Everyone was reading it. So I decided to read it. It didn't pan out well for The Help, but it was perfectly fine for Girl on the Train. But When Dimple Met Rishi?
For those unaware, When Dimple Met Rishi is a YA novel about an 18-year-old Indian-American girl named Dimple who's just graduated, is going to Stanford in the fall, and really wants to go to a summer coding program called Insomnia Con so she can create an app, meet her idol and BEGIN HER LIFE OF CODING.
I was super on board at this point.
She also has an overbearing mother who she thinks wants to see her married and with a family immediately. Dimple never wears makeup, is very open about her opinions, has wild hair (the book keeps coming back to these points), and is very anti-the marriage thing. What she does NOT know is her parents are letting her go to Insomnia Con because they have set her up with Rishi, the son of their friends. Rishi knows this, though, and boy, do hijinks ensue.
HERE IS MY MAIN PROBLEM WITH THIS BOOK:
If you're an author and you want to write a book, great. If you're a diverse voice, A+, fantastic, we need more of you. But don't sell your book as a diverse YA novel about a girl in a STEM field when you spend maybe 10 pages of your 378 page book actually talking about STEM-related things.
Or, as I complained to Jesse Doogan, fellow Book Rioter:
The vast majority of the book is either Dimple going on dates with Rishi to quirky but also meaningful locales in his new BMW (oh right, he's of course also ridiculously wealthy and also finds her unbelievably beautiful) OR preparing for a talent show (????) that this summer coding program puts on every year? What? And the winning team gets $1,000 to put towards developing their app? Did they start out with a certain amount they were allowed to use? Can they not use their own money? I would assume not, but who knows, certainly not the book.
The amount of time the book spends talking about Bollywood, coupled with the fact that the author's bio on the back (which is four sentences long) mentions Bollywood twice and "bad dance moves" once, makes me wish this book had abandoned its STEM pretense and just been a cute YA romance about two Indian-Americans who meet at Bollywood dance camp.
Write what you know, and don't try to bluff your way through what you don't. It'll show.