process recounted through their alternating points of view (often switching multiple times within a single chapter). This frequent back and forth provides a detailed play-by-play of the teenagers’ shifting emotions as Menon vividly conjures the joy, self-doubt, and humor of first love. Romance-loving readers will celebrate the ways that Rishi and Dimple learn to respect and appreciate their Indian heritage and traditions but also manage to go their own way.  —Publishers Weekly

“It’s not always as easy as boy meets girl. In the case of Rishi Patel and Dimple Shah, it’s more like boy is arranged to marry girl, and girl attacks boy with iced coffee. In her delightful debut, Menon tells the story of two Indian American teenagers, fresh from high school and eager for adulthood. While Rishi’s version  of growing up involves happily following his parents’ life plan (giving up art for engineering and accepting an arranged marriage to Dimple), Dimple sees college as her chance to escape her immigrant parents’ stifling expectations (which include little more than wearing makeup and finding a suitable Indian husband). And yet, when Dimple and Rishi finally meet, they are both shocked to realize what it is they truly want—and what they’re willing to sacrifice to get it. While Menon’s portrayal of the struggles of
Indian American teens is both nuanced and thoughtful, it is her ability to fuse a classic coming-of-age love story with the contemporary world of nerd culture, cons, and coding camp, that will melt the hearts of readers.”
Booklist

“Menon wrote an utterly delightful novel and broke my heart by writing an ending because I want nothing more than to keep reading about Dimple and Rishi forever. For-EV-er. I fell in love with the cover and without reading the summary dove into reading it. The characters, story, and spirit of the book match the gorgeousness that is the cover. Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel may be two different people starting their paths into adulthood but they’re both about to find out that life stands in your way and shakes things up no matter how much you plan. This book was a hug to my black heart that made me laugh and constantly cheer for the characters. I’m looking forward to it being a huge hit of 2017.”  —Book Riot

“Dimple Shah is so excited to attend the summer web development conference Insomnia Con that she is not even suspicious when her parents are equally keen for her to go. When Rishi Patel walks up to her and jokingly says, “Hello, future wife,” the only thing Dimple can do is dump her iced coffee on him. It turns out that both Dimple and Rishi’s parents have been hoping love would spark between the two teens for a long time. After their “meet cute” gone awry, they begrudgingly get to know each other, even though both are focused on their own futures. The more they hang out, the less romance seems like a bad idea … Menon weaves a vibrant, joyous, funny love story between two smart, strong, sexy, funny, wonderful people who happen to be first-generation Indian American. Dimple and Rishi resist, but it is clear, virtually from the start, that this is a perfect match. They are purely equals, and each bolsters the other. Menon does not fall into any stereotypical traps—no lame, interfering third parties, no stupid misunderstandings. Conflicts arise naturally; Dimple and Rishi are perfectly able to think through them and come up with solutions, on their own and as a team. Some readers may dislike that Dimple and Rishi decide to have sex (with special emphasis on the word “decide”) but it is handled beautifully and movingly. Menon is firmly in Jane Austen territory here and proves superbly adept at handling her characters’—and readers’—hearts.”
VOYA

“Dimple is a headstrong girl who is passionate about coding and web development much to the chagrin of her parents, who wish she would focus more on her appearance and attracting a husband. Basking in her acceptance to Stanford, Dimple is surprised when her parents agree to let her attend a six-week “Insomnia Con” in San Francisco. Not long into her convention, Dimple discovers why her parents were so willing to let her go. She has been set up to meet a potential husband—the very traditional yet charming Rishi. The plot is moderately paced as the romance between the pair flops, then flourishes. The characters are refreshing, even if familiar. Rishi has a hidden love of comics, Dimple is a feminist who secretly yearns to please her parents, and the “Aberzombies” are the superficial prep school kids who get their jollies by making Dimple and Rishi feel like outsiders. The strength of the story comes from its blending of Indian culture and values into a modern-day romance that scores of readers can enjoy. This novel touches on issues of identity while remaining light and fun.  A strong choice for any young adult collection.
School Library Journal

“A clash of perspectives sparks this romantic comedy about two first-generation Indian-American teens whose parents set an arranged-marriage plan in motion, but it backfires big time—or maybe not? In the alternating voices of her two protagonists, Menon explores themes of culture and identity with insight and warmth. Seamlessly integrating Hindi language, she deftly captures the personalities of two seemingly opposite 18-year-olds from different parts of California and also from very different places regarding life choices and expectations. Insomnia Con, a competitive six-week summer program at San Francisco State focused on app development, is where this compelling, cinematic, and sometimes-madcap narrative unfolds. Dimple Shah lives and breathes coding and has what she thinks is a winning and potentially lifesaving concept. She chafes under her mother’s preoccupation with the Ideal Indian Husband and wants to be respected for her intellect and talent. Rishi Patel believes in destiny, tradition, and the “rich fabric of history,” arriving in San Francisco with his great-grandmother’s ring in his pocket. He plans to study computer science and engineering at MIT. But what about his passion for comic-book art? They are assigned to work together and sparks fly, but Dimple holds back. Readers will be caught up as Rishi and Dimple navigate their ever changing, swoonworthy connection, which plays out as the app competition and complicated social scene intensify. Heartwarming, empathetic, and often hilarious—a delightful read.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Groups Represented
Indian American

Themes
#OwnVoices
Bi-racial Identity
Building Futures
Cultural Identity
Cultural Traditions
Family Relationships
First Generation
Gender Roles
Identity

Setting
United States (San Francisco)

Engagement Projects & Resources
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