Ok, so I’m conflicted.
I liked this book. A lot. It was so, so cute! And yet, it also had a lot of things that annoyed me to no end.
Before I get to the review and go on about the good and the bad of this book, let me just talk about the fact that this is a diverse contemporary romance. I love that! For a long time the cute contemporary romance scene has been dominated by white authors writing about white characters. Lately, there has been a wave of diverse authors bringing fresh perspectives and new story lines to the genre and I am so glad.
This book is about a girl named Dimple and a boy named Rishi, two Indian-American teenagers. Their parent have decided to arrange a marriage between the two and they are set to meet up in San Francisco for a computer coding convention, Insomnia Con. The only problem with this is that Dimple has no idea that the arrangement has been made. So, when the two finally met up and Rishi makes a joke about her being his future wife, Dimple reacts as anyone would and throws her ice coffee at the odd, but cute stranger. With such an awkward start for the two of them there is nowhere to go but up as they start getting to know each other and begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, theirs was a match crafted by fate.
So, on to the good part of the review.
The book was adorable. The relationship between Dimple and Rishi was super cute and their banter was absolutely golden. I was smiling, grinning, the whole time. I even laughed out loud at a few parts. For the first half of the book I almost sure that I was going to absolutely love it. Also, a girl who is into coding! I personally am not into that, I barely know what it is, but I am glad to have a girl who is into that sort of thin in the STEM field.
Now to the bad.
Let’s start with Dimple.
I don’t know how I feel about Dimple.
At first, I was super excited to see a girl who was herself. Someone who loved science and was smart and strong and who would stand up to all the misogynistic beliefs that popped up. Then, she got annoying. She was aggressive in a way that wasn’t fun. She kept punching Rishi for starters, punching him enough to make him flinch in pain. That’s not cute. That’s mean. It’s borderline abusive. Whenever she was annoyed, or angry, or even really happy she would just go and punch him in the ribs! Why?
Then she was mean to the group of rich kids. Admittedly, they rich kids were assholes. Why? Because they were rich, obviously. Don’t you know that you can’t have both money and a soul? Except for Rishi. He had them both. Why? Because he’s the love interest, obviously. She was also judgmental. She claimed independence and feminism by saying that she didn’t care about what she looked like. That she didn’t want pretty dresses and make up. And I get that. Not every girl needs or wants that, it’s their choice. But it’s not ok to judge and hate others because they do. I like pretty clothes. I like makeup. Does that make me stupid? Does it make me shallow? Dimple might think so.
Dimple was also kinda mean to her parents. Sure, she and her parents had different points of view. They had different ideas on what it meant to succeed and find happiness. But they loved her and wanted the best for her. They also came from a culture and a belief that made it ok for them to act the way they did. They thought that by finding her a suitable husband that they were helping her out, making her happy. And yet, Dimple couldn’t seem to see that because she was too busy disrespecting her parents. Like I get that you don’t agree but you also don’t have to straight up hate on the people who raised you!
Then she was inconsistent. One second she was putting everyone in their place. The next second she was shy and insecure. Then she was going around punching Rishi for being a decent human being! And then she was being mean to people. And then she was acting like she was oh so nice. Pick a personality and stay with it!
Now enough about Dimple. Let’s talk about the insta-love. I’m gonna be honest, I have overlooked a lot of insta-love cases in the past. Sometimes when a book is so good and so well written that I get so sucked in, my brain forgets that the relationship is slightly unrealistic. Not this time.
The book takes place over six weeks, the amount of time for Insomnia Con. Dimple and Rishi start the convention on bad terms, as you can imagine. Three weeks in, they are in love. No. I don’t buy it. Especially when Rishi seems to be doing everything in his power to please Dimple, and all she is doing is finding ways to drive him away. They meet, declare their undying love for each other, go through a whole bunch of drama, and a whole bunch of spoilery stuff happens, all within the span of six weeks? No.
And Rishi, my man, if ever there was a YA character that was trying too hard, it’s you. Stop being so extra. It’s not cute, its desperate. Seriously though, this boy has no chill. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The secondhand embarrassment almost killed me.
And the plot? I don’t even know man. The whole point of Insomnia Con was to work in pairs to design an app. The best app would be actually marketed and funded and all that jazz. This was the thing that Dimple was excited for, the thing that was passionate about. 1/4 way through the book it was all she could talk about. She didn’t even want to talk to Rishi because she was determined to win. And then…? What? They never mention coding or the app again, not when Dimple is so busy falling in love within the span of six weeks. I think they worked on the app maybe once in the novel.
Then it all came down to the ending. By the end I just wasn’t feeling it the way I was at the beginning. It was just going down hill in the last 20% of the book.
So, how do I even feel about this book? I truly don’t know for sure. I was entertained for a few hours of my life so that was nice. I laughed a little bit. It was cute for the most part. But I also had so many problems with it. So, yeah. In the end, I liked it, I suppose, but don’t know if I would recommend. A lot of people liked it so I guess that if you can over look the problems I had with it that you would like it too. It’s your call.
Let me know what you thought of it. Did you like it? Did you have any problems with it?