http://acl-tx.com/mano/ Author: Sandhya Menon
enter site Genre: YA
What it’s about: Dimple Shah wants two things this summer: to go to Insomnia Con and win the chance to work with her programming idol and for her parents to forget about her finding an Ideal Indian Husband. When her parents agree to send her to San Francisco for the summer to attend Insomnia Con she thinks they’re finally focusing on her intellectual pursuits. Rishi Patel is a bit of a romantic, and he is ecstatic to be attending Insomnia Con where he will meet the girl his parents have arranged for him to marry…Dimple Shah. The only problem is Dimple has no idea and no interest in dating, much less marriage.
My thoughts: This was such a cute and happy read! I’ll be honest, in addition to all the early hype I saw, I was definitely drawn in because of that adorable cover. And the cover really does capture the tone of the book pretty perfectly. It’s a love story–and, of course, any good love story is going to have it’s fair share of issues and roadblocks–but it was mostly a really optimistic and happy story. And, I mean, any book that begins a romance with a meet-cute where the guy greets the girl he’s never met before as his “future wife” and she responds by throwing coffee in his face and running away has to be pretty great.
So many great things to love here, too: Indian-American rep, Hindu rep, girls in STEM(!), young people following their dreams, and a feel-good story to top it all off.
I’ll admit that parts of the story occasionally frustrated me. Dimple could be annoying and insensitive at times, but her drive and passion ultimately make up for it. She also has a lot of personality–as does Rishi–that jumps off the page, and I enjoyed that. I listened to it on audio, and I think that was a really good choice–although it did make a couple of slips in POV (ie we’d see introspection from Dimple in a chapter from Rishi’s perspective) more obvious than it probably would’ve been otherwise.
Still, all in all such a fun read, and something I’d definitely recommend to anyone looking for a good, fun YA romance– especially if they like books that include girls in STEM (!! still loving that !!) and some good #ownvoices Indian-American representation.
TL;DR: A genuinely fun and happy YA romance with a whole lot of heart and personality.
“Seriously? That’s what you think I should be relegating my brain space to? Looking nice? Like, if I don’t make the effort to look beautiful, my entire existence is nullified? Nothing else matters-not my intellect, not my personality or my accomplishments; my hopes and dreams mean nothing if I’m not wearing eyeliner?”