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Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance

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To All the Boys I Loved Before meets World of Dance in this delectable love story that combines food, dance, and a hint of drama to cook up the perfect romance. Radha is on the verge of becoming one of the greatest Kathak dancers in the world . . . until a family betrayal costs her the biggest competition of her life. Now, she has left her Chica To All the Boys I Loved Before meets World of Dance in this delectable love story that combines food, dance, and a hint of drama to cook up the perfect romance. Radha is on the verge of becoming one of the greatest Kathak dancers in the world . . . until a family betrayal costs her the biggest competition of her life. Now, she has left her Chicago home behind to follow her stage mom to New Jersey. At the Princeton Academy of the Arts, Radha is determined to leave performing in her past, and reinvent herself from scratch. Jai is captain of the Bollywood Beats dance team, ranked first in his class, and an overachiever with no college plans. Tight family funds means medical school is a pipe dream, which is why he wants to make the most out of high school. When Radha enters his life, he realizes she's the exact ingredient he needs for a show-stopping senior year. With careful choreography, both Radha and Jai will need to face their fears (and their families) if they want a taste of a happily ever after. A delicious YA rom-com full of heart, flavor, and just enough heat. -JULIE MURPHY, New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin' A tasty treat! Nisha Sharma always delights. -MEG CABOT, author of The Princess Diaries A sumptuous tale of dance, food, and culture. I savored every last page! - PINTIP DUNN, New York Times bestselling author


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To All the Boys I Loved Before meets World of Dance in this delectable love story that combines food, dance, and a hint of drama to cook up the perfect romance. Radha is on the verge of becoming one of the greatest Kathak dancers in the world . . . until a family betrayal costs her the biggest competition of her life. Now, she has left her Chica To All the Boys I Loved Before meets World of Dance in this delectable love story that combines food, dance, and a hint of drama to cook up the perfect romance. Radha is on the verge of becoming one of the greatest Kathak dancers in the world . . . until a family betrayal costs her the biggest competition of her life. Now, she has left her Chicago home behind to follow her stage mom to New Jersey. At the Princeton Academy of the Arts, Radha is determined to leave performing in her past, and reinvent herself from scratch. Jai is captain of the Bollywood Beats dance team, ranked first in his class, and an overachiever with no college plans. Tight family funds means medical school is a pipe dream, which is why he wants to make the most out of high school. When Radha enters his life, he realizes she's the exact ingredient he needs for a show-stopping senior year. With careful choreography, both Radha and Jai will need to face their fears (and their families) if they want a taste of a happily ever after. A delicious YA rom-com full of heart, flavor, and just enough heat. -JULIE MURPHY, New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin' A tasty treat! Nisha Sharma always delights. -MEG CABOT, author of The Princess Diaries A sumptuous tale of dance, food, and culture. I savored every last page! - PINTIP DUNN, New York Times bestselling author

30 review for Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Another feel good, motivational, entertaining read made me smile to my ears ( I’m testing their flexibility because my smile gets wider at each second) Quick summary of the storyline: Radha Chopra knows how to move like dancing queen; she’s talented Kathak dancer. But after learning horrible truth about her family, she feels betrayed because of her own mother’s wrongdoings and she leaves the international competition, giving up her dancing career, moving to Chicago from Jersey. She meets with ho Another feel good, motivational, entertaining read made me smile to my ears ( I’m testing their flexibility because my smile gets wider at each second) Quick summary of the storyline: Radha Chopra knows how to move like dancing queen; she’s talented Kathak dancer. But after learning horrible truth about her family, she feels betrayed because of her own mother’s wrongdoings and she leaves the international competition, giving up her dancing career, moving to Chicago from Jersey. She meets with hot Bollywood dancer Jai and slowly they become more than friends Jai wants Radha’s help to be choreographer of his dancing team to win the competition and in the meantime both lovers deal with their deep family issues, facing their own troubles. It so obvious for me to fall for this book: even though I have silliest dance moves I love to read about dance (at some parts Radha and Jai reminded me of Dirty Dancing’s Johnny Castle and Baby Houseman) food, different cultures, traditions. The books represent South Asia culture always pick my interest and as a fan of classic Bollywood movies, I’m always interested to read, watch and learn more! It’s exotic, eccentric, vivid, colorful, inspirational mosaic and as you dig deeper you enjoy yourself more! The things made me love this book: Both Radha and Jai are likable characters who are dealing with their problems from the past. The way of evolving characters to grow up, fight against the obstacles for building a common future together was fascinating to read! When I read the dance parts: I wish I could watch their live performances. The depictions were so incredibly realistic. The joy, the adrenaline, the fun with the combination rhythm and ethnic music bring out the best of the characters. After reading those parts I jumped on my couch and tried to do some moves. But... well... yes I’m ordering a new couch on Amazon right now and its expected arrival date is two weeks later! Dammit! I should find a better place to sharpen my dancing skills. The representation of anxiety issues are also genuine. I suffered from them at my young ages, now more wisdom combined with reading, devouring sweets and booze, practicing kick-box helped me to kick ass of entire anxiousness but this book reminded me of those days and I easily connected with Radha and I loved her boldness, her way to deal with her issues. Overall: this is fast, entertaining, feel good reading I was looking for earned my four blazing dancing, Indian, traditional, joyful stars! Special thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children’s/ Crown Books for young readers for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ayman

