Cover Image: Advika and the Hollywood Wives

Advika and the Hollywood Wives

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Member Reviews

I ended up DNF-ing this book about halfway through. I wanted to like this book as it had a premise that reminded me of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo but I just could not get into the story. I didn't really look forward to reading the book and ended up kind of dreaded reading as a whole all of April because of it. The writing was not bad, the characters were just not super likable and I did not find myself interested in the story.

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Ok, what am I missing? Advika is a 20-something aspiring screenwriter who falls for a wealthy, successful, thrice married, 60-something movie producer. What was she expecting? He is obviously not good at marriage. I think one knows what one is getting oneself into in this situation… Advika seems to be physically attracted to Julian and enjoying the perks $$$ of the relationship. He’s 67 and has been married three times, um, duh, he has a past. She didn’t seem too upset until Evie offered her the 1 million dollar ultimatum and then she was like a dog with a bone. I was desperate for Advika to stop obsessing about all of his ex-wives. She claimed to be stuck and living with the consequences of her past mistakes…just leave already! Julian didn’t look so bad until about the last 20 pages and then he gave up the fight pretty easily. I just didn’t get this one.

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This book was captivating from the beginning and I adored the character of Advika. Was a little lengthy at the end with details related to movie industry. I would have loved to hear so much more about characters. Will definitely look for more writings from this author!

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Advika's story is that of a Cinderella fairytale... but with a twist. Courted by a much older man who sweeps her into his life of luxury, Advika dives into this escape from reality, her struggle to find a career, and the grief of losing her sister that overwhelms her. A few months later she is married and stepping into the role of a Hollywood wife when her her husband's first wife makes her an offer she might not be able to refuse

I liked how this author plays with the edges of feminism and how women/fairy tales are not always what they seem. I also found Advika's subconscious very interesting and what her transition from her old life really symbolized. Did she love her husband, or was she simply playing a part? A little slow in parts but overall a very interesting read.

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🎥 Advika and The Hollywood Wives - Kirthana Ramisetti

3 ⭐️- this was a slowww burn for me. I liked it, but I had higher hopes. I thought I was getting glitzy glam Hollywood drama, but instead I got a mix of some romance and some mystery?

At 26, Advika considers herself a failed screenwriter. With a need to pay her bills, she takes a job bartending an A list event, the 2015 Governor’s Ball. When the legendary, oscar winning film producer, Julian Zelding shows interest in her, she has totally fallen under his spell. After months of dating, living together, and marriage, a surprise ex-wife’s will shakes Advika out of her love spell and suddenly she is realizing she might not know her hollywood movie star husband as well as she thought she did..

This was a book I had super high hopes for and was very excited to get an early ARC copy and was somewhat underwhelmed. The premise hooked me but when I started reading, I felt bored at times and the pacing was off. When the mystery entered the story more, I definitely enjoyed it more than I originally thought. I enjoyed the ending and it felt “revenge-y” which gave more to the story too. Overall, I liked it, but wanted more in a lot of aspects!

Thanks Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for the early ARC copy!

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Advika, a floundering 26 year old screenwriter mourning the death of her twin sister, is working A list catering jobs to pay her bills. While working an Oscar party, in a movie like scenario, Oscar winner and Hollywood producer Julian Zelding takes an interest in Advika. Swept off her feet and lured by the powerful producer and his luxurious life, Advika falls in love and elopes with Julian. When Julian's ex-wife dies and bequests Advika a film reel and $1 million on the condition she divorces Julian, Advika is shaken by this bequest, and belatedly begins looking into Julian's relationships with his previous wives. It's only then that she realizes the control he has exerted over her through isolation and dependence.
I had to suspend belief in the beginning of this book because of the fairytale way Advika and Julian's romance began. Once I got over that, I could imagine the realness of their relationship despite how disturbing it became. Ramisetti illustrates how a powerful mogul can exert control over a naive young woman who is alone, in mourning, struggling financially and perfectly vulnerable. Slowly she gains the courage to try to regain control over her own life. Wishing this was only a story of fiction, I can imagine this may be the story of many women, and not only in Hollywood. And that's what makes this book one that will stay with you. Be sure to read to the end of the acknowledgements!

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Advika is an aspiring screenwriter who meets famous producer Julian Zelding at the Oscars afterparty where she was bartending. She is instantly swept up in his charm and soon finds herself becoming the 4th, or possibly 5th, Mrs. Zelding. During this whirlwind romance, Advika is still dealing with the death of her twin sister, the likely death of her screenwriting career, and the estrangement from her friends and family. . When Julian's first wife dies and leaves Advika money and a film reel, on the condition that Advika divorces Julian, Advika starts to investigate what really happened with Julian's previous wives. Julian may seem charming, but its quickly clear that he's looking out for his own interests and Advika is realizing she's in the same situation as her predecessors. Overall this book was about finding oneself and dealing with past traumas. The connection Advika felt with the previous wives was the strongest part of the book as she learned more about their lives. Advika's actions with Julian came off a bit naïve, but that did improve by the conclusion.

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This was a solid 3 star read for me. I finished it, and there were bits I liked, but overall, it was just "meh."

What worked for me:

I loved the Old Hollywood glamour aspects of the the storyline. I am a sucker for that. I liked that the wives all had things in common and formed a "sisterhood" of sorts, though two of them were dead. I really enjoyed getting the backstories of all of the wives and seeing the parallels in how they were all treated in their marriages. Advika's friends were badass, and I wish that they had been in the story even more. I loved how it ended. I felt like it was a very fitting ending.

What didn't work for me:

There was an overused storytelling device, and it really drives me nuts when an author uses the same device so many times that I begin to notice the repetition. This one was the "Later, she would look back and realize that...." I felt like SO many chapters ended with that or a derivative of it, which got a little much at times. I didn't like that Advika fell so hard into the "girl can't see through guy's bullshit and alienates everyone who cares enough about her to say something" trope. She seemed a little TOO naive for a twenty-something who has been working shit jobs and making ends meet for years. I just felt like she was smarter than that, which she demonstrated many times in the last half of the book, so why so foolish at the beginning?

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I really enjoyed Dava Shastri's Last Day in 2022, so I was excited to receive this advance copy! The novel immediately sucked me in. I loved being in Advika's world. I absolutely adore Ramisetti's writing style. It's so sumptuous and fun. When we meet Advika, she is a struggling screenwriter in her mid-twenties living in Los Angeles. She is working a catering job after the Oscars and happens to meet a well-known older producer. He is interested in her, she is charmed by him, but a little put off by their 40 year age difference. I found it intriguing to be in the back seat viewing the different power levels of their relationship. He has had multiple marriages before meeting Advika, so we learn more about them and understand why Julian is so keen on Advika and pursues a whirlwind romance. I would definitely recommend this if you're a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid. Ramisetti gives such wonderful descriptions of Hollywood and actresses of different times.

Thank you Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for providing this ARC. All thoughts are my own.

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I enjoyed the beginning of the book much more than the end because there was more of a focus on Advika and her writing. As I continued to read, I got a bit lost in the storyline and it was a bit sad to see how diminished Advika felt I’m her marriage. It was hard to tell where the story was headed next because there was so much development with Olive’s friendship and Advika’s childhood friends. By the time the book concluded, I wasn’t sure how everything goes together.

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I loved this book so much! I really didn’t know what it was about when I started reading it, but I quickly was obsessed! The characters are well developed, and I couldn’t help but love them all!

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This book started out seemingly as a romance but quickly turned into something more intriguing. I actually haven't read the author's previous popular book, Dava Shastris Last Day but am interested in making time for it now.

In this book, Advika Srinivasan is an aspiring screenwriter working as a bartender at Hollywood parties. She meets an Oscar-winning producer working the bar at an Oscars Party and he sweeps her off her feet. Their whirlwind romance gets very serious very quick and it is only after she has accepted his marriage proposal that Advika starts to understand that the man she is with is not who he had seemed.

With family drama, romance, manipulation, secrecy, intrigue, and a touch of "girl power", this book is the perfect summer beach read.

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Thanks to NetGalley for a complimentary ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Advika and the Hollywood Wives is an exploration of what happens when what seems like a rom-com-worthy romance…isn’t. Young, adrift, and grieving her twin sister, Advika gets swept off her feet by a much older Hollywood power player. Instead of happily ever after, she has to reckon with his past while realizing that her own present isn’t the happy ending she hoped for,

This book combines coming of age sensibilities with a stark look at what Hollywood allows men to do to women. An excellent story that will keep readers turning pages,

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💍Book Review 💍
𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤: Advika and the Hollywood Wives
𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫: Kirthana Ramisetti
𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰: Thank you to NetGalley for the e-arc!

Advika and the Hollywood Wives follows an aspiring screenwriter, Advika, who is grieving the death of her twin sister. In order to the pay the bills, she bartends at A-list parties. At the Governer’s Ball, the official afterparty of the Oscars, Advika’s life completely changes when she meets the famous producer Julian Zelding. Despite their 41 year age difference, Advika falls for Julian and they soon elope after a short courtship. But Julian has been married three times before Advika and his past seems to be filled with more secrets than she knows.

