Cover Image: Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

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I really enjoyed this book about senior year, friendship, relationships, misunderstandings and family. Arushi Avachat has done a good job capturing the ups and downs of the final year of high school plus wrapped it in an educational Indian setting. My only complaint would be that I wanted a glossary of Indian terms to really know what the characters were saying not just try to guess based on context. Thank you to #netgalley and #wednesdaybooks for this arc of #aryakhannasbollywoodmoment to read and review ahead of publication.

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Arya Kahanna's Bollywood Moment is a fun and fresh YA novel from Arushi Avachat. Interesting characters, entertaining strorylines, and gorgeous descriptions of South Asian wedding traditions made this a delight to read!

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This was so good! This is a YA pretty in pink bollywood version. I laughed out loud at some scenes. This was a great book and I had a good time reading it.
I just reviewed Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment by Arushi Avachat. #NetGalley
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Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment was a fun read that felt like an episode of Never Have I Ever— which is a show I love. While predictable, this story was heartwarming and emotionally deep. The characters were genuine and I enjoyed the growth Arya went through in the book. The commentary around the cultural aspects of Alina and Nikhil’s Shaadi was just enough description for those unfamiliar without being lengthy. I wished for more Dean and Arya moments but loved them, especially Dean’s patience. Overall I feel this story was 3.5 stars rounded up.

Thank you NetGalley for providing the ARC in exchange of my review.

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thanks to netgalley for the arc!

i thoroughly enjoyed this debut from arushi avachat, and i believe that this would be a fun read for anyone. it looks like a romance based on the cover, but avachat truly is able to create such a dynamic story that it felt like it encompassed so many important things that a teenager goes through.

we follow arya, a senior trying to make the most of her senior year while balancing her sister's wedding, family dynamics, a work/school balance, and friend struggles. it may seem like a lot, but as someone who also had three out of those four issues during her own senior year, i felt seen. it wasn't overdone nor overplayed, and i really enjoyed how avachat was able to accurately portray the life of a senior in modern times. the pop culture references were bearable, which normally in ya contemporary novels, they aren't. so that instantly makes me enjoy the book even more.

i loved how arya was flawed, and she did have people call her out on it, BUT the one thing that i wish arya would have done is acted on it more if that makes sense. she would say "oh, yes i was being rude and i apologize" but then kinda make the same mistake again later on and go through the same steps. HOWEVER, i also think that's such an accurate portrayal of a 17/18 year old girl. even at almost 24, i do the same things!

i loved the family dynamics of arya khanna's bollywood moment. i love stories with complex family dynamics, so this really made my heart happy. i loved how arya still stood by her mom even though her sister wasn't supportive of it, and i think that proved a lot to her sister? though i do wish the sister and the mom would have had some sort of conversation towards the end about everything.

the romance was really cute, and i could tell from early on whenever dean spoke to her, he was enthralled with her. plus i think he did the darcy hand flex??? which is amazing. he kept it real with arya which i appreciated, and the way he was so nervous around her was also really cute to read.

overall, i really enjoyed reading arya khanna's bollywood moment because it's a fun ya contemporary that doesn't make me cringe, and it tackles such important aspects of a teen's experiences in a relevant and impressive way for a debut author. i would read anything else by arushi avachat, and i recommend this to anyone who's gotten this far in the review because it really has such a cute vibe.

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~Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment Review~

4/5

As always, I love St. Martins Press and am excited to dive into this fun story!

Pros:
+okay i’m a giant sucker for academic rivalry stories you got me there
+i love sisters
+lots of fun cultural references through the wedding! great food and music which i love to look up to try/listen to
+bookstore setting!!
+communication!!!

Cons:
-high school friendship drama

This was such a quick cute read! It had me genuinely giggling and kicking my feet but also was so much more than a romance! I loved getting to see the wedding and all the family moments as well!

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**Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin Press/Wednesday Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review**
**Any quotes referenced are from the unpublished version of the book**

Rep: bisexual (Lisa Greenfield), gay (Neil Joshi and Rishabh), lesbian (Mindy and Cleo), Asian (Katie Nguyen and Kevin Chang?), Black (Andy Bishop), Indian (Punjabi - the Khanna family; Marathi - the Joshi family), Latinx (Emilia Lopez), Hindu (the Khanna family), Jewish (Dean Merriweather and Lisa Greenfield)

Arya Khanna is starting off her senior year with some major drama - family, friends, and foes.

