Cover Image: Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment

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Member Reviews

The cover is what drew me in and I’m so glad I was able to read this. It had a fun concept and the characters worked in this story. I enjoyed how well everything worked in the story and the characters had a great feel to them. I enjoyed what Arushi Avachat wrote and can’t wait for more.

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I was given this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thought that this was a fun book. I really enjoyed the relationships that Arya had in this. She had complex and unique relationships with all her different family and friends and everyone seemed like their own unique character which is good. I really liked the book showed how complex family can be especially when some family members have had a falling out. However, at times it could be hard to keep track of everyone. Still it was a great book.

Overall I give it four stars!

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this book was super duper cute and lighthearted to read. the relationships between arya and her friends was a great development i enjoyed.

i expected more from arya's relationship with her mother and lisa actually, because i thought it would have been more interesting to see more development in that aspect. i would recommend this to someone who wants a lightheart read!

i would give this 4 stars

thank you netgalley and the publisher

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4.5 stars.

Arya Khanna’s was a really enjoyable coming of age story (with a sweet romance too!). I loved that this was more than a YA romance story.

Arya’s family was actually pretty complex; her mother struggling with depression, her sweet but emotionally absent father, her estranged sister. And then Arya, feeling the pressure to keep them all together for her sister’s wedding. All while applying for colleges and struggling with being VP on student council to her academic rival, Dean.

I really enjoyed the progression of her sisterhood with Alina, but the friendship with Dean was hashtag goals for me. He reads Pride and Prejudice for her. Brings her brownies. Watches Bollywood movies. And he is emotionally mature enough to realize when she’s struggling with other aspects of her life and taking it out on him, and he calls her out for it. SWOON.

Overall, there was a great balance of family, culture, and romance and I am thoroughly impressed by Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment and surprised this is a debut.

Thank you to Wednesday Books for the review copy.

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Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 💫

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment is a delightful, bollywood influenced YA debut novel by Arushi Avachat.
Arya's tendency to meddle, her arrogance and her inclination to instigate conflict, did not make her a character I was drawn to.
That being said, I did enjoy the animosity to love trope, auntie and family drama, wedding festivities and Bollywood influence in this book.

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This was cute and fun, and exactly what I was in the mood for today, but ultimately I'm not sure it'll be very memorable for me. There was a lot about this to enjoy, and I liked that aside from the romance, there was a focus on Arya's life as a whole, including her friends, family and work at the bookstore. I feel like for a book centered around a wedding, it could have had even more wedding vibes. All in all I had a good time, but I don't think this will really stay with me.

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RATING: 4/5 STARS

I breezed through ARYA KHANNA'S BOLLYWOOD MOMENT in a single morning and enjoyed it thoroughly! I think there are certain books that you read where all the references just click and the author’s writing feels familiar/relatable, and this was one of them for me. If you are a fan of the show Never Have I Ever, Bollywood movies, Jane Austen, Indian food, indie bookstores, and/or Taylor Swift, I recommend trying this book. It's a fun YA romance, but also delves deep into messy family dynamics, academic pressures, and complicated friendships in a way that felt authentic to a Desi teen. A really solid debut!

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Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment by Arushi Avachat is a dazzling debut rom-com.
Woah! I can’t believe this is Arushi’s debut! Like what?
This book was beautiful and heartwarming.
I absolutely loved it. Arushi Avachat is a phenomenal contemporary author, creating genuine characters and a sincere storyline.
I personally thought this was the perfect book! The concept, the characters, the writing.... everything. I loved how unique it was and I found that I was intrigued the entire time.
This was truly a charming and heartwarming story that I wasn’t able to put down.
This book was a real page turner.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the opportunity to read this ahead of its publication date in return for my honest review.

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DNF - thanks #netgalley for the chance to read this book. It is well rated and other reviewers adored it. So I assume it is just a me thing but I just couldn't get into it.

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Rating: 4.5

I’m not one to reach out for YA fiction at my age but I was intrigued by the synopsis. This is definitely a book for folks who enjoy Bollywood as it’s filled with references. Overall, I had fun reading this and it was quick to get through and wasn’t dragged out.