    Thank you Nisha Sharma for sending over an early copy of this book! Can you feel my heart flutter and do backflips through this review? Because that is exactly what was delivered while reading this book. I enjoyed every aspect of this book. It was so refreshing reading desi culture represented in an authentic way. From the relationships with family members and tackle on mental health, everything was handled in a way that didn't feel fabricated. I appriatiate this book so much. I found myself smil Thank you Nisha Sharma for sending over an early copy of this book! Can you feel my heart flutter and do backflips through this review? Because that is exactly what was delivered while reading this book. I enjoyed every aspect of this book. It was so refreshing reading desi culture represented in an authentic way. From the relationships with family members and tackle on mental health, everything was handled in a way that didn't feel fabricated. I appriatiate this book so much. I found myself smiling, my heart skipping beats, and my stomach growling (iykyk) page after page. I definitely bookmarked all my favorite recipes ;) It's the perfect YA Contemporary Romance everyone needs to pick up immediately!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    ➵ finished this sweet romance that's quite adorable, pretty entertaining, and definitely heartfelt. when i say it's a little bollywood-y, i mean it in a good way. not to mention the excellent infusion of dance and food—two things my brown heart really loves. rtc. 31.08.2020 there's not even a description yet but my desi self can smell the amazingness you know like recipe so like food so like smell...yeah ➵ finished this sweet romance that's quite adorable, pretty entertaining, and definitely heartfelt. when i say it's a little bollywood-y, i mean it in a good way. not to mention the excellent infusion of dance and food—two things my brown heart really loves. rtc. 31.08.2020 there's not even a description yet but my desi self can smell the amazingness you know like recipe so like food so like smell...yeah

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nisha Sharma

    Hello readers! I know, rating my book as 5 stars is super cheese, but since I wrote it, and I'm obviously biased, I figured it might be okay. Thank you so much for giving Radha and Jai a chance. For those of you about to start the story, I wanted to share some trigger warnings with you. T/W: anxiety, panic attacks, stroke, emotional manipulation/abuse This book was so difficult for me to write. I've said before that 'My So-Called Bollywood Life' is a love letter to my younger self, but 'Radha & J Hello readers! I know, rating my book as 5 stars is super cheese, but since I wrote it, and I'm obviously biased, I figured it might be okay. Thank you so much for giving Radha and Jai a chance. For those of you about to start the story, I wanted to share some trigger warnings with you. T/W: anxiety, panic attacks, stroke, emotional manipulation/abuse This book was so difficult for me to write. I've said before that 'My So-Called Bollywood Life' is a love letter to my younger self, but 'Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance' is a love letter to a future self I never could be. For more behind-the-scenes deets about the book, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can access it from my website at www.nisha-sharma.com. I'm also on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter @nishawrites. If you have questions for me about the book, feel free to ask them here on Goodreads!

  5. 5 out of 5

    gauri

    radha & jai's recipe for romance is a cute and fun YA contemporary about two teens connecting with their passion with a sprinkle of delicious recipes, family relationships, entertaining dance sequences and a totally filmy romance! not going to lie, the overall vibe of the story and some scenes were SO Bollywood style so if like me, you're missing the joy that Bollywood movies gave this is the perfect book to read. this book is delightfully desi. as an Indian, the cultural aspects were so familiar radha & jai's recipe for romance is a cute and fun YA contemporary about two teens connecting with their passion with a sprinkle of delicious recipes, family relationships, entertaining dance sequences and a totally filmy romance! not going to lie, the overall vibe of the story and some scenes were SO Bollywood style so if like me, you're missing the joy that Bollywood movies gave this is the perfect book to read. this book is delightfully desi. as an Indian, the cultural aspects were so familiar to read about, like an event that happens in my daily life but in writing. my mouth watered at the various, delicious recipes of Indian delicacies included and the descriptions of all the food. there were so many scenes that could easily pass off as a scene straight from a Bollywood movie! The familiarity gave me so much joy while reading it. both Radha & Jai are characters with cracks and realistic life problems which makes you root for them as the figure out their problems. i loved to see them face their problems, support each other and end up falling for each other. i admit their relationship falls under the insta love trope but as they get to know each other it gets so much cuter! there were some really strong relationships, between Radha and her father and Jai with his family and the director. one of the themes that i really connected with was the anxiety rep. as a dancer myself, i understood Radha's struggle so well. the performance anxiety and pressure from her mother were genuine to read about. Radha's character is all about dealing with her panic and anxiety by finding new passions that calm her and slowly coming to terms with her issues. i really appreciate Nisha Sharma for acknowledging seeking therapy for panic attacks and healing. family problems and mental health are not topics commonly discussed in south-asian communities so it was refreshing to see this book normalise it! my only quip with the book is that it felt disconnected at some points because of the scene jumps which obstructed the flow of the story. but overall, i really enjoyed reading it. if you're looking for a feel good book about teens deciding the path they follow in the future mixed with romance and dances, look no further! thank you netgalley and the publisher for the arc!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    i finished this book in <24 hours and it's going right on the favorites list radha & jai's recipe for romance has a perfect balance of wholesome, romantic moments and more serious discussion about family, mental health, and future uncertainty. radha and jai are actually so perfect together. jai is so unbelievably charming and endearing, but also i also love how selfless he is (almost to a fault). radha is, as jai says, a badass and i have so much respect for her. i appreciated how they gradually i finished this book in <24 hours and it's going right on the favorites list radha & jai's recipe for romance has a perfect balance of wholesome, romantic moments and more serious discussion about family, mental health, and future uncertainty. radha and jai are actually so perfect together. jai is so unbelievably charming and endearing, but also i also love how selfless he is (almost to a fault). radha is, as jai says, a badass and i have so much respect for her. i appreciated how they gradually learned about each other and how to best support each other. the two of them together almost give me linh and bao energy from a pho love story? or maybe it's because i love both couples so much. i enjoyed the way that radha and jai's relationships with their families developed as the book went on, and it was interesting to see the juxtaposition between the two of them. something that i really appreciated seeing was how radha separated loving something and commodifying (?) it - basically, not needing to win a competition/take professional classes for your passions because loving them was enough. the recipes, the dancing, all of it was so fun to read about. definitely go read this book. cw: anxiety, panic attacks, stroke, infidelity (mentioned), , emotional manipulation/abuse

