Cover Image: Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

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Member Reviews

Solid 4 stars. Arya's story is sweet and it's messy, in the best humanly way. Avachat tells the story of how easily life can become messy when we avoid communication and hide from the scary bits. Love Arya and her family and their story and the friendships forged and fought for while Arya figures out how to navigate big changes in her senior year.

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This book was fun and easy to read. I loved learning more about the culture. The difficult family dynamics (mother-daughter, sister-sister) were easy to relate to. The character growth and storyline were well done.

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In support of the SMP boycott, I will be withholding my review of this title until SMP speaks out. If the boycott is resolved, I will update with a full review.

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An enjoyable YA read! I was expecting a sweet YA romance from this and while we for sure get that, this book is much more! This book explored family relationships, first love, and friendships.

You might enjoy this book if you like:
-rivals to lovers
-YA coming of age stories
-strong themes of friendship

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This was so fun! I loved all of the characters and their stories. They were deeply complex but also still enjoyable and believable. It was also a great look into an Indian wedding. I didn't want this story to end!

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Arya Khanna is entering Senior year with too much on her plate. Her sister is getting married but her family is still tense over her quitting college and being gone for years. Her best friends started dating and then broke up, making things awkward for their little trio. And most annoying of all, her school rival won student council president and she now has to spend time with him. But it's time for Arya to accept that life is change and that some things are not as clear-cut as she always thought them to be.

I really wanted to like this one a lot more, but it just didn't offer anything that I hadn't read before. It's the typical YA of an overachiever high school student with a rival who isn't actually a rival, but at least it's dressed up in a Bollywood outfit to help it stand out a little. Funnily enough, is the only reason I found it mildly entertaining. The Bollywood references and details of the Khanna's culture were things to focus on when everything else felt been there, done that.
I will say, though, that Avachat's writing is good and you really get a feel for Arya's troubles and what she's going through. Which is sad because it makes me want to give this a higher rating, but I just didn't enjoy the story all that much.

Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the read!

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Admittedly, I am likely not the target audience for this YA novel. It weaves the drama, conflict, and triumph of shaadi wedding preparations with the MC's senior year of high school, including rich cultural representation and relatable coming of age experiences.

Sincere thanks to St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books, and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is a stand-alone YA novel featuring Arya Khanna. She is in her last year of high school getting ready to apply for colleges, her sister is getting married, but her two best friends recently broke up, and her mom seems to be spending a lot more time alone in her room lately.

Lately I've been finding that YA is not for me, but this one is making me rethink that! There are moments of typical high school fighting where you just want to yell at them to talk, but then there is the descriptions of the food, and the wedding, all of the gorgeous dresses, as well as more mature topics.


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Arya is a high school senior who is about to get a Bollywood spin on her life when her sister gets engaged and she has to navigate family drama, friend drama, and an unexpected crush. I enjoy the India Cultural and so much was into this story. A great read.

Overall, it is an excellent debut novel for Arushi Avachat. Thank you.

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<b> Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for access to this title. All opinions expressed are my own.</b>

Read this if you like...

✔Enemies to Lovers Romance
✔Imperfect Protagonists who are called on their actions
✔Nods to Jane Austen novels
✔Characters who work in bookstores that readers want to visit
✔ Sister relationships
✔Bollywood Movies
✔Traditional Weddings
✔Books that make you smile continuously
✔ An accurate depiction of mental illness
✔A satisfying ending

All of the above are the reasons that I believe <i> Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment</i> is worth your attention. I got sucked into the story quite fast and just felt the whole experience was enjoyable. There was no insta-love, the author took her time in letting the romance build which was perfect. I also like that Arya's mother's struggle with mental illness is left as something that is ongoing and that isn't 100% miraculously fixed by the end of the story. But rather it is about Arya accepting that it is her mother's struggle and that she can be there and be supportive and it isn't on her to try and fix it.

I felt the story was a great book to add to the classroom library. Familial love, friendships, and romantic love are a great triangle of a novel.

