Cover Image: Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

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Member Reviews

This was exactly the YA book I needed! A fun story about falling in love…
Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment by @arushi.24 is a lovely coming of age story as Arya attempts to figure out her family, friendships, future and love life!
#ilovetoread #yaliterature

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This was a really cute YA romance. I loved the characters and the premise of it being like a Bollywood movie. It did read a little young, but I'm not a teenager, so I'm technically not the target audience. Overall, this was cute and I had fun while reading it.

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This had the potential to be super cute but it fell flat for me. I didn't get any chemistry between the two and I didn't like the best friend, she was horrible.
I hope this book does wind up in the right hands and that it's loved by those who need it and my library will most definitely get a copy of it for that reason but for me I didn't enjoy it sadly.

Thank you to the punisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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I had to many books on my list to get through this one. I started it and got through a couple of chapters but it didn't hold my attention very well. I couldn't get into to the situation. I do wish I had given it more of a chance. I may have changed my opinion further in. I just haven't had time to get back to it.

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This was a really cute read! Definitely gave off Never Have I Ever vibes and I am not mad about it. The main characters enemies to friends to lovers was perfectly written. I'm a sucker for that trope.

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This was a really good YA contemporary novel, and I love the cover of it!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

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Very cute read. Though culturally women may not be encouraged to be strong and vocal about it - I would have like Arya to be more. The enemies to loves trope fell flat as Arya didn't really develop the needed characteristics or attitude to pull it off.

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Avachat's book is a cute afternoon read about a young girl dealing with first love, ambition, and family trauma.
Key themes: Rivals to lovers, coming of age, family conflict.

Overall, Arya is a believable and likeable character. I enjoyed getting to peek into a culture that I am not as familiar and found myself pleasantly surprised that things are explained in way that doesn't beat the reader over the head.
The teenage side characters are mostly likeable, and the adult side characters are relatable and relevant to the plot.

The only negative I have is there were too many "smiles followed by glancing down" references. Seriously. there are a lot.

Thank you NetGalley and publisher for the eARC of this work in exchange for my honest review.

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As a desi person who grew up in North America, this is the kind of book I wish I had had when I was growing up! Such a beautiful little story, truly felt like a Bollywood movie meets Never Have I Ever! Arya was so relatable and the chemistry and blooming romance were adorable. I wish to see more desi rep in romcoms that are at this level of excellence and pure joy!

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Absolutely loved this book! The storytelling was captivating from start to finish. The characters were richly developed, and I highly recommend for anyone looking for a great read!

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I like that this is a book about an Indian girl’s first love. I also loved all the cultural events that took place. There were some cute parts throughout the book. Overall, this book wasn’t for me. I am not the target audience for this novel. I fell for the cute cover, and went in blind to this one. I found the main character whiny, which I guess can be expected from a teenage girl. It was slow moving for me, and I was slightly bored by the middle. By the ending, I was hoping for more resolution surrounding her family.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Arya’s older sister, Alina, has been away for a few years due to a disagreement with their mom, and Arya is mostly happy she’s back for a while, even if it’s temporary. Alina is engaged and the family is getting ready for her marriage. Since the Khannas are Indian American, that means a big series of events to plan. Things are busy, so Arya is trying to put aside her simmering anger at Alina for how Alina’s fights with their mom affect her own life.

Arya is also navigating senior year of high school. But it’s not going quite as she expected. For one, her best-friend group of three is disintegrating because the other two decided to date and now have just broken up. For another, she’s vice president of student council, second in command to the popular and good-looking Dean Merriweather. They’ve been rivals throughout high school and her loss to him at the end of last school year is still rankling her. She feels he’s just a jock who doesn’t take the job seriously.

As she works at her part-time job at a bookstore, applies to colleges, and helps her sister choose outfits and food for the wedding, Arya learns a few lessons. And as she gets to know Dean (and realizes he may not be the person she thought he was) and has some fun, she can see herself a bit as part of a Bollywood movie. There’s romance, dancing, music, beautiful clothes and plenty of delicious food.

I always enjoy getting a good window into other cultures. I didn’t know a lot about Indian wedding traditions, so I learned a bit here. I admit that I have watched very few Bollywood films, so I couldn’t appreciate that this book is meant to be structured like one. It was clear there are mentions of different parts of those films throughout, including an intermission, but I didn’t fully get the big picture. So I’m sure readers who love Bollywood will appreciate that more than I.

