Cover Image: Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

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Member Reviews

oh my goodness! this was adorable and fun and sweet and cool and hilarious! i loved this book so very much and i hope that you'll pick it up! thank you so much to netgalley!!!!

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I really really enjoyed this book!

Arya is helping her older sister plan her wedding. She’s trying to have fun and make the most of it but there are a lot of stressors for Arya.
First is that she has barely seen her sister in years. When her sister dropped out of college she basically dropped contact with the family for three years. Yes, Arya is happy she’s home but she’s cautious and it’s not all easy going to try to get back to their original connection.
And in connection to that, Arya’s mom seems like maybe she has depression. So it hurt Arya to see her mom struggling more while her sister was gone.

In addition to these dramas, Arya’s two best friends used to date but have broken up. Her female best friend has kept her at a distance and it’s been easier staying connected to her male best friend. Arya wants to keep them both but she doesn’t know how.

She also suddenly finds herself seeing her former nemesis Dean in a new light.

It might sound like a lot of drama for poor Arya but I feel like she handled things pretty well and still managed to have some fun in the process.

This book was really well written. I can’t wait to see what this author writes next.

I received an early ebook edition from NetGalley then received a physical arc. Thank you!

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This was my first YA book in a while, and this was a great book to get back into the genre! Arya was a great character who dealt with a lot of stuff in her life in very teenage way. I loved how you could tell how much she loved her family and friends. She worked so hard to be honest about her feelings with those she loved and owned up to her mistakes. Also loved all the senior year drama and the lovely fall feels. A wonderful read!

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Told in the style of a Bollywood Film, Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment is a captivating, adorable, and simultaneously moving young adult romance. Arya is entering her senior year of high school, and there is a lot going on in her life. Her sister, who abruptly left after a blowout with their mother, has returned home engaged and preparing for her Shaadi. Her two best friends, who were dating, recently broke up, causing awkwardness and tension in her relationships with them. And at school, Arya is thrust into the role of Student Body Vice President after she lost the election to her rival since Freshmen Year, Dean Merriweather, who the blurb describes as “frustratingly attractive.” Arya must cope with her built up resentment toward her sister, a fallout with one of her best friends, and her budding friendship with Dean that could be turning into something more.

To say that I loved this novel is an understatement! Despite being the author’s debut, Avachat comes off as a seasoned writer, expertly crafting an excellent romance novel. This book contains so many elements that readers will enjoy, including a rivals to friends to lovers romance and complicated family dynamics. Arya is a loveable character, who absolutely gets bonus points for being a Swifite and working at a bookstore.

I can’t even explain how much I adored the romance in this book. There were so many cute moments between the couple as they fell in love, and watching their relationship develop was truly a joy. Dean is such an amazing love interest for Arya, and their relationship was everything I could have hoped for and more.

I also adored the family dynamics in this book. Arya’s relationship with her sister is complex and layered, and there are moments in the book where I was on the verge of tears. The
concept of her mother’s sadness and her father’s flaws were also interesting and thought provoking. This, combined with the romance and the complicated friendships, allowed me to be captivated the whole time I was reading.

There is so much to love about Ayra Khanna’s Bollywood Moment, and I could truly praise this book for the rest of time. I highly recommend checking this out when it comes out on January 9th, 2024!

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This book really touches on a lot of difficult topics. From sibling rivalry, depression, and friend breakups, this book touches on it all while throwing in some enemies to lovers romance! I also really enjoyed learning more about a culture that wasn't my own. This book really kept my attention the whole time. It was sweet and held a lot of feeling. Arya the main character is likable and you feel for her as she goes along in life. I really enjoyed this and I highly recommend! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the arc in return for an honest review!

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This book was so much fun! I had no idea there would be academic rivals to lovers, so it was a nice surprise to see some romance throughout the novel. I also loved the nuance when discussing family dynamics. This book was not at all what I expected, and the surprise of having a book about a complicated and frustrated mc turned out to be a good one! I really liked this South Asian coming of age novel and will be recommending it to all my YA contemporary loving friends!

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This was a cute fluffy coming to age novel but I did felt that overall, it was extremely rushed. The major plot events throughout the novel happened so quickly and I felt like the payoff for said events wasn't as good as I thought it would be. Arya's family dynamics were very interesting to me but I didn't like how Arya's mom depression seems to be brushed aside for the majority of the book. I really wished the author delved deeper with that because it just seems weird how Arya's mom is struggling with depression but we as readers don't really understand the true cause for said depression. Arya's father is also written as clueless and not a good husband but why is he like that? That question is never answered throughout the novel.

Arya and Dean were cute but it was so obvious that Dean had a crush on her. I was definitely not really getting enemies to lovers with the two like that. Overall, I enjoyed the book for what it was but I did wish the author delved deeper into the characters because I felt like most of the characters development was rushed. I also wished that we got to see more of Arya's sister wedding. I was waiting for the whole book for it but we only got a little glimpse of it towards the ending.

