A perfect disaster - or a perfect match? Find out in this heartfelt rom-com novella....
"Just three dates. That's all I'm asking. One boy shares your sense of humor. Another has similar interests and ideals. The third boy has a helpful heart like yours."
When Aditi Gupta comes home late from work as a pediatric resident one night and her grandfather offers this pitch, she reluctantly agrees. She's far too busy with med school to be dating, and besides, she dreams of a love for the ages, like her parents, not an arranged marriage. And yet she finds herself agreeing to three dates because she loves her grandfather. All she has to do is make herself utterly ineligible and problem solved!
And sure enough her first date with the disgustingly handsome and intriguing Krishna Lal goes exactly as planned: not well! But then the second date comes around and Aditi finds that there is more at stake than just three bad dates. Suddenly, her heart is on the line, and maybe her grandfather's, too.
Falguni Kothari is a USA Today bestselling author of “messy love stories” and kick-ass fantasy tales that are a “good choice for women’s fiction book groups.” Her novels are all flavored by her South Asian heritage and expat experiences, and delve into common, yet unconventional, themes of marriage, romance, friendship, family and parenthood. Her books have been reviewed and praised in a number of podcasts and publications, including the New York Times Book Review, starred reviews in Booklist and Shelf Awareness, Popsugar, Woman’s World magazine and The Times of India. Her essays and short stories have been published in Femina (India), Better Homes and Gardens, Book Riot and Writer’s Digest. She is also an award-winning Indian Classical, Latin and Ballroom dancer, practices Karaoke in her downtime, is an empty-nester, and loathes flying and deadlines. Find her online at www.falgunikothari.com and sign up for her newsletter for the latest updates and free stories!
The Set Up is the story of Aditi and Krishna who are set up on a blind date by their respective grandparents. Neither is overly excited about this date and they are ready to sabotage themselves so they never have to meet again. Things start off rockily but somehow these two end up liking each other much more than they anticipated. When they discover that their grandparents had a bit of a "the-one-who-got-away" type of relationship back in the day, they decide to set up their grandparents instead. Insert turns of flirty texts and encounters with Aditi and Krishna bonding. I thought this novella was super cute and I had a stupid grin throughout most of it. While both Aditi and Krishna are likable and fun, it's their meddling grandparents who are scene stealers. They are so freaking adorable and made me feel all warm and cozy. Even though I knew this was just a novella, I was a little sad at how short this listen was because the characters had such good chemistry and I think there was room to make this a promising full-length novel. Obviously, that is me being selfish because I enjoyed learning about the characters so much and would have loved to spend more time with them. As for the narration, I enjoyed it for the most part. I thought Soneela, in particular, was brilliant and really brought Aditi's character to life. Vikas Adam, I struggled a little bit with. I especially did not like his voice or accent when he was quoting the desi aunties in this book. I'm sorry I know this is a little rude but he sometimes made Krishna come across as an a-hole. His sometimes cringe-worthy performance wasn't enough to completely take away from my enjoyment of the overall story though. All in all, this was wonderful and I look forward to reading more from Falguni Kothari!
2020 Winter Bingo (#SnowInLoveBingo❄️): Brown Eyes
I agree with reviews saying that the male narrator’s voice for female characters is... not great. Disappointing because I grimaced for the majority of his performance (audiobook narration is SO essential for enjoying a story).
This is more a HFN, not a HEA (audiobook is only two hours long and they’ve barely started dating at the end). The grandparents’ subplot is cute. Read via Audible Plus (narrated by Soneela Nankani and Vikas Adam).
Aditi has a crazy busy life, currently going through med school working as resident at a pediatric ward. She has no time for dating so her grandfather decides it's time to do something about that and wants to set her up with someone.
Aditi agrees for 3 dates only and hopes that it will show her grandfather that arranged match ups in this day and age don't work. Then she can get back to living her life her way. However, it turns out that Krishna isn't as bad as she thought he might be, apart from the first date anyway.
There is another love story playing out the background though and the set up takes on a whole new meaning :)
I think this story suffered because of the length.
Aditi and Krishna simply do not have enough time together for me to believe in their romance. In theory, everything should have been super cute, but in execution there was a lot to be desired.
Krishna's pov is just horrid. He's a misogynist. He thinks he's better than everyone else because he works in advertising, and he only started respecting Aditi as a person once he found out she was a doctor. He literally thought himself intellectually superior to her and was pretty patronizing on their first date. Phew.
