Cover Image: Advika and the Hollywood Wives

Advika and the Hollywood Wives

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Member Reviews

Advi (or Addi) finds herself swept up in Julian's world after she meets him at the Governor's Ball. So swept that she marries the director almost immediately, despite some concerns. She's still grieving the death of her twin Anu, missing her parents who have moved back to India, and struggling with her screenplay and Julian's life- well....She knows something's not quite right (he's sooo much older than she is) but then his first ex-wife's will offers her $1 million to divorce him and Addi's off to find out why. The answer to this is more complicated than the rest of the novel (I struggled a bit to understand it). There are several very good characters here, starting with her roomie Olive, but others are ciphers, especially Julian. While I ate this up, I kept wondering where it was going- what was Julian's secret? I also didn't understand why Addi didn't google Julian and his wives earlier (seriously). Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This has all sorts of vibes (I kept thinking Aggie was going to morph into something evil) but in the end, it's a good read with issues.

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This is like if you took The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and twisted it into a contemporary mystery. Needless to say, I freaking loved it. Advika is by no means the heroine you'd expect - she's an aspiring screenwriter bogged down in catering. But when she meets Julian, she's swept away in a whirlwind romance. As a reader, it was tantalizing watching Advika realize the truth about her husband and work out how to escape his grasp. I can't remember the last time I read a character-motivated mystery, but this one is amazing. For those who loved Dava Shastri's Last Day, the writing style and focus on celebrity is still consistent - I'd argue that the pacing of this book is better and the plot a bit more compelling. Really, just all around applause for Kirthana Ramisetti.

*Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review*

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This title was a lot of fun - I was pulled in by the beautiful cover and the interesting premise.

Here is the setup: Advika is a struggling screenwriter in Hollywood who has lost her twin sister in a tragedy, while being a bartender at an Oscar's after party she meets the award winning director/producer Julian Zelding. Sparks fly from that first meeting and before she knows it she is the 4th Mrs. Zelding. After her marriage a news report breaks that the first Mrs. Zelding has died and left Advika 1M dollars and a mysterious film reel, but only if she divorces Julian. This leads Advi down a path to dig into the history of the past wives of her now husband and see if there is more than what first met her eye.

This was a story I really enjoyed reading. Advi is not someone who you like off the bat, she is 26, she's still figuring her life out, she's self centered, grieving and wrapped up in her world, but you see her grow through that! The subtle things to point out her group of friends and her husband's group was also interesting to me. He and his group would always call her Addi, never mind that she goes by Advi. He is staking his claim and in so subtle ways trying to mold her into what he wants her to be.

I loved how each of the wives had their own story and that the few things I thought/suspected were going to happen didn't. Some of the clichés I was worried about didn't come to pass and the author Ramisetti kept me on my toes throughout.

I found this to be a great read, potentially one to buddy read or read with book group because I would love to discuss this with someone!

I received an ARC of this book from Netgally in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

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I was surprised at how much I liked this book. Normally I judge a romance with such a wide age gap, but I could definitely see what Advika's reasons were for marrying Julian, and how he manipulated her into it. The old hollywood glam was fun, and how we value powerful men in society was made clear. Advika was a flawed character, but you could really feel her pain from the loss of her sister. I also liked that she immediately knew things were wrong, and she trusted her gut when it came to the other ex-wives. This was a quick read, but I couldn't put it down. Thanks to netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

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This could have been another retailing of Cinderella with a Prince Charming who is 40 years her senior but no mam. No mam! It was so much more. This is a story about strong women, strong supportive friendships, and found family. The writing was also amazing and the story had me hanging on to every word!

Truly loved so many things about this book and I’m so pleased to have gotten it from Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing!

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My Thoughts
This book had everything I enjoy reading about drama, romance, and Hollywood.
We meet Advika a young women who meets Julian a producer at a after party. Julian is much older and more experienced. Soon after meeting their relationship takes a turn and they end up married. But did Advika make a big mistake she finds out more from one of Julian’s ex wife’s who left a message in her will. This is one of those books that you’ll lose sleep over to find out what happens next.
I really enjoyed reading this. Thank You @netgalley

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Advika is an aspiring screenwriter working at celebrity events to get by. When she meets Julian, a much older famous producer, while tending bar after the Oscars, she is immediately swept off her feet, feeling something for someone for the first time since her sister's death. After a whirlwind romance and an odd bequest in an ex-wife's will, she finds herself uneasy about Julian's life before her and his previous marriages, realizing she knows very little about her husband and what she has gotten herself into. I really enjoyed the ending of this. I liked it better than the author's previous book, Dava Shastri's Last Day. 4 stars.

