Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Books I've Read: When Dimple Met Rishi

I don't usually write about books I didn't enjoy much, but this one has been so hyped, I really wanted to talk a little bit about it.

I was looking forward to reading this.  I've been seeing the cover everywhere so it was exciting when I found it at the library on Friday.  I was less excited when I started reading it on Saturday and highly underwhelmed by the time I finished it on Sunday.

Dimple is a smart girl from a traditional Indian family.  She wants to be an app coder and is looking forward to everything she is going to learn when she goes to Stanford in the fall.  Her mother drives her crazy, always telling her to change her clothes, her hair, to wear make-up and to always be on the lookout for the Ideal Indian Husband.

Dimple is overjoyed when her parents allow her to go to Insomnia Con, an app building course that might give her a chance to meet her idol, Jenny Lindt.

Rishi is also from a traditional Indian family, but unlike Dimple, he likes the rituals and behaviors required of him.  The only thing he isn't sure about is following in his father's footsteps as a career.  He wants to draw comics, but has already decided it is something better to keep as a hobby.

So far, so good.  Love the details about the different families and their expectations.  Where things started falling apart for me, was around about the time Rishi, who has also been accepted to Insomnia Con, and Dimple, first meet.

You see, Rishi goes knowing Dimple is going to be there and seeks her out.  The two sets of parents have engineered the whole thing, certain Dimple and Rishi are a perfect match.  But Dimple has been kept in the dark about the whole thing and believes she's going to the Con to work on her app.

But no app work seems to happen.  Despite being furious when she discovers she's been duped by her parents, Dimple and Rishi hang out together.  And of course they fall in love.

Most of the book deals with Dimple and Rishi dating while at the Con (which seems really odd because there is a talent show as part of it - the app coders I know aren't into performing, so that rang false to me) and various interactions with other teams who are not nice people.

The characters, other than Dimple and Rishi felt like sterotypes, and not even well drawn ones.  And don't even get me started on how much I disliked Dimple within a few chapters....

So while I want to champion books that deal with people with different racial and cultural backgrounds, I also want to champion books that are worth reading, and this one really isn't.

But don't rely on me.  Here's the blurb:

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Weekly Goals 14/8/17

The film festival is over, so it's time for reality to set in again.  Which means I need to get my butt in chair and get writing again.

So...  Goal for this week is to do that.  I'm still a little sick, so I'm not going to push myself too hard, plus my partner is going into hospital today for surgery which means I'll be running around after the kids twice as much as usual.

So the main goal is to get rid of this cold once and for all.  I'm sick of being sick!

And the other goal is to sit down to write at least a couple of times.  Next week we can settle back into a more regular routine.

And now,  to finish off my little film festival reviews, here are the last three films I saw.

Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web is a documentary about Kim Dotcom and the case against him.  It is very well balanced, offering commentary on the issues from all sides.  Dotcom comes off looking like a James Bond villain, more often than not, and it's hard to take him too seriously, but the issues this film raises around privacy and the internet are important ones to discuss.

The Beguiled is an utterly delightful Southern Gothic that walks a very fine line between being a parody of its own genre.  When Colin Farrell finds himself wounded and in the care of the seven women remaining at a girls' school during the Civil War, he doesn't know what he has got himself into.  Laugh-out-loud funny in places, and downright creepy in others, it is beautifully shot and features amazing performances from a steallar cast.

20th Century Women is an autobiographical film about filmmaker Mike Mills's mother and growing up in the 70s.  Annette Benning gives a fabulous performance as Dorothea, a single mother raising her teenage son.  Unsure she is able to give him everything he needs, she enlists the help of the girl next door and the slightly older punk-loving feminist living upstairs.  The results are perhaps not what she was hoping for...

What are your goals for this week.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things 11-8-17

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

So what am I celebrating this week?

I've had a horrible cold this week, and am starting to feel human again.  I even missed three days of films at the film festival, something I have never done before.  I must have been feeling truly rotten!

I did see two films though, once the cold had receded enough that I could climb out of bed.

The Killing of the Sacred Deer is an extremely odd film, but I expected that from the director of The Lobster.  The story is a kind of domestic horror that creeps up on you in kind of the same way Michael Haneke's Funny Games did.  But this is more absurd than horrific.  I felt like the filmmaking was brilliant, with the music often at odds with what was happening on screen, and the dialogue all being spoken in a way that was just slightly off naturalistic so the rhythm was unsettling.  A lot of the people around me seemed to have thought it ridiculous (listening to them on the way out), but while there were some aspects that were preposterous (Colin Farrell as a heart surgeon??) overall, I thought it was genius.

My Friend Dahmer is about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's high school years.  Based on a book by someone who grew up with him, it shows how Dahmer was an odd fish even as a teen, and how a group of kids befriended him in his senior year.  It shows the dysfunction of his homelife, with a mother who spent time in treatment for mental disorders and a father who couldn't cope.  The performances were universally excellent.  I didn't even recognise Anne Heche as Dahmer's mother even though I kept trying to place the voice.

I have a few more films over this final weekend, then it's back to real life next week.  What a bummer!

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

No Books I've Loved this week

Sorry…  I have a stinking cold and feel like my sinuses are filled with concrete.  I can't think straight to write anything, so there will be no books I've loved post this week…


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Weekly Goals 7-8-17

Once again, I'm not setting myself any real goals for the week because I know I won't achieve any of them.

So my goal is to keep seeing and enjoying the films the film festival has to offer.

I've seen three more since I last wrote, so here are my little reviews.

Marjorie Prime is one of those films you kind of want to see again as soon as you come out, with the knowledge you now have.  It's set in a future where computerized holograms of your deceased loved ones can keep you company.  They learn from talking to you and your family and friends, but of course that means your own memories get repeated back to you when the hologram (or Prime) talks to you about things.  It was a fascinating film about the nature of memory and had lots of little twists in it that I wasn't expecting at all.

Berlin Syndrome is a creepy little number and a warning to anyone traveling alone.  An Australian tourist arrives in Berlin, traveling alone.  On her first day there, she meets a handsome English teacher called Andi and he shows her some sights.  The next day she goes home with him, they make love and it seems like she's having the holiday romance she deserves.  Until she realizes he's locked her into his apartment and has no intention of letting her out…

Dina is a documentary about a couple preparing to get married.  Dina and Larry both have Aspergers and watching them prepare for a life together is both touching and hilarious.  I felt like this one was a little long, and while the characters were charming and fascinating, not enough happened to sustain the length of the film.

And that's it so far.  More to come later in the week.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things 4-7-17

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

So what am I celebrating this week?

Still film festivalling…  I've seen a couple more films, both of which I really enjoyed.

Step is about a school for girls in Baltimore.  Selected to go to the school at eleven, the school promises every student who graduates will go to college.  The film follows several girls in the inaugural class through their senior year.  All these girls perform on the school's step team, something that has given them discipline and something to work on as a team.  I really enjoyed this one and wished I'd been able to take my kids to see it too.  These girls are seriously underprivileged and work super hard for everything because they know this school has offered them one shot at a better life.  My kids could learn something from them.

Dealt is a fascinating documentary about Richard Turner, a card magician who is among the best in the world.  And he is good!  Even with the camera following his every move, I couldn't figure out how he did most of the tricks.  And what is even more amazing is that Richard Turner is blind.  I mean, most of us couldn't shuffle and deal with the kind of dexterity Richard does even with good eyesight, and this guy manages to do it without being able to see at all.  It was a really interesting look at a man and his life.

And there are still 10 days to go!

What are you celebrating this week?