Cover Image: Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

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Member Reviews

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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