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Arya Khanna is a remarkable debut that resonates with genuine emotion and sincerity. With its intricate portrayal of a multifaceted family, a heartwarming romance, and moments of irresistible humor, this novel introduces a captivating new voice to the contemporary literary scene. The delightful progression from rivals to lovers, fueled by his exploration of Jane Austen and Bollywood films on her behalf, adds an enchanting layer to the story. The exploration of the intricate sisterly bond and Arya's journey through self-discovery, familial dynamics, and friendships adds depth to the narrative. The book boasts a rich tapestry of characters, each uniquely crafted, and evokes a myriad of nuanced feelings. Anticipation brims for the wider release of this compelling tale into the world.

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Perhaps since I am not the target audience for most young-adult fictions and/or romances, I’ve come across very many that felt empty to me. I think what they lacked was something that I felt I could connect to, or something worthwhile to take away from a story geared toward younger, more impressionable audiences. That being said, Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment definitely fulfilled my wishes for an engaging and worthwhile young adult story. I felt that we were able to connect with Arya and the side characters throughout the entire story. I really enjoyed how Avachat conveyed the Khannas in terms of their relationships with each other and how Arya was effected by them. The story was fun and felt realistic to the experiences of a high school girl. I enjoyed the writing style and the pop culture references! I think once this book hits the shelves it will be a huge success amongst teenagers and adults alike!

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I thought this was a great YA book. It had all the aspects of a good book and the plot never fell flat. I loved the si culture that this book had, and thought that it was amazing representation. This is definitely one of those books that I can see my library never having in stock. I am so excited for people to connect with this book the way I did!

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Grab yourself a chai (maybe iced, if it's warm outside), curl up in a comfy spot, and settle yourself in for an enjoyable read.

Arushi Avachat has written a charming confection of a YA senior year romance-tinged story, with a deeper underlying premise that surprised me, and will draw the reader in. You know from the moment you see the pink Bollywood-tinged cover that you are going to get a happy ending, but there are enough bumps along the way to make it interesting (which might be my sweet spot as a reader).

Arya, the main character, has a lot going on as her family prepares for her long-absent sister's impending Shaadi celebrations. Along with all the requisite shopping and pre-wedding gatherings, she's navigating school, feeling unmoored by the breakup of her two best friends (who does she support?) and surprising herself with maybe, sort of liking the guy who's been her nemesis throughout high school. And her family isn't exactly functional.

It's the family piece, as well as the navigating evolving friendships, that is particularly well-captured here. Arya has to really work to figure out whether her relationship with her sister is worth salvaging, and also to try and bring her mom and sister together in some kind of meaningful way. I've been watching The Marvelous Mrs Maisel lately, and wondering if Midge's dad, Abe, might make an interesting comparison with the role of Arya's dad.

Readers coming in with a solid backing in Bollywood stories will enjoy the familiarity of the way all of this plays out.
4 solid stars, and your YA readers looking for a rom-com with a little bit more going on underneath the frills will enjoy this.
Thanks to St Martin's Press and Net Galley for the e-arc.

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I loved this book so much! It had so many fun Bollywood references and I loved recognizing songs/ideas. Arya is such a loveable character and I really enjoyed following her story. This is a great book!

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I adored this novel!
I love how naturally Dean and Arya's enemies to friends to lovers story line progressed. I love that there wasn't an insta-love vibe and how we got to see them grow throughout the story.
The only character I felt was unreasonable was Lisa but I like that she communicated with Arya toward the end.
If you're wondering whether you should read this or not, YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD. It was worth every moment I spent reading.

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Shaadi preparations are in full swing, which means lehenga shopping, taste testing, dance rehearsals, and best of all, Arya’s sister Alina is home. The Khannas are together again, finally, and Arya wants to enjoy it. So she stifles her lingering resentment towards Alina, plays mediator during her sister’s fights with their mother, and welcomes her future brother-in-law with open arms. (Okay, maybe enjoy isn't exactly right.)

Meanwhile at school, Arya’s senior year dreams are unraveling. In between class and her part-time gig as a bookshop assistant, Arya struggles to navigate the aftermath of a bad breakup between her two best friends and a tense student council partnership with her rival, the frustratingly attractive Dean Merriweather.

Arya is determined to keep the peace at home and at school, but this shaadi season teaches Arya new realities: Alina won’t always be in the bedroom down the hall, Mamma’s sadness isn’t mendable, friendships must evolve, and life doesn’t always work out like her beloved Bollywood movies. But sometimes, the person you least expect will give you a glimpse of your dream sequence just when you need it most.

Structured like a Bollywood film (entertaining intermission included!) Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment will make you swoon, laugh, cry, think, nod your head in agreement, and quite possibly make you get up and dance.

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Huge thanks to Netgalley, Wednesday Books and the author for sending me a copy of "Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment" in exchange for an honest, unbiased review!

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment was a fun and sweet read. I really loved how the book was set up (like a Bollywood movie), with an intermission and everything. The pacing was mostly good, but it did drag a bit in the middle. But I was never bored reading this book. The romance added some more layers to the story, since we have to realize that Arya is just a teenager dealing with all of these things.

