Arya Khanna’s Bollywood ­Moment

Macmillan Young Listeners. Jan. 2024. 916p. $26.99. ISBN 9781250331243.
Gr 7-10–Relative newbie Kishnani, who has Bollywood experience, is sublimely well-matched to narrate Avachat’s frothy concoction of family drama, senior-year endings and beginnings, and of course, love, embellished with timely references to classic Bollywood films and music. Almost as young as her star Arya, college student Avachat makes her debut in a definitive write-what-you-know production. At home, Arya is finally reunited with beloved older sister Alina who dropped out of Columbia and disappeared for three years, but now she’s back (surprise!) to plan her dream wedding. Mixed with Arya’s joy, though, is built-up anger at being abandoned. At school, Arya’s two best friends dated, then broke up (badly), unbalancing their longtime bonds. Four-year-rival Dean, to whom she must play vice president to his unearned presidency, overshadows her senior council work. But what happens when adversity turns amorous?
VERDICT Overcomplications are many, but true love waits at book’s end. Avachat and Kishnani delight.

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