The Crunch Factor – How did I like the book?

The CRUNCH Factor by Andaleeb Wajid

Was the book crunchy enough to deserve a 5 star rating?

Not for me at least, a maximum of from my side.


Love comes in all tastes and spices!

Twenty-six-year-old Aliya loves almost everything to do with food – eating it, styling it, photographing it. But while her career as a food photographer is on track, her personal life is entirely derailed. Determined to move out of her parents’ house, she agrees to marry Kamaal, the hot owner of the trendy new restaurant in town. But why does she feel like she’s waded into a bowl of bland khichri? Where’s the papad, dammit? Where’s the crunch factor?

Then, on the day of her engagement, she finds out that the celebrated chef at Kamaal’s restaurant is none other than Sameer, an old crush from her younger days. Aliya cannot believe that, even a decade later, he’s still as hot as jalapeno poppers and as charming as cheesecake, and that she’s as attracted to him as she was all those years ago.

What is Aliya to do now? Should she go ahead with the wedding and settle for a Milky Bar-like relationship with Kamaal, or should she choose rocky road pie and explore her possibilities with Sameer?

Going by the name of the book, you’d think the story would be crunchy enough all the way through to the end. I wouldn’t say it lacked the crunchy factor, for it can be found at different places in the book but I’d put this book more as a salad dressing to the actual meal.

What else? The book is good, good attempt made at writing out a good story and moves at a fast pace throughout. Though I will say, I was very very disappointing with the ending. I’m not sure it deserved that kind of an ending.

A One Time Read. Not sure if one will be able to relate to the characters too much, unless of course you like photography or are a foodie or basically food is your thing. It is kind of a mix bag of what you get when you read the book, so go ahead and read it.

IDEAL reading situations (i) during journeys (ii) when you have nothing else better to do (iii) sitting at a restaurant waiting for someone to turn up

Sakshama Dhariwal’s MAN OF HER MATCH – Book Review

Yes, I am finally done with reading Sakshama Dhariwal’s second novel  MAN OF HER MATCH after her first very very successful book ‘The Wedding Photographer’. Just like her first novel, I enjoyed reading her second book too, I liked it but in comparison to her first novel, I absolutely loved it. So on the personal front, that’s a drop of a 00.5 rating star for me.

Coming straight to the novel. Let’s start with the cover, what is with the author and cutting of the faces of the people on her book covers? (same with her first novel too) though the curve on the girls behind makes up for the loss of face view (I quite enjoyed that) but again comparing the girl on the cover of her first novel and this one, I liked the pic of the girl on the first one, if only Sakshama would have been kind enough to acknowledge her name like she did with this novel in the acknowledgements section. Wait!! at some level, they do look the same (if looked at closely)

I was thrilled to bits, when I heard that the author had her second book out fairly quickly after her first, expecting the same quirkiness in this book, which I guess at some level it did but maybe I didn’t quite latch on to. The story was well written, character portrayal was good, disappointed on the ‘Kuku’ and ‘Monty’ characters. Nevertheless, here like the previous novel, credit would have to go again to the strong female character (played by Nidhi) and more of a supporting cast in Vikram. There was an attempt to bring out some hilarity in the trio of the chauffeur, the cook n the Nepalese security guard (which didn’t really work), I thought that could have been avoided at certain places, though their introduction and their initial involvement in the story made it a good start to the novel.

In a nutshell, to put in in cricket terminology – It did not have the excitement of a T20 match but more like a 50 overs match where in you feel the team could have upped the run-rate a bit in the middle overs (more like the current team playing style of Team India under Virat Kohli’s captaincy) Good effort nevertheless Sakshama Dhariwal. Well done! Loved Nidhi as much as Rishi (the female character in her first book) though’ I’d say I’m tilting more towards Rishi right now.

To find the review of her previous book, click HERE

Half Girlfriend – Movie v/s Book,204,203,200_.jpg?resize=124%2C189What can you really expect from a name like that, it is a guaranteed FLOP – Book or Movie. Chetan Bhagat needs to stop writing novels with immediate effect.

Save the people of India from reading your crap Mr Bhagat (the latest I’ve seen is that malayalis have been reading his books – looks like a win-win situation there [one side gets to learn English and the other side the author gets to improve his sales])

I’m not sure, which one is worse! I always felt Chetan Bhagat was on the terms of his stories, by far ‘Half Girlfriend’ being his worst. Worse still, making a film out of it, Bollywood has already its share of some really silly films, adding one more to it isn’t required.

Moreover, why chose Shradha Kapoor for the role of ‘Riya’? she’s talented enough to get better scripts and act in better movies. You got to feel sad for her, for being chosen for such a role and worse still, she saying yes to it. As for Arjun Kapoor, he suits the role of Madhav Jha perfectly (no one can act as a better loser than him!) I can see no better actor in Bollywood suited for Chetan Bhagat’s male characters.

Its almost a month later, that I’ve watched the film and I’m glad I didn’t watch it in a theater-it certainly would have been a waste!

Chetan Bhagat might have been a talented story writer in his initial years, but seriously – maybe now it’s time he try something different.. maybe a hand at cooking or something