Continuing with the Rights & Responsibilities Challenge:
18) Adopt a child.
Read a young adult romance. Or read a romance in which one or both of the protagonists find themselves responsible for a child or children. If you’re into secret babies, here’s your chance to read that book! If you’re into pregnant heroines, feel free to take that book off your TBR pile!
For this part of the challenge, I was scrambling to read Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi, published in 2017, before the author’s appearance at the National Book Festival which I was also attending. Fortunately, I completed enough of it at that point, enjoyed it generally, but I did have some issues with it.
First off, this is a young adult romance featuring an American hero and heroine, of Indian descent, who have both just graduated from high school. They are each going to be incoming college students on opposite sides of the country. However, for the summer, they are attending an exclusive tech camp, that focuses on producing an app which will be in contention for possible further development by a well-known tech superstar, who also happens to be a graduate of this camp.
What Dimple Shah, the heroine of our pair, doesn’t know is that Rishi Patel, our hero, is not terribly interested in developing an app, but is more interested in meeting her. Apparently, despite moving in different economic circles, their parents are friends and would like Rishi and Dimple to meet in the hope that they might one day marry. Rishi is all on board with this, since he remembers meeting Dimple in the past and finds her attractive. Plus, despite being raised as a modern American youth, he has deep respect for this parents, celebrates his culture, and looks on their traditions in a positive way, unlike his younger brother who is a complete rebel. Dimple, on the other hand, lives for coding, wants to be a career woman, and is not interested in meeting up with a good Indian boy anytime soon. So what exactly happens when Dimple meets Rishi?
As Ms. Menon confirmed, the title of her book is a homage to the romantic comedy, When Harry Met Sally, and that other books in her series will also be titled similarly. She also mentioned that this particular book will have a sequel. As such, I’ll be interested in seeing what she does with these characters. In terms of this first book, I was surprised by its emphasis more on Rishi’s journey than Dimple’s. Dimple has no doubt who she wants to be and is pushing back forcibly. It’s Rishi who has made all the compromises and buried his dreams for his parents. It takes Dimple’s help to make Rishi face this. Granted, in terms of their romance, Rishi is all in immediately and must convince Dimple to give him a chance. But, to my mind, it didn’t take much convincing. So, the struggle for them seemed more about their professional dreams than their romance. We also get a subplot involving Dimple’s roommate — which was all over the place and not too deep — and later developed into a secret relationship with Rishi’s brother, that came out of left field. Not sure I bought all of that. So, for me, I can’t say that this story was totally successful. I would give it a B-/B.
The Alphabet Challenge Variation – 13 down, 5 to go (R, D, L, J, A, G, N, B, C, E, F, H, Q …)
Rights & Responsibilities Challenge – 7 down, 11 to go