Sonya Lalli reflects on the ‘good Indian girl’ trope and the joy of writing in different genres [The Next Chapter]


Recently Sonya Lalli spoke with The Next Chapter’s Ali Hassan about exploring cultural expectations.

Sonya Lalli is known for writing romantic novels that centre South Asian families and experiences. In 2022, she published a thriller called Are You Sara? under the pen name “S.C. Lalli” which diverted from her stories with happier endings, but carried through a recurring question of what it means to be a “good Indian girl.”

Are You Sara? revolves around a case of mistaken identity. When two women, each named Sara, get into separate rideshares one fateful night, one of them is murdered. But when the surviving Sara realizes that she might have actually been the target, it sets off a mystery involving race, class and ambition. 

In 2023, Lalli released her latest romance novel, Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat, a humorous romance novel about Jasmine and the unexpected companionship she finds in her childhood friend Jake Dhillon – who happens to be the other only young person on a seniors’ cruise.

Lalli is a Punjabi and Bengali writer based in Vancouver. Her other novels include A Holly Jolly Diwali, Grown-Up Pose and The Matchmaker’s List

She joined The Next Chapter‘s Ali Hassan to talk about how her writing across genres is both similar and varied.

Read the full interview or listen to the audio recording here.

Reading Recommendations: Reads for a chilly day [Franklin County Times]


Winter is a great time to snuggle inside as the weather turns cold. Northwest Shoals Community College library director Lori Skinner has recommended these chill day titles to the Franklin County Times, including A Holly Jolly Diwali.

Visit the beautiful beaches of Goa and celebrate Diwali in Sonya Lalli’s fun novel, “A Holly Jolly Diwali.” 

Franklin County Times

To check out all the titles, click here.

A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli

8 South Asian Novels About Falling in Love [Electric Lit]


In this article for Electric Lit, Sonali Dev, author of Lies And Other Love Languages recommends 8 hot desi romance novels that will have you falling in love, including A Holly Jolly Diwali.

This novel is for anyone fantasizing about finding the one at a big beautiful Indian wedding. … A heartwarming, uplifting holiday romance that seamlessly folds in an artist’s journey to empowerment and self-discovery.

~ Electric Lit

To check out the full list, visit Electric Lit’s article here.

Love Makes the World Go Around in These 7 Audiobooks [BookTrib]


Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks? Well, here are several romantic audiobooks, including Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat, that involve travel and getaways. Perfect for road trips, or for armchair travellers!

Board an Alaskan cruise with Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat by Sonya Lalli, read by Mayuri Bhandari. Jasmine is the black sheep of her Washington state Punjabi community, never quite in sync with her family. Seeking connection, Jasmine agrees to go on a family cruise and gets stuck on board with poster boy Jake Dhillon and all her disapproving relatives. Bhandari has a vocal presence that’s a great match for Jasmine’s assertive sensibility. Her voice is often edged with humor, making frank observations of the perils of a family cruise in this Pride and Prejudice listen-alike.


To check out the full list, visit BookTrib here.

9 books to fall head over heels for this summer [CBC]


Looking for something sweet or steamy to read? On the summer edition of The Next Chapter, the romance panel recommends their favourite swoon-worthy books.

The panel is composed of romance author Uzma Jalaluddin; Jenny Pool, who owns the online bookstore Happily Ever After Books; and lifestyle journalist Alicia Cox Thomson.

They sat down with Ryan B. Patrick to discuss nine books that will appeal to every romance reader and included Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat in their recommendations!

You can check the full list in this CBC article.

34 Best Romance Novels That Could Improve Your Love Life [Men’s Health]


A 2017 study from the Romance Writers of America found that 18% of romance readers are men, and 1/3 of erotic audiobook downloaders are also guys. The majority of romance readers are still women, yes, but with more publishers focusing on LGBTQ+ experiences and expanding past the traditional heteronormative girl-meets-guy plot, publishers predict male readership will only increase. With that in mind, Men’s Health recently put together a list of recommended romance novels, including Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat.

Sonya Lalli, who wrote the delightful A Holly Jolly Diwali, has yet again created a vivid cast of characters that you’ll be thinking about for a while. Her latest is an enemies-to-lovers romance titled Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat-an utterly charming romp filled with lively quips and plenty of humor.

Men’s Health

To check out the full list, please click here.

Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat appear on more New Release lists


Jasmine and Jake are showing up on Anticipated Reads list all over the internet, including the following two:

Why I want to read it: So far, I’ve only read A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli, but I’m excited to read more of her backlist and to read this new one! I love her style, and this premise sounds great!


There is lots of great intergenerational humour and a satisfying enemies-to-lovers plot.

Stir Bedside Table with Hilary Atleo

The Most Anticipated 2023 Book Releases [The Nerd Daily]


In this round up, The Nerd Daily rounds up some highly anticipated books releasing between the months of January and June from authors such as Leigh Bardugo, Holly Black, Jesse Q. Sutanto, Harlan Coben, and Sonya Lalli, plus some dazzling debuts.

An impulsive decision to join an Alaskan cruise getaway brings the chance for an onboard romance in this new enemies-to-lovers romance from the author of A Holly Jolly Diwali.

The Nerd Daily

To look at the full list, click here.