Chapters 7–15

Dimple Shah is thrilled to be spending her summer studying web development at Stanford University — but she doesn't know that her traditional parents are planning for her to meet (and eventually marry!) fellow student Rishi Patel.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. insouciant
    marked by unconcern
    Dimpled rolled her eyes. “No one says 'ahem.' You're supposed to just clear your throat.”
    Celia waved an insouciant hand.
  2. quash
    put down by force or intimidation
    Speak first, think later, that was her default setting, no matter how she tried to control it. Dimple sat up straighter, quashing those thoughts.
  3. effervescent
    marked by high spirits or excitement
    Jenny beamed at her as she said something that Dimple was sure were effervescent compliments, but every time Jenny opened her mouth, all Dimple could hear were beeps.
  4. feign
    give a false appearance of
    Mamma feigned ignorance to slang, which just infuriated Dimple more.
  5. compunction
    a feeling of deep regret, usually for some misdeed
    That’s just how things worked, and Rishi was fine with it. Perhaps it was the burden of being the first son; Ashish certainly didn’t have similar compunctions about his sports.
  6. reedy
    upright and slender
    The male student, reedy and tall with a healthy smattering of acne across both cheeks, looked up and smiled.
  7. indulgent
    given to yielding to the wishes of someone
    Celia smiled, a little indulgently, Dimple thought.
  8. frisson
    an almost pleasurable sensation of fright
    There was a noticeable frisson through the room.
  9. exuberant
    produced or growing in extreme abundance
    “Oh, hey, hold on before you take a seat,” the dude with the exuberant red beard at the front of the class said.
  10. implacable
    incapable of being appeased or pacified
    She could tell he was going to be implacable, so Dimple forced herself to nod and smile.
  11. belie
    be in contradiction with
    He barely met her eyes when he spoke, but there was a blooming happiness in his voice that belied how pleased he was at her compliments.
  12. opalescent
    having a play of lustrous rainbow colors
    She walked to a painted horse head and stroked its opalescent mane.
  13. fetching
    very attractive; capturing interest
    He grabbed a silver rhinestone-studded headband with a peacock feather sticking out of it and set it on Dimple’s head. “There you go. Now that’s simply fetching.”
  14. abject
    most unfortunate or miserable
    A look of abject horror passed over her face.
  15. apothecary
    a health professional trained in the art of preparing drugs
    His eyes reminded her of old apothecary bottles, deep brown, when the sunlight hit them and turned them almost amber.
  16. errant
    moving in an uncontrolled, irregular, or unpredictable way
    Dimple pretended to be pulling at an errant curl and swiped a hand across it.
  17. earnest
    devout or heartfelt
    Rishi lifted an earnest hand. “Swear to God.”
  18. oblique
    slanting or inclined in direction or course or position
    The oblique late afternoon rays turned the ends of his hair a chocolate brown.
  19. mercenary
    profit oriented
    Mamma and Papa were many things, but they weren't mercenary.
  20. imperious
    having or showing arrogant superiority
    Dimple turned to him and raised an eyebrow. He was beginning to see it was one of her talents, the imperious eyebrow.
  21. cogitation
    a carefully considered thought about something
    “So you want to meet up later, talk about where you want to begin with the app concept?” Rishi asked, pulling her out of her internal cogitations.
  22. aloofness
    a disposition to be distant and unsympathetic in manner
    Dimple felt her guard go up, that unbreachable wall laid with bricks of cynicism and aloofness that kept people at bay.
  23. culpable
    deserving blame or censure as being wrong or injurious
    But Celia wasn’t culpable, she reminded herself. So far, she had been nothing but unfailingly nice.
  24. nix
    command against
    Rishi had considered bringing a long-stemmed flower—he knew this wasn’t a date, so maybe a carnation rather than a rose?—but had nixed it at the last moment.
  25. guile
    shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception
    She’d say this for him: He had no guile.
  26. niggle
    worry unnecessarily or excessively
    He glanced at her again, worry niggling at him.
  27. illicit
    contrary to accepted morality or convention
    She whispered the word “fancy” like it was something illicit, as a smartly dressed couple in their fifties walked by.
  28. despondent
    without or almost without hope
    She looked even more despondent than before.
  29. impervious
    not admitting of passage or capable of being affected
    Dimple turned as Evan, Hari, and Isabelle sauntered up, laughing and talking loudly, impervious to the glares of the older diners.
  30. camaraderie
    the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability
    “What I notice in a majority of these is a sense of easy camaraderie. As if your spirits are already friends.” He smiled at them. “Did you know each other from outside of this class?”
  31. perfunctory
    as a formality only
    The guys were pretty silent except for perfunctory replies to Isabelle’s string of inane chatter about which sorority she wanted to join.
  32. inane
    devoid of intelligence
    The guys were pretty silent except for perfunctory replies to Isabelle’s string of inane chatter about which sorority she wanted to join.
  33. discomfit
    cause to lose one's composure
    Evan, at least, had the decency to look slightly discomfited while Isabelle whined, plaintively and squeakily.
  34. plaintively
    in a manner expressing sorrow
    Evan, at least, had the decency to look slightly discomfited while Isabelle whined, plaintively and squeakily.
  35. foist
    force onto another
    “I’m sorry I’m late! Once Abuelita begins talking, she doesn’t stop. And then she foisted all of this food on me; I don’t even know where I’m going to store it...”
  36. solicitous
    showing hovering attentiveness
    Celia handed her bags to the solicitous waiter in a bow tie and sat down, sighing mightily.
  37. tribulation
    an annoying or frustrating or catastrophic event
    As she launched into the trials and tribulations of watching Little Women with her seventy-two-year-old Dominican grandmother, Dimple allowed herself to tune out.
  38. enrapture
    hold spellbound
    Isabelle was enraptured with Celia’s story, which was interesting.
  39. intuit
    know or grasp by instinct or feeling alone
    The waiter, somehow intuiting the pause in Celia’s story, melted back into view.
  40. unperturbed
    free from emotional agitation or nervous tension
    Rishi nodded, unperturbed. “Right...so what about your grandparents?”
Created on September 22, 2018 (updated October 1, 2018)

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