Redhead Reading

I'm a librarian-in-training who loves history and literature.

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi - Sandhya Menon

I should start off by saying that I do not typically read YA. I have always been more inclined to read adult fiction, even when I was the target audience for YA. Thus, when I do read YA, I try to judge lightly. I know I'm not the target audience and I know it's not my usual thing.

 

I decided to pick up When Dimple Met Rishi because two different ladies on Booktube praised this book as being a NEW type of feminist YA. "Dimple's into coding!!" "She's letting nothing--not even a boy--stop her from pursuing her dreams!!" "She don't need no man!!"

 

A YA book about a strong female character pursuing a career in coding with feminist themes? OK cool. I'm game. I put myself on hold at the library and wait.

 

When Dimple Met Rishi is the story of Dimple, an Indian-American 18-year-old who is headed off to a coding camp the summer before she starts college at Stanford University. Her parents have selected a husband for her and believe college is merely a stepping stone in her preparation for marriage, but Dimple is not into their plans. Her focus is to go to coding camp and create an app to win the camp prize: a mentorship with her idol, app designer extraordinaire Jenny Lindt. 

 

When she arrives at camp she discovers that her parents agreed to pay for camp only because her husband-to-be Rishi is attending as well. At first, she is furious and even more so when she discovers she and Rishi have to be partners for the entire summer. But Rishi is eager to please and a short time later (like a week later), they are developing feelings for each other. Soon, Dimple is reconsidering what she really wants out of life.

 

So how was the NEW type of YA book? It was very anti-climatic.

 

There's a brief discussion of the coding camp and the coding project Dimple and Rishi are working on at the start of the book and then a mention of them working on it in the middle of the book. We also spend a few chapters on the end of the coding project as part of the denouement.   

 

The rest of the book is spent on Dimple and Rishi's relationship and also on a talent show that is held at coding camp.

 

I can't tell if the Booktube ladies called this feminist YA because they truly think it is or if the usual YA they read is so completely ridiculous that this seems like a breath of fresh air.

 

I did like reading a book about Indian-American characters written by an Indian-American author, but otherwise this YA seemed rather typical, insta-love included. I mean both of these characters are 18, but they're acting like they have their whole lives figured out! It boggles my mind!

 

I liked the book, but I didn't love it. It was a fast read and it was cute, but overall it was a letdown for me. Le sigh, the problem of buying into the hype.

BookTubeathon Update #2

I have now completed 3 books and started a 4th.

 

1/ Read a book with a person on the cover. -- A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock
2/ Read a hyped book. -- Quiet by Susan Cain
3/ Finish a book in one day. -- A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
4/ Read about a character that is very different from you. -- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
5/ Finish a book completely outdoors. ??? (Nimona?)
6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover. -- Heidi by Johanna Spyri
7/ Read seven books. ??? (probably not)

 

I'm counting Quiet as a hyped book due to the fact that it's referenced in a lot of other books, including For the Love by Jen Hatmaker, which I read in June. Plus, it's been on my TBR since January 2014 when Anne Bogel gushed about it on her blog and it's about time I got to it!

 

I also have Nimona, a graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson, out from the library and I could probably get that whole thing read while enjoying a cool drink outside. That would only leave 2 more books if I finish Quiet, but I'm not going to try to cram books in. I want to enjoy my reading, not rush to finish books.

Booktubeathon Update #1

I wasn't planning to do Booktubeathon--I didn't make a TBR or anything. To "win" Booktubeathon you have to read 7 books in 7 days, which likely will not happen for me. But I do have a lot of free time this week so I figured I'd give it a go informally.

 

I have already read one book--The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which was so funny, yet insightful. I could count this for the "read a book in a day" prompt or the "book about a person who is different than you" prompt or both. I'm now reading Heidi for the "book you got because of the cover" prompt.

 

I also put a hold on Jackaby by William Ritter and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche at the library, so I can use those for prompts if they come in. I also got Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.  

