Cover Image: Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

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Arya Khanna's Bollywood by Arushi Avachat is a cute young adult romance that transported me into a bollywood movie. Interspersed with the wedding festivities, this novel is a very light-hearted story revolving around the teenage life of Arya. Picturing this book as a movie is not hard at all.

Arya Khanna, a senior, is getting ready for her sister's wedding. But she is dealing with family tensions as well as conflicts between herself and her best friend. When I picture this story, I can see Alia Bhatt of The Student of the Year (a bollywood movie). Being a desi, I was transported to those wonderful songs and movies that the author referred to in the book. It's a wonderful feeling and left me with a smile. I really hope this book gets picked up for a hindi movie and gets its own Desi girl song :)

Thank you to the publisher for this book.

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A wonderful, modern, coming-of-age story with realistic teenage problems, featuring many diverse characters. This book is a great representation of a young adult title for today's teenagers!

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I'm always down for a cute Bollywood romance and this one was sweet and fun. The writing was very captivating and I loved all the dancing, sounds, and colours. I felt the energy leap off the page. I think that Arya was very kind and handled everything with such grace as a teenager, which is not always the case, especially in fiction. Thought this was a fun read.

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4.5. This was such a delight to read; it's structured like a Bollywood movie, complete with cultural references and song allusions (plus the end credits scene was fun to imagine). Arya's enemies-to-lovers romance with Dean develops organically with just a hint of Bollywood drama to make their chemistry pop; readers will love seeing their relationship develop. I do wish some of the fractal family issues had been addressed more, but that would have made it a much longer book.

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This book was such a lovely debut! I love a cute YA romcom and this one certainly delivered. I get so genuinely excited when I read things that are relatable to me growing up and the Bollywood references were top tier in this book. A K3G reference in the first couple pages is a win in my book. I grew up watching the same movies and making the same references as Arya and to see that on page was so cool. I too would love to have my Bollywood dupatta moment someday. I really liked Arya's character. She's a senior in high school, trying to figure out how to balance preparations for her sister's wedding, the growing rift between her mother and sister, navigating her own friendships and relationships on top of that, and planning for her future after high school. I felt for Arya at times because she genuinely is trying her best to make everything better. However, she is quick to judge at times and did tend to avoid confrontation, although part of that is just being a teenager.

I really thought Arya and Dean's romance was so sweet and wholesome. I love how they started off as rivals and slowly learn that that's not the case at all. I loved the backdrop of Arya's sister's wedding and all the preparations that went into it (also there's a character named Sheila Jawani which I thought was amazing). I would have a liked a little more from the complex family dynamics, although, I'm happy that there is some resolution in that aspect at least as it pertains to Arya and her sister. Overall, this is a great YA debut and it was a quick read. The romance is so adorable and I liked the characters. I would definitely recommend this book and I can't wait to see what Avachat writes next.

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I love a good South Asian bollywood inspired romance story and with a wedding? incredible. Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment follows Arya dealing with losing the student council president position to her rival - Dean. Her stress levels are only lifted when her two best friends break up and she's stuck in the middle when her ex best friend starts pushing away from her.

It's always tough being in the middle of a breakup but Arya handles it with the kindness and grace that I would wish for anyone. Even when tensions are high, Arya shows nothing but love for her friends - the type that's built on years of mutual bonding. You can tell these 3 are going to be friends forever.

Alongside her older sister finally being back in town after 3 years for her wedding. She's stuck in the middle there as well, as her sister and mother aren't on speaking terms after Alina was kicked out for dropping out of college to pursue her fashion dreams. But in classic brown girl fashion, Arya knows that while these aren't her burden's to carry, she feels the innate urge to fix them.

This book is set like a Bollywood movie, and I could feel the parts of it seeping through the page. The places for dance numbers, the dramatics, the gossip and the highs and lows of the climax. It was just such a comforting book and I loved that there was no 3rd act breakup between her and Dean. Speaking of Dean - I adored him. He was such a supportive and kind partner - and I loved how he would pay attention to her and showed how much he cared, like reading her favorite books and writing her letters after she mentioned how poetic it was.

The only reason I gave this book 4 stars is because I felt like nothing was resolved with the family drama, and it felt unfinished.

rep// Indian MC

cw// depression, divorce

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you to @wednesdaybooks for the #gifted copy! All thoughts are my own.

Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment was a super fun YA Romance. Arya felt like an authentic high school senior, which is what I want in a YA book!

This book has a LOT of drama. We have side plots with her sister, mom, leadership club, senior formal, two best friends… it’s a lot for poor Arya to juggle! I thought the story flowed very well and balanced all the side plots.

I enjoyed the romance in this book a lot. It wasn’t the main plot, but I appreciate how genuine it felt. There was a nod to Pride and Prejudice when Arya was asked how Lizzy went from hating Darcy to loving him to which she responded “very naturally”, and I saw this mirrored so much between Arya and Dean.

Overall this book was so fun and sweet. I wanted a bit more from some of the side plots, but I was satisfied with how everything tied up, especially considering that this is a YA book and not an adult romance or literary fiction.

