Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance

Rate this book
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

336 pages, Hardcover

First published July 13, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Nisha Sharma

10 books1,562 followers
Nisha Sharma is the critically acclaimed author of YA and adult contemporary romances including My So-Called Bollywood Life, Radha and Jai’s Recipe for Romance, The Singh Family Trilogy and the If Shakespeare was an Auntie series. Her books have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly and more. She lives in Pennsylvania with her Alaskan husband, her cat Lizzie Bennett and her dog Nancey Drew. You can find her online at Nisha-sharma.com or on TikTok and Instagram @nishawrites.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
427 (22%)
4 stars
790 (41%)
3 stars
558 (28%)
2 stars
132 (6%)
1 star
18 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 438 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,132 reviews39.3k followers
July 23, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Ayman.
191 reviews70.9k followers
July 30, 2021
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!!
Profile Image for Nisha Sharma.
Author 10 books1,562 followers
May 13, 2021
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!

Profile Image for Fanna.
987 reviews498 followers
September 15, 2021
➵ 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
Profile Image for gauri.
178 reviews386 followers
March 20, 2022
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!
Profile Image for CW ✨.
631 reviews1,689 followers
September 15, 2021
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
Profile Image for Caroline.
172 reviews339 followers
August 4, 2021
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
Profile Image for MissBecka Gee.
1,445 reviews586 followers
July 22, 2022
I was switching between the audio and physical books for this.
While I highly enjoyed the narration on this one, I prefer reading recipes to myself.
My suggestion is enjoy the audio book while using the hardback for the recipes.
Looking forward to trying out some of the tasty treats in the fall.
Summer is too hot for using the oven!
Profile Image for Adriana Herrera.
Author 39 books1,020 followers
January 23, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Nursebookie.
1,994 reviews305 followers
July 24, 2021
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.


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.
Profile Image for Aarushi.
293 reviews78 followers
October 10, 2021
Please do not talk to me about this book. I'm extremely depressed right now because of it.

Why? Because I'm lonely. And I just NEED my own Jai and life is being extremely unfair to me right now.

I understand that I'm not a super beautiful, internationally-acclaimed world ranked Kathak dancer, but COME ON. I'm really not that bad, last time I checked. It doesn't help that I can see my exact life playing out like this.

Like, take your average white YA contemporary. The characters are white and can pretty much do whatever they want without consequences (something I most certainly CANNOT do), but Radha and Jai are brown kids who love to dance and in most cases are pretty smart. See why I relate a little TOO much?

synopsis - This book follows Radha, who's an internationally-acclaimed (I'm not even kidding. She actually is) Kathak dancer, who's also internationally ranked as one of the best Kathak dancers in the world. But then some stuff happens, and she drops out. Right on the eve of the semifinals of Internationals for Kathak. So now she moves to New Jersey to keep a low profile away from everyone and everything, including dance.

Jai's the captain of the bollywood dance team at the high school which he goes to (and incidentally, the one where Radha's started attending), and he's desperately in need of a choreographer. And Radha is the perfect candidate. Except, Radha doesn't want to dance. It brings too many bad memories. So now Jai has to convince Radha to join the team and dance, and help her find herself, while maybe learning some things about himself, too.

characters -

Radha- I just related to Radha so much. With her family cultures, her relationship with her mother and father, just everything. Her story was written beautifully, and I loved reading about her anxiety and how it impacted her and how she worked through it. I found a lot of myself in Radha (also makes it easier to live through her LMAO), except the part where she's, like, a super good dancer 🤡

Jai- Jai is my dream man. I'm not even kidding. He's a dancer, like Hrithik Roshan. He LOOKS like Ranveer Singh. His personality is the equivalent of Shah Rukh Khan as Raj in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Then, he's super smart. He actually WANTS to be a doctor. He's family-oriented and always tries to put them first. He's kind and funny and all around awesome. I kid you not, he is my dream man. Like I've said that before, but this is the one contemporary-fiction man who it really feels like has been stolen from my dreams. He's the Raj to Radha's Simran <3

I can go on and on about these two. Also, for people (like me) that've read My So-Called Bollywood Life, also written by this author, the really small easter egg is SO CUTE. I love that both these books take place in the same universe.

plot - you really can't expect much from YA contemporaries. It's more often than not that the plot isn't really the best. Radha and Jai's was definitely very fluffy, and it gave what I expected. Something very lighthearted and fun to read. You thankfully do not have any emotional toll over what has occurred during the book (fantasy books have given me severe trauma), and you get exactly what you came for. Something to make you just happy. This book makes me happy. Thank you for coming to my ted talk :D

diversity - I loved how diverse this book was. From dealing with Radha's family and her anxiety, talking about her cultural roots to Jai's family and how their status has affected them, and especially his father and uncle's health conditions and how that affected him. I can't talk about how accurate it would be if that happened in real life, but it felt very well done to me. I enjoyed reading about it, and they weren't issues that made me sad, but made me still feel for them and relate to them.

