Fans of romantic comedies and diverse stories were thrilled last week with the release of the first trailer for Crazy Rich Asians, which is based on the bestselling novel by Singaporean novelist Kevin Kwan. The film is rightly being hailed as the star-studded romantic comedy that Asian Americans have been waiting decades for.
As huge consumers of both romantic comedies and beach reads, we instantly began thinking of novels featuring South Asians that would make breezy summer films. Our nominations are below.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Dimple Shah, the heroine of Sandhya Menon’s much-praised 2017 young adult novel, has a simple goal for the summer: she’s going to finally start spreading her wings and embracing her creative side. She is excited to spend six weeks at a convention for young people interested in comics and web development but is a bit surprised that her parents give her permission to go. The reason her parents are so eager to get her out of the house quickly becomes apparent — they want her to meet Rishi Patel, a suitable boy they want to arrange her marriage to. The studious and thoughtful Rishi is in many ways Dimple’s opposite, but they slowly develop a bond.
Check out Menon’s popular novel for teens here.
Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia
In many ways, Reshma Kapoor is the perfect Indian-American teen. She’s at the top of her class, her standardized test scores are stellar and her resume is littered with leadership-oriented extracurricular activities. Despite all of that, the Silicon Valley teen is worried that she won’t stand out in a crowd of other high achievers competing for spots at Stanford. Reshma quickly decides become a teen novelist and to prepare she sets out to do a six-week research project in which she must make a friend, attend a party and (gasp!) find a boyfriend.
You can get a copy of Kanakia’s first novel by clicking here.
First Comes Marriage by Sophia Sasson
This 2016 romance novel is essentially a Hallmark movie in book form. Dr. Meera Malhotra is a young doctor from a posh London family. While Meera is engaged to a suitable boy back in England, she decides to have a little adventure before her wedding and accepts a medical rotation in a small ranching community in the United States. As you can probably, the urbane and strictly vegetarian Meera has a hard time integrating into a town dominated by cattle ranchers. Meera is determined, however, to help improve public health in the town — and ends up falling for rancher Jake Taylor in the process.
Grab your copy of this sweet novel here.
Almost Single by Advaita Kala
After it was published in 2009, Almost Single was quickly dubbed the Indian version of the hit Bridget Jones novels. Main character Aisha Bathia is an outgoing, pretty and single 29-year-old guest relations manager at one of Delhi’s fanciest hotels. The nature of her job means that Aisha spends her days with everyone from rebellious Saudi princesses to demanding international tech executives. Her career is also what leads her to meet Karan Varma, a handsome investment banker visiting from New York. Just like Bridget Jones, Aisha is surrounded by a cast of supportive friends and family who are definitely romantic comedy sidekick material.
Purchase Almost Single by heading here.