I was so happy when I saw that I was approved for this ARC. After hearing great things about the author’s debut novel, Dava Shastri’s Last Day, I couldn’t wait to read her new novel! But, I ended up mixed feelings with this one. While I was reading it non-stop on a flight back home, I was a little underwhelmed with the overall plot. The premise really hooked me and had me very intrigued but it didn’t hit the way I thought it would. The storyline seemed expected to me and the “shocking revelations” towards the ending weren’t very shocking. Since this book deals with the glamour and glitz of Hollywood, I would have liked it to have a plot twist that played out on a grander scale.

As for the characters, all of the supporting characters seemed very two dimensional and not well fledged out.

Overall, I would say this was a good read but I wanted more from it in several aspects.
𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: ⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

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My interest in the book was immediate when I read the description but after finishing it fell kind of flat for me. I feel like this story had so much promise but didn’t quite get there.

The characters were extremely unlovable for me. No doubt that Julian would be the villain but Advika was portrayed immaturely and selfish. Which I understand was the point but didn’t allow me to fully connect with her. I couldn’t get myself to buy into the story to root for her. The secondary characters seemed to only serve the purpose of making sure Advika had just anyone with her at a given time. They were never developed, which I would have loved to see more of.

There were some plot points that I would have liked more answers on but just turned out to be plot holes. I feel like the majority of the book was spent before learning Evie would give Advika $1 million to leave Julian, but her journey to find out, and ultimately to find herself, why felt hurried. the ending also fell flat - and felt too hurried.

Overall, the book didn’t live up to the expectations but would recommend if someone is looking for a filler book in between their reads.

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I really wanted to love this book but it just fell flat for me. Initially I struggled with the big age difference between Advika and Julian, and then I didn't see many redeemable qualities about each character.

Advika has truly had a horrific event happen with the death of her sister. I feel like what she really needs is therapy and a support group, to accept support from her friends, and to truly process the death of her sister. I would have enjoyed this book if she had some more endearing traits - I really wanted to like her. It made me so sad how she blocked out her childhood friends when they were just concerned and trying to help her.

And sadly I found Julian to be so unlikeable and controlling, I cringed at so many moments with him. Their relationship happens so fast, and so quickly he shows his true colors and seems to want to separate her from her old life. I feel like the relationship didn't have much substance. The rushed timeline of their relationship felt unrealistic and added to the lack of substance.

I always love a book about Hollywood and enjoyed the discussions about Julian's movies and the looks in to his previous wives.

I did find the end very sweet and I liked the note that it ended on - Advika had some personal growth, a new purpose in life, and friends and support.

Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book!

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🦇 Book Review 🦇

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

❝ She was in a sisterhood with three other women who knew what it meant to be married to a man whose desires and narcissism threatened to blot out their spark, the essence of what made them whole. These women were a constellation in her sky, and even if some of the stars had burned out long ago, their light still traveled through the darkness to reach her. ❞

❓ #QOTD What lessons have you learned from the women before you? ❓

🦇 After losing her twin sister--and soulmate--in a tragic accident, Advika Srinivasan distracts herself by bartending A-list events while neglecting her cinematic dream of becoming a screenwriter. At the 2015 Governors Ball (the official Oscars afterparty), she's swept off her feet by five-time award-winning producer Julian Zelding, who captivates her with his charm and encouragement. Falling for his spell--and the financial stability his life of luxury provides--Advika loses herself in the process of becoming Julian's fourth bride. It's not until four months into their relationship that Julian's first wife sends both a warning and gift, with the promise of $1,000,000 to "Julian's latest child bride," on the condition that Advika divorces him first. What secrets will Advika uncover as she digs into Julian's Hollywood wives and dark past?

💜 This dark, modern-day Cinderella tale is a story of female empowerment; "an ode to the women whose accomplishments have been diminished, their careers unjustly derailed, or whose worthy stories have never been told." Ramisetti's prose flows with such ease and eloquence that it's difficult not to rush from one page to the next. She brings in plenty of pop culture references for film lovers everywhere while balancing intense social issues like racism, inclusion, and feminism. Sometimes, happily ever after doesn't meet the fairy tale standards we're accustomed to seeing on-screen.

🦇 Despite the beauty in Ramisetti's prose, there are a few scenes that stretch without purpose, making a four-month courtship feel like four years. However, the daunting intensity of such scenes contributes to Advika's mindset of feeling trapped. It's not until the second half of the novel that the pacing picks up--at which point, readers rush alongside Advika to find answers. In the first act, it's difficult to connect with Advika, who sees plenty of red flags before the proposal only to cave to Julian's persistent gaslighting. Much of the dialogue falls flat as well, making it difficult to emotionally connect with Advika when she never challenges Jilian's power or manipulation. As much as I appreciate the underlying themes, there's still much to be desired in the execution.

