I’m so excited to post my second ever Buddy Read Discussion collaboration post! This buddy read was with Brittany at bookwormbrittanyy and we got to read When Dimple Met Rishi. If you haven’t checked out my review, be sure to take a look there first!
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Turn back now if you don’t want to be spoiled!
* * * * * B R I T T A N Y ‘ S T H O U G H T S * * * * *
“I thought that once I finished this book, all of my mixed feelings would finally settle and I’d know how I really felt about it. But that didn’t happen. So, I’m giving this three stars because I am simultaneously loving and hating this book at the same time.
First things first, I really enjoyed the characters in this story, individually. Dimple is a head-strong, bad ass, nontraditional Indian girl who doesn’t care if she’s “supposed to get married to the IIM” (Ideal Indian Man). She is passionate about coding and web design and has no desire to worry over a boy. Point blank. Rishi is such a sweet guy and has a love for the traditions that make up his family and culture. He actually wants to meet his “practical” wife at eighteen, picked for him by his parents. They are polar opposites in this way. And by themselves, I absolutely loved them both.”
* * * * * L E E L Y N N ‘ S T H O U G H T S * * * * *
So with this buddy read discussion, we decided to read each other’s reviews and make comments on those. Thank you, Brittany, for this amazing idea! It was so exciting to read this book, let each other know what our thoughts were, and read each other’s reviews.
And here I go!
I could definitely see the loving and hating this book simultaneously part. There were some aspects of this book that I absolutely loved! But there were parts of this book that I was so frustrated with, that it left a sour taste in my mouth. One of the things that I loved, that Brittany loved as well, was the fact that Dimple was an amazing character. She isn’t perfect by any means, but I personally loved the way that she was able to defy the parts of her culture that she didn’t agree with while still being true to herself. She almost told off one of her mom’s friends for being misogynistic and having such an antiquated train of thought, but I was also proud of her for staying respectful. I think that’s one thing that I am a big stickler about. Despite how teenagers feel about certain situations, to me they should stay respectful to their parents or any other adult that is considered family. Of course, if such adult was doing or saying something completely out of line, then I could make an exception. But just disagreeing on certain topics that don’t hurt either one of them or others in the world doesn’t give license for teenagers to be rude.
Now while I mostly liked Dimple, I liked Rishi even more. Even though I am not as traditional as he is in my own culture, I really respected his dedication to his Indian culture, even the fact that he wanted the traditional arranged marriage like his parents had. It’s something that he grew up learning about and caring deeply about, so it made sense that he would want to have a part of that in his life. He was also very respectful, not only to his parents but even to Dimple when she didn’t really deserve it. She was so cruel to him in the beginning, basically hating him because she believed that all he came there for was to marry her, and didn’t even give him a chance to prove himself otherwise. She was a mean person at first, and yet Rishi was still kind and civil.
I also loved that Rishi was so good at standing up for those that were being treated poorly. He stood up for Dimple when the Aberzombies teased her about her appearance, and during that awful dinner fiasco. Even though Dimple didn’t want him to, I’m glad he did.
I can definitely see Brittany’s point about the relationship seeming too teenager-y in a sense. I can also see how they both changed aspects of each other for the other person. I can see how that would be a bad thing for the most part, but as long as these changes that they made were actually good things, then I would be okay with it. For example, while Rishi still wanted to have the traditional arranged marriage and whatnot, what he changed to make him a better person was his attitude towards his love of comic books. Dimple forced him to be brave enough to tell his parents that he isn’t going to be happy at MIT doing something that isn’t even on his radar and actually going to a school that will further his dream to become an amazing comic book artist. In the end, he did that, and he was able to change schools to SFSU. That was a good change. On the other hand, while I appreciate Dimple’s resolve to not want a man in her life until she was absolutely ready, there was nothing wrong with her giving herself some slack in actually allowing herself to open up and get to know Rishi better. She didn’t have to end up loving him, but she learned how to and that was okay. Rishi taught her that falling in love earlier on in life was okay, and she was still able to reach her dreams. In fact, Rishi pushed her to that point – after that stupid Insomnia Con decision which I’m glad Jenny Lidt completely disregarded because their idea was stupid – and got her the opportunity to meet this amazing woman that Dimple was pretty much obsessed with when she was too busy being depressed to get out of her room. He pushed her to come out, and then she got her own version of a happy ending. In some ways, if it wasn’t for Rishi’s involvement, she wouldn’t have met her idol and had the funding and assistance she needed to actually launch her app.
I actually didn’t realize the discrepancies that Brittany pointed out in the book, so please thank her for that! I was too busy involved in the story, wanting to find out who was going to win the Talent Show and the grand prize at Insomnia Con to catch those. Maybe I should pay attention a little more…
Can we give it up for a book that has POCs as the main focal point? I rarely come across books like that anymore, and when I do, I have to get my hands on it. Not only are both of the main characters POCs, but we get to see their families in their wonderful, Indian culture that I wish I knew more about. It isn’t some whitewashed version of a POC, where they have American names and are ashamed of where they come from. I absolutely loved it.
* * * * * F I N A L T H O U G H T S * * * * *
Oh wow, that was a great buddy read discussion! I am so glad I got to read such a great book with such a great girl. I can’t wait for more.