 

I'm not sure how many people on Booklikes know of Booktubeathon, but it runs July 24-30 and the 7 prompts are:

 

1/ Read a book with a person on the cover.
2/ Read a hyped book.
3/ Finish a book in one day.
4/ Read about a character that is very different from you.
5/ Finish a book completely outdoors.
6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover.
7/ Read seven books.

I figured out the missing book! Woooo! Took a lot less effort than I expected too!

So my Booklikes is now 100% up to date. Maybe my next post will be more substantial.

Le sigh again

Reblogged from Redhead Reading:

I had my Booklikes shelf exactly matched number-wise with my Goodreads shelves, but then I found a duplicate. Wah. Now I'm one short and I don't feel like trying to match the missing book. I am pleased with how fast the Booklikes site is now though!

 

I have read 50 books this year and my goal is 78, which means 5 books a month for the rest of the year--totally doable if the fall semester isn't too crazy.

 

I'm currently reading One Summer, America 1927 by Bill Bryson, which has been on my TBR since April 2014.

Le sigh again

I had my Booklikes shelf exactly matched number-wise with my Goodreads shelves, but then I found a duplicate. Wah. Now I'm one short and I don't feel like trying to match the missing book. I am pleased with how fast the Booklikes site is now though!

 

I have read 50 books this year and my goal is 78, which means 5 books a month for the rest of the year--totally doable if the fall semester isn't too crazy.

 

I'm currently reading One Summer, America 1927 by Bill Bryson, which has been on my TBR since April 2014.

Le sigh

Why is it so difficult to find duplicates on Booklikes? I have 787 books on here and only 750 over on GR. Whyyyyyy

 

In actual reading news, I finished Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon, a dual biography of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley. Really quick read despite having 649 pages. I'm now reading Almost to Eden by June Hall McCash, which I've owned since 2015.

Booklikes Back?

Booklikes has apparently got their servers working again! I've tried a couple times in the past few months to get my bookshelf in order, but the site just lagged too much. But now things seem back on track! Woot, waiting for my import from Goodreads to finish and then I'll get things all fixed up. Looking forward to being active on Booklikes at last!

Moriarty

Moriarty - Anthony Horowitz I really enjoyed this despite the lack of Holmes & Watson.

A Wrinkle in Time (Time, #1)

A Wrinkle in Time (Time, #1) - Madeleine L'Engle I enjoyed this, but like many middle-grade books I've read as an adult, I think I would appreciated it more as a middle schooler. There were several aspects of the world not really adequately explained. (I mean why can't the Mrs. Ws go with them to fight IT?? They never give a reason.) Also, the ending was incredibly rushed and rather simplistic.

Also not related to the book itself, but after reading this, I'm really worried about good the movie will be. Reese Witherspoon does not match my mental picture of Mrs. Whatsit at all. Also Chris Pine as Mr. Murry?? He's supposed to a nerdy scientist who's been trapped in prison for who knows how long--not a buff, attractive dude. Also, because it's Hollywood, they'll probably get rid of all the Christian references, which will weaken the story. I'll be try to be positive about the movie, but my comparison of the book vs. casting is not hopeful.

The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy's Great Idea

The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy's Great Idea - Raina Telgemeier, Ann M. Martin I read this on January 12 in one sitting and I loved it! I'm definitely checking out the other editions that my work has. It is so 90s though--Stacey just moves in from NYC and is automatically accepted as a valid babysitter with no proof of any experience or certifications at all. Also, she moves just because she has diabetes?? What?? Never thought about how ridiculous that is before.

The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe

The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe - Elaine Showalter This is a study of the life of Julia Ward Howe, first through the lenses of how she was suppressed by her strict father and then by her domineering husband. It then shifts to show how through publishing her poetry and giving talks on philosophy and, later, women's rights, she came into her own talents and became a beloved American icon. Of course, this rising fame came predominantly through her poem, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

This book is super-engaging and reads quickly--my copy only had 300 pages, the last 50 being references/notes/index. I finished it in 3 days, so I would recommend it to anybody looking for a fast-paced nonfiction.

