Review: Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma

⭐⭐⭐💫 3.5 stars |
A book about cooking and dance might seem like an unlikely pairing but Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance totally makes it work. Radha is starting fresh at the Princeton Academy of Arts after the biggest competition of her life as a world-class Kathak dancer ends in disaster. She wants to put her Chicago home and performing days behind her. But her aggressive stage mom and a cute boy named Jai won't let her. Jai is a captain of her new school's Bollywood Beats team and he dreams of becoming a doctor but his family's financial situation makes him feel like it can never happen. When they cross paths, chemistry and their mutual love of dance bring them together and romance ensues. 

I had never heard of Kathak before, which is a form of Indian classical dance, but I enjoyed reading about Radha's genuine love and appreciation of this dance form and all dance in general in spite of her history and fears.  Radha and Jai have a lot of sweet moments, including a very meet-cute, but what stood out to me about their relationship is how they pushed each other to be better and their straightforward honesty. It was really refreshing. The cooking part of the book comes into play because Radha's father lives back home in Chicago running his restaurant. While she's away at school, he gives her a cookbook of Indian recipes to learn. As she tries each recipe, it opens her up to the realization that she can pick up new hobbies and a closer relationship with her dad. Culture and family play a huge role throughout the book and the author weaved that, plus the romance, in perfectly with Radha's coming-of-age story. 

Do I recommend? It's a very cute book! It made me nostalgic for the dance classes I took throughout middle and high school. And the cooking part made me want to cook and eat! I'd recommend borrowing this one from the library.

pub 7/13/21 by Crown Books for Young Readers
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received e-ARC from pub for review


with love,