I absolutely love how the author wrote the characters. Yes, they definitely annoyed me, but they're imperfect and messy and realistic. I love how our main character, Arya, had to deal with all of these people in their relationships. I was definitely annoyed by her sister, Alina, but that's probably because I relate to Arya way more. They both were so different and unique, but they love each other so much and it demonstrates a very realistic sister relationship.

Speaking of familial relationships, those were probably the best part of the book. I definitely think the author drew from her own experiences, because everything felt so authentic and genuine for an Indian-American family (although, I've never met Indian aunties quite as rude as these ones). I loved seeing how Arya's relationship with her mother was so incredibly different from Alina's. And I loved seeing how they all affected each other immensely. I've also never seen a book about an Indian mother with a mental illness, and I thought that was such an important addition to Nandani's character. I do wish the book went a bit deeper into it though.

In the end, Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment is way more than a (very cute) romance. It's about growing up, finding your people and your place in the world.

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This was such a cute read! The characters made me laugh so hard and I learned so much about shaadi. This was an amazing debut and I can’t believe that the author hasn’t written more, this is such a great book.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I love this book. So. Much. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5.

I think the best thing about Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment was the characters. They were messy, they had complicated relationships with one another, they were never perfect. Not Arya, not Arya’s sister whom she had once idolized, not her best friends or her parents or anybody else. Arushi Avachat did a fantastic job bringing them all to life and showing the complexities of each character and relationship. I think my favorite relationship was that of Arya and Alina. I’ve never felt as if my relationship with my sisters was studied and then put on a page, but it felt just like that with this book. Alina wasn’t perfect, but Arya wasn’t either. And the two of them put together was definitely not perfect, it was a wonderful portrayal of a sister relationship.

The romance in the book was also a wonderful addition to the book. Enhancing the story without taking away too much from the main plot and subject of the book. It, combined with Arya’s struggles with her friends, really brought the reader back to the fact that many of these characters are teenagers and gave them the space to be teenagers with drama that feels so laughable, which is so refreshing to see as teenagers aren’t always lent that space in YA novels.

My two complaints are that the book dragged a bit in the middle and that I wish we could have gotten more interactions with Arya’s parents, who were the subject of many conversations but weren’t as present as I thought they would be considering their significance. Overall still a wonderful read and I can’t wait to see what else we get from Arushi Avachat in the future.

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CW: depression, divorce (recounted)

I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Arya Khanna is trying to have the best senior year ever, but things aren’t quite working out in her favor. Her two best friends recently broke up and are no longer speaking to each other. Her family is in the midst of planning her older sister’s shaadi despite lingering tensions. And she has to save autumn formal with her enemy and student body president, Dean Merriweather. Yet, in the midst of it all, Arya learns how to adapt with these changes.

I have to admit that I haven’t read a book quite like Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment, but this is a book I would absolutely re-read again. Capturing the essence of a Bollywood film (featuring an intermission, which I’ve never seen before in a book), this book is divided into five acts focusing on various aspects of Arya’s senior year and the shaadi preparations. I feel that the short chapters are easy to read through and provide a good pace to the plot since it never feels too slow or too fast.

Likewise, I feel that Avachat does a really good job with character development in Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment. Throughout the book, Avachat details the changes Arya goes through as she navigates senior year and her sister’s upcoming shaadi, which I think Avachat does really well for this book. In addition, I also thought Arya and Dean’s relationship was so cute and adorable. I loved reading their interactions on the page and was rooting for them till the end.

Other than my wish there could have been a bit more to the intermission part of the book, I have no complaints for this book. If you’re looking for a diverse YA rom-com with great writing and an adorable romance, you should keep an eye on Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment.

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Arya's a passionate character, but that passion worked against her throughout the story. She meddles a lot between her feuding friends and family members and doesn't respect their boundaries. When her sister doesn't want their mother involved for certain parts of the wedding-planning process, Arya invites her anyways.

Similarly, Arya's constantly picking fights with her friends and family just for conflict in the plot. She spends the majority of the book apologizing to all the people she's hurting, and then a few pages later starting another fight that she needs to apologize for. It was an exhausting cycle.

I liked seeing the representation of a parent with mental illness, but I didn't like how Arya continuously blamed Alina for their mom's depression. There's no one to blame in those situations, and it was just cruel.

Arya and Dean's relationship was entirely insta-love as well. They spend most of the book feuding and only start dating toward the last third of the book. Still, before the book is over, they were telling each other that they loved them. I couldn't suspend my disbelief for that.

The ending was way too quick as well. The entire book is spent leading up to the wedding, but it's over in a flash and there's no resolution afterward. I thought I'd skipped a page when the book ended because it felt so abrupt, but alas.

The writing was strong and the descriptions were solid. I also really enjoyed reading about these, new to me, wedding traditions and educating myself on the vocabulary that came along with them. Unfortunately, there were too many plot issues for me to give this book a higher rating.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Really enjoyed this realistic novel about girl who starts to fall for her rival in the middle of planning her sister's massive wedding. Her sister's wedding is bringing all kinds of changes to her life and family. She's not sure if she's ready to no longer being just down the hallway from her sister. At the same time, she is going through changes in her friend group as well. Really enjoyed this story and the highlights of growing pains that everyone goes through around that age.

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