  7. 4 out of 5

    cossette

    content warnings for: anxiety, on-page panic attacks, stroke, emotional manipulation/abuse, hospital scenes, miscommunication, bullying, mentions of infidelity

  8. 4 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    This was a wonderful, feel-good desi romantic comedy! It celebrates dance, food, following your own path in life, and love. I adored this - and it made me hungry too. - Follows Radha, a desi teen and kathak dancer, who, following a family betrayal, vows to never dance again and find herself, despite the wishes of her 'dance mom'. It also follows Jai, a desi teen and Bollywood dancer with no college plans; rather than follow his dream of going to medical school, he tells himself he'd rather stay h This was a wonderful, feel-good desi romantic comedy! It celebrates dance, food, following your own path in life, and love. I adored this - and it made me hungry too. - Follows Radha, a desi teen and kathak dancer, who, following a family betrayal, vows to never dance again and find herself, despite the wishes of her 'dance mom'. It also follows Jai, a desi teen and Bollywood dancer with no college plans; rather than follow his dream of going to medical school, he tells himself he'd rather stay home to help his family's business. - When the two meet, Jai discovers that Radna is his dance team's key to winning the regional dance competition - and perhaps their meeting, and the love that blooms between them, is key to facing their families. - I just adored this. It balances the sweetness of a romance with some awesome tropey moments with a serious examination of complex and nuanced family dynamics, anxiety, trust, losing the 'spark' for something you love (and then finding it again), and forging your own path, even if it is incredibly difficult. - I loved the romance in this. I loved that the story explores that communication is so important, even when it can be so incredibly challenging and scary at times. - This felt like a huge love letter to the joy and passion of dance, and also the intergenerational connection that food can offer. Content warning: panic attacks

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    This was such an engaging storyline that made laugh and swoon. I thought the writing was engaging and I learned a lot about the cultural aspects introduced in the book. Fantastic!! Special thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children’s/ Crown Books for young readers for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me. All opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adriana Herrera

    I read an early copy of Rhada & Jai's Recipe for Romance and absolutely loved it. It is a compelling and rich story about family and finding yourself. I love how Nisha folds culture into her stories and the nuance with which she approaches love and the crux between loyalty to family and being faithful your own dreams. I read an early copy of Rhada & Jai's Recipe for Romance and absolutely loved it. It is a compelling and rich story about family and finding yourself. I love how Nisha folds culture into her stories and the nuance with which she approaches love and the crux between loyalty to family and being faithful your own dreams.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarina_gov

    4.5⭐️ rounded up HUGE HUGE HUGE thanks to Nisha Sharma for sending me an early copy of this book. I loved this book so much, like I literally read it in one sitting and a couple of hours. Everything about it was absolutely perfect to me. It was adorable, romantic, and fluffy.💕 This is definitely going to become a major comfort read for me. As someone who uses baking and cooking as a coping mechanism, I absolutely saw myself in Radha. Radha and Jai’s relationship felt authentic and pure in a way I 4.5⭐️ rounded up HUGE HUGE HUGE thanks to Nisha Sharma for sending me an early copy of this book. I loved this book so much, like I literally read it in one sitting and a couple of hours. Everything about it was absolutely perfect to me. It was adorable, romantic, and fluffy.💕 This is definitely going to become a major comfort read for me. As someone who uses baking and cooking as a coping mechanism, I absolutely saw myself in Radha. Radha and Jai’s relationship felt authentic and pure in a way I don’t see in most YA books. I absolutely loved both of them and saw their struggles equally. Their relationship also felt very normal for a high school couple. It did not shy away from talking about topics like post-graduation relationship chances and sex (something I’m very thankful for), once again showing that you can mention things like this without having explicit or even fade-to-black scenes. This book spends a lot of time touching on cultural expectations. Typically this conversation is a turnoff for me because it is not handled well, but that is absolutely not the case here. Nisha Sharma did such an amazing job describing the different expectations and burdens placed upon both Radha and Jai. This might sound like a stupid thing to be happy about, but I liked seeing a lower income Desi family. Typically in media, when there is a South Asian character, they are always portrayed as upper class, which is not always the case. It feels a lot more realistic to have the diverse income distribution this book touches on. I can’t even begin to describe how happy it makes me to see Indian recipes being featured at the forefront of a book. I’ve never seen anything like that and I’m so thankful I have now. Overall I absolutely loved this book!! I can’t wait to recommend it to everyone I know and shove it down their throats!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Vine

