The Crunch Factor by Andaleeb Wajid

the crunch factor.jpgThe Crunch Factor by Andaleeb Wajid is the third book by the author that I have read. The initial ones being My Brother’s Wedding and Blinkers off. This story is set in Bangalore and is about a twenty six year old girl who shares a complicated relationship with her only sister.

The blurb:

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?

The story:

Twenty six year old Aliya is a freelance food photographer who works on her food photography website in her downtime. She shares a complicated relationship with her parents, her mother is trying to get into the upper crust club and her father is painted with a nouveau riche brush. Her younger sister, Faria, works as a social media consultant at a brand management company. Both the sisters have healthy egos and each is convinced that she is better than the other. Her father wants her to get married and she feels that getting married is her only chance at getting away from them.

One day, her parents decide that the family is going out for dinner to a newly opened restaurant, B for Biryani. The owner of the restaurant is Kamaaluddin, Kamaal. He is rich and her father, being in real estate has dealings with Kamaal and to ensure that his dream project of gated community is successful, he wants her to get married to him. on an impulse, she agrees to get married to Kamaal and the more she meets him, the more she realizes that he is too full of himself and has seriously begun to annoy her.

On the day of her engagement to Kamaal, she meets Sameer Aslam and her world turns upside down. When Kamaal introduces her to Sameer who is now the head chef in Kamaal’s restaurant, everything comes back to her.

Sameer went to the same tuitions as her and she had a massive crush on him and he had disappeared a month after confessing his love to her. She had taken a long time getting over him and had spent her time mooning in the kitchen with recipe books and making Salma Apa, their house help, cook them for her.

And now, ten years later, she finds it uncomfortable to see her past mistake standing with her future mistake.

My take:

The book has been written in first person from Aliya’s point of view. The story is simple and the characters are realistic. Even the supporting characters had important roles to play. The scenes are well describe and the best part of the book, according to me was is the whatsapp messaging that goes on between the characters.

Overall, a nice book which can be read when you just want to read something.

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