Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma combines food and dance in this comforting story about finding yourself. With mouthwatering descriptions of food, exciting dance scenes, and two complex main characters, this book checks many boxes for me. I especially enjoyed the realistic family dynamics and both Radha’s and Jai’s grapple with family expectations. This is an entertaining read that is filled with culture and charm.Title: Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance
Author: Nisha Sharma
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: July 31, 2021
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.
Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma
One of the greatest Kathak dancers in the world, Radha has always found joy through dance. However, when she learns that her mother played a role in some of her competition wins, Radha quits dance and transfers to a new school, searching for a new beginning. At the Princeton Academy of the Arts, she meets Jai, the captain of Bollywood Beats, a dance team urgently in need of a new choreographer, and if Radha agrees to choreograph for them, she’ll have a way out of performing. However, as the school’s showcase draws near, both Radha and Jai must face their fears in order to find true happiness.
❀ Realistic Main Characters
Both Radha and Jai are realistic characters, and their internal conflicts are well-written. I really felt for Radha as she loses both her love for dance and her confidence in the face of her mother’s betrayal. Healing from this is not easy, but I was touched by her search for happiness in other places, like cooking, and her slow rediscovery of her joy for dance. While Radha struggles to find her passion again, Jai is hesitant to chase his own dream of med school as his family is unable to afford college. As both characters work to create a show stopping performance, they slowly start to trust each other, and I loved watching them find happiness together.
❀ Strong Family Theme
One of my favourite parts about this book is the theme of family. As Radha finds a new hobby in cooking, she starts to reconnect with her father and other relatives, and I adored the author’s emphasis on both food and dance as a means of bringing people together. Jai’s dynamic with his family is also complex, and I really empathized with him as he feels guilty about wanting to go to college. As his family needs his help running their store, his decision to leave is not an easy one, and he insists that he is happy to stay at home even if it means putting his dream on hold. I always enjoy reading about family, so I was happy to see two different and well-written family dynamics in this book.
❀ Inspiring Story
Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma is an inspiring story about family and following your dreams. I loved the blend of dancing and cooking, and both main characters are complex. The family dynamics are especially well-developed, making this a great read for those looking for a feel-good read with realistic family relationships.