A lot of conflicting feelings on this one.
I was super excited to read this. It was all over the Internet, people were going crazy about it, and I was SO ready for a diverse YA contemporary. And then I started reading and it all went downhill. And yes, I didn’t miss the irony of just putting out a post on hyped books I disliked and well… disliking a really hyped up book.
So let’s break it down, shall we? Since I am really conflicted about this one, I’ll split it into pros and cons in an attempt to tell you where the book won and where it massively failed.
Now, the diversity that this book promised, it delivers. I loved how the Indian culture was incorporated into the story. I especially liked how we got these two opposites in Dimple and Rishi. On one side, you got Dimple, who is really skeptical about her culture and heritage, who defies the traditional values of her family and mocks the hard set ways of her Indian family. On the other, you’ve got Rishi, who is very comfortable about his background, who is very proud of his heritage and who aims to satisfy his parents’ wishes. I think that contrast was done really well. And I think it was great to see a contemporary that focuses on a diverse cast. I also really liked Rishi as a character. I found him to be kind, and sweet and I really liked him. I really like when young people are really comfortable in just being themselves. I think it’s a great thing to see. And Rishi was that. He was very confident from the get go, and I appreciated that.
Alas, there is much more in this section. Firstly, this is so very instalove. Uncomfortably so. What I mean by this is that with the premise of the arranged marriage, you want to see them defying that at first, and then as they get to know each other more, how they fall in love. That’s why I expected. However, that’s not how it goes. They fall in love so quickly, it’s insane. Just after their meeting, we get some passing comments about how their smiles affect the other one so deeply, and it was all too much, too fast. I really hate seeing instalove in YA, because it sets such unrealistic expectations, which I think are really unnecessary.
The plot and the conflicts in this book made really little sense. Or their timing made little sense. It was all poorly structured and executed and everything happened so fast and it all felt artificial. It felt like conflict was made were there was in fact none of it, just to prolong the story and make it more interesting.
Also, this is going to sound strange, but prior to reading a read a Goodreads review and I just glanced at it to avoid spoilers, and the person had written: “There’s too much kissing” and I was like that’s weird, how can there be too much kissing? But, oh my god, there was too much kissing. And that’s from someone who reads a lot of New Adult and Romance. But it was too much. And it was beyond awkward and it happened at wrong times and it was super cringey and weird. I was kind of uncomfortable while reading.
Moreover, the romance was super cliche and just over the top ridiculous. Which is where we circle back to the instalove. It was all too much and I had a real hard time suspending my disbelief. Also, this whole book spans I think about two months (maybe less, but definitely not more) and just the stuff they say to each other is ridiculous.
So, what’s my final verdict? Hard to say. I wouldn’t really recommend this. It sucks, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped. Or really at all unfortunately.
Final verdict: 2.5 stars
Please let me know if any of you have read this. What were your thoughts on it? Do we agree or disagree? Be sure to let me know!
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