Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

I read this book at the perfect time: at the end of a particularly trying week, on the first day of a particularly nasty bug.

Reading something comforting in bed with a hot water bottle was the only activity I could bear, and luckily When Dimple Met Rishi delivered in spades. A lot of the books I usually read feature unexpected (or expected) character deaths, or stressful situations, or characters coping with losing a parent (this particular trope keeps popping up unexpectedly since losing a parent myself last year, and I’m not a fan! Publishers, take note). When Dimple Met Rishi is the antidote to all that — cute and sweet, but with enough depth to not be irritating. Perfect cosy winter reading.

Cover When Dimple met Rishi

Dimple Shah is almost running out the door in her eagerness to get away from her overbearing, traditional-minded mother (who wants her to find the Ideal Indian Husband) and to start studying to become a web developer. To her surprise, her parents agree to pay for the summer program for aspiring web programmers she’s been eyeing up for years.

Rishi Patel is a romantic who wants to find what his parents have achieved — a fairytale but practical marriage. When his parents tell him they’ve arranged for him to meet their friends’ daughter at Insomnia Con, he leaps at the opportunity — maybe a bit too hard, because Dimple is anything but thrilled to meet him. In fact, she didn’t even know he existed.

There are quite a few tropes playing out here, but I like them all so they get a pass. Dimple and Rishi are both engaging characters who make some stupid mistakes, and best of all they realise they do actually like each other quite quickly rather than the author coming up with flimsy misunderstandings in order to string the suspense along. Instead the conflict is through them figuring themselves out, what they want to do with their lives and careers, balancing cultural tradition/family with an American upbringing, and deciding whether being in a relationship is compatible with university study. Some of which I’m still figuring out myself, so maybe I need to a summer conference. The romance is pretty cute, and Dimple is usually quite good at pointing out when Rishi is being too smug.

I would have liked a bit more development of Dimple’s room-mate, Celia, as she is poorly served by both some of her friends and by the narrative. And some more detail on the app-building and the program would have been interesting to me. But given that it’s a book entitled When Dimple Met Rishi, I can’t complain too much if it’s all about them.

If you’re a fan of funny contemporary teen romance with geekery and Bollywood dancing, then get thee to a library and pick this one up. If you’ve already read it, have a look at:

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
Published by Hachette New Zealand
ISBN: 9781473667402

Cover to The Geek's Guide to UnrequitedCover of To All the Boys I've Loved BeforeCover of Looking for AlibrandiCover of Fangirl

All The Bright Places

If you like…

Cover of Looking For Alaska
Looking For Alaska
The Fault In Our Stars
The Fault In Our Stars
Cover of Side Effects May Vary
Side Effects May Vary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

then you will want to read…

Cover of All the Bright Places
All the Bright Places

Meet Theodore Finch and Violet Markey in this poignant story about life, death, wanderings, and Post-It notes.

The story begins with Finch talking Violet down from the ledge of the school’s bell tower where she is frozen with fear. The year before Violet lost her sister and best friend in a car crash on an icy road. She has been overcome with the grief and lost her way in the world.  By lunchtime everyone thinks Violet talked Finch off the ledge as he is the one who talks about death, is on probation at school, and is known as the school freak.

For a school project they team up to discover the natural wonders of their local area and so begin the “wanderings”. As Violet gets to know Finch her world finally begins to grow again. Whilst Finch feels alive in Violet’s company his own world seems to be diminishing, his mind full of racing and dark thoughts.

This is unique storytelling as it deals with suicide and depression in a sensitive and open way. The book is full of hidden gems which lighten and create humorous moments along the way. Both characters love to read and there are many book references which bring a smile. Finch plays the guitar, loves music, and Split Enz is referenced as a favourite band. The Post-It notes are clever and witty and add another layer to understanding. The wanderings draw Finch and Violet closer and can make for a teary read at times. A small annoyance is the plot centres exclusively round the two main characters with friends and family less developed than expected.

The best thing about All the Bright Places is that the story connects with the heart and lingers there. It’s an insightful book. Near the end Finch sends a heartfelt message to Violet which captures the essence of this read.

You are all the colours in one, at full brightness

P. S. In case you have to wait for All the Bright Places, why not try one of the books suggested in our If You Like… The Fault in Our Stars list?

 

Anti-Valentine’s Day teen fiction

Living with a florist has its definite perks. A few months ago saw my long-suffering flatmate spending hours in our living room, surrounded by buckets of roses under an arctic flow of air-conditioning, patiently preparing buttonholes and flower arrangements for my wedding. Flatmate of the year award!

Cover of New MoonOn the other hand, the closer it gets to certain holidays, the more stressed she gets. At the moment no one is allowed to mention the words Valentine’s Day for fear it’ll bring on a panic attack. Consumerism has a lot to answer for.

If you, too, feel a stab of panic every time you see a pink cut-out heart or a bunch of roses, maybe you should take my approach and ignore the day altogether. Let’s give Edward Cullen a disdainful eyeroll and have a night in or out with our friends, because, really, it’s time friendship stopped being considered a poor cousin of (or mutually exclusive with) romance.

Do you agree? If so, or even if you don’t, you might enjoy some of these fantastic books featuring strong friendships and family relationships with plots that don’t centre around whether the hottest vampire in school secretly wants to eat you.

Complicit, Stephanie Kuehn

Jamie’s mother was murdered when he was six; about seven years later his sister Cate was incarcerated for burning down a neighbour’s barn; and now Jamie, fifteen, learns that Cate has been released and is coming back for him, blaming him for all the bad things that led to her arrest.

