When Dimple Met Rishi | Sandhya Menon
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
“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…more“
This book is an adorable contemporary that kept me smiling from beginning to end. Rishi is a cinnamon roll with a pure heart, a traditional state of mind, and a knack for art. Dimple is his opposite in that she is rebellious to her parents’, specifically her mother’s, traditionalist point of view. She has a mind for tech and a hunger to learn, and her ambition results in an unshakable determination to succeed.
I appreciated how the two characters challenged one another and shook each other’s foundations. They encouraged one another to widen their world view and to discover their inner selves and to acknowledge their desires. I also loved how culture plays an important part in their relationship with one another and with their family.
The author blends Hindi language and various Indian tradition to form a narrative that feels very authentic and believable. I just wish the arranged marriage played a larger role in Dimple and Rishi’s developing romance. It was mentioned in the beginning and then sort of faded into the background later on. Also, Dimple was a bit of a brat in the beginning but I came to appreciate her mindset later on. The iced coffee incident didn’t bother me one bit and I thought it was a fantastically realistic, if not embarrassing, moment for both Dimple and Rishi. I loved to see how they moved on from it afterwards. Their relationship was a bit on the instalove side, but it worked for me this time.
All in all, this was an incredibly cute and fun read and I’d recommend it to anyone who needs a smile.
The Unexpected Everything | Morgan Matson
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
“Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?”
Morgan Matson is a contemporary queen. This book started off a bit slow but once Andie meets Clark, things get much more interesting!
I personally connected with Andie as she attempts to find a job during the summer (literally me) and tries to keep her group of friends together despite their differences. Andie’s group of friends are so lovable and I really enjoyed reading the section when they were all together. Their situation is relatable and reflective of many high school individuals and their experiences with a close-knit group of friends. I also loved and understood Clark as he dealt with his writer’s block and his relationship with an emotionally distant Andie.
Matson does a wonderful job in examining the teenage experience and she imbues just the right amount of emotion and humor into the story to make us believe in all her characters and their conflicts. Each one of the characters have such distinct and recognizable traits. The entire time I felt as if I were reading about real, multi-dimensional, singularly complex, and unique individuals.
The ending is perfect in its bittersweetness. It tells a blatant truth in that not all good things, not all friendships, last forever, and we should be prepared to take these changes in stride as we live, we learn, and we move on to continue evolving as individuals. In sum, this is an incredibly well-structured novel about romance, friendships, and family. HIGHLY recommend.