My Transcendentalism-loving heart enjoyed this book due to the fact that Julia and her husband were very much on the fringes of Transcendentalism. Julia interacted with Louisa May Alcott (who found Julia snobby!), Margaret Fuller, Theodore Parker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and basically all your Transcendentalist faves.

On the whole, Julia was a privileged women with a love for socializing and the finer things in life who eventually found a passion for speaking out for underprivileged groups, including women, slaves, immigrants, and more.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald - Therese Anne Fowler I enjoy the writing quite a bit, but I just felt angry for Zelda through a lot of it--the times she lived in and the people she surrounded herself with stunted her talent and it's just sad. Also, there was SUCH excess in this book--too much alcohol, too many fancy parties, too many people. It's the complete opposite to my nature and values, so I found it hard to relate.

Tender Is the Night

Tender Is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald Honestly, I was soooo bored with this. I didn't care about the characters at all.

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir: A Novel

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir: A Novel - Jennifer Ryan I received this from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program, but all opinions are my own.

The choir of Chilbury, a small town in Britain, has disbanded due to all the men enlisting, but it is reborn as a Ladies' Choir when a new female conductor comes to town. As love grows and intrigue of multiple kinds takes place, the ladies of the choir find that they have more power than they know.

This book was different than I expected--there was a lot less focus on the choir as a whole and more focus on just a few members of the choir. As a result, I could not really see how many people were meant to be in the choir and how big the town of Chilbury was meant to be. The map in the front was charming, but only listed the highlighted places in the plot. I would have appreciated more focus on the choir and town itself.

I felt the main conflict of the book--the plotline of Mrs. Paltry--to be rather unrealistic. I also thought the Brigadier General's negative reaction at the end of the book in relation to that plotline was unwarranted--it rather worked out for him in the long run. I also thought Elsie was utterly despicable.

Of the two romances, I found the one between the older couple to be more realistic--the younger romance seemed rather rushed, and by the end I was still like "you barely know each other!!!'

This book seemed overly dramatic when wartime is dramatic enough in itself. However, it did place a good emphasis on women finding their inner strength, which I appreciated. I enjoyed Mrs. Tilling's character growth quite a bit. Her portions of the book are worth the whole thing,

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir was a charming historical fiction novel, and I particularly recommend it if you like epistolary novels.

Letters of Note, Volume 2: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience

Letters of Note, Volume 2: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience - Shaun Usher I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program, but all opinions are my own.

I have always loved reading people's letters--they seemed to me to show the more intimate side of a person, moreso than any biography can. I received the first volume of Letters of Note for Christmas in 2014 and read it cover to cover, so I was thrilled to get Volume 2.

To me, what makes the Letters of Note books stand out from all the books of letters out there is the absolute high-quality of the books. You get not just transcripts of the letters, but photos of the letters themselves. You get to SEE the handwriting and/or typewriter flaws. In this volume, you see Mark Twain's first-ever typewritten letter and it is so thrilling to see that original. If the original is not available, there are full-page photographs of either the letter writer or an image that relates to the letter.

The book covers a huge range of dates--2014 to 1500 BC, and a diverse array of topics--letters to newborn children, last letters of those dying, love letters, hate letters, letters of joy, letters of grief. Basically, every emotion of life is here. But even with this array, there seems to be an overall theme of hope and of faith in humanity. This book leaves you feeling good.

If there is anything to complain about, it is that this book has a British slant to it, and particularly a British writer slant. It makes sense as Usher is British, but be forewarned that the Brits rule in this book.

I greatly enjoyed Letters of Note Volume 2 and give it 4 stars--a high rating from my parsimonious self.

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train - William Kuhn I was not that impressed with this book--I wanted more focus on the Queen rather than all the people looking for her. And then, on the other hand, I thought it was presumptuous of the author to assume he knew the inner workings of the Queen's mind. So I don't know--I found this book rather meh.

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