It may be past Memorial Day, and into the beginning of June, but here in New England, it’s still raining and cold. We seem to have these little pockets of perfect weather that only last half a day every two weeks. Otherwise, it’s just raining. Constantly. But no matter, today I am recommending a book that feels like the perfect summer read. It is smart and sweet and funny and romantic. What more could you ask for in a book that begs to be read on a plane or by the ocean, or even in your bed on a lazy Sunday?
Written in alternating perspectives, this charming read takes us through the summer when, as the title says, Dimple met Rishi. Dimple has just graduated high school and is laser focused on her future dreams of becoming a coding superstar. Her parents, on the other hand, are more interested in her future as a wife. Her mother begs her to wear make up and pay more attention to her appearance so that she will have a better chance of attracting a husband. Uninterested in romance, especially marriage, Dimple wants to attend a summer program, Insomnia Con, where aspiring web developers compete to create the best app. When Dimple asks her parents to go, she is shocked and delighted at their quick and positive response. It’s only when she arrives and is approached by Rishi, who introduces himself as her future husband, that it all starts to make sense: Dimple and Rishi’s parents have arranged a marriage for them. No wonder they were so eager to let her go!
In stark contrast to Dimple, Rishi is a hopeless romantic. He knows his parents have picked out a potential bride for him, and he trusts them enough to be excited. He respects the tradition of arranged marriages and likes the idea of being part of something bigger than himself. But it may not be as simple as it sounds. Angry and frustrated and feeling betrayed by her parents, Dimple wants nothing to do with Rishi. At first….But then, as they work together creating an app and getting to know each other, Dimple finds herself in the very unexpected position of falling for Rishi.
Dimple, Rishi and their small cast of supporting characters are well drawn, unique and realistic. The romance between the two young Indian-American teens is thoughtful and sex positive without being overly sentimental or gauche and with just the right amount of swoon. Mendon explores the pressures of family, culture, friendship and self-esteem in a gentle coming of age story that feels altogether fresh.
Prescribed for : YA fans, readers in search of something irresistibly pleasant and transporting. You will fly through this book. Bring it along on a trip to the beach or a quick airplane ride! Or give it as an easy and uplifting gift for a high school graduate looking to blow off steam and enjoy the summer.