    The book was phenomenal it covered topics that affect senior students in high school its definitely a must read and I loved all the recipes given in the book

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rushda

    This was a sweet read about two high school seniors with a shared love of dance trying to figure out their own futures. Radha, a skilled kathak dancer, is struggling with performance anxiety and debilitating self-doubt after uncovering a shocking secret about her mum. Jai, the captain of his school's Bollywood dance team, dreams of going to Columbia to study medicine but feels a responsibility to keep working at his family's store. Radha and Jai were both likeable characters. I sympathised with This was a sweet read about two high school seniors with a shared love of dance trying to figure out their own futures. Radha, a skilled kathak dancer, is struggling with performance anxiety and debilitating self-doubt after uncovering a shocking secret about her mum. Jai, the captain of his school's Bollywood dance team, dreams of going to Columbia to study medicine but feels a responsibility to keep working at his family's store. Radha and Jai were both likeable characters. I sympathised with both of them, and it was easy to root for them to achieve their dreams. My main quip is that the story felt a little disjointed. The author mentioned in a letter to the reader that she'd initially started out writing a rom-com, but then started exploring how this could also be a story about grief and anxiety. These aren't necessarily themes that all go together. I think feel-good, classic rom-com moments — like kissing in the rain, or bursting into a group choreo of Chaiya Chaiya on a train — were one story, and their complicated family storylines was another. The cooking, which was meant to bridge the themes (though only in Radha's case), was just sort of...there. The dance team drama seemed like quite a minor issue blown out of proportion, while the truth about Radha's (frankly unhinged) mum was a pretty big deal that didn't get as much time as I think it needed. There was  little too much going on. Overall, still a mostly fun read with a cute romance, an honest portrayal of anxiety, and the confusion that comes with being on the precipice of the next stage in your life. Would recommend for fans of Bollywood references and people who grew up eating Maggi with garam masala. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC!

  14. 4 out of 5

    ABookNook

    ✨ Want to dance off into the sunset with and adorable hero? This book is the next best thing! ✨ This book was such a refreshing romance! Crafted with simplicity and laced with sweetness, this book was such a fun read. I was swept off my feet with this book. Tropes: - reverse grump/sunshine-ish - friends to lovers - POC characters - cultural expectations Summary: Radha was on the verge of becoming one the best kathak dancers in the world…until a family betrayal costs her the competition and causes her ✨ Want to dance off into the sunset with and adorable hero? This book is the next best thing! ✨ This book was such a refreshing romance! Crafted with simplicity and laced with sweetness, this book was such a fun read. I was swept off my feet with this book. Tropes: - reverse grump/sunshine-ish - friends to lovers - POC characters - cultural expectations Summary: Radha was on the verge of becoming one the best kathak dancers in the world…until a family betrayal costs her the competition and causes her to give up on dancing. That is until the charming Bollywood dance team captain at her new school, Jai, insists she join his team. With careful choreography, Radha and Jai must navigate through the hurdles of the the team, love, high school, and their families to be together. As a South Asian, Bollywood dancer myself, I can tell you right now dance is such an important part of South Asian culture. It has so much historical, cultural, religious, etc. significance. This book did a wonderful job of modernizing that significance without downplaying it. The Bollywood dance team aspect of the book was absolutely adorable and extremely accurate. The representation and normalization of South Asian culture was absolutely beautiful. Family dynamics, dance, South Asian culture, etc. all were written well. OwnVoices books for the win! 🙌🏼🙌🏼 I normally stray away from YA books as they are sometimes too juvenile for me. This, however, was mature yet young at heart. Radha and Jai’s relationship was emotional and tooth-achingly sweet (in the best way possible) Jai was an adorable hero and I loved watching Radha's struggles and development. Both characters were written really well and were very fun to read. They definitely still had moments where I was reminded they were teenagers, don’t get me wrong 😂 I will say, if you are not in the mood to read a sweet, young romance, this is really not for you. The issues the main characters deal with are very YA-typical. For adult romance readers, this is a wonderful palette cleanser. But if you are in high school and bellow, this book is perfect! Overall, I really enjoyed myself. This book is super cute and simple 😍 I would recommend this! ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/ 5 stars | 0.5/ 5 steam (they kiss lol) Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Books, and Nisha Sharma for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion ❤️

