Review: When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandhya Menon

Book cover: Dimple drinks chai through a straw.

When Dimple Met Rishi is a romantic comedy that I had wanted to read as soon as I heard of it, and I was lucky to receive a free copy from the author. Thank you very much Sandhya Menon.

It’s an arranged marriage story that takes place in the US. Dimple does not want to have an arranged marriage, while Rishi is open to the possibility. They find themselves attending the same summer programme, which results in awkwardness, stress and adorable dorkiness.

It’s an #ownvoices book.

I thought this book was hilarious! It was a very light read and just the thing I needed at the moment. You will most probably have laugh-out-loud moments while reading this book. I certainly did.

Dimple is such an amazing person – I would have looked up to such a character in my teens. Edit: She makes some mistakes and she’s not always right, but she tries. She’s young, she’s still got much to learn. And Rishi is adorable, like so so cute. He is just amazing and sweet.

The romance is very cute as well (Edit: However, there were some issues that were not discussed). It builds up and it is certainly not insta-love. I was able to understand why they fell in love with each other. Even though this book is indeed a romance story, it does follow the personal growth of the characters and their relationships to family and friends.

I learnt quite a bit of Hindi, while reading this book, which was nice. The context could be understood out of the text. Shout out to one of my friends though, who helped me with the translation so that I could understand it even better.

In my opinion, the cover is beautiful. I like the placement of the title and the clothes that Dimple is wearing. I do have one question however, why is she not wearing glasses?

Rishi has stereotypes about basketballers, which is absolutely normal. However, I feel like he would have rethought about these stereotypes when getting closer to his brother later on in the book.

A few ableist descriptors were used: psycho, depressedpsychotic and spasming.

Micro penises is used as a negative term. Quite a few people talk like this, however I wish Rishi would have called her out on this. Especially as she says later that “No off day justified making fun of someone’s appearance or being as cruel or vulgar as they had been. She knew that.” referring to the same boys, when they are being rude to her. Thus, I think she should use the same logic when talking rudely about other people. Possibly by highlighting her hypocrisy in this situation.

Edit: I’ve been thinking about my review and my rating of When Dimple Met Rishi for quite a few days now. And through other reviewers, I’ve realised that some other aspects of the relationship and its toxicitiy, and characters’ behaviour weren’t called out either, such as Dimple looking through Rishi’s stuff without his permission, and her pressuring him to drink alcohol. This is certainly how some people would act, and I don’t take issue with the portrayal. What I do take issue with is that she is not called out for doing these things. I don’t expect her to immediately change her behaviour after being called out, but I do wish that it had been challenged in the text. Also another reviewer mentioned the cheating bi trope, which I hadn’t noticed during my read of the ARC.

When Dimple Met Rishi is an adorable romance. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone looking for a fun, summer read. Edit: I think that When Dimple Met Rishi is still a good book, and Sandhya Menon’s has a beautiful way of writing romances. I’m looking forward to her next books, and hope that the flaws of the characters in those will be challenged. I pulling the rating down to three stars.

Trigger warnings: ableist language (not called out), person pressured to drink (not called out).

3 stars

Have you read When Dimple Met Rishi? Did you like it?

16 thoughts on “Review: When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandhya Menon

  1. I enjoyed this book too. You point out several things I didn’t catch in my review, I’m going to add a link to yours if that’s okay. Dimple is wearing her glasses on the back cover, but I agree, it’s a subtle erasure of a very common disability. Your reviews have made me think a lot about disability language and being more respectful and inclusive both in my reading and the words I speak, so thank you.


  2. I honestly hadn’t thought about the erasure of her glasses on the cover. As someone who’s worn glasses/contacts all my life, I can definitely see how this would be subtle erasure. People are always complimenting me when I’m not wearing glasses and it’s exhausting. I loved that Dimple refused to wear contacts – I personally need them to see better because my vision is so bad, but I appreciated that aspect of her character so much. I guess the publisher though the cover would be more appealing without her wearing glasses – which just plays into the ideology that glasses=ugly (which I HATE). Thanks for pointing this out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved this book! The romance was adorable! You mentioned a lot of things I didn’t pick up on before like some of the ableist language. I need to get better at spotting them. Thanks for bringing awareness to them!


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