I love seeing young faces in publishing and I cannot get over the fact that Arushi is still in college. I can’t wait to read more of her books in the future!

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High school coming of age. Family drama. Sweet romance.

✨ Book Review: ARYA KHANNA’S BOLLYWOOD MOMENT by Arushi Avachat ✨

🪷Book Synopsis: Sweet and tender, this coming-of-age YA book set in Boston combines an Indian wedding, family drama, and young romance, all during Arya Khanna’s senior year of high school.

Arya’s senior year is nothing like she’d planned. She lost class president to her nemesis Dean Merriweather; her two best friends broke up, fracturing their trio; her older sister is home to prepare for her wedding, by their relationship is fractured; and conversations with Arya’s mom are even more difficult. Arya will need to

🪷 My Take: This is a really sweet story. I really liked Dean and Arya’s young romance with him, but Arya’s coming-of-age growth and navigation was really the more centered storyline. Maybe because of this, it took me a while to get into this book. I did very much enjoy though the fun descriptions of Indian wedding customs, fashion, and food.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5)

😘 Thanks to @WednesdayBooks and @NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for this honest review.

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so much love went into this book. i read this in one go until 2am. it's that kind of book.

i think if you liked woke up like this by amy lea, you may like this. the plots are different but the vibes felt similar. i am so tempted to compare this to never have i ever, but the vibes are completely different. but if you're missing the show, then this might scratch that itch.

thank you arushi avachat, st. martin's press, and netglley for the arc <3

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4.5 ⭐️ Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment was an absolute delight to read (and not just because the titular character happens to share my surname)! It's a classic YA academic rivals to lovers romcom peppered with Bollywood references so many of us grew up with, enticing food descriptions, family drama, and of course- gossipy aunties.

Throughout the first semester of her senior year in high school, Arya attempts to navigate the complexities of a changing friends group, new feelings for an old rival at school, college applications, and helping her older sister plan the numerous events that are involved in an Indian wedding. Throughout these busy months, she has to look inward to answer questions such as whether the rift between her sister and mother is her responsibility to fix or if she is being too interfering, and how best to tackle the social dilemma of her two best friends breaking up. The author does a great job of evoking how stressful these months can be for many high school students with its pacing, and the relatable relationship dynamics and growth of the main character makes this book appealing to wide audiences.

Thank you to NetGalley and Arushi Avachat for the ARC!

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Thank you NetGalley for this E Arc!

This was a cute read that took em down memory lane with my love for Bollywood Movies!

While we think YA's are predictable you just never know what you will get. This one was cute!💕🙌🏿
The more YA I read, I love the nuances of family dynamics and realities of navigating it all at that age whether it be young love, family, broken relationships and the richness of cultures from different communities.
Arushi had me at the title! :)

Arushi reminded me throughout of my love for Bollywood as a teen. The 90s movie references incited dance breaks!💃🏿💃🏿💃🏿💃🏿💃🏿

The student council rival, the family drama, the rocky friendships and first loves-
This story captures a South Asian high school teen navigating these scenarios with a fun dose of Bollywood references around family, friendships and opposites attract.

A light cute read!
Happy Reading

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Book Review
Arya Khanna’s Bollywood moment is a lovely debut novel by Arushi Avachat! I just fell in love with the fun cover! This book definitely has 𝘕𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘏𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘐 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳 vibes (which I love). I often found myself comparing the book to the show.

While I enjoyed reading this book, I am not the target audience so I did have some things that I just didn’t vibe with. I did have to keep reminding myself that this is a YA novel because these MC’s truly acted more mature than many kids their age. So much was put on Arya’s plate and that made me sad that she couldn’t enjoy her senior year more. Maybe she would have realized that there could have been more to Dean sooner?

Maybe it is because I am a mother myself, but I really was bothered by the way the mother was treated by all of the family members - I was glad to see that Arya realized this and tried to fix the relationship. But the Dad, as sweet and fun as he is with his daughters, is so crappy to ignore his wife’s depression.

While the writing is good, I do wish that there would have been more character development (especially with the side characters). I don’t think that the argument with her one best friend was needed in the book, there was already enough drama and it was just another thing piled on Arya’s plate. I do wish that she would have fought harder to resolve this from unnecessarily dragging out so long.

Ⓦⓗⓐⓣ Ⓘ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔⓓ:
✨️Dean! I just love him- he is just adorable!
✨️How Dean read Pride & Prejudice
✨️Bollywood movies/dances
✨️The Bookstore & her boss
✨️Lots of yummy Indian foods

Ⓦⓗⓐⓣ Ⓘ Ⓓⓘⓓⓝ’ⓣ:
✨️Alina (her sister), she is so selfish!
✨️Lisa (her bestie), she caused such unnecessary drama
✨️The Dad turning a blind eye to Mom’s depression
✨️Avoidance of the Mom in general

𝕋𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝔹𝕠𝕠𝕜 ℍ𝕒𝕤:
Rivals to Lovers
Small Town Romance
Indian Marriage - Culture & Traditions
Gossipy Aunties
Family Drama/Secrets
Mental Illness
YA RomCom

𝐂𝐖: Depression & Divorce

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martins Press & Wednesday Books for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. I have watched a few Bollywood movies in my day and I love the clothing and the music. I know those kind of feels from this book. There was this anxiety during the wedding prep and the tension of the family Arya is doing with a rival at school. There is just a lot going on in this book to get lost into. The characters are wonderful and bold that one feels that you should root for them to make to their goals.