Publication Date: 09/01/24
Goodreads Review 30/01/24

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The protagonist, Arya, is a character who, despite her good intentions, finds herself entangled in situations where her compulsion to fix everything becomes a double-edged sword. The complexities of Arya falling in love with her enemy while dealing with family drama and the silence of her best friend added depth and richness to the narrative.

The interpersonal dynamics between Arya, her mom, sister, and best friend were expertly woven into the plot, creating an authentic and emotionally charged storyline. Arya's growth as a character, particularly in learning from her experiences, was a rewarding journey. The transformation into a better person showcased the power of self-discovery and personal development.

The exploration of Arya's relationship with Lisa, despite its challenges and Arya's initial inability to see beyond her own experiences, provided a nuanced perspective on personal relationships. While Lisa's selfishness may have initially blinded Arya, her eventual growth and understanding added a satisfying layer to the narrative.

Overall, "Bollywood Movement" was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I appreciate being a part of Arya's story.

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Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment is a great story that does a great job of capturing the perspective of a teenager. It has funny moments but also deals with more difficult topics like family dynamics and friendship difficulties.

In a lot of ways this book reversed the usual plot structure of a romance book (even a YA one). Arya had drama with her family and friends but on the romantic side things developed without a lot of conflict after some initial misunderstandings. I thought this was really interesting because there are times when romantic partners are supporting someone through family drama instead of the other way around and I think we see that less often as the conflict driving a book than the other way around.

I also liked that Arya made teenage mistakes. She saw most problems from her perspective and didn't think about how her actions might affect other people at times. Her problems were all-consuming and she sometimes wasn't able to see when other people were also struggling. I think this is much more accurate than portraying teenagers as tiny adults.

I recommend this one for anyone who likes a story about family and teen drama with some romance thrown in. I think this is one that could be enjoyed by adults or teens but the primary audience is teens (as it should be for a YA book).

🌶️ - Completely closed door only a few chaste kisses.

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This was a pretty cute YA, though slightly on the standard side.

The romance component had some cute moments, but to me, it was more on the weaker side. However, where this story was strongest was definitely in the relationship and dynamics among Arya, her sister, and her mother. The messiness of family dynamics, expectations, and change felt very realistic, and this part of the story had a lot of heart.

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“Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment” by Arushi Avachat is a YA contemporary romance set in northeastern USA about Arya Khanna, an Indian-American teen in her last year of high school whose estranged elder sister, Alina, is home in the months preparing for her wedding.

I generally like YA books, they’re easy reads, entertaining, and often with engaging emotional and psychological exploration of families, friends, self-discovery and personal growth.

This book was strange in that it felt like a book about adults. Or, at least my high school experience was way more juvenile than Arya and her friends. There’s a lot of dating, comments about regular shopping therapy, there’s even a Friendsgiving we’re told it’s hosted every year by a secondary character – they’re 17, how many years are they inviting their entire academic year to Thanksgiving events? There are the obligatory references to exams and university admissions, but I just felt like – for all Arya has never kissed a boy, she’s having conversations and interactions with others I didn’t have until my late 20s. How Arya manages to watch four-hour Bollywood movies and still study for midterms and act on student government is a mystery not solved by the author.

I also thought there were some under-explored issues here, such as the mental illness of Arya’s mother and the dubious relationship between the parents (the dad is perpetually happy and always at work, and it’s clear the author – like Arya – can’t decide if he’s a bad husband/father, oblivious, avoiding his wife and children, or is a loving-if-absentee-dad).

There’s also some friendship breakdown moments that I didn’t love (Arya taking on some guilt that I think was totally misplaced).

Was it a bit basic that Dean antagonizes Arya because he likes her? Yes. But, don’t worry, Arya uses the phrase “toxic masculinity” at some point and the needling is described as historical and from Arya’s not-too-reliable point of view.