Her sister, Alina, has been away for three years, ever since she left for college. When she ended up dropping out her sophomore year to pursue her passion for art, she didn't return home. Arya was very upset by this because she needed her sister and she wasn't there for her. Now, Alina is back and getting married, so Arya is feeling that anger more than ever, especially after she discovers a secret Alina has only been hiding from her. Her time away had also affected their mother. Arya describes her as, "proud, regal, sad." She never smiles anymore, and her eyes have lost sparkle. She seems to be the last to know about things happening in her daughters' lives, and it has affected her. Alina didn't tell her she dropped out - she heard it from somebody else. Also, Arya does the same thing, really. She goes to Mindy (her boss at the bookstore, Belle's) for advice instead of her mother.

Arya's friend group used to be a trio - Lisa Greenfield and Andy Bishop - until they tried dating and then broke up. Lisa was avoiding Andy, but also avoiding Arya in the process. Things become worse when Lisa finds out that Arya is going to the formal with Andy, even though everyone knows it's not like that. Lisa was upset that Arya seemed to be taking Andy's side after the breakup even though she needed her more. However, Lisa was ignoring calls and texts, and making excuses not to spend any time with Arya to try and reconcile things. Can they find a way to work things out and become best friends again?

Dean Merriweather has always been Arya's rival at school, and things really escalated when Dean won the student body presidential election. Arya had been criticized by her mother for not seeming to try hard enough, so she finally found something she thought she was good at, only to lose. Losing made her feel like her mother had been right all along. Dean was always playfully mean to her, and we know what that means in reality. Arya seemed to be blind to it, though. Can Arya ever possibly see him as boyfriend potential?

I think a heart to heart scene between Arya, Alina, and their mother would have been nice to see at the end. Kind of like an all around apology for their behavior toward each other, and how they'll do better, especially with Alina leaving again. They could have asked their mother about how she's been feeling and what they can do to help. Instead, the girls tell each other that it isn't their problem. I think it would be unfair to say that they are both completely blameless, however, they are not *only* to blame.

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Thank you NetGalley and Arushi Avachat for an ARC of this book.

This was a really cute story of Arya’s and her Bollywood journey. I wish that there were better explanations for things because I had to keep asking a friend what something were. I really enjoyed reading this.

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This whole book feels like a Bollywood movie and is the perfect read for people who loved Never Had I Ever on Netflix.

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment was such a fun and charming read, and I loved all its layers. It was a fun and cute academic rival to lover's romance but had so much depth to it with all the familial relationships. Overall just felt like a very well-rounded book that was cute and fluffy but also covered topics that added a lot of depth to the story.

This book was truly such an enjoyable read and it was super fun and kept my attention the whole time. Once I read the first few pages I felt myself just getting sucked into the story and especially its humor, and after that, it was very difficult to put it down. I 100% would have read this book in one sitting if I had not been on vacation with my family.

Also, this book made me hungry for food, the way Arushi Avachat described the food was perfect. So that was just an added plus!

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I love the cover of Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment. The pink is fantastic. Unfortunately, it’s my favorite thing about the book. I didn’t connect or get into it. Right for the get go it felt like a play by play and the middle was drawn out. I felt like the descriptions were great, though and the author has a lot of potential.

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Thanks so much to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books for this advance readers copy, in exchange for an honest review. Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment is a fun story about the title character’s senior year of high school where she is helping to plan and manage her sister’s wedding, upcoming college applications, complicated feelings that might just be a new crush, friend drama, and more.

This book was absolutely adorable and such a fun read. This story has a great plot line with enjoyable characters and it reminded me well of how it felt to be in high school. There were moments where you couldn’t help rooting for the characters, despite their sometimes self destructive behavior, and moments where you rejoiced when things finally went right. I enjoyed the many cultural references throughout the book and while I cannot identify with the characters through direct personal experience, I felt like I was able to dive right into the world that the author created.

I also appreciated the authors inclusion of mental health topics and think that she did a great job at working through family hardships in this story. I would have appreciated more of a deep dive into the mental health aspect for one of our characters but, can understand that this was not the driving force for the story. All in all, these characters felt very real to me and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Even though this book is targeted as YA, I think it’s a great, quick read for readers of any age. I’d highly recommend it to contemporary fiction fans, especially those who love family storylines and a bit of high school romance!

