Advika and the Hollywood Wives
by Kirthana Ramisetti
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Pub Date 11 Apr 2023 | Archive Date Not set
At age 26, Advika Srinivasan considers herself a failed screenwriter. To pay the bills and keep her mind off of the recent death of her twin sister, she’s taken to bartending A-list events, including the 2015 Governors Ball, the official afterparty of the Oscars. There, in a cinematic dream come true, she meets the legendary Julian Zelding—a film producer as handsome as Paul Newman and ten times as powerful—fresh off his fifth best picture win. Despite their 41-year age difference, Advika falls helplessly under his spell, and their evening flirtation ignites into a whirlwind courtship and elopement. Advika is enthralled by Julian’s charm and luxurious lifestyle, but while Julian loves to talk about his famous friends and achievements, he smoothly changes the subject whenever his previous relationships come up. Then, a month into their marriage, Julian’s first wife—the famous actress Evie Lockhart—dies, and a tabloid reports a shocking stipulation in her will. A single film reel and $1,000,000 will be bequeathed to “Julian’s latest child bride” on one condition: Advika must divorce him first.
Shaken out of her love fog and still-simmering grief over the loss of her sister—and uneasy about Julian’s sudden, inexplicable urge to start a family—Advika decides to investigate him through the eyes and experiences of his exes. From reading his first wife’s biography, to listening to his second wife’s confessional albums, to watching his third wife’s Real Housewives-esque reality show, Advika starts to realize how little she knows about her husband. Realizing she rushed into the marriage for all the wrong reasons, Advika uses the info gleaned from the lives of her husband’s exes to concoct a plan to extricate herself from Julian once and for all.
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Average rating from 68 members
A treasure! I feel like I just hit gold, best book I’ve read this year. It is destined to be on the BEST BOOKS lists for 2023. I was enchanted by Advika’s story from the moment I started it. My own fixation with Hollywood and films drew me in, but the great plot and wonderful writing kept me going.
Advika, an aspiring and unsuccessful screenwriter, was easily swept off her feet by a Hollywood legend. Once she became entangled with, and later married, the legendary Julian Zelding, it seemed like this would be a Cinderella story with an elderly Prince. Oh, but the author made it so much more. There are sinister notes injected as Advika delves into his past and seems gaslighted by his omnipresent staff. I was transported into their mansion as I followed her growing understanding of her husband and his own Hollywood wives.
As a film lover, I was charmed by the inspiration the story took from so many great films of the past. This book is certainly destined for a mini-series. I was casting it as I read about the well-drawn characters. It is rare for me to feel this level of kinship with a novel, but this one is special. How about Richard Gere as Julian? LOL.
THANK YOU Netgalley for this delicious holiday gift. Can’t wait to share it with all my readers.
Advika and the Hollywood Wives is the triumph of women, on the page. I love love loved this story -- the writing was phenomenal, the characters were incredible -- relatable enough, but just far enough out of reach to seem otherworldy (as Hollywood often does). Advika is a treasure, and I thank Kirthana Ramisetti for the thought and poise behind this phenomenal novel.
Advika Srinivasan is stuck in no-end job grieving the untimely death of her twin. In college she won a prestigious screen writing award, but since then, she has been stuck working on the service side of Hollywood as a bartender and caterer, rather than a writer. When a chance meeting after the Oscars puts her in the orbit of a famous film producer, her life literally takes off.
It's not long before she finds out that the producer has a bit of a history. Her friends and family are quite worried but it's not until one of producer's ex wives leaves Advika something in her will that she is forced into action.
A super fun story! I loved it! #GrandCentralPublishing
I think this was a great follow-up to Dava Shastri -- the perspective was very different, but it retained the elements of frothy seriousness that made the first fun. Advika was a somewhat frustrating character, but the author did a good job in terms of showing how she got sucked into Julian's orbit. I would have liked a little more development for Louisa and more information about Harley, and there were some inconsistencies with age, but the latter might just be galley issues.