It’s a big day, guys. The Bollywood Lovers’ Club is officially out in the world.
I met James Goldberg in graduate school back in 2008. We took a young adult fiction writing class from Chris Crowe, and James workshopped the first few chapters of a book about a Sikh girl. I fell in love with the book, but James went on to write other things, and he never finished it.
Years later, James and I were still doing writing group together, and I was still bugging him about finishing that book. It became clear to me I was more invested in the idea than he was, and I resigned myself that I would never get to read the rest of it. And then, one day, I asked if he wanted to write it with me, and James, somehow, said yes. At the time, neither of us had written a book with a co-author before, and the prospect was daunting.
This experience taught me how to write a book with another author, and was also my first experience writing about characters whose ethnicities differed from my own. I use the things I learned writing this book in every project I work on now, and I’m so, so grateful to James for the experience. James is an incredible writer, and it was a huge honor to get to write this book with him.
Most of all, though, I’m proud of the work we did. Dave and Amrita are amazing, and this book went through a lot of drafts to get all the aspects of their story lined up just right. It’s young adult, but it’s also a departure from my other work. It’s a love story, but not a romance, a story about standing at a crossroads with someone else, falling in love, and then making the choices you know are right for you. I know we did right by Dave and Amrita (finally!) and I’m SO HAPPY To be able to share them with you.
Before you can reach for your dreams, you have to choose them.
Amrita Sidhu belongs: in her Indian extended family, in her Sikh faith, in her California home. But when a family fight makes up her father’s mind to take a job across the country in Ohio, she’s torn from the fabric of her community and left to find her footing in a new high school and a new life.
In Ohio, Amrita meets Dave Gill, who’s funny, part-Indian, and also Mormon. At a series of Bollywood movie nights with friends, they begin to connect—despite the pressure they both feel not to date outside their own faith.
As Amrita stares down diverging paths for her future, she knows only one thing for certain: she can’t hold on to everything. She’ll have to choose between her relationship with Dave, her family’s good opinion of her, and her place in her own community—
And once she makes the decision, there will be no going back.