Title: Beauty and the Besharam
Author: Lillie Vale
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 24th, 2022
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy at: Blackwells | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Add to Goodreads
Heated competition leads to even hotter romance in this YA summer rom-com for fans of Sandhya Menon, Emma Lord, and Wibbroka.
Seventeen-year-old, high-achieving Kavya Joshi has always been told she’s a little too ambitious, a little too mouthy, and overall just a little too much. In one word: besharam.
So, when her nemesis, Ian Jun, witnesses Kavya’s very public breakup with her loser boyfriend on the last day of junior year, she decides to lay low and spend the summer doing what she loves best–working part time playing princess roles for childrens’ birthday parties. But her plan is shot when she’s cast as Ariel instead of her beloved Belle, and learns that Ian will be her Prince Eric for the summer. [Cue the combative banter.]
Exhausted by Kavya and Ian’s years-long feud, their friends hatch a plan to end their rivalry by convincing them to participate in a series of challenges throughout the summer. Kavya is only too eager to finally be declared the winner. But as the competition heats up, so too does the romantic tension, until it escalates from a simmer to a full-on burn.Blog Tour: Beauty and the Besharam by Lillie Vale #BookReview #BeautyandtheBesharamtour @ColoredPagesBT @LillieLabyrinth @PenguinTeen #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
Kavya Joshi is a fiercely competitive seventeen-year-old who does not shy away from speaking her mind. And often labeled besharam for that.
Ian Jun is a cinnamon roll who has his own demons to slay. The sunshine to Kavya’s grumpiness. Who loves Kavya for who she is. A sweet guy but definitely not a pushover.
Rivals to lovers. Grumpy girl x sunshine boy. Diverse characters. Realistic relationships. Cute banter. And most important of all, being your unapologetic self. Beauty and the Besharam by Lilly Vale is an easy summer read that is full of heart.
“Ever think that your desperate desire to win at everything kind of makes you the biggest loser?”
The beautiful cover sets the tone of the book. Although it is primarily a rom-com, it also has well-developed sub-plots. And side characters who actually add to the story. The parents. Kavya’s sister, Simran. The Moon Girls – Catie, Blair, and Val.
The LGBTQ rep is well done and does not appear to be mere tokenism. Although I do hope they were more built upon, particularly Simran’s.
The desi rep is highly relatable. Parental pressure on choosing the right career (that is not necessarily the one you want to choose). You aren’t a success until you snap up the most eligible man around, degrees and education be damned. Nosy aunties. That said, the book does not go down the done-to-death path. Kavya’s parents do support her choices.
“…she’s always saying how proud she is of Naina for being at the top of her field, for relocating to a new country and learning the language and everything… proud until it’s time for her to start popping out babies….
Rivals to lovers high schoolers. The plot may sound similar to Netflix’s Never Have I Ever but that is where the similarity ends. The book is more about being comfortable being in your own skin. Love does not mean making compromises and diminishing your light. It is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Everything is not a competition.
I would recommend this book to every girl out there who has been asked to tone it down. To not be competitive. To be more girly. To stop being too much. In other words… stop being besharam.
Trigger warning: anxiety, sexism, death of a sibling.Blog Tour: Beauty and the Besharam by Lillie Vale #BookReview #BeautyandtheBesharamtour @ColoredPagesBT @LillieLabyrinth @CindyAnnDSilva @nooranand #BlogaberryDazzle #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
About the Author
Lillie Vale is the author of books for both teens and adults, including The Decoy Girlfriend, Beauty and the Besharam, The Shaadi Set-Up, and Small Town Hearts, an American Library Association’s 2020 Rainbow Books List selection. She writes about secrets and yearning, complicated and ambitious girls who know what they want, the places we call home and people we find our way back to, and the magic we make. Born in Mumbai, she grew up in Mississippi, Texas, and North Dakota, and now lives in an Indiana college town. Find her on Twitter @LillieLabyrinth and Instagram @labyrinthspine, or visit her website lillielabyrinth.com.
I would like to thank Colored Pages Book Tours and Penguin Teen for providing a copy of the book for the blog tour. All opinions are my own.