Arya: I was jealous of Arya on varying levels - I loved that she works at a bookstore and I would like that. However, the jealousy really stemmed from her love interest being the popular jock who beat her at class president and that she had to work with him as the vice-president. It just made me realize that I had a very different high school experience having gone to an all girls boarding school.

Dean: Boy do I wish I had a guy like Dean to crush on me back. I’m 28 and I’d be really happy if a guy told me that I looked really pretty but in high school? I’d have been over the moon! The fact that he read “Pride and Prejudice” after finding out that it was Arya’s fave book - immediate winner right there. Let’s also add that he sat and watched the entirety of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (K3G) and also cried during it!? My jealousy continued when he asked to slow dance with her and then later on asked her on a date - I need men in their 20s-30s to learn here! I continued swooning when he left her a hand-written letter and wrote that he wanted to watch more Bollywood movies with her and signed it “Yours, Dean”🥹.

Alina: I was very thrown off by Alina wanting to get married at the age of 22! I couldn’t understand the rush to get married and I think it added to my dislike of her. Her age made sense given her annoying personality but she was so immature and didn’t seem like she was a good sister, let alone a good older sister.

The Writing: Loved that we had chapter titles, and I loved the titles themselves - “Desi Girls” and “You Are My Soniya”! Also, is “Desi Girl” the song all of us brown girls taught our non-brown girlfriends!?!😂 I remember seeing a TikTok about a book character named Sheila Jawani and I didn’t realize it’s this book. I let out a cackle because it’s so funny (Note: she’s named after the song “Sheila Ki Jawani”). Avachat did not hold back with her Bollywood references and continued to add to the humor with her dig that Ranbir Kapoor is a 5 on a good day 😂 and the prevalent nepotism in Bollywood! I honestly wasn’t prepared for how funny this was and I adored that.

Again, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend this to my fellow brown sisters!

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Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment caught my attention because I'm sold on anything involving the possibility of Bollywood (and Shah Rukh Khan). It follows Arya's story and life in the months leading up to her sister's shaadi ceremonies. I have struggled with high school stories ever since I started reading again, the characters too often appearing incredibly juvenile for my taste. Unfortunately, this was the case with Arya Khanna, I wanted so badly to be on her side but I could not stop seeing her decisions and viewpoints as childish. That being said, I still greatly enjoyed all the Bollywood references (shoutout K3G) and Dean Merriweather. Solid 3 stars.

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Teenage drama fills this YA novel about Anya' senior year when her best friend is mad at her, her archnemsis beat her out for student council president, and her sister is getting married. It is a fun read but does have a lot of drama. I did struggle at times just to get through it.

