WHAT A DELIGHT. If you’re one of those people who laments the decline of the rom-com as a movie genre, and you remotely enjoy YA, I must insist that you read When Dimple Met Rishi. I yearn and yearn for it to be made into a teen movie. Whatever happened to teen movies? Where are the Can’t Hardly Waits of the new generation?
So the deal is that Dimple, a budding coder, gets permission from her parents to attend Insomnia Con, at which the winning app design will receive support and backing from legendary computer person Jenny Lindt. BUT THERE’S A CATCH. Unbeknownst to Dimple, her parents have set her up to meet with Rishi Patel, the son of their friends and a (hypothetically) perfect candidate to become Dimple’s husband someday. Are they paired up to be partners in app design? YOU KNOW IT, PAL.
Where to begin with things I loved about this book. Like, number one, I love a romantic comedy, and When Dimple Met Rishi is a perfect romantic comedy, from the disastrous first meeting to the wonderful side characters with their worthwhile subplots to the mushy, swoony declarations of love at the end. I truly do miss the era of fun, sweet, soft-hearted rom-com films, and When Dimple Met Rishi filled that hole in my heart.
Number two, I adore and cherish Dimple for her strengths — her brilliance, her drive and ambition, her love for her parents even when they’re driving her batty — as well as for her weaknesses. She acts quickly and on instinct in ways that can make her a little mean and dismissive, which resonated with me as a somewhat mean and dismissive person. I loved her for always coming back to her mistakes and trying to find ways to make them right, and I loved that she let herself see Rishi for who he was, rather than just what he stood for (the Ideal Indian Husband).
Number three and oh so much of this, I love that Menon let Rishi do emotions. This is a boy who wants to grow up to be a father and husband, and it is vanishingly rare to encounter such a boy in fiction (even though I have encountered several of them in real life). He’s gentle but not weak, and he stands up for Dimple from the first moment they meet, and it’s the damn best.
Is there Bollywood dancing? Yes there is Bollywood dancing. Are there rude rich kids who get put in their place? Abso-damn-lutely. When Dimple Met Rishi. Do yourself a favor and read it ASAP.