Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for When Dimple Met Rishi (from Goodreads):
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.
Series: Dimple and Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)
There are 2 novellas as well.
Book Order: Connected
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: May 30, 2017 – July 21, 2020
Source & Format: Own–Audiobook
**This post was originally published as a standalone review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I don’t think you could escape this book in 2017. It was praised all over the Twitterverse and so I was more than curious. When the opportunity arose for me to get the audiobook copy, I immediately grabbed it!
On the surface, the synopsis gives the idea that this story is almost all about a possible arranged marriage between Dimple and Rishi. And while it does play a huge role in the plot and development, at the core, this is very much a coming of age story.
This is about 2 teenagers trying to find their mark in the world. Like most recent high school grads, they are feeling the pressure of growing up and deciding what they want for the rest of their lives. They are focused on their future careers and trying to reconcile them with cultural and familial expectations.
For some readers, you might not think you can relate to Rishi and Dimple because of their culture. I know I thought that a bit myself. But trying to please your parents and feeling the pressure to find that partner in life are universal tensions (I think) and you will definitely find part of yourself in these two.
This story reads like your typical coming of age story in terms of plot. You have a pretty basic background plot happening and it’s all about the characters and how they are coping. But there is a lot happening with Dimple and Rishi in terms of character growth and you get rather involved in the secondary character lives.
So it has its moments of fun and its moments of reflection. For me though, the pacing was slightly off. I think it might have been because I was listening to the audiobook (it clocks in at 10 hours which is really long for a contemporary novel of this nature I think) and it just seemed excessively long at times. Not that I didn’t enjoy every moment with these two–I did–I guess it just felt dragged out a touch?
I adored these characters and they truly make the novel for me!
Dimple is such a compelling heroine. She’s strong yet fragile at the same time and I definitely saw part of myself in her when it comes to her views on romantic relationships vs career. She’s also hilarious.
And Rishi is just so charming and I immediately fell in love with him. But what was really appealing about his character was that he was the hopeless romantic, instead of Dimple. He was the one who really wanted the relationship and felt it necessary and I usually find that it is the female characters who are cast in that role. It was a refreshing take on a standard gender role I thought.
Simply adorable! These two were a fantastic match and it was fabulous watching them realize that.
I also liked that it viewed (consensual) arranged marriage as a positive thing. The arranged marriage aspect really only plays a role at the start of the novel but it is a factor at play. As the relationship develops they start to undergo some realistic challenges that many young people face in their relationships so again, I think readers will identify with that.
My Audiobook Experience:
I love humour in audiobooks and this one had it in spades! The sarcastic nature was much more apparent in the audio version.
Again, I do think that the length of the audiobook affected my rating a touch (instead of a 5/5) but I still highly recommend the audiobook version!
–November 17, 2020– Book #2: There’s Something About Sweetie
Ever since I read When Dimple Met Rishi, I keep an eye out for Sandhya’s novels at my library. But I never clued in that this book was a part of the series…I didn’t even know this had become a series!
I’m not complaining, this was just as charming and sweet as the first book. Sweetie is a refreshing character thanks to her self confidence and her strong sense of self worth. She’s human and it shows at times but that made her story all that refreshing.
The only thing I struggled with was Ashish’s reasoning for even agreeing to date Sweetie in the first place. His logic seemed flawed to me. Like if you are struggling with the idea of a relationship, maybe don’t get set up by your parents. His need to put a time limit on their relationship baffled me. I just couldn’t get a firm understanding of whether he actually wanted a relationship or not. Which is a shame because that confusing dampened the great scenes they had together.
Series Rating: 4/5
When Dimple Met Rishi 4/5 | There’s Something About Sweetie 4/5 | Ten Things I Hate About Pinky TBA
This is a coming of age novel that any reader can relate to in some way. It’s funny, charming and will leave you with a smile on your face.
Read if You Like: coming of age, diverse reads
Avoid if You: dislike YA contemporary