Thank you Netgalley for an ARC

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4.5 stars.
First of all, I think I read this book at the perfect time of the year because I love all the fall details that were present! From Arya's love for seasonal coffee-shop treats (girl, same) to the school's Fall Festival with a pumpkin patch and Halloween costume contest, I could easily picture everything that was described, and I'm usually more of a spring and summer girl, but it all made me appreciate fall so much more.
The comparison to Never Have I Ever feels very accurate, but this book lacked everything I didn't like about Never Have I Ever (dead-parent trope and constant love triangle/romantic drama). Arya wasn't as infuriating to watch as Devi can be, although she does frequently toe the line between the fun kind of chaos and the exhausting kind of chaos (mostly because she's trying to help others and has it backfire).
I'm very different from Arya, and my family is very different from hers, but I could somewhat relate to how she felt the need to mitigate conflict between friends and family members. Although there's one person she never seems to want to help, and that's Alina. And I wish she didn't treat her the way she did. I'll try to be as spoiler-free here, but early in the book, Alina invites Arya to her catering consultation and specifically says that she doesn't want their mother involved. Arya goes behind Alina's back and invites her at the last-minute without telling Alina, justifying it by saying something like "they need to fix their relationship ASAP, so I'm doing Alina a favor." Why would anyone, even a teenager, think this is a good idea that would actually help? There's a time and place for working out family issues, and a meeting with someone you're about to hire to cook for your wedding is not it. It felt almost selfish of her. Did she not stop and think "this could end up leading to more arguments and be a bad idea?" And then it inevitably doesn't go well, but Arya apparently learns nothing, because at Alina's dress fitting (which Alina did invite their mom to), she says she debated whether or not to do the same thing (invite her without Alina's consent) before she knew her mom was invited. Her boss, Mindy (my favorite SC, besides Emilia) even calls her on this, and she seems to agree with Mindy, but she never seems to lend Alina the same kind of empathy she gives to literally anyone else in her life (her parents, Lisa, Andy, even Dean before they're on good terms). If she can have a whole conversation rationalizing to Alina why their mom is the way she is despite her fuckups, why can't she rationalize why Alina is the way she is? I get that she missed her. I have an older sibling, and if he just up and moved out and never kept in touch, I'd understandably be upset and miss that connection we used to have. I'm not saying Alina did everything right-- I definitely don't think she realized the impact her lack of contact would have on Arya, and she could've done better, but Arya literally calling her the most selfish person she knows was too far. So was Arya literally telling Alina to her face that she is to blame for their mom's depression while admitting to the reader that she knows this is wrong, all while being the peacemaker in EVERY other person's situation. This felt out-of-character even for someone who did what she did with the catering consultation. At least in that case, she was trying to help, even if she was severely misguided. This was just cruel. And I also completely understand why she was so angry when she found out that Alina planned to move even farther away after her wedding. While Alina had her reasons for not telling Arya, she definitely should've told her earlier, but I hated how Arya reacted-- instead of confronting her right away, she started skipping out on plans with no explanation and performatively showing passive-aggression any time Alina tried to talk (not even argue, just talk about anything) with her. At one point Mindy even tells her to just talk to Alina, but she doesn't listen. And don't even get me started on the scene where she goes into Alina's art studio and finds a painting that seems relevant to her struggles with both her mom and sister, and instead of thinking "oh shit, she's struggling too and I need to be more compassionate," she thinks "how dare she exploit our family's pain to further her art career." She didn't think about the fact that maybe Alina would paint as a coping mechanism? She didn't even consider it until Alina explained that to her when they reconciled at the end.
That being said, this doesn't mean I think Arya is a terrible person who didn't deserve any of the good things she got. She just should've tried to understand Alina the same way she tried to understand her mom.
And I agree with the reviewer who said the conflict between Arya and Lisa was entirely Lisa's fault for ghosting Arya. But at least Lisa acknowledged this, so it's not affecting my review.
Even if it felt like they went from hating each other to not hating each other too fast, I really liked Arya and Dean's relationship. And one plus of the constant conflict with Alina was that there was no third-act breakup with Dean, which I was grateful for. And the amount of mutual respect and getting to know each other that went into it (he watched Pride & Prejudice and wrote a letter for her! She started listening to country music for him and got to know his mom and sister!) was something I loved to see.
Also, the bookstore Arya works at is literally my dream workplace. And I liked that the chapters have names, but the names don't spoil them. And that there's a Bollywood song assigned to all the important characters at the end.

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Can I write about “Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment” without mentioning its more complicated cousin, “Never Have I Ever”?

The resemblance is striking and difficult to miss, also because even the author - the young and talented Arushi Avachat - has said how much she loved Devi and how much she inspired her in writing Arya.
Personally, the comparison was the buzz kill: I've loved the show, I've been watching it since its first season, and while reading this story, I couldn't help but compare the two of them and wish Arya could have a tiny bit of Devi’s temper and delusion.

Why, you could ask. Well, this is not just a cute and funny story about an Indian girl’s first love.
Starting with Arya’s relationship with her sister, the latter is such a hypocrite who ends up making things worse than before. She’s the one who's more similar to Devi, making mistakes and never properly apologizing, other than being aware of having a terrible relationship with her mother but still deciding to do nothing about it, and knowing of having hurt her sister and still giving a poor excuse to her.
Then we have Lisa, who we don't know anything about, if not that she doesn't want to be friends with our protagonist. Arya doesn't say a single bad word about her, and even if she was in the wrong about all Andy’s stuff, she wasn't the one to shut down and push what was supposed to be her best friend since fourth grade away.
Finally, Dean. I get what the author tried to do with him and their enemies-to-lovers relationship, but we don't get enough of it to properly see that. Also, from her POV, I see why Arya got mad over the years about his comments and his attitude towards her. More than an enemies-to-lovers it felt more of a “If a guy pulls a girl’s ponytail…” type of situation.

