Beauty and the Besharam

Lillie Vale

Viking Books for Young Readers, 2022

Agent: Jessica Watterson

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. Her big, extended, overly involved family has one word to sum her up: besharam.

When her nemesis, Ian Jun, witnesses her very public breakup with her loser boyfriend on the last day of junior year, Kavya wants to lay low and spend the summer at her great escape--her part-time job at Poppy's Party Playhouse, dressing up as a princess for kids' birthday parties. But her plan is shot when she's cast as Ariel and learns that Ian will be her Prince Eric for the summer. [Cue the sarcastic 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. Ian and Kavya are only too eager to finally declare a winner. But as the competition heats up, so too does the romantic tension, until it escalates from a simmer to a full-on burn.


“Warm, joyful, and funny! This delightful gender-flipped Beauty and the Beast is the perfect, sweet rom-com to snuggle up with.”–Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately