Ann Elise Monte's Reviews > When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2017, poc-and-indigenous, diversitybingo2017, advance-copies, asian-lit-bingo-2017

I received an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is a cute romantic comedy with Indian-American protagonists. I loved both Dimple and Rishi for different reasons. Dimple is such a little ball of spitting flames and Rishi is very much the kind of soft male protagonist that I like. If I'm gonna read m/f, there better be a soft boy involved. None of that toxic masculinity nonsense. These two are exactly the kind of characters I love to read about.

The book is very well-written in a way that tickles the senses and is endlessly relateable. The alternating POV was confusing at times, but much of that is owed to formatting issues with my e-ARC that I'm sure will be cleared up in the published version. I did actually like the headhopping between Dimple and Rishi's POVs. It was fascinating to see how their minds worked differently, and the contrast between their perceptions of what the other was thinking and their actual thoughts. There is a huge disconnect between Dimple's body image and Rishi's view of her, particularly early on. It was also great watching these two characters slowly melt out of their set archetypes and even surprise themselves by doing so.

I also really feel for Rishi's internal conflict regarding following his dreams vs fulfilling the expectations placed upon him. And Dimple's conflict regarding the fact she despises being lumped into traditionalist boxes, and yet the boy her parents picked out for her turns out to be a good match. After the worst possible first meeting is dealt with, of course.

The best thing about Rishi, to be honest, is the fact he can go from horrendously awkward to ridiculously suave in 0.2 seconds. Like, I don't know how this wordsmith is the same kid who greeted Dimple with the worst opening line known to man, but here we are and I totally believe it. And I love that Dimple is into coding and is so determined to get what she wants out of life, even if that determination sometimes causes a few bumps in the road for her. These two kids... I just love them to pieces. Let me hug them. But I'd definitely need to announce myself or Dimple will probably throw something at me.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of casually ableist language in this book. The text is peppered with (view spoiler) and similar variants. I'm also not entirely comfortable with the way the bisexual character is portrayed in some respects. The one f/f relationship she's had in the past "wasn't serious" and is the one character who sleeps with multiple people around the same time, both of which play into some rather unpleasant stereotypes about bisexuals: bi women are actually straight, and bisexuals are inherently promiscuous. There's also no actual use of the word bisexual, but the implication is pretty clear. I can't speak for the ableism, but while these hints of biphobia annoyed me, I was able to enjoy the book anyway so I still think it's worth reading. Just... non-bisexual authors. Please. Stop doing this.

Overall, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is a fun romantic comedy and a great addition to the YA category. If you like slow-burn romances, girls who code, and oddly suave teenage boys, this is definitely a great read.
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Reading Progress

April 3, 2016 – Shelved
April 3, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
September 7, 2016 – Shelved as: 2017
November 11, 2016 – Shelved as: poc-and-indigenous
December 12, 2016 – Shelved as: diversitybingo2017
April 28, 2017 – Shelved as: advance-copies
May 2, 2017 – Shelved as: asian-lit-bingo-2017
May 6, 2017 – Started Reading
May 6, 2017 –
1.0% "All right let's go! I might need to take a short break in the middle of this to read something queer but we're cool"
May 6, 2017 –
1.0% "I can relate to the contacts thing. If I don't have to wear them, I'm not gonna"
May 6, 2017 –
2.0% "I love Dimple. So dramatic."
May 6, 2017 –
3.0% "Ok let's not do 'crazy'"
May 6, 2017 –
3.0% "Dimple is hilarious tbh"
May 6, 2017 –
4.0% "Lmao Ritu. So competitive"
May 6, 2017 –
5.0% "Lmao"
May 6, 2017 –
5.0% ""Idiotic" :/"
May 6, 2017 –
6.0% "Oh. POV change. I was so confused. I assumed the final copied will have clear formatting to denote that."
May 6, 2017 –
7.0% "Lol tropical fish"
May 6, 2017 –
7.0% "OH NO"
May 6, 2017 –
8.0% "LMFAOOOO"
May 6, 2017 –
8.0% ""Dimple could've taken him" omg I love her"
May 6, 2017 –
8.0% ""Psycho" oh come on"
May 6, 2017 –
9.0% "2 more counts of "psycho/psychotic" ugh. I'm trying to get into the story but the ableism keeps on coming."
May 6, 2017 –
9.0% "Oh shit"
May 6, 2017 –
9.0% "Lmao all her pictures look like that. I love this kid."
May 6, 2017 –
10.0% "Lmao that was pretty badass"
May 7, 2017 –
11.0% ""Crazy" again"
May 7, 2017 –
13.0% "I love the word douchenozzle"
May 7, 2017 –
15.0% "Celia better be queer after that line okay"
May 7, 2017 –
16.0% "Omg RISHI"
May 7, 2017 –
18.0% "Rishi you dork"
May 7, 2017 –
18.0% "I hate it when straight girls talk about "girl crushes" shut UP"
May 7, 2017 –
19.0% "Karl"
May 7, 2017 –
19.0% "He's so gone omg"
May 7, 2017 –
21.0% "Rishi is a lil shit :')"
May 7, 2017 –
21.0% "Dimple my child :("
May 7, 2017 –
22.0% "I'm a little annoyed with the "assumed to be gay" line considering the author pulled that "girl crush" shit earlier so my tolerance for straight nonsense is a little low right now"
May 8, 2017 –
24.0% "He nearly did bring a flower omgg"
May 8, 2017 –
24.0% "Dimple is a clever"
May 8, 2017 –
25.0% "bby"
May 8, 2017 –
26.0% "Rishi is a cinnamon roll"
May 8, 2017 –
27.0% "Evan is a trashcan"
May 8, 2017 –
27.0% "Take 'em down Rishi"
May 8, 2017 –
27.0% "Shut up Hari"
May 8, 2017 –
28.0% "Lmao take 'em down Rishi"
May 8, 2017 –
29.0% "It's not all about you Isabelle"
May 8, 2017 –
30.0% ""Insane" :/

