This teen romantic comedy about arranged marriage is fantastic! It is a funny, honest and romantic read.

28458598What a sweet, fun, romantic read!  But this is not your typical teen rom-com.  Dimple and Rishi are arranged by their parents.  Rishi knows and is all in.  Dimple however, has no idea.  She is headed to Stanford in the fall and has no plans for romantic entanglements. She has a future as a tech giant to pursue.   She wants to attend Insomnia Com where can she focus on her great idea for a new app and hopefully turn into in a real one that can save lives.  Her parents were not on board with her going until suddenly they were.  Rishi is a more traditional Indian boy who wants to make his parents happy.  He is on his way to M.I.T. and knows his future is with Dimple Shah.  He is also going to Insomnia Con and asked to be her partner so they can get to know each other.  So suddenly her parents are in favor of her going.  When they met, Dimple is shocked and Rishi is confused and a little heartbroken.  Dimple is serious about this experience and doesn’t need the distraction so she can win and get her app developed by her tech hero.  She is furious with her parents for pushing her in this more traditional direction.  As Dimple and Rishi get to know each other things start to change. Dimple has to deal with bullies and awkward social situations but Rishi is always by her side.  Slowly she starts to see him and the sparks fly.  I highly recommend this book.  It is a fun, enjoyable read.  Indian teens will see themselves and other teens will learn about a different culture and how it pertains to the modern world.  I couldn’t put it down!  Dimple is a strong female character who shows you do not have to give up on your dreams to share your life with a good person.

Some ideas for discussing with teens:

Discuss the idea of arranged marriage.  What could be the pros and cons?

How are Dimple and Rishi similar and different?

Discuss how they meet.  What would you do if you were Dimple.  Or Rishi?  How would you respond?

Discuss how their relationship started to change.

Discuss the horrible dinner with the Aber-Zombies.  Why do you think people behave like that?

Discuss Dimple’s friendship with her roommate?

Discuss how Dimple and Rishi help each other and change their lives.

Why does Dimple make that hard decision at the end of the story?  What would you do?

Talk about what it means to be well matched.  What would you look for in a life partner?

Discuss Rishi’s brother’s relationship?  How is he different than Rishi.

What do you think is next for Dimple and Rishi?

 

Fantastic historic fiction and point of view characters in Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s The Smell Of Other People’s Houses

 

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I fell in love with the title and the cover of this incredible book.  The story inside does not disappoint.  It is the story of four people who are connected in ways you don’t understand right away.  I love a book that gives me a strong sense of place.  With The Smell Of Other People’s Houses, I learned a great deal about Alaska and its different landscapes and cultures.  It takes place in the 1970s so readers will experience another time as well as another place.  I couldn’t put it down.  I can’t wait to read her next book.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Discuss what makes Ruth, Alyce, Dora and Hank similar or different.  How does this tell the story of Alaska.
Discuss when Dumpling says this about the hair ribbons made of the red slip. “Sometimes you just have to hold on to whatever you can.” pg. 81
Discuss this passage from Hank, “Remember when my mother said, You wait until your whole world falls out from under you”? It turns out the world has many bottoms.” pg. 108
Discuss when Hank says, “I’ll never understand how certain things that happen to us can climb under our skin and makes us someone new.” pg. 168
Discuss “We don’t have to be blood to be family.” pg. 185
Discuss when Dora thinks, “[Dumpling’s house] smells like a place where people like each other, and the Lawrence house smells like it’s judging you the minute you walk inside.” pg. 190