Book Review: Starlet Rivals

Starlet Rivals by Puneet Bhandal

Starlet Rivals (The Bollywood Academy)
by  Puneet Bhandal (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars

Bela dreams of becoming a movie star in Bollywood, and hopes that her dance skills will win her a scholarship to the famous Bollywood Academy, where young students are trained as actors, dancers, and film crew. Her mother, a dance instructor, convinces her that she is good enough to enter the Dance Starz TV competition, and Bela submits an entry. When Bela dances, she feels supremely happy as if the entire world just falls away. But will her love for dance be enough to win the competition and the scholarship?

This was such a fun book! The plot is really interesting and I loved all the different characters. The best part of this book for me was learning more about the rich Indian culture, and seeing how Bela’s sweet family interact and support each other. The writing is excellent and I love the world-building and all the details of the school!

I really loved Bela’s character and her inner journey to find confidence in herself. She has a lot of doubts in the beginning, but she grows and begins to trust herself. She has a few good friends who encourage her, and gradually she learns that her abilities and skills have value. But most importantly, it is her good heart and her kindness that prove her worth both on and off the stage.

At first, I didn’t like all the meanness in the rivalry plot line. The bullying and rude comments seemed really hurtful on both sides, but the ending made it better, and a valuable lesson was learned by all, so I liked it. I was glad to see character growth from a lot of the characters, and hope that continues through more of the series!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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