The Raven Boys cycle, Maggie StiefvaterCover of The Raven Boys

This series has everything. Set in the small town of Henrietta, the books feature the strong but complicated friendship between Blue (daughter of a local pyschic) and a group of boys from the local private school (plus one ghost).
Their quest to find the tomb of ancient Welsh king Glendower in the foothills of Virginia is exciting but increasingly dangerous, as they aren’t the only ones on the trail. (Guns might be involved.) Plus a death was predicted at the start of the series and one of the main characters has a deadly allergy to insect stings. Such fun!

Sorrow’s Knot, Erin Bow

An interesting take on zombies and friendship. Otter is a girl of the Shadowed People, a tribe of women, and she is born to be a binder, a woman whose power it is to tie the knots that bind the dead but she is also destined to remake her world.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, E. LockhartCover of Code Name Verity

When Alabaster Prep sophomore Frankie Landau-Banks starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, Matthew refuses to talk about the Loyal Order of the Bassett Hounds, his all-male secret society, so Frankie infiltrates the society to enliven the mediocre pranks for which the club is known.

Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein

Spies and lady pilots in World War II, what’s not to love? If you like books that make you chew off your own fingers while reading, these are for you.

Wildlife, Fiona Wood, which Knit1purl1 talked about in a previous blog post.

What are your thoughts on romance in fiction? Love, hate, indifferent? Let me know your favourites (romantic or otherwise) in the comments!

Two page-turners

Cover of SalvageRecently I collected two books from my holds, looked at them, and wondered why I had reserved them. I took another look, the covers and blurbs piqued my interest. Luckily for me I took that second look.

The cover of Salvage has a young man with the word hope tattooed on the back of his neck turned away from the world. Quite a confronting cover I thought, and this was the hook that got me reading. Salvage is the story of broken apart families told through the eyes of Cass and Aidan, a sister and brother who were separated from each other when Cass is four. Cass is adopted by a loving middle class family whilst Aidan contends with children’s homes and foster care. Two very different lives and the brother and sister lose contact with each other. Salvage begins with Cass, now a teenager, dealing with a family crisis and she begins to think about her memories of Aidan. She wants to know him again, find out what happened in his life as she has many unanswered questions. Aidan has always wondered about Cass and now may be the right time to get in contact. When is the right time? I found this story a gritty, engaging, and at times, emotional read.

Cover of We were liarsI was drawn to the cover of We were liars by the large fuzzy font extending over a background of hazy figures swimming in a bright sea. Who are the liars and what did they do? At the top John Green describes this book as “utterly unforgettable”. Mmm, a pretty good recommendation, maybe a bit over the top? I read the first few pages where I was introduced to the perfect Sinclair family and their perfect summery island life. I was not convinced. I kept thinking, so what is this story about and what is really going on here?. The questions remained during the entire reading and these were the hooks that held me to the end. I was definitely surprised and certainly not disappointed by this clever plot which is full of twists and turns throughout. I don’t want to give anymore away. We were liars lived up to the hype.

Two real page-turners.

Teen Scene – picks from our March newsletter

Some picks from our March Teen Scene newsletter:

Cover of Jane, The Fox & MeCover of Her Dark CuriosityCover of HeartbeatCover of When I Was the Greatest Cover of Teen SpiritCover of VariantCover of Marie Antoinette, Serial KillerCover of UndercurrentCover of Birthmarked

Subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and best picks straight from your inbox.

For more great YA reading suggestions, check out our booklists and recommended websites in the Read section of the Pulse. In particular, don’t miss our Holiday Reading 2013 selection.

Teen Scene – picks from our January newsletter

Some picks from our  January Teen Scene newsletter:

Cover of My Most Excellent YearCover of CurveballCover of The NaturalsCover of Curtsies & ConspiraciesCover of Meet Me At The RiverCover of World AfterCover of Loud Awake and LostCover of The Year of Luminous LoveCover of Rebel Spring

Subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and best picks straight from your inbox.

For more great YA reading suggestions, check out our booklists and recommended websites in the Read section of the Pulse. In particular, don’t miss our Holiday Reading 2013 selection.

Teen Scene: picks from our December newsletter

Some picks from our December Teen Scene newsletter:

Cover of All The Truth That's in MeCover of The Last DragonslayerCover of Picture Me GoneCover of EonCover of SeraphinaCover of UnbreakableCover of BlackoutCover of Dragon's KeepCover of Just One Year

Subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and best picks straight from your inbox.

For more great YA reading suggestions, check out our booklists and recommended websites in the Read section of the Pulse. In particular, don’t miss our Holiday Reading 2013 selection.

Teen Scene: picks from our November newsletter

Some picks from our November Teen Scene newsletter:

Cover of Before We Were FreeCover of RevolutionCover of All Our YesterdaysCover of Delilah Dirk and the Turkish LieutenantCover of SteelheartCover of AnarchyCover of FangirlCover of This Song Will Save Your LifeCover of Little Brother

Subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and best picks straight from your inbox.

For more great YA reading suggestions, check out our booklists and recommended websites in the Read section of the Pulse.

Teen Scene: picks from our October newsletter

Some picks from our October Teen Scene newsletter:

Cover: A Moment ComesCover: Bitter KingdomCover: The Lord of OpiumCover: AssaultCover: OCD Love StoryCover: The Rose BrideCover: The Infinite Moment of UsCover: AdaptationCover: Earth Star

Subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and best picks straight from your inbox.

For more great YA reading suggestions, check out our booklists and recommended websites in the Read section of the Pulse.

Teen Scene: picks from our latest newsletter

Some picks from our September Teen Scene newsletter:

Cover of Openly StraightCover of Spirit and DustCover of ScarletCover of Android KareninaCover of InkCover of The TestingCover of Tiger LilyCover of Boy NobodyCover of Dare You To

Subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and best picks straight from your inbox.

For more great YA reading suggestions, check out our booklists and recommended websites in the Read section of the Pulse.