The Biased Bibliophile‘s Spoiler-Free Review of Kismat Connection
Expected Publication: 13 June 2023
Genre: YA Romance, YA Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
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.
Review of Kismat Connection
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Inkyard Press through BookishFirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Kismat Connection is a wonderful debut YA romance novel with Indian culture woven into the story. I absolutely adored this book, and I can’t wait to read more by Devarajan. The novel was impressive in general, but especially so because it is the author’s first book (published at age 21 I might add). I was so excited to hear that she has more projects in the works as well!
There were so many enjoyable features of this novel, but my favorite was definitely the protagonist, Madhuri. The premise behind the story, that Madhuri decides to enter a fake relationship with her best friend in order to prove her astrology-loving mother wrong, was perfect. I am a sucker for the fake dating trope, and I appreciated how Devarajan combined it with the friends-to-lovers trope. Madhuri’s plight to prove fate wrong and end her family curse was fun and brought out both the best and the worst within her character.
Similarly, Madhuri’s character was spot-on! Devarajan did a stunning job of combining some likeable characteristics with Madhuri’s more abrasive features. I certainly saw myself within her, and watching her grow throughout the story was endearing.
Likewise, Arjun’s character development was a nice foil to Madhuri’s. In fact, his character was exceptionally rare in that he was not simply a prop for Madhuri but had his own trials and adversities to overcome. His complexity added a lot to the overall story.
Finally, I really enjoyed the way Devarajan incorporated Indian culture. She did so in many ways, and I particularly loved that Bharatanatyam was such a huge part of Madhuri’s identity.
As a whole, this book was both cute and impressive. I highly recommend it, and I’m looking forward to reading more stories from Devarajan in the future!