The Boyfriend Wish

HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. Feb. 2024. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063279155.
Gr 7-10–Deepa lives in a tight-knit suburb where prank wars abound, and she aspires to out-do her rival and arch-enemy neighbor Vikram. Dee has always been ridiculously organized. She drafted a detailed life plan (The List) freshman year and has been ticking off boxes ever since. Up next, a real boyfriend. Her grandma intervenes by giving her a magical jasmine flower to grant her a wish, and just like that, prince charming (aka Rohit) moves in next door. The neighborhood youth invite him to join their long-standing prank war and at the same time, Deepa and Rohit begin dating with her ultimate checklist goal of “sealing the deal” with a kiss on their third date. Meanwhile, Dee is tragically partnered with Vik to plan a lock-in and romantic frenemy sparks quickly fly. She is forced to come to terms that Rohit is too perfect (boring) and that a little tension is much more enticing. The majority of characters are of Indian descent and Indian names, words, and customs are woven seamlessly throughout. A queer character, Lily, is included as the best friend and confidant. Well-written dialogue helps maintain a quick pace. Deepa’s sisters are especially well done in that rivalrous yet conspiratorial sisterly way.
VERDICT Light romance that is comfortably predictable and equally delicious.

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