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 stars Radha was a Kathak sensation, but left it all behind. She was determined to never preform again, however, she may have accidently awakened her dance-joy while exploring new passions. • Pro: Nisha Sharma may have warned me in the author’s note that this book wasn’t going to be as fluffy as My So-Called Bollywood Life, but it was still filled with lots of humor and joy. It never felt too heavy, although Sharma did incorporate weightier topics. Perfectly balanced with a positive net Rating: 4.5 stars Radha was a Kathak sensation, but left it all behind. She was determined to never preform again, however, she may have accidently awakened her dance-joy while exploring new passions. • Pro: Nisha Sharma may have warned me in the author’s note that this book wasn’t going to be as fluffy as My So-Called Bollywood Life, but it was still filled with lots of humor and joy. It never felt too heavy, although Sharma did incorporate weightier topics. Perfectly balanced with a positive net effect. • Pro: I say this every time I read a Nisha Sharma book, but if you’re not from Central NJ, you don’t understand how wonderful it is to see someone acknowledge that it actually exists. It’s always fun to take a tour of my stomping grounds in a book too. • Pro: All the food descriptions had my mouth watering, but it was even more meaningful that Radha was able to connect to her family and reawaken her passion as she learned to prepare her grandfather’s recipes. • Pro: After being a dedicated dance mom for 12+ years, one of the most gratifying things for me is seeing my daughter still dancing at 26 years old. I thought it would all be over when she went to college, but it was there that she rediscovered her joy for dance. I was practically walking on sunshine every time Radha danced. I wanted her to reignite her love for it, and I thought Sharma did a beautiful job capturing her journey. • Pro: Jai was such a sweetheart. He was a dedicated friend, son, and brother. Though I admired his dedication to his family and understood his quandary, I was also rooting for him to follow his own path. • Pro: Dancing, family, friendship, and food – there’s so much joy in this book! Overall: Though there’s “romance” both in the title and in the book, Jai and Radha’s personal journeys felt like a bigger part of the story for me. The beauty was that they had each other for support along the way. Feel-good and fun, I had a wonderful time with Radha and Jai! *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  16. 5 out of 5

    Saima

    3/5 stars. content warnings: (view spoiler)[panic attacks, anxiety, mentions of infidelity (hide spoiler)] This is an adorable contemporary romance. I adored reading more about their culture, the different types of dance, all the yummy food (gosh I could really go for some halwa right now) and their passion for dancing. I'm always a sucker for dual povs, so I appreciated being able to see both Radha's and Jai's points of view and their love for dance. It was interesting to see their different famil 3/5 stars. content warnings: (view spoiler)[panic attacks, anxiety, mentions of infidelity (hide spoiler)] This is an adorable contemporary romance. I adored reading more about their culture, the different types of dance, all the yummy food (gosh I could really go for some halwa right now) and their passion for dancing. I'm always a sucker for dual povs, so I appreciated being able to see both Radha's and Jai's points of view and their love for dance. It was interesting to see their different family dilemmas, Jai feeling like he has to step up and look after his family at the expense of his dreams to go to college, while Radha is stepping away from her dreams and love of dance because of its links to her family (specifically her mother). It's always lovely to see characters with different backgrounds and family issues work together to resolve things, and give each other strength to follow their dreams. My only qualm with the story is that it was quite slow at times, but was quite enjoyable. Thank you to Netgalley for providing me a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ayushi

    Thank you so much to Random House Children’s Books for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book so much. My So-Called Bollywood Life was already a favorite YA contemporary of mine so I had no doubt that I would enjoy this book going into it. Nisha Sharma does an excellent job of encapsulating the experience of being a young Indian-American teen and balancing school, extracurriculars, family life, relationships, all while trying to maintain your culture and heritage in Thank you so much to Random House Children’s Books for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book so much. My So-Called Bollywood Life was already a favorite YA contemporary of mine so I had no doubt that I would enjoy this book going into it. Nisha Sharma does an excellent job of encapsulating the experience of being a young Indian-American teen and balancing school, extracurriculars, family life, relationships, all while trying to maintain your culture and heritage in the United States, and Radha’s journey in Radha and Jai’s Recipe for Romance was no different. Radha and Jai’s Recipe for Romance is a desi YA rom-com that tells the story of Radha Chopra, an extremely talented Kathak dancer, whose life is uprooted after she discovers a secret about her mother. After leaving her life in Chicago and enrolling in the Princeton Academy of the Arts in New Jersey, she meets Jai Patel, captain of the Bollywood Beats dance team, and the two teens work together to make the most out of their senior year. Let me first start off by saying that I literally felt like Nisha Sharma stared into my soul when writing Radha’s Kathak journey in this book. The book starts off with a letter to the readers in which Sharma describes how she studied Kathak for over eleven years before getting caught up with other commitments and losing both of her grandfathers. As someone who started learning Kathak in kindergarten and then took a few years off to focus on college applications before getting back into South Asian fusion dance, I greatly regretted having to stop one of the things I loved doing. This book perfectly described how I feel about dancing and feeling that “dance joy,” as Radha describes it, and I absolutely loved reading about Radha’s story as a Kathak dancer. Any mention of the chimes of her ghungroos to the familiar tatkaars made me smile. I also found the arc of Radha’s performance anxiety and the issues her parents were facing to be really refreshing. Familial troubles and mental health are not very popular topics discussed within South Asian communities, and I really admired Sharma for not only including these discussions in the book, but also for hiring sensitivity readers to specifically review the discussion of mental health. I also really loved reading about Jai’s relationship with his family and Director Muza. At times it was a little confusing to fully understand how exactly Director Muza and Nana Veeru fit into Jai’s family, but it started to make a bit more sense as the story progressed. I do admit that his relationship with Radha kind of resembled the insta-love trope, but their relationship did feel more grounded and realistic, in a sense, than the whimsical love story in My So-Called Bollywood Life, which Sharma mentions in her letter to the readers as well. And I can’t end this review without mentioning the yummy recipes that were included at the beginning of each of Radha’s chapters! As a college student who's very new at the whole adulting thing, I definitely struggle with properly making South Asian food, but reading Radha and Jai’s Recipe for Romance makes me want to practice my culinary skills and cook these familiar dishes :) I highly recommend Radha and Jai’s Recipe for Romance (and any of Nisha Sharma’s YA books) for any young South Asian teen, for anyone looking for a heartfelt contemporary story, and for any dancer who’s looking for their dance joy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    satya

    Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this book. I was really looking forward to it being Indian myself but it just wasn't for me. I felt like the writing was too cheesy ( i understand it was supposed to be fluffy and like a bollywood movie but it was too much) and lacked depth in a way that I couldn't really connect to the characters. I also felt like the pacing was off. There were so many time skips and scene changes that we barely got to see the issues that played out and the characters reactions to m Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this book. I was really looking forward to it being Indian myself but it just wasn't for me. I felt like the writing was too cheesy ( i understand it was supposed to be fluffy and like a bollywood movie but it was too much) and lacked depth in a way that I couldn't really connect to the characters. I also felt like the pacing was off. There were so many time skips and scene changes that we barely got to see the issues that played out and the characters reactions to most of them, resulting in it feeling shallow. The relationship also felt underdeveloped to me because though they did technically get to know each other over time, the continuous time skips didnt make it feel that way and we didn't get to see any of it, making me feel like i barely knew them let alone liked them. I feel like the author should have reduced the skipping of scenes and written a little more of the characters feelings and reactions to the events around them and also allowed us to see more of Radha and Jai together as they're vital to the story. I did enjoy the aspects of food and dance brought into the story as they are such a huge part of our culture. It felt disconnected to me with the pacing, time skips, and the underdeveloped relationship.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    Headlines: Desi dance Family expectations Misunderstandings Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance was a light and sometimes fun read but that was also balanced with some serious themes. The story wasn't a new one, it felt a familiar trope and telling but it still entertained. This story brought some representation for anxiety and panic attacks but the link to an inhaler wasn't clearly explained in this situation and I thought that wasn't a generally representative experience. The desi dance context of bol Headlines: Desi dance Family expectations Misunderstandings Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance was a light and sometimes fun read but that was also balanced with some serious themes. The story wasn't a new one, it felt a familiar trope and telling but it still entertained. This story brought some representation for anxiety and panic attacks but the link to an inhaler wasn't clearly explained in this situation and I thought that wasn't a generally representative experience. The desi dance context of bollywood style and kathak was interesting. I did need to look up the styles to really get my head around the differences and therefore understand the translation from Radha's skillset to Jai's. These two together were fun and light until they weren't. I did struggle a little with the dramatic reactions and misunderstandings. Family pressures, loyalties and expectations were high on the agenda and the part I loved the most about this story was Radha's evolving closeness with her father over cooking. I also enjoyed the little connections with My So Called Bollywood Life which I did enjoy more than this one. Thank you to Stripes Publishing for the review copy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    nihaarika

    4.5 stars I really enjoyed reading this story a lot! It was quite cheesy and fluffy and so cute, and I practically breezed through it. One of the best things about reading this was getting to read some of the descriptions of the food (especially samosa, I love samosa) because they're all things that I eat in my daily life. As someone who's Indian, all the cultural aspects were so familiar and that gave me even more joy while I read this. I think this is a book I certainly would have loved to read 4.5 stars I really enjoyed reading this story a lot! It was quite cheesy and fluffy and so cute, and I practically breezed through it. One of the best things about reading this was getting to read some of the descriptions of the food (especially samosa, I love samosa) because they're all things that I eat in my daily life. As someone who's Indian, all the cultural aspects were so familiar and that gave me even more joy while I read this. I think this is a book I certainly would have loved to read a book like this in high school, but I'm glad to have gotten to read it now. Although it felt a little disconnected in some places (there were a lot of scene jumps), I still enjoyed it a lot. I highly recommend this! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the e-ARC!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I'm disappointed. I was rooting for this book to be really good :( The book is great with Indian references (North Indian references mostly. I found myself enjoying the Indian references of food, dance, movies and songs. Each chapter starts with an Indian recipe provided from Radha's dads cook book and holy shit that made me hungry :( I had to satisfy my hunger with Twisties. The romance in this book was so dull, WHERE WAS THE TENSION? It all happened so quickly and their wasn't much chemistry b I'm disappointed. I was rooting for this book to be really good :( The book is great with Indian references (North Indian references mostly. I found myself enjoying the Indian references of food, dance, movies and songs. Each chapter starts with an Indian recipe provided from Radha's dads cook book and holy shit that made me hungry :( I had to satisfy my hunger with Twisties. The romance in this book was so dull, WHERE WAS THE TENSION? It all happened so quickly and their wasn't much chemistry between Jai and Radha as well. I wouldn't recommend this book tbh, there's probably better desi representation out there in books than this.

