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?

 

Illegal Chocolate And Mafia Princesses In Great Dystopian Hunger Games Read Alike

All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)

Gabrielle Zevin is coming to my library for an author visit.  All These Things I’ve Done is my favorite book of hers I’ve read so far.  16-year-old Anya is the daughter of notorious mafia boss, Leonyd Balanchine.  He and her mother were murdered so it is up to Anya to take care of her special needs older brother, Leo and her little sister, Natty.   Their legal guardian is Galina, their bedridden grandmother who is in extremely poor health.   It is the year 2083 where water is scarce.  Chocolate and caffeine are illegal.  Very few people have cell phones and if you want to send an email you have to pay first.  The Balanchine crime family deals in chocolate.  They were chocolate makers before it became a banned substance.  The book brings up interesting discussion points about what could be made illegal and why.  She goes to catholic school where she meets and adorable new boy named Win.  Win just happens to be the son of the new and very ambitious Assistant DA.  You can see where this is going.   Anya is a strong female character who makes difficult choices to keep her brother and sister safe.  Readers who love The Hunger Games will enjoy her.  She reminds me of Katniss with her ability to made personal sacrifices for the people she loves.  Zevin did a great job world building to create this dystopian future and characters I cared about.  Adult readers who like The Sopranos will like this mafia tale.  Galina reminds me a little of Livia Soprano in that she could have been a strong mobster in her own right.  I enjoyed this star crossed lovers romance.  Book 2 in the Birthright series, Because It Is My Blood, comes out on September 18th.  I look forward to getting my hands on it to find out what happens.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Why do you think chocolate is now illegal?
If you could make something illegal what would it be and why?
Talk about the differences between Win and the boys Anya is used to.
Anya knows she may have to give Win up to protect her family.  What would you do?
Talk about the vintage clothes.  What would you want to keep in your closet?
Anya and her friends do not have cell phones or texting. What do you think that is like?  How would that change your relationships?
The book takes place in the year 2083.  What do you think it will be like then?
Compare Anya with Katniss from The Hunger Games.