Come on. It's not hard to avoid ableist language in writing if you just think for a second."
May 8, 2017 –
31.0% "Rishi you cutie"
May 8, 2017 –
32.0% "He's in LOVE"
May 9, 2017 –
35.0% "Lol"
May 10, 2017 –
36.0% "Perfect costume"
May 10, 2017 –
37.0% "Microaggressing nice"
May 10, 2017 –
37.0% "I swear every time I get complacent, along comes another word like "crazy" to pull me out of the story. Stopppp"
May 10, 2017 –
38.0% "Profound conversation"
May 11, 2017 –
39.0% "Supporting character with a cochlear implant"
May 11, 2017 –
40.0% "Rishi :("
May 11, 2017 –
42.0% "The ableist language keeps pulling me out of the story"
May 11, 2017 –
43.0% "lol"
May 11, 2017 –
44.0% "Not sure how I feel about this. Seems a bit close to a prison rape joke idk"
May 11, 2017 –
45.0% ""A lantern in the night""
May 11, 2017 –
46.0% "OHHHHH!!!"
May 11, 2017 –
47.0% "Omg"
May 11, 2017 –
47.0% "Rishi can be a suave lil shit when he wants to be"
May 11, 2017 –
48.0% "That's probably gonna end in tears"
May 12, 2017 –
49.0% "Ok I'm sorry but that 'male' line is unintentionally hilarious"
May 12, 2017 –
50.0% "If that was meant to be an apology, you hecked it up lmao"
May 12, 2017 –
51.0% ""Holy hotness, Batman" hahaha"
May 12, 2017 –
52.0%
May 13, 2017 –
53.0% ""Something woodsy and boy" lmao NOPE"
May 13, 2017 –
55.0% "I'm guessing American book shipments are faster than in Aus because that plan would've fallen well and truly apart if it happened here"
May 13, 2017 –
56.0% "These descriptions are dope"
May 13, 2017 –
57.0% "Ah, Dimple. So eloquent."
May 13, 2017 –
58.0% "Suave Rishi strikes again"
May 13, 2017 –
60.0%
May 13, 2017 –
62.0% "Dancing is terrifying omg I've had (a little) training and I wouldn't do this"
May 13, 2017 –
63.0% "OH NO"
May 13, 2017 –
65.0% "Ummmmmmm Dimple..."
May 13, 2017 –
67.0% "Oh for fuck's sake Dimple"
May 13, 2017 –
69.0% "This is stressing me out"
May 13, 2017 –
70.0%
May 13, 2017 –
71.0% "Wait. How old is Ashish again? Kinda important here."
May 13, 2017 –
71.0% "He's 16. That's okay I guess?"
May 13, 2017 –
71.0% "That "not serious" line is edging into biphobia tbh"
May 13, 2017 –
72.0% "This is edging very close to the cheating bisexual stereotype for my comfort"
May 13, 2017 –
73.0% "No Rishi. This is a bad plan."
May 13, 2017 –
73.0% "I'll need to remember to mention a TW for abuse in my review"
May 13, 2017 –
74.0% "So that's what a pocky stick is"
May 13, 2017 –
75.0% "Responsible kiddos. With no sarcasm"
May 13, 2017 –
76.0%
May 13, 2017 –
77.0% "Pun not intended"
May 13, 2017 –
78.0% "Wtf was that about

(Also I'm not comfortable w the one bi(?) char being the more promiscuous one. It's fine to like sex but it's a stereotype we get a lot)"
May 13, 2017 –
80.0% "Lmao"
May 13, 2017 –
81.0% "!!!!!!"
May 13, 2017 –
82.0% "I need to double check Evan's ethnicity. My memory is SO BAD"
May 13, 2017 –
83.0% "Nice to see Hari is still a dick"
May 13, 2017 –
83.0% "JESUS"
May 13, 2017 –
84.0% "YAY!"
May 13, 2017 –
85.0% ""Meanie" lmao"
May 13, 2017 –
87.0% "WHAT"
May 13, 2017 –
90.0% "Dimple no"
May 13, 2017 –
90.0% "MERMAID HAIR"
May 13, 2017 –
93.0% "Not much left of the book to fix thissssssssss"
May 13, 2017 –
96.0% "DO NOT MAKE ME CRY CHILD"
May 13, 2017 –
96.0% "Now Rishi's dad is making me sad"
May 13, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by brittany (new)

brittany thanks for the warning about the bi rep!!


Ann Elise Monte You're welcome. I still really liked it and I've definitely seen worse but it's worth mentioning so no one gets an unpleasant surprise. Still liked the book, obvs. I don't want the author getting slammed or anything.


message 3: by brittany (new)

brittany Ann Elise wrote: "You're welcome. I still really liked it and I've definitely..."

oh yeah i agree (that the author shouldn't get slammed). for me that part is a deal-breaker but i'm very picky about contemporary YA anyway. still happy for those who love the book & connect with it, especially on the race rep :)


Chelsea slytherink The ableist language in this book was IMPOSSIBLE to avoid. I have never read a book in which cr*zy and other variations are used as much. And I completely agree with you on the bi representation. Thank you for pointing this out, you're the only one who has, as far as I can tell.


Ann Elise Monte The last time I read a book with this much ableism, the book was like ten years old and pre-dated the greater awareness of ableism on social media.


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