  22. 4 out of 5

    JenReadsRomance

    I really enjoyed this! I especially liked the sweet romance and the complicated family dynamics for both MCs.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tanaz

    This book made me so happy. Nisha Sharma's stories are always pure (reading) joy. This book made me so happy. Nisha Sharma's stories are always pure (reading) joy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    The Niffler Shelves

    This book should be made into a movie asap. I can imagine it already. Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance is a wonderful contemporary which centers not only around dance and food, but also family relations and the stressful year before college. It tackles topics I could 100% relate to, like anxiety, fear of failure, or fear of not being enough. Both Jai and Radha have their own issues and aren't perfect, which makes them all the more real and relatable. I was rooting for them all along and wanted the This book should be made into a movie asap. I can imagine it already. Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance is a wonderful contemporary which centers not only around dance and food, but also family relations and the stressful year before college. It tackles topics I could 100% relate to, like anxiety, fear of failure, or fear of not being enough. Both Jai and Radha have their own issues and aren't perfect, which makes them all the more real and relatable. I was rooting for them all along and wanted them to be happy, despite their many flaws. I also loved how Indian culture was brought into the story, which was all the more refreshing and I always love to read about different cultures. I also really enjoyed Radha's relationship with her Dad and Jai's relationship with his family in general. Basically, all I have to say is it's been a while since I've enjoyed a YA contemporary this much. It's coming out this month so definitely keep an eye out for it! A huge thank you to NetGalley and Little Tiger Group for the e-ARC in exchange of an honest and voluntary review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shijia

    This was so cute! I picked this up because I was in the mood for a cute, contemporary romance with a lot of fluff. And I wasn't disappointed! We follow our two main characters; Jai and Radha. Radha is a semi-famous Kathak dancer, but after an incident during one of her competitions, she chooses not to dance again. Jai on the other hand is part of his school's dance team called 'Bollywood Beats', while also working at his family store and deciding whether or not to go university. When these two mee This was so cute! I picked this up because I was in the mood for a cute, contemporary romance with a lot of fluff. And I wasn't disappointed! We follow our two main characters; Jai and Radha. Radha is a semi-famous Kathak dancer, but after an incident during one of her competitions, she chooses not to dance again. Jai on the other hand is part of his school's dance team called 'Bollywood Beats', while also working at his family store and deciding whether or not to go university. When these two meet, sparks fly- quite literally! I actually really liked the growing relationship between Jai and Radha. Their meeting was quite insta-lovey, and at the beginning it annoyed me a little, but I didn't mind because their relationship was so cute and I loved how they supported one another. I did like Radha more, because I felt like we had more development with her and I could relate to her more, but Jai was really sweet too. There were some cheesy scenes, but it was just so well-written and I felt like I was watching a Bollywood film lol. There were a ton of references, and it was such an enjoyable read. The writing was so compelling you guysss. I smiled, laughed and also teared up a little. There is FANTASTIC anxiety rep in here, as Radha suffers from performance anxiety and I felt like her thoughts and feelings about her mental health were written so well, and I really related to her experiences. We also have a side character called Shakti who is bi, and I just loved her! She was hilarious and I really want to read a book about her life because I think it'll be hilarious and I just want more Shakti! There's so many amazing characters in here, I just needed more from each of them. Of course I hated Radha's mother with a passion- she was so controlling but then we did see some changes in her by the end. Meanwhile, Radha's dad was just so adorable! He supported her so well and gave great advice. I really liked how he was able to reconnect with Radha over his love of cooking. Plus there are a bunch of Indian recipes thrown in here, and it genuinely made my mouth water! Overall, this was an amazing book, and I managed to finish this on my road trip because I couldn't put it down! Thanks to NetGalley and thee publishers for an e-arc!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vaish -bookishbelle1008

    I want to thank the publishers and Nisha for giving me an ARC of this book. This was a fully filmy, Bollywood, ishq wala love type read and I found it to be sweet and meaningful. The various Desi elements from the food to the dresses and dance sequences are described vividly. Radha’s character struggles with performance anxiety and questions her future aspirations which bring ta focus on mental health. I don’t often read books with Indian representation that acknowledges seeking therapy for heal I want to thank the publishers and Nisha for giving me an ARC of this book. This was a fully filmy, Bollywood, ishq wala love type read and I found it to be sweet and meaningful. The various Desi elements from the food to the dresses and dance sequences are described vividly. Radha’s character struggles with performance anxiety and questions her future aspirations which bring ta focus on mental health. I don’t often read books with Indian representation that acknowledges seeking therapy for healing and closure. It was heartwarming to see Nisha include therapy and gently inform the experience the character has after undertaking it. The contrasting relationship that Radha and Jai share with their respective families was intriguing, revealing that love can be shown in different ways. Nisha sprinkles homemade recipes throughout the book of some of my favourite mouthwatering Indian delicacies, which I highly recommend readers to try! Radha’s father teaches her various dishes and those interactions made my heart full as I enjoy my father’s cooking and the love and passion he has in the kitchen. A fun, warm, romantic read that leaves you with a sense of hope and is a reminder of my favourite Desi parts of me that I am proud to celebrate.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Raquel Fig

    I know absolutely nothing about dance but I thought this story was really cute. Radha and Jai were both genuinely good people who only had each other's best interests in mind throughout the whole book. I like how Nisha Sharma shows that people can have different interests and be good at both. Radha was great at both cooking and dancing which I thought was a good life lesson. I would recommend this book to anyone who asked and think that you should consider reading it yourself. Thank you to the publi I know absolutely nothing about dance but I thought this story was really cute. Radha and Jai were both genuinely good people who only had each other's best interests in mind throughout the whole book. I like how Nisha Sharma shows that people can have different interests and be good at both. Radha was great at both cooking and dancing which I thought was a good life lesson. I would recommend this book to anyone who asked and think that you should consider reading it yourself. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an arc via netgalley in exchange for a truthful review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kiret

    replace Radha with Kiret and you have me sold 🙊😂

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bea

    4.5 ITS JUST SO GOOD 😭😭😭 This story follows the relationship of Radha and Jai. Radha has just moved to town and auditioned to audition a new school. She is running from her past, her failures, and the ruin of her parent’s relationship. She used to love dance. It was her everything. Her past, her present, her future. Who she is without it, she doesn’t know but she’s going to find out. Jai attends the same school as Radha and is a part of the Bollywood Beats dance group. He has dreams of attending C 4.5 ITS JUST SO GOOD 😭😭😭 This story follows the relationship of Radha and Jai. Radha has just moved to town and auditioned to audition a new school. She is running from her past, her failures, and the ruin of her parent’s relationship. She used to love dance. It was her everything. Her past, her present, her future. Who she is without it, she doesn’t know but she’s going to find out. Jai attends the same school as Radha and is a part of the Bollywood Beats dance group. He has dreams of attending Columbia but he knows it’s an impossibility. His family has suffered multiple medical and financial hardships. Even if he could afford the school of his dreams, he knows he needs to stay and help his family. Jai and Radha join forces to get Jai to college and to help Radha find her passion again. This story focuses heavily on family dynamics, mending strained relationships, and handling mental health issues. I really connected with Radha and this story feels very special to me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    trishla ⚡ | YourLocalBookReader

    4 stars “Ah. Nice to finally meet you, too. Maybe now you can drop my daughter off by pulling into the driveway instead of leaving her at the curb.” tw// anxiety, panic attack, child abuse rep // Brown MC, wlw (off screen) this book was absolutely EVERYTHING for me. While dancing was more of a hobby than a life commitment for me, I connected so well with the concept of "dance joy". Radha loves dance so much but the anxiety from her guilt over abandoning her last classical performance. Her journey 4 stars “Ah. Nice to finally meet you, too. Maybe now you can drop my daughter off by pulling into the driveway instead of leaving her at the curb.” tw// anxiety, panic attack, child abuse rep // Brown MC, wlw (off screen) this book was absolutely EVERYTHING for me. While dancing was more of a hobby than a life commitment for me, I connected so well with the concept of "dance joy". Radha loves dance so much but the anxiety from her guilt over abandoning her last classical performance. Her journey to New Jersey is a chance for her to start over, but she's not sure she ever wants to dance again. Enter stage left, Jai, the caption of the school's bollywood fusion team. CUE the background romance music. Jai on the other hand is also struggling with his own internal demons. As the youngest son of a poorer convenience shop owning family, he knows that following his dreams of going to college means his family losing one of their best workers. Along with his father's ageing health conditions, he doesn't want to leave to chase his dream of being a Dr at Columbia. With other various background characters, we get to see a slice of life into their last 4 months of highschool. Moments of emotional connections are interspersed with funny moments and addictive cooking recipes from her grandfather's cookbook. It was beautiful to watch Radha reconnect with her father and her cousin though the recipes. It gives hope to all those of us that have drifted from our family - through no true fault of either side. This portrayal of family was so real for both Radha and Jai's even though they were from such different backgrounds. I could go on about the romance in this book as well, but it was honestly it just felt so natural and supportive. Jai is the dream boyfriend for so many reasons. Often the male lead is either not fleshed out or someone that would be terrible as a partner IRL. Jai is none of those things. He has his own hopes and dreams. He is supportive, kind and selfless to a fault. Read this book to cry, get SUPER hungry and be sad that Jai isn't an IRL boyfriend. I need Radha's cookbook ASAP. Find me on: instagram The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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