Also, their heritage. I related so much to that part. It was actually accurate and not an over-exaggerated version of their culture, and kept true to roots. The Indian recipes! The Indian fusion recipes! This book, additionally, made me very hungry.

romance - I mean, it's in the title. Romance is the main aspect of this book, and I felt so happy reading such a fluffy romance. Again, took no large emotional toll for me, except that fact that I can't have someone like Jai (or Jai himself, I'm not picky) 🥲. The plus side, though? I'm Jai's type! The romance was a little cliche, and by no means perfectly written, but it's something to just make you feel butterflies and happiness inside.

overall - This book is not perfect. But it was enjoyable, and that's all that matters to my heart right now 😩I would recommend to everyone looking for a fun, desi-inspired read! It's not the best, but I think it's something everyone will enjoy. I've been giving so many books five stars lately lol but I think all of them deserve it. This book has probably become one of my favorite, possibly my favorite fluffy contemporary book I've read this year!

5 stars! going to wallow in my loneliness now brb 😭
Profile Image for Sarina_gov.
39 reviews135 followers
July 13, 2021
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!!
Profile Image for nitya.
352 reviews266 followers
December 25, 2021
Somehow I enjoyed this a LOT more than My So-Called Bollywood Life? Maybe it was the dancing theme, or recipes scattered throughout? Or the rich girl/poor boy trope? Anyway, this was cheesy but super fun!!

And the cameos were A++++

Content warning: hospitalization of a loved one, panic attacks/anxiety, cheating (mentioned), car accident (mentioned)
Profile Image for Chelsea Vine.
42 reviews
July 20, 2021
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
Profile Image for satya.
72 reviews46 followers
January 23, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Sahitya.
1,021 reviews203 followers
November 10, 2021
This was adorable and sweet and fun, and I absolutely loved all the Bollywood references. I haven’t been reading YA contemporaries at all these days but I couldn’t resist a book by Nisha and she didn’t disappoint. I read it in a bit of a rush because I didn’t wanna put it down but I think the best way to read this one is to relax with a super fun Indian movie songs playlist and let it entertain you
Profile Image for JenReadsRomance.
291 reviews1,464 followers
July 16, 2021
I really enjoyed this! I especially liked the sweet romance and the complicated family dynamics for both MCs.
Profile Image for ABookNook.
149 reviews137 followers
July 19, 2021
✨ 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.

- reverse grump/sunshine-ish
- friends to lovers
- POC characters
- cultural expectations

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 ❤️
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,379 reviews233 followers
July 26, 2021
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.

Profile Image for Saima.
332 reviews20 followers
July 18, 2021
3/5 stars.

content warnings:

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.
Profile Image for Ayushi (bookwormbullet).
418 reviews816 followers
March 29, 2021
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.
Profile Image for nihaarika.
370 reviews32 followers
June 30, 2021
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!
Profile Image for Toshita.
383 reviews61 followers
November 4, 2021
This book had so much potential. SO MUCH POTENTIAL. Unfortunately, it did not meet it's potential or my expectations. Also this review is spoilery so just watch out.

First of all, I just want to say that Radha and Jai's experience is not like my own because they are Punjabi/Gujrati and I am not. So there is a possibility that I missed out on some subtleties.

I have one problem with this book but it's a huge problem that covers several other problems. The problem that I have with this book was that it was too fast. I don't mean that in a "Oh no it went by so fast, I wanted to savor it!" but in a everything progressed much faster than it should have. They went from friends to fighting to dating way too quickly. Like over the span of two-three weeks. Their romance progressed super fast. Literally were touchy-feely very quickly and the Jai stole food from Radha the second time they met. Who does that?

Which brings me to the fact that there was no character development. Well there way but it wasn't as noticeable and palpable. I don't if that makes sense but I did not see the evolution of the characters. They just hopped from stage to stage (pun unintended). The lack of tangible character development made the book go by even faster because feelings and thoughts were not explored as deeply as they could have been. It may be because they had crushes on each other, but More Than Maybe still managed so show the development so it's not impossible. Also there was insta-love which I did not vibe with.

Lastly, they weren't acting very teenager-y but that could just be because of how disciplined they were as people because they'd danced for years.

I loved the idea and I want more of Bollywood dancing and overall Indian arts to be represented by books but this one was not executed as well as it could have been.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 438 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.