Overall, I did enjoy this book for the teenage enemies-to-lovers elements. A cute read, but I liked “Better Than the Movies” a whole lot more. 3.5/5

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This was a cute YA romance with a complicated family. I fell for Arya and her desire for control. I think teens will be able to relate to her losing the election, sister getting married, working with a high school rival, and figuring things out. This is definitely perfect for a high school YA reader.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the the publisher for access to read and review, "Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment"by Arushi Avachat. I never actually watched a Bollywood movie before but reading this book certainly felt like being transported into one. Arya is such a three dimensional character with hopes and dreams of her own. Her thoughts and feelings were relatable to how I felt in high school The situations and miscommunications were also very relatable. I love reading books with traditions different from my own and I loved the way everything about the different holidays and events were described. Not going to lie, I did get a little hungry from reading some of the food descriptions. The outfit descriptions were also amazing. Overall, a great edition to the YA genre, I just wish the ending wasn't so abrupt.

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I have never wanted to watch a Bollywood movie so badly! I am such a fan of this book, Avachat did a great job on this one. I loved Arya and instantly fell in love with her character and her story. I had heard a few people compare this to Never Have I Ever on Netflix but I think they are completely different. I feel like this is much more relatable and more of a coming of age story than the show. I will definitely be recommending this to friends. Thanks Netgalley for this advance copy!

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First of all thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press,

If you've seen Never Have I Ever, you'll adore this book. Arya reminded me so much of Devi, and Dean and her's rivals to friends to lovers narrative gave me big Ben and Devi vibes, which I adored, so I knew Dean and Arya would be a lot of fun. This book was a breath of fresh air for me, and while I've seen my fair share of Bollywood films, I'd never read a novel that gave me the same vibes as this one did, and I believe Arushi truly nailed the target.

I loved getting to know the ins and outs of the Khanna family and getting to see the different dynamics within the family. This was such a good debut novel.

(4.25 stars)

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Thank you to NetGalley for this eARC.

Arya Khanna is starting her senior year on the outs with her best friend and having lost the class rep presidency to her rival. Her estranged sister is home and preparing for a large wedding before the holidays. Things are looking rough. But between her family drama, a growing attraction to her very Darcy-esque presidential rival, and the wedding plans, she finds time to apply for colleges and work at the local bookshop. It’s her escape and that is so relatable. Arya’s relationship with her family is super complex and I did feel that her mother’s obvious depression wasn’t touched on nearly enough. It wasn’t resolved or given enough hope for healing. The sibling relationship was definitely the focus and I think that that focus did the parental relationship a slight disservice. Arya and Dean’s romance was completely sweet and slow and I wanted more of it. I could see the way her thoughts and reasoning played out and understood her. I wanted a firework ending but it felt like a sparkler ending: soft and over far too soon.

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This was such a fun read! I didn’t really have many expectations going into this book but I can say that I definitely wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did (although the scenes about college admissions made me feel both old and some FOMO). I wanted to root for Arya, even when that meant acknowledging she had to do better, and all the relationships explored were interesting and in the case of the romance, very cute. Arushi Avachat does a fantastic job of writing a book that feels like it fits the gorgeous pink cover while also including some harder topics and tougher subjects (mental illness, issues with family, etc). It ended up being a very quick read because I was enjoying my time so much, and I will definitely be looking for more of Avachat’s writing in the future!

A lot of this book feels so classically YA romcom while also having the advertised Bollywood twist. Additionally, I think Avachat really manages to capture a current feeling of high school and of senior year while not tying the book down with pop culture references that would be out of date by the time the book has come out. I wish I could relate to all the different fun things that Arya experiences in high school but I can still appreciate the authenticity of friend worries and worries about the future after high school (while still being glad it’s in the rearview mirror).

The absolute best part about this book for me is the relationships. It’s definitely a romcom and there’s a romance inside that’ll make you want to kick your feet occasionally (the hints of it are everything!) but there’s also the ups and downs of friendships, sisterly and other familial relationships, all on top of Arya’s own growth as a character and as a person. For me, it had the perfect balance of seriousness with fun and a world that was enjoyable to jump into. I would definitely recommend picking it up!

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