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.
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.
This was an okay book about two Indian-American teenagers who have their marriage arranged only to develop feelings for each other when they eventually meet. I was really looking forward to reading this book and I thought it was quite a sweet read.
The thing I liked most about this book was the way it shone a light on Indian culture (which I find really interesting) and how tensions develop when kids grow up exposed to two different cultures. And this book did a pretty good job of portraying that. I felt sorry for Dimple and Rishi with the weight of their parental expectations and likedhow they tried to find their own happiness.
Dimple was an okay character, and it’s always good to see girls in STEM subjects doing well, but I didn’t really engage with her that much. She seemed super proud of the fact that she never wore make up or bothered about what she wore, which is fine, her decision, but she was also incredibly judgey about other people who were invested in their appearance which felt hypocritical.
When we were first introduced to Rishi I thought he was a bit chloroform-and-duct-tape, but as the book wore on I warmed to him a bit. He was really keen to please his parents, which was sweet, but I was also glad he got to follow his own dreams in the end.
This book borrows heavily from the Bollywood trope of two youngsters having their marriage arranged and them both protesting wildly about it until they meet each other and find that they do actually have feelings for each other. In Bollywood, however, (and FYI, I’m definitely not a Bollywood expert, but this is something that I’ve noticed and have seen referenced) the story usually has an added tension because the parents of the couple call off the arranged marriage and re-arrange their weddings to other people instead. And I think this added level of tension was what this book lacked for me.
After a rocky start, Dimple and Rishi quickly fall in love but there’s nothing really that prevents them from being together. We just watch them fall in love and go on dates. And it was fine, but not exactly thrilling.
One scene I did find a little odd was when Dimple and Rishi were trying to decide whether to sleep with each other for the first time. They’re talking about it and it’s all good, except then Rishi starts wondering to Dimple if their parents would be disappointed at them having sex. Huh?!? What eighteen-year-old guy thinks about HIS PARENTS OPINION when his girlfriend is asking him to have sex with her?
And yeah, I realise that all cultures are different, but seriously, if a guy pulled out a line like that with me, I’d be all, ‘Dude, you’re killing the mood a little here. Stop talking about my parents and sex in the same breath.’
So yeah. That was a bit strange. As was the overuse of the word tongue while Dimple and Rishi were kissing.
Other than that, though, this was quite a sweet book. A nice romantic Summer read, easy on the tension.