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In solidarity with the SMP Boycott I will be withholding my review for this title until SMP acts on the following:

1. Address and denounce the Islamophobic and racist remarks from their employee.
2. Offer tangible steps for how they are going to mitigate the harm this employee caused.
3. Address how, moving forward, they will support and protect their Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian influencers, authors and readers, in addition to supporting their BIPOC influencers, authors, and readers.

This is not a reflection of the author personally, nor is it a call to boycott buying this particular book. And this star rating (4.5) is a reflection of how much I enjoyed the book.

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Reading YA novels reminds why I am so glad I am not in high school anymore. I love them but I am so glad I don’t have to deal with all the teen angst anymore (now, it’s adult angst). Arya was a breath of fresh air: a teen who is really focused on student government, school, friends, and family and not so much romance, although that eventually ends up on her radar. I learned so much about Indian wedding customs and food that I need to find and try. This book showcases how messy families can be but how crucial it is to muddle through and reach out to those that are important to you. This started out a little slow but blossomed into an incredible coming of age story.

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Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for providing an ARC for me to review.
I really enjoyed this book. Having only seen one Bollywood movie before, I can't say that I'm familiar with them. but I really liked how the book was set up. I thought the relationship between Arya, Alina, and their mother could have been fleshed out more. I liked the academic rivals to lovers romance, and I also liked that although Lisa and Andy changed roles throughout the book, their personalities didn't change. This was a cute, fun book, and I really enjoyed reading it.

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Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment-a standalone

By Arushi Avachat-debut author

Setting: Boston

Page Count: 320

Rating: 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spice: 1/5 🌶️kissing only

Publication 1-9-24, read 1-8-24

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for this ARC💛 ! I voluntarily give my honest review and all opinions expressed are my own.

✔️ YA
✔️ Rom-Com
✔️Multicultural/Indian wedding traditions
✔️enemies to lovers
✔️family drama

Summary- Arya is happy to see her sister Alina back home after leaving 3 years ago. She is to be married to Nikhil, who loves Bollywood just as much as Arya. Arya is a senior in high school stressing over college, reconciling her BFF trio breakup, and working in student government with her nemesis-Dean Merriweather.
The characters- I enjoyed Arya and Dean spending time together and realizing their attraction. It makes me think on my own high school crushes I never told. As cute as they are, I also loved her sister Alina and Nikhil's relationship. They supported each other and Nikhil immediately became part of the family. I understood Arya's dilemma with Andy and Lisa. They broke up, so whose side are you on? I respected Arya and Lisa's reunion which was very mature . They talked, apologized, and that was that. Now Mamma was complicated. She was set in her ways and pushed away everyone who didn't agree with her. She was depressed and didn't have a clue how to reach out for help. I loved the cultural ceremonies before the wedding. I had to look a lot of words up for Shaadi, but I could picture their celebrations. Shout out to the movie Bend It Like Beckham, watching it helped a lot.

Overall, I enjoyed this YA novel, but I need the steamy scenes. I need cursing and stupid misunderstandings.

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4.5 rounded to 5

This first novel is a very ambitious try at giving the reader a Bollywood film in fiction form. When you consider that one of the elements that makes Bollywood films a subgenre of its own is the lavish musical and dance numbers, with gorgeous sets, swoony songs, and glorious choreography, that is a tough bill to fill. Naming a lot of the great Bollywood films only works if you've seen them, and stopping the action every few paragraphs to insert lists of delicious foods doesn't quite serve the same function.

Still, that said, I loved this diversity-friendly story. Where the author really shines is in the family and friend dynamics, underscored by quite a chorus of aunties. Arya is often a difficult character to like: she's driven, resentful (for reasons) and oblivious to clues, but the author develops her growth arc naturally, and the romance is as sweet as any Bollywood movie romance.

Everything works out to smiles, which is the promise of a Bollywood happy ending, and though we got the dancing without the music or glorious sets, there is enough love for Punjabi wedding culture especially for the reader to want to jump over to Netflix and start checking out those movies. Or rewatching them!

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Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment is a fun and emotional YA book. She loves Bollywood movies and uses them to help her escape. Now Arya is helping her sister plan her wedding and she's learning to let past drama go for the sake of it. Things get complicated for her as her plans don't go as she hoped. She's trying to keep the peace at home and with her friends. She learns that life isn't always a movie and she has to find a way to navigate it. This was a great debut novel and I really enjoyed it!

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I loved the culture in this story, especially the wedding events and traditions. I also thought the Bollywood movies seemed fun and I might have to check one out.

The story was cute overall and easy to read. I thought the middle got a little slow and was hoping for more wrap up concerning Arya's parents and her family's relationships with each other.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All opinions are my own. Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the copy.

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