Kismat Connection by Ananya Devarajan
Published: June 13th 2023 by Inkyard Press
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5)
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary Romance
Quick Thoughts: A glittering dance of destiny, friendship, and a love story brighter than the stars.
About The Book:
In this charming YA debut, a girl who’s determined to prove her star chart wrong ropes her longtime best friend into an experimental relationship—not knowing that he has been in love with her for years.
Is it possible to change your fate?
Madhuri Iyer is doomed. Doomed for her upcoming senior year to be a total failure, according to her astrology-obsessed mother, and doomed to a happily ever after with her first boyfriend, according to her family curse.
Determined to prove the existence of her free will, Madhuri devises an experimental relationship with the one boy she knows she’ll never fall for: her childhood best friend, Arjun Mehta. But Arjun’s feelings for her are a variable she didn’t account for.
As Madhuri starts to fall for her experimental boyfriend, she’ll have to decide if charting her own destiny is worth breaking Arjun’s heart—and her own.
It’s not summer without a cute romance to read underneath the sun. Although, during this current heatwave in the UK I have to admit that most of my reading took place from my bed, blasting a fan at full speed while I pretended I was doing something far more exciting.
Madhuri and Arjun have been best friends for years. Whilst Arjun loves everything about his Indian heritage, Madhuri doesn’t quite believe in everything, especially when it comes to her annual astrology reading from her mother. Knowing that her family curse is to sail off into the sunset with her very first boyfriend as all her family before her, Madhuri is determined to prove everyone wrong. She plots an experiment: fake a relationship with the one person she knows she won’t fall for—Arjun.
But what Madhuri fails to account for is that Arjun has been in love with Madhuri for the longest time. In his stars, he’s promised to have a great love life this year. So when Madhuri proposes her experiment, he’s skeptical but goes along with it. But it soon becomes clear that their friendship is twisting into something that is a far cry from pretend love. Madhuri can’t help but feel lost, wondering if trying to outrun her destiny is worth the price of losing the one person she loves the most.
Overall, Kismat Connection swept me into a story world that felt enriching and comforting. I have a great love for Indian culture (especially the beautiful dances) and reading this book made me learn so much about it, including family traditions and practises as an undertone whilst having the love story as front and centre. I loved Madhuri’s POV the most, although I felt closer to Arjun for pretty much the first half of the story (although I wished it was first person POV because I always feel a slight disconnect from third.) Friends to Lovers is my favourite trope and when done correctly it can be magical, and this was just that. Wonderous and a great read, this glittering dance of destiny, friendship and a love story brighter than the stars should definitely be on your shelf this year!
About The Author
Ananya Devarajan is in her fourth and final year at the University of California, Irvine, where she is pursuing a major in Neurobiology and Behavior as well as a minor in English. After graduation, she will be attending medical school at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Middletown, New York. Like many of her characters, Ananya is a second-generation Indian American young adult.
Her love for storytelling began on Wattpad, where she grew her audience as a Featured Author, and she later went on to win first place in TeenPit 2019. Now, Ananya writes young adult romance novels featuring chaotic Desi teenagers, swoon-worthy banter, and lighthearted drama with a speculative twist. In her free time, she can be found watching her favorite Bollywood movies or studying for yet another Anatomy exam. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @ananyad12.
Her debut novel, KISMAT CONNECTION, will be published on June 13, 2023 by Inkyard Press and HarperCollins. She is represented by the wonderful Ann Leslie Tuttle at Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret LLC.