This is a 2-hour audiobook so I understand that not many things can happen, but at the very least I thought I would be rooting for the main couple. I did not. The grandparents were super cute though.
By the end of the book I'm not sure if we were supposed to expect a Happily Ever After or a Happy For Now sort of situation, but realistically I don't see them lasting as a couple. They have opposing views on a lot of things, but the one that stood out the most to me is Aditi believing in marriage, while Krishna thinking it was unnecessary and meaningless. They both love Game of Thrones so I guess yay for that?
Anyway, it was just okay for me. Maybe a longer version of this would have been much better.
What happens when your beloved grandparent asks you to go on a blind date? You agree out of love and respect. That's how Aditi and Krishna find themselves on a blind date.
This was a fun and sweet novella. It took me a while to warm up to the hero because he came across as a total misogynistic ass in the beginning. The subplot about Aditi's grandpa and Krishna's grandma was cute, but some of the sexual comments made me uncomfortable LOL.
The Set Up ends with a HFN as Aditi and Krishna decide to date for real at the end of the story. The narration was okay...the male narrator's female voices were funny and a bit cringey LOL. But there were some funny moments and dialogues in there that actually made me chuckle. So, overall, I had fun listening to the audiobook narration.
This was cute and very quick to get through. It had a very different feel than Falguni Kothari's previous books, or at least the ones I've read and adored, but that was fun. It's under 2 hours so there isn't a lot of room for development, but I had fun reading it and it sucked me in. No regrets or major issues in this short story. Though admittedly, the way the male narrator, Vikas Adam reads female characters is a little cringy, (even though I do love his narration when it's male characters) and Krishna Lal is kind of entitled and misogynistic in some of his internal dialogue. But considering the format and overall enjoyable quality of the short story, those things didn't bother me enough to down my enjoyment of a short, sweet and simple romantic short story/novella. If you have Audible, this short story is complimentary to all subscriptions. Also, Krishna's grandmother is an absolute icon, and we love her!
I thought this was really cute considering it was a novella length. I thought the audiobook was good too, but the sound mixing probably could have been a little more polished. I also would have liked this to be about 20-30 pages more just to feel like it had a satisfying conclusion. A lot of characters were introduced that didn't really go anywhere.
But it was a cute story and only a couple hours (less on 2x!), so if you have an Audible account, pick this one up since it's free!
It was a cute, short read. But I felt like Aditi and Krishna were living in different stories. Their narratives didn't line up with each other and I know "the set up" was flipped but it still has to make sense.
It was pretty clumsily written in other ways too with clunky dialogue and awkward exposition.
I have a very emotional attachment to Soneela Nankani from another book she narrated which I loved so that made things difficult for me.
A perfectly fine way to spend two hours but not worth re-visiting.
I found this audio book while browsing for something short to listen to. This did not disappoint. Not only was the story cute, I enjoyed the descriptions of the food and culture. It was short, sweet and funny. I would love to know what happened with the grandparents
Audible Review Overall 4 out of 5 stars Performance 4 out of 5 stars Story 4 out of 5 stars
Short and sweet! This was a really fun short story! Usually I don't like meddling grandparents, but both Aditi's grandfather and Krishna Lal's grandmother were so cute I give them a pass! I liked how this was as much their story as it was Aditi's and Krishna Lal's. The narrators were so good. Vikas Adam is slowly becoming one of my favorites! All around entertaining 2 hours!
Aditi is a 28 year old Indian pediatric resident who was set up by her grandfather. Not wanting to disappoint him, she agrees to three dates with three men.
Krishna, her first date, is a 30 year old law graduate who, like her, has no interest in an arranged marriage.
The recipe for a disaster date: showing up late, arguing, throwing food on the pants and witnessing a heart attack. Thank God they won't see each other ever again... unless they've been tricked into going on a another date. But what if the roles were reversed and they'd play the role of matchmaker?
It was a short, funny and cute novella with a double romance. The sassy grandparents were my favourite part. I also learned a little bit about Indian culture.
I loved the short story of the scheming grandparents, the narrator was also quite great and was attentive for the 1 hour listen. Didn't even want to take a break during that 1 hour cause wanted to see what was next. the was definitely predictable, but the storyline was kept interesting in a nice short story way.