Overall, this is what was promised.
But her lack of badassness - if that’s even a word - and her constant need to apologize without biting back made me so angry I couldn't enjoy it.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley, who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

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This was a cute book! I really enjoyed it! I would definitely recommend this book. If you want the HEA, this is the book to read!

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I loved the story, the world building and meeting the different characters. I felt completely immersed in the story and couldn't stop reading it.

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I really liked this young adult novel. It follows a high school senior who is obsessed with Bollywood movies. She is also dealing with college applications, complicated family dynamics, a broken friendship and a budding romance. All of these elements are handled realistically, with care and humor.

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Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Movement is like a warm cup of masala chai and a hot latke. This vibrant book is great for anyone who wants a book that has the vibes of high school, young love, familial challenges, coming of age and blending cultures. It broaches these topics in accessible ways, making it a great option for most readers.

I can’t think of trigger warnings for this book and it only briefly talks about kissing making it a great option for younger readers who want to start dabbling in contemporary romance!

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I love romance in books, but I always crave platonic and familial relationships. Arushi perfected this in her debut novel so kudos to you! Well, more on that later, first let's discuss the MC- Arya.

Arya is a colorful character and felt as authentic as could be. She's conflicted, passionate, loving, emotional, and thoughtful. Her interactions with people around at any point were fun to read and quite insightful. I loved how Arya is all in, Bollywood style, and when she feels, she makes it obvious, and the best part- she is mature (not always :). Her crush for Dean blossoms during the book, and cute rivals-to-lover arc which I found unexpectedly realistic.

I can't explain how many memories the scenes with the Khannas bought back. Arya's Mamma hold a quiet power, she is reserved, and poised, reminding me in some ways of Neelam Mehra from Dil Dhadakne Do. While I'd love to see some more of Arya's father, I enjoyed Avachat's emphasis on the women in the family, especially with Alina's painting and its description.

In its depth, this novel is story of pride, acceptance, love, friendship, family, and of course- DRAMA. Avachat dealt with some heavy themes and did them perfectly, doing complete justice to all of them.

I'm not a fan of the Bollywood references in the story, definitely most of them are overrated. There are two sides of the spectrum when it comes to movies like K3G. You either love it, or you hate it. And I never understood the hype behind this movie. I got slightly sick with the number of times "You Are My Soniya" was mentioned in the story. Now I can suggest so many underrated movies for non-brown people to watch, but I'll say just this. Shah Rukh Khan is popular yes, but he isn't all there is to Bollywood so please give other celebrities a shot. (And there's more directors than just Karan Johar too)

I'm giving this book 4.5 stars, must read! Thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the complimentary e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Too cute! Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment pairs classic high school, rivals to lovers vibes with the overall feel of classic romcoms, but make it relevant for YA readers so think Devi and Ben’s dynamic where Ben is more of a softie.

The romance was on the slow burn side, but quite tender and filled with warm fuzzies. I adored how Arya and Dean’s romantic connection blossomed over a buddy read of Pride & Prejudice. And I will forgive Arya for believing the 2005 P&P is the best. While Arya and Dean were rivals for years and bickered often over the results of the student government election, I liked how they weren’t mean to each other. Some verbal sparring, but I really appreciated how Avachat kept the characters civil with each other. Arya and Dean’s conversations about the underlying source of their sparring and decisions to pick fights was also refreshing, and it was wonderful to see them hold space for each other as they processed emotions from parents divorcing, changes in family dynamics, and evolving friendships.

The romance, while so sweet, is secondary as Avachat delves into themes of family, friendship, and mental health. I think this story will resonate with YA readers who are navigating the growing pains within their families and friendships, and who find themselves on the precipice of big life decisions (i.e. college, graduation, complicated family dynamics and rifts, and moving). I appreciated the mature, thoughtful resolution of miscommunication and grudges.

If you love stories with small town settings, classic romcoms, meddling family members, and rivals to lovers, I’m confident you’ll enjoy Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment!

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