Aside from that, the story fell a bit flat for me. It’s not a spoiler to say that Arya falls for the cute guy, given the whole setup, but it just didn’t feel swoony to me. I also kinda didn’t like Arya sometimes, so that made it a bit hard to root for her. All that said, I think other readers will like the book a bit more than I did, and it’s still a fairly solid debut.

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This was such a cute book! I loved how organic the enemies to lovers trope felt and the family drama was really well done without being overdone.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book.

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What a delightful debut! "Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment" by Arushi Avachat is a rom-com that twirls readers into the vibrant world of Bollywood. Set against the backdrop of a high school senior's life, the novel takes us on a whirlwind journey of love, family, and self-discovery. Structured like a Bollywood film (complete with an entertaining intermission, score!), readers are invited to swoon, laugh, cry, and dance.

Meet Arya Khanna. She’s our spirited protagonist who finds her life infused with Bollywood magic when her sister gets engaged. The household buzzes with shaadi preparations but beneath the glittering surface lies Arya's lingering resentment towards her sister. As she plays mediator during her sister's squabbles and welcomes her future brother-in-law, Arya grapples with her own senior year dreams. Travel with Arya between classes and her part-time gig at a bookshop, as she learns life doesn't always follow the script of the beloved Bollywood movies.

Avachat's writing captures the essence of family bonds, cultural clashes, and unexpected connections. The novel celebrates the magic of everyday moments, reminding us that sometimes, the person we least expect can lead us to our dream sequence. I’m so here for this story and the representation it brings.

I cannot believe this is a debut novel! It’s a delightful addition to the world of YA romance, so load your favourite Bollywood playlist, settle into a cozy spot, and follow Arya on a heartwarming journey through love, laughter, and the magic of cinema. This story promises a delightful escape into a world where love dances to its own beat.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a temporary e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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its not for me and it was okay. to much horascope talk which i was not okay with. Sad sad review. The charecters were unqiue

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This book was so much fun. It is the story of Arya, a high school senior in the thick of college applications, friend drama, first love and student council stress while also helping her sister plan her wedding, full of Hindu traditions and customs. Arya is sharp and witty and as a bonus for us booknerds, she works in a little bookstore which sounds like a dream. I loved seeing her grow, find herself and reconnect with her sister. I loved the pop culture references. Her extended family added additional humor. And I loved learning so much about her traditions. It was just a feel good, heartwarming book.

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I got an ARC of this book.

I got an ebook, but for some reason I couldn't focus on it. I blamed myself and borrowed the audiobook from the library once it was officially published. Then I was blowing through it. So this might partially be on me.

Despite blowing through it, because the narrator doesn't stop, I just never really got invested. It isn't a bad book, it was just not for me it seems. It takes a lot for me to get invested in a straight romance and originally I thought this book could do it. It just didn't really get going for me. No one grabbed my attention. There was a lot of drama to start and then that drama just wasn't entertaining.

It is worth trying if you are interested, it might work better for you!

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Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment sounded like a lovely, mostly fluffy read when I picked it up. It's so much more. It does include descriptions of India cultural traditions and events, as expected, but the relationships have much more depth and the characters more dimension.
Arya loves her sister and celebrates when she returns home for her wedding month. But Arya still carries the anger and hurt from Alina's abrupt departure from the family, and the resulting drama that she's had to weather. On top dealing with her mother's mental illness and her constant conflicts with Alina, she's dealing with the disappointment of having to serve as Vice President of her Class, which she thinks went to an undeserving opponent. Dean is completely unqualified beyond his popularity, in Arya's eyes, and it rankles to play second fiddle to his lead. Plus, she's stuck working closely with him all year.
Arya learns that life doesn't work like Bollywood movies, although they have their place in bringing her happiness, and that while it's messier, the rewards are richer for the struggles she faces.

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Structured like a Bollywood film plus intermissions, Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment by Arushi Avachat follows Arya helping her family prepare for her sister’s Shaadi, dealing with her feelings about her sister’s absence, and facing a disappointing start to her senior year while being the family peacekeeper and muddling through the breakup between her best friends.