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I was completely sucked into this book! Just like Advika gets pulled into her new husband's mysterious past, I couldn't stop turning the page! It reminded me of some of my favorite elements of Evelyn Hugo and blended together old Hollywood culture and stories with a totally fresh perspective. There were a few elements I would have liked to have seen fleshed out more (friendships repairing, new friendships growing, etc.) and maybe some more aggressive revenge but overall it was a fantastic read.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although the ending felt rushed. There’s a lot of time dedicated to getting to know Advika and understanding her circumstances when she first meets Julian, which helps to explain how she got so caught up in his charms. Throughout the book, much as Anu’s voice in Advika’s head cautions her that this is all a little too good to be true, I felt as a reader as if I were just waiting for reality to hit. And boy, when it hits, it hits hard.

As Advika digs into her husband’s pasts, by learning more about his previous wives, the pacing speeds up - it’s like Advika, and the book itself, are on a collision course hurtling toward the climax. To be honest, I was left disappointed by the ending. The showdown between Advika and Julian felt rushed and ultimately unsatisfying, and I was really frustrated by the final chapters.

I love Kirthana Ramisetti’s writing, and felt her portrayal of how Advika is working through her grief after losing her sister was beautifully portrayed. However, I wish the pacing were a bit more consistent. Still a very enjoyable read so I’m rounding up to 4 stars, and I look forward to future books from Ramisetti as she continues to grow as an author.

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I loved Advika and thought she was a wonderful character. Is she a little naïve and makes some questionable choices? Sure, but she's 26 and struggling so it's understandable.

I read this over Oscars weekend, which ended up being perfect, as the story starts at an Oscars after party. The book starts with a charming, whirlwind romance between the struggling Advika and the Oscar winning producer, Julian. But as the relationship progresses, the doubts begin to creep in about how much she actually knows about him. And about his multiple famous ex-wives.

I couldn't put this down. It perfectly combines drama, mystery, and fictional Hollywood gossip to create a captivating story. Advika is a main character you will love and root for, even if occasionally frustrated with her decisions. The story will keep you interested from the first chapter to the last as Advika unravels her new husband's past and discovers why his ex's may think she needs rescuing.

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DNF at 25%

There are a lot of elements about Advika and the Hollywood Wives that I love to read about - Hollywood, twisted relationships, and domestic secrets waiting to be unveiled. However, this book is taking far too long to get to all of those things and neither of the main characters are quite fleshed out enough to hold my interest in getting there. Because of that, I'm making the executive decision to DNF.

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

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This book was entirely believable. Unfortunately, when reading a book about a whirlwind Hollywood romance, I was hoping for an unbelievable, salacious story! Everything from the characters to the twists was expected and tied up in a pretty bow. Overall, an entertaining read, but not a good one.

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This was a fun book! It's a bit mystery, a bit family drama, a bit Hollywood gossip...I enjoyed reading about Advita's story as an aspiring screenwriter in LA. While bartending for an Oscars party, she meets Julian, a legendary producer, much older, but still a "silver fox". They embark on a whirlwind romance, but is he too good to be true? Advita becomes curious about his former wives. Why did they all leave Hollywood? As Julian's demands on Advita start suffocating her, she decides to deep dive into the lives of her former wives and finds secrets that shock her. This was fun, and I enjoyed following along as she learned about the ex-wives. However, the ending was unsatisfying to me--there's some threads that were kept hanging and I didn't like seeing where Advita ended up. I couldn't see her having that ending. The writing is excellent, and I definitely want to read more from this author!

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One of the things I find that is making this a difficult book to follow is that the time frame for this book is a bit wonky- I thought it was 2022 or 2023 - apparently, I was wrong. And had I done a better job of reading the book's description, I would have known this LOL! This would be why Juliians' age was not as old as I thought it was.

I kept reading this novel because I had hoped it would improve. I also wanted to know why Advika was left with that odd proposal in one of the wives will. But you know what? It never did. What this book did to me was to wind me up, and I kept hoping that the ending would be worth it, but it wasn't.
Frankly, I knew just by how the characters were badly written and ego-driven, the conversations stilted, and the plot line unbelievable that there would be no wonderful ending, not even an ah-ha moment.

I had never met two such unlikeable protagonists in my life. Advika whining, immature, and spineless. Julian - well, he was just plain crazy, and nobody ever even noticed?

*ARC supplied by the publisher Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley.

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There were some fun elements in this book, but overall I thought it was just ok. Since the main character, Advika, was into rom-coms, this story was told in that style. However, the actual story was pretty serious and rather sinister, so the style didn’t really fit, in my opinion. I did appreciate the elements of cultural diversity in this book. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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An interesting Hollywood Cinderella story turned happily never ever but with a plot holes and miserable MCs that couldn't keep the magic alive.

After a whirlwind romance, 20 something Advika finds herself married to hollywood exec Julian, but when Julian's first wife dies and offers Advika a million dollars and a secret in her will, Advika realizes something is very very wrong.

What I Struggled With:
- The Main Characters. I understand Advika is young, grieving, and down on her luck, but she's truly unlikable and I found her hard to sympathize with. NO ONE TOLD HER TO MARRY THAT MAN! She is mean, self centered, and clueless. Julian sucks. He's sucked from the moment we meet him, so there was no buying into this romance and then being surprised when he turned out exactly as we expected. Anyone could have called it a mile away, which made for a very matter of fact read and again, the inability to sympathize with Advika.
- The Plot. Too Long. Too Holey. Anti-Climatic. Everything could've been revealed and solved in half as many pages. Too many details and drawn out events. Just get to the point. And when the reveals did happen, they felt underwhelming.
-Useless Side Characters. Characters only showed up when their expertise was needed to do something or as a talking point. We meet and/or never further talk about character that seem very relevant to the broader story (threatening god daughter, weirdly loyal maid and assistant, her parents??). All of the character feel extremely one dimensional.

Also this read had very dark undertones that could've made for an exciting, relevant read about power, money, and control but it's light execution forced it to feel choppy, disingenuous, and just weird. And the final reveal at the end? Dumb. For an MC I didn't care for...Justice for Advika.

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Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for sending me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ahead of publication.

Advika and the Hollywood Wives started slow and then continued to build to an explosive and impactful ending that made me glad I stuck with the story to the end.

I haven't read another book quite like this one. The concept of the three "Hollywood" wives was very intriguing and all of their characters added a lot to the story. Advika on her own was a confusing and selfish character at times, overwhelmed by grief from losing her sister and in a way, also losing her parents. It was rewarding to see Advika develop into a more empathetic and aware individual who understood the impact she was having on others around her.

To understand Julian and his motivations, I had to make a lot of "worst case" assumptions about him. He ended up being pretty despicable, but, we didn't get much on his background other than what happened in each of his marriages.

The ending was incredibly dramatic compared to the "slow burn" feel of the rest of the book, but I did feel satisfied with the ending and didn't have many questions left.

Thank you again to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

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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.

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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.

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*I received a copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for this opportunity*

ADVIKA AND THE HOLLYWOOD WIVES is a tribute to all the women who's dreams were dashed by a man who thought he knew better. The story's main character, Advika Srinivasan, is a struggling screenwriter barely making ends meet in Los Angelos. Suddenly, in a rather Cinderella-esque fashion, she's swept into a life of luxury by one of Hollywood's top producer, Julian Zelding. Desperate to escape the shadow of her twin sister's death, Advika begins to mold herself into Julian's vision to keep him happy-- convinced he knows best. However, the death of Julian's first wife and unexpected inheritance begins an investigation into the three women who came before her.

While ADVIKA is a slow burn, it was a fascinating premise that held commentary on several current issues surrounding Hollywood. Each wife's story unlocked new insight into the workings of stardom-- and what it means to be used by the one you love most. While the ending, specifically concerning the film reel, felt a little out of place (there wasn't enough build up to the reveal)-- readers will be satisfied with Ramisetti's newest novel.

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