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The Chai Factor

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  953 ratings  ·  217 reviews
Thirty-year-old engineer Amira Khan has set one rule for herself: no dating until her grad-school thesis is done. Nothing can distract her from completing a paper that is so good her boss will give her the promotion she deserves when she returns to work in the city. Amira leaves campus early, planning to work in the quiet basement apartment of her family’s house. But she a ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by HarperAvenue
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  953 ratings  ·  217 reviews

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may ❀
me: if i have to read another book with a muslim main character that's entire faith is defined by the fact that they don't eat pork i will S C R E A M

drive thru speaker: ma'am,,,,,,,this is a wendy's
K.J. Charles
Absolutely brilliant. Goodness, I loved this. It's laugh-out-loud funny at points while tackling some really brutal stuff about bigotry both towards and inside the Canadian Muslim community. Amira is a ferocious heroine with a genuinely bad temper who doesn't pull her punches or make nice--which is a startling reminder of how much we do expect women to smooth things over. Duncan is a well meaning white liberal who screws up a lot because of unconscious privilege and unawareness that simply being ...more
2019 Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: Happily Ever After

A- review:

This book really, really worked for me. I want a million imperfect heroines with fiery tempers and who lash out constantly (even if they’re being unfair and not nice). I know $15 is a lot to spend on a digital book. But if it’s out of your budget or you don’t want to risk money on a debut, then I encourage you to ask your library to purchase it.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the pu
Maria Rose
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Given it’s set in the multicultural city of Toronto, it’s no surprise that Farah Heron’s début, The Chai Factor, delves into some serious issues such as racism and cultural and gender equality. Yet even so the author maintains some nice comedic flair and tells a sweet opposites attract romance making this an enjoyable read from start to finish.

Amira Khan is just a few weeks away from delivering her masters thesis in engineering, and is looking forward to some quiet writing time in her grandmothe
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

I received a copy from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for a honest review.

Oh boy, I read this after Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Devi so it's hard to live up to it. I mean, they're two completely different books. The Chai Factor follows Amira who is finishing up her super impressive Masters degree in engineering. She's already a bad-ass for being a female of visible minority and working a male-dominated industry. I appreciate Amira and all that she stands
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unapologetically and fiercely feminist? Rich with nuance and introspection? A burly lumberjack man who will make chai to cheer up our beloved STEM heroine? The purest and most adorable gay couple in the world? An interracial romance that will have readers curling their toes in delight? Farah Heron’s debut novel has got everything covered, and it is absolutely criminal that The Chai Factor isn’t receiving the attention and praise it deserves. This book deserves more hype, imo.

Full review to follo
Layla (Between the Lines)
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
“The best love stories have to start somewhere, beta.”

Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book is exactly what I wanted to read right now. The Chai Factor give us three things: A feisty and outspoken protagonist to add some spice. A we-don't-like-each-other-but-we-want-to-kiss-each-other type of romance to add some sweetness. And some comedy to help digest the the very real issues of gender/race/cultural discrimination
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian
This was cute. Amira was rather annoying at times but the characters of the barbershop quartet were adorable.
Nicole N. (A Myriad of Books)
If you’re looking for a light-hearted rom-com with a little bit of sexy times, don’t pick up this book. But if you’re looking for an inspection of a culture different from yours, one even the main character, Amira, lives but also questions its hypocrisies...maybe this is for you.

To be honest, it wasn’t for me. I borrowed this book from the library, thinking it would be a rom-com. I mean, look at the synopsis! But it’s not that. The dislike between Amira and Duncan felt forced, as did their dialo
Jan 07, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, romance
The Chai Factor follows Amira, a 30 year old woman working on her master's degree in engineering, dealing with the hate thrown at her for being brown and Muslim, and now add the 4 guys living in her grandmother's basement. Amira clashes with one of the singers, Duncan. Amira and Duncan met on a train not realizing that they would be living together for 2 weeks since Amira's grandmother rented out her basement. Amira has a master's thesis to work on but her growing attraction to Duncan is proving ...more
The perfect book to start reading during a tough stretch when I wanted something to put me in a good mood. Romance has definitely come a long way since my junior high scarfing of dubious Harlequins with rapey undertones (and overtones). This was charming and very woke, featuring a protagonist who's a 30 year old Muslim-Canadian engineer completing her Master's degree. There's traditional rom-com elements - the meet-cute, the hate-to-love thing, but the tension comes from stuff like the fact that ...more
Sabreena - Books and Prosecco
The Chai Factor by Farah Heron

Stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Disclaimer: The amazing humans at HarperCollins Canada were kind enough to send me an arc of The Chai Factor in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions below are my own.

“If there were a Sufi saint who protected single women travellers, Amira Khan was sure she had royally pissed her off at some point in a previous life.”

The Chai Factor was a bit of a wild ride. We follow Amira Khan, a 30-year-old Muslim woman who is finishing up her masters – in engineering no
Lubnaa (Romance Library)
I received an ARC from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review.

Your enjoyment of The Chai Factor all boils down to your expectations.

If you are looking for a multicultural romantic comedy, then this is not the book for you.

If you are looking for a social justice guide on Islamophobia, racism, sexism, systemic discrimination, mental illness, drug addiction, the infantilization of Asian women, white boy guilt, and homophobia, then The Chai Factor is the book for you. Don’t get me wro
Romance between an engineer and a baritone from a barbershop quartet! Irresistible! Amira is finishing up the last few weeks of her graduate degree and has come home to her grandmother’s house for some peace and quiet, not realizing that her grandmother has rented out the spare rooms to a barbershop quartet with a singing competition to prepare for. It’s the perfect setup already, but in case that wasn’t enough, Amira also has