When Dimple Met Rishi

Book review by
Lucinda Dyer, Common Sense Media
When Dimple Met Rishi Book Poster Image
Opposites begin to attract in sweet arranged-union tale.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

When Dimple Met Rishi gives readers a window into the (loving) cultural tug of war between Dimple and Rishi and their conservative Indian American families. Conversations in the novel are casually sprinkled with Hindi words whose meanings are either explained or can easily be determined. There's a long and funny section that describes Dimple and Rishi's determined efforts to learn a Bollywood dance for a talent show.

Positive Messages

It's often easy to misjudge people. If you give them a second chance, you could be surprised by what you find.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dimple and Rishi take on a tough task: honoring as best they can their families' cultural traditions while making plans for lives very different from the ones their parents imagined for them. They do this respectfully, thoughtfully, and sometimes humorously. 


One brief fistfight in which no serious damage is done.


Two teens have sex, which is not described in detail and comes after much serious discussion between the two about whether this is a good choice for them and their relationship. Other characters have sex that's alluded to rather than described. Two characters "hook up" and "do other stuff" that's not identified.


"BS," "crap," and "bitch" used occasionally. And boys are tauntingly described as having "micro penises."


Casual references to everything from Polaroid cameras, Gucci, Darth Vader, and Red Bull to Starbucks, Facebook, and Instagram. Rishi gives Dimple a copy of A Wrinkle in Time

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Rishi and Dimple turn down (without any hesitation) offers of drinks. Several characters are under the influence (of exactly what is never clarified) at an important event.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sandhya Menon's When Dimple Met Rishi is the story of two college-bound first-generation Indian American teens whose very traditional parents believe they're meant for each other. Dimple and Rishi's families arrange for them to attend a summer website and app-development competition in San Francisco, certain that when they meet it will be love at first sight. But for the Dimple and Rishi, it's anything but love when they meet. Dimple is horrified when she finds out her parents have selected a potential husband for her and wants nothing to do with Rishi. As this is a romantic comedy, the two will eventually discover -- through a series of sometimes hilarious misadventures -- that they have more in common than either of them ever thought possible. Several sexual encounters are not described in any detail, a few characters are "under the influence," and profanity is limited to "BS," "crap," and "bitch."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 1 and 11-year-old Written byZoethustra January 23, 2018

Formulaic , but cute

I read on the dust jacket that the author was a fan of Bollywood and that makes total sense because this book is basically Bollywood meets a YA novel. It's... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 3, 2019

Great Book!!!!

This book is my all-time favorite book. It’s a sweet romance between two Indian teens, and being half-Indian myself, I could really relate. There was some iffy-... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byromancebookworm3 February 9, 2021

Really good

I thought it was really good it had some sex but it was thought about. There were really string women characters and religious reasoning.

What's the story?

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, it didn't go at all well -- no big surprise, as Rishi blurted out,"Hello, future wife," and Dimple had absolutely no idea who he was or why he'd say such a crazy thing. While Rishi knew that Dimple would be attending the website and app-development competition, Dimple's family had not let her in on the parents' plan to fix up their teens. To complicate matters even more, Dimple (on her way to Stanford) has absolutely no interest in finding the I.I.H. (Ideal Indian Husband) while Rishi (on his way to MIT) thinks the idea of an arranged marriage might be quite a sensible one. Dimple's determined to never ever have anything to do with Rishi, but then they find themselves partnered up at the competition. A truce ensues as they begin to work together and even venture out on a "non-date." As the opposites begin to attract, they learn how small their differences really are, and Dimple gives Rishi the courage to tell his parents what he really wants to do with his life. 

Is it any good?

This heartwarming, funny, romantic tale explores serious coming-of-age issues: honoring tradition in a modern world, becoming independent, and making good choices about love. When Dimple Met Rishi portrays Dimple and Rishi's blended world of conservative Indian culture and tech nerds in a way that will be instantly relatable not only to readers who come from Indian families but also to any teens who've ever been misunderstood by their parents or felt like an outsider. 

Dimple and Rishi might be geeky, but they're feisty, funny geeks who will constantly surprise readers as their true personalities emerge. Who would have expected Rishi to be confident and take charge on a first date or that Dimple would find she could dance like a character out of a Bollywood movie? While the idea of arranged marriages is central to the plot of the novel, it's made clear that neither set of parents would ever pressure Dimple or Rishi to marry someone they didn't love. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the cultural differences between generations in When Dimple Met Rishi. What are some of the values or traditions your parents believe are important that you think are old-fashioned or have no place in your life?

  • Do you read comics or graphic novels? Do you have a favorite artist?

  • Would you ever let your parents fix you up on a date? What kind of person do you think they'd choose for you?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love teen romance and comedy

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