ARC Review: Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment by Arushi Avachat

Posted January 3, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 12 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review:  Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment by Arushi AvachatArya Khanna's Bollywood Moment by Arushi Avachat
Published by Wednesday Books on January 9, 2024
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: five-stars
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A sparkling debut rom-com about a high school senior whose life suddenly gets a Bollywood spin when her sister gets engaged.

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.

I loved this book! And it only cemented the fact that I NEED to watch some Bollywood movies! I loved all the characters, even if I got upset with Arya for her stubbornness, once again, she was a teenager, so it made sense for her to behave and feel the way she did.

Honestly this is so much more than just a romance, there are tests of friendship, family issues, societal/cultural issues, and just being a senior and figuring out where your life is going. All the different aspects of the story were very well fleshed out and fit like puzzle pieces to make a complete picture for the story.

While her family wasn’t perfect, a mother and father that for sure loved her, but had their own issues, and a sister that had left her and was back, but was she really back for good? Arya felt so much that things were on her to fix her family, since she was the one that had been left behind when her sister left. That was something she needed to learn wasn’t her responsibility.

Her frenemy/love interest was Dean, who had won her coveted Student Council president position. It was easy to see he was interested in her by how he acted. One thing I loved about him though, was once they started attempting to be friends or more, he was able to stop and call her on her behavior, even if it did make him angry. I thought that was very mature of him, and kind of real, definitely kept it from going into drama for drama’s sake like romances tend to do. I mean, Arya was creating enough drama on her own.

Then there was the break-up of her two best friends who had been dating. I was so mad at her friend Lisa for acting that way. I mean I get it, heartbreak is hard as a teenager, but for her to not even give Arya a chance to be her friend. That sucked. It added to the drama of the story for sure, and I’m glad she at least had Andy.

There were moments that reminded me of one of my favorite recent shows, Never Have I Ever, but it was still a story all on its own. And like I said at the beginning of my review, I really need to watch some Bollywood and I was given many many suggestions of things I need to try throughout the story. I highly recommend this one, and can’t wait to purchase it for my school library!

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12 responses to “ARC Review: Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment by Arushi Avachat

    • Lisa Mandina

      I mean it is teen, but also family drama. And it works for me since I work with that age of kid. I think it helps me for sure to deal with them! Plus, less depressing than a lot of adult fiction.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I enjoyed it, but then I read YA a lot, partly because of being a high school librarian, partly because it isn’t as depressing to me as a lot of adult fiction, lol.

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