🦇 Recommended to fans of strong, independent, not-taking-your-nonsense women. Ideal for mystery lovers who enjoy the satisfaction of that final piece clicking into place. Kirthana Ramisetti is a powerful writer with exquisite talent. I can't wait to see what she pens next.

🇮🇳 Diversity Representation
✍️ Contemporary Fiction
♀️ Strong Women
🎬 Found Family
🎟️ Age Gap Romance

🦇 Major thanks to the author and publisher for providing an ARC of this book via Netgalley. 🥰 This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

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This book had so much promise and I was very intrigued after the first few chapters. The premise could have been done so well but alas. A young woman marrying an older Hollywood producer and then being offered $1 million to divorce him by one of his ex wives?! This could have been gold!

The book quickly went downhill for me. First off, I really disliked the main characters and they were hard to sympathize with. Advika is young and grieving but she is also incredibly immature and selfish and makes so many poor decisions. Julian is controlling and unlikeable from the get go. I never bought into the romance and that is one of the main reasons this book does not work. The whole relationship gave me so ick vibes.

The side characters never were properly developed, especially Olive and there were some plot holes that were never closed which bothered me. Most of the conversations and relationships felt inauthentic and contrived.

This book was so drawn out and longer than it needed to be. I kept being intrigued by the premise of Evie leaving Advika $1 million to leave Julian but when it finally got to that part, it was a let down and very anticlimactic. The ending was a bit frustrating because it didn’t tie up some loose ends and rushed others.

Overall, I’d say skip this one.

Thank you netgalley for the advanced reader copy!

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This book held so much promise but just failed to deliver. Advika is an aspiring screenwriter who lives in LA with her other Indian friends, some of whom she grew up with, some she met as an adult. She does odd jobs with her friend Olive, and one night finds herself bartending at the Oscars. That night she meets Julian Zelding, 5 time Oscar winning producer, just off the stage from winning his 5th Oscar. They flirt, they banter, they date for 3 months, then Julian proposes.
First of all, I thought this was highly implausible, but I decided to go along with the ride. Instead of doing research on her fiance, or seriously thinking the decision through, she asks advice of her friend Olive, who says 'go for it', and so they do. Oh, and by the way, Julian is 41 years older than Advika! Not unusual in Hollywood, but still, ewww.
Advika is grieving the accidental death of her twin sister, she's having challenges making ends meet, and her career has stalled. Marrying Julian would give her a rent free home, someone else's income, and the love that seems to be missing in her life. And she is attracted to him right?
Julian has had 3 other wives, and upon the death of one, the will reveals an unusual request. If Julian's latest bride divorces him, she'll get $1 million dollars and a special film reel. This is where I thought it would get interesting, as Advika finally digs into Julian's past lives and wives. But the dialog seems stilted, she can't make her own decisions, and uses her friends to help her justify her hasty marriage.
Here's one cringe worthy example:
"The curtained windows gave Advika no sense of time, but her appetite came alive like a race car driver gunning the engine of his vehicle."
The big reveal at the end was also a disappointment. Was Julian a horrible, selfish person? Of course, but she could have figured that out long before the reading of the will. Did he manipulate women and their careers to his own advantage? Most powerful men do so that was no newsflash.
At the end the author dedicates this book 'to all the women whose accomplishments have been diminished, their careers unjustly derailed..
This author's' prior book got great reviews so I was really looking forward to this one, but disappointed in the end.

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When I think of books about Hollywood, I think of glitz, glamor, and stardom. While this book had that, it was such an interesting concept to have the book centered around the relationship between Advika, an aspiring screenwriter and Julian, someone 41 years her senior and a very famous, very powerful Hollywood film producer. With it's blend of feminism, mystery, and drama, interspersed with a character driven plot, I cannot say enough good things about this book.

The triumph of this book truly is how the author gets the reader to understand how Advika ended up married to Julian in the first place and the power dynamics that created this relationship. What struck me is the author's ability to make me understand Advika's choices, even if I didn't agree with them. This ability to create that connection, that understanding, was what made this book so compelling and engaging.

This book also speaks to the author's ability to tell a story, especially when it came to her female characters.
Each woman was strong in their own ways, dealing with the power, control, and manipulation of their relationship and carving out a way to gain their identity, in healthy and unhealthy ways. To understand these women, to have their stories told, even fictionally, when so many of these similar stories are dismissed, was another amazing part of this story and another reason why I loved the book so much.

Overall, this was a great story filled with Hollywood intrigue, fantastic writing and storytelling, female empowerment, diversity, and mystery. This book is a must read.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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