Devarajan, Ananya. Kismat Connection. Toronto, Ontario: Inkyard Press, 2023.
ISBN-13: 978-1335453686 | $19.99 USD | 304 pages | YA Contemporary Romance
“A warm, feel good read.” —Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis
“A gorgeous debut.” —Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling authors of The Unhoneymooners
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.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own.
Kismat Connection is a sweet debut romance, and I love how it explores interesting cultural themes, with a dominant one being faith/mysticism vs practicality/science. I love how it leads into this interesting twist on “fake dating,” with Madhuri determined to break tradition and run an experiment to prove everyone wrong. Madhuri feels so realistic in her struggle to navigate her place within her family and culture, when she doesn’t necessarily buy into a lot of their beliefs, and I loved her journey to figuring out when it was worth it to rebel, and when to let fate take the wheel.
I loved her connection with Arjun, because they have known each other for years as friends. And it was so sweet that he was already in love with her, and she was the one who took time to really see how he felt, and realized she reciprocated (and maybe the prophecy wasn’t as ridiculous as she thought).
While the romance is the central arc of the book, I liked how the family dynamics shined through. Arjun is very much an honorary member of the Iyer family, and while Madhuri has her differences with the rest of her family, there’s generally positive vibes of love and acceptance between them.
I enjoyed this book, and look forward to what Ananya Devarajan writes next! If you’re looking for a sweet YA multicultural romance, I recommend checking this one out!
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.
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