cover image Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance

Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance

Nisha Sharma. Crown, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-553-52329-4

Sharma (My So-Called Bollywood Life) deftly crafts a sweet romance steeped in food, dance, and desi culture. When 17-year-old Radha Chopra arrives in London for the International Kathak Classics semifinals, she has no idea her life is about to be upended. Having spent years training in the North Indian classical dance form, Radha is blindsided when she learns that her previous success may have had something to do with her mother’s affair with a judge. After Radha and her mother move from Chicago to New Jersey, the talented teen enrolls at the Princeton Academy of the Arts and Sciences, striking a deal with her mom: if Radha devotes herself to dancing for one year, her mother will pay her university tuition. At the Academy, Bollywood Beats dance team captain Jai dreams of attending medical school, a financial impossibility unless he wins scholarship money at a regional dance competition. When his attractive new friend Radha agrees to help choreograph his team’s competition routine, the teens will have to overcome their personal demons—including performance anxiety and difficult family relationships—to win. Financial and medical issues intersect with familial pressures in ways that relatably shape the well-wrought characters’ lives, while humor and romance leaven the quickly paced book’s exploration of serious topics. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Antonella Iannarino, David Black Agency. (July) [/em]