- Page Count: 320
- Release Date: May 30, 2017
- My Rating: 4 stars
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
THIS BOOK IS STRAIGHT UP PRECIOUS.
Dimple Shah’s mother is constantly trying to get her to wear makeup, grow her hair out, and care more about her appearance, but Dimple is more interested in coding useful apps and has no interest in getting married anytime soon. Dimple’s parents agree to pay for her to attend a summer coding competition because Rishi Patel will be there. The parents of both teens have agreed their kids are compatible, but Dimple’s have neglected to mention him…
Rishi is more traditional (he learned Hindi before English) and focused on being a good son, so he goes to the summer program with the intent to meet his future wife. He wants to draw comics but is going to MIT to be an engineer and provide for his family like his parents planned.
The first half of the book was ADORABLE and had so many hilarious scenes. Rishi was the cutest guy ever… the first thing he says to Dimple is “hello future wife, I can’t wait to get started on the rest of our lives” (mostly as a joke). She has NO clue who he is, though, so she chucks her iced coffee at him and runs away.
The story is told through the alternating POVs of both characters so you can see a scene unfold through Rishi’s eager infatuation and Dimple’s caution. Dimple makes it clear she is not about to get married anytime soon, but they end up as partners for the competition and fall in love as they start spending more time together. It’s predictable but so, so cute.
The second half of the story started feeling more like a blend of a bunch of other YA contemporaries (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing… those plots are popular for a reason). And the end was cute!!
I took a star off in the end because stories that spend so much time hating a stereotyped group of people really turn into a drag after a few hundred pages. That’s not fun to read and was a bit disappointing when there were SO many more creative directions this story could have gone in besides focusing on how horrible the straight, white, privileged “Aberzombie” teens were. That is like the most cliche thing for a YA story to make into the villain. So that focus (or the shallow way in which it was carried out) killed some of the story’s momentum for me.
But I really did love these characters and had a lot of fun reading this! The writing was good, the diversity was awesome to see, and the characters felt like realistic teens.
Thank you to the publisher & Riveted for sending me the ARC box!