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This was a really sweet story of Arya’s journey to her Bollywood moment! I only wish that there were better explanations for things so I didn’t have to keep interrupting my reading to look up what the author was talking about, but it was a very sweet coming-of-age story set with a Hindu family’s wedding journey! I really enjoyed reading this and I look forward to more from her!

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As a brown girl myself, reading Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment was like warm chicken soup for my inner teenager’s soul. When I was a teen (not all that long ago) brown girls weren’t very well represented in books, and especially not as main characters. It has been so beautifully refreshing to connect with a main character on the basis of culture and family ties.

Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment feels like a coming of age story, despite not really being one, and has a heartwarming focus on family dysfunctions and the bonds that hold us together despite our flaws and past hurts.

Arya reminds me so much of a younger me - naive about some things, feeling a deep sense of responsibility over things that are not her burden to carry, and emotional as all hell. Seeing the way that Avachat depicts broken family dynamics and how that can weigh on sibling relationships - particularly in brown households - was emotional for me to read. The way she depicts sisterhood is so genuine and authentic and natural.

In fact, character relationships and their dynamics throughout the entirety of the book felt refreshingly real. Avachat navigates what it is to be closing out of adolescence and entering adulthood beautifully in this novel. The trials and tribulations of college applications, crumbling friendships, new relationships, and familial stress are all such a huge part of what it is to be a senior in high school. Preparing to leave home, for life to change, not knowing what direction university will take you and what it will mean for your friendships… all of that is depicted organically in this novel.

I adore that we meet Arya at an important juncture in her life, but that we only get to see a small portion of it. The book is less so about getting from point a to point b and hitting a climax on the way and more so about what it is to be a teen navigating a series of emotional challenges and overcoming them through personal growth. We’re spoiled with a healthy mix of sweetness, wholesome romance, teen angst, and family drama, among other things. The character development isn’t outstanding but it’s certainly enough for the plot, and I didn’t find it to be lacking in a significant way.

Reading Arya Khanna’s story had me gripped from cover to cover. The dialogue flowed freely, the characters were so lovable, it’s exactly the kind of book to read when you need something equivalent to a warm cup of tea on a dreary day. I truly adored every minute I spent reading this book, grinning ear to ear nearly the entire time. This is truly such an impressive and gorgeously sweet YA debut.

Perfect for fans of shows like Never Have I Ever (with much less chaos), Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment will have you absolute charmed from start to finish and I cannot recommend it enough!

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Thanks so much to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books for this advance readers copy, in exchange for an honest review. Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment is a fun story about the title character’s senior year of high school where she is helping to plan and manage her sister’s wedding, upcoming college applications, complicated feelings that might just be a new crush, friend drama, and more.

This book was absolutely adorable and such a fun read. This story has a great plot line with enjoyable characters and it reminded me well of how it felt to be in high school. There were moments where you couldn’t help rooting for the characters, despite their sometimes self destructive behavior, and moments where you rejoiced when things finally went right. I enjoyed the many cultural references throughout the book and while I cannot identify with the characters through direct personal experience, I felt like I was able to dive right into the world that the author created.

I also appreciated the authors inclusion of mental health topics and think that she did a great job at working through family hardships in this story. I would have appreciated more of a deep dive into the mental health aspect for one of our characters but, can understand that this was not the driving force for the story. All in all, these characters felt very real to me and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Even though this book is targeted as YA, I think it’s a great, quick read for readers of any age. I’d highly recommend it to contemporary fiction fans, especially those who love family storylines and a bit of high school romance!

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This YA novel strives to be a Bollywood movie, book form. And it delivers. Fun characters, just enough drama and a bit of romance. I suggest finding the music noted in the story...play it in the background and for goodness sake have some samosa and a mango lassi nearby!

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From the start, the reader is sucked into the story of Arya. With a little bit of "Never Have I Ever..." vibes, this one will definitely be a hit! Strong character development, each one felt just as important as the main characters. The plot line itself makes sense, and you're rooting for Arya to "figure it out" by the end.
It almost moves too quickly, but I appreciate that the story felt real. Great read!

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Such a fun, swoony read!! The characters are all extremely well developed and their romance is adorable. The plot andsetting.. I just loved all of it. It was a beautiful read that was hard to put down. Overall, this was a great romance book.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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