Avachat’s vivid writing with detailed descriptions uses the senses to capture the readers’ imagination. Her unique narrative style of structuring her story like a Bollywood film perfectly fits her theme and protagonist. It also works for her multilayered story with multiple conflicts. However, if you’re unfamiliar with Bollywood films, it may go over your head like it did for me initially. I wanted to read it to learn more about Shaddai season and wedding preparations. But Avachat gave me that, plus an unexpected, insightful exploration of how complicated relationships are and how easily you can lose people important to you if you avoid problems and fail to communicate with each other. Also, don’t read while hungry! So much food talk.

Because she wants to enjoy her family being back together again now that her sister Alina has returned from school, Arya tries to repress the resentment she still feels over Alina’s abandonment as her family prepares for her sister’s Shaddai. She also mediates her sister’s fights with their mother and cheerfully welcomes her future brother-in-law into the family.

Arya’s senior year is falling short of her excitement and dreams. Arya must balance her classes and part-time bookshop job while learning to partner with her rival, Dean Merriweather, on the student council. And she’s stuck in the middle of her two best friends after their horrible breakup.

While Arya strives to keep the peace at school, home, and between her BFFs, Shaadi season teaches Arya that change is inevitable, her sister won’t always be living at home with her, she can’t fix or solve everyone’s problems—including her Mamma’s sadness—and friendships must evolve. Life doesn’t always work out like her adored Bollywood movies, but sometimes, the last person you expect may give you a preview of your dream sequence just when you need it the most.

A hopeless romantic and ardent reader, Arya loves Bollywood films and uses them to escape her life. Arya fears change. Unfortunately, her life is currently jam-packed with changes at home and school. She’s in constant conflict with Dean, her frustratingly attractive student council rival who won the election against her to become President. Now, she must work with him to plan the fall festival and formal. I enjoyed Dean and Arya’s funny, sweet, snarky, entertaining interactions, sparring and banter. Arya’s interactions and developing relationship with her nemesis, Dean, are a bright spot that lightens the book’s tone.

While the novel is a little more dramatic and emotional than I expected, it’s a compelling teen/YA romance about the difficulty in navigating relationships with siblings, friends, and parents as life changes for everyone and learning to adjust to those changes without losing relationships with people you care about. Avachat explores—with care and nuance—the tricky adjustment of an elder sibling leaving home, its effect on the sibling relationship/bond, and the awkward situation of being stuck in the middle of two best friends who started dating but broke up. To complicate things, Arya’s mom is going through some things, and their relationship is distant. Being her sister and mom’s peacemaker and go-between has only worsened it.

Avachat nicely balances the novel’s shifting tones of humor, drama, and angst and multiple storylines to keep the novel’s pacing steady. Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment is a funny, angsty, dramatic, and intensely emotional teen/YA romance about friendship, enemies to lovers, family, proving yourself, parent/child relationships, sibling relationships, wedding planning, and family drama/messy families.

Wednesday Books provided an advanced review copy via Netgalley for review.

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There are so many layers at play in this book: trouble at school within Arya’s friend group, her contentious relationship with academic rival Dean, and the general tumult of senior year. All of that is more than enough to manage, but Arya must also help her sister Alina prepare for her wedding, which includes numerous smaller ceremonies and celebrations, not to mention a new outfit for each event.

And let me tell you: the aunty drama is real! Oh, the shade!

I know I’m not the target demographic for YA books and that adolescent brains are still developing, but there are times when I come across a narrator who is being unfair or unreasonable with their interpersonal conflicts. I didn’t get that sense here: Arya is a reliable narrator who is reasonable in her approach, and like many books, conflicts could have been avoided with a single conversation, but people of all ages tend to be avoidant rather than direct, so we can’t fault Arya for choosing to ignore/avoid big conversations. This is especially true considering how much she has going on in her life. It’s easy for an issue to persist because of the expectation that it will be resolved—but of course, when it doesn’t resolve, it might feel too late to engage.

I would absolutely recommend Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment. This is a lovely book full of family and food. I loved all the cinematic shoutouts and I definitely want to watch all the of the movies on the recommended list. I can’t wait to read Avachat’s next book.

I received a digital ARC of this book from St. Martin’s/NetGalley

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