I will always read more YA books about cooking. Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance combines both my passion for cooking and my love of dance. Featuring a wonderfully precious story, and discussions about performance anxiety, this book is a fast paced read. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: panic attacks
Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance was swoony and a quick, entertaining read. I didn’t actually even intend to read it so fast, I just found myself saying I’d read a bit before bed and then it’s like 50 pages later. Part of that stems from the fact that the storyline has steady pacing with fantastic action, but also from how much I loved Radha. That feeling of having lost that spark, the love we have for something, is there anything more relatable to me?
Radha’s story of trying to figure out what she really wants, to figure out the lines between her love of dance and her mother’s dreams, is engaging to read. I’m a sucker for mother/daughter tension, and Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance has it! In many ways, both Radha and Jai’s stories have similar themes, with often different reactions and directions. Whether it be family pressure, the decision about where our future will take us, or the line between protection and love.
Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance is a charming book with fantastic character dynamics. While I had a little issue with Jai’s character in some places, it’s nothing that was a deal breaker. As a whole, I felt like Radha’s story and development was just stronger and also more emotionally relatable to me. Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance is about finding the courage to do the things that terrify us. To realize when we need help and how scary it is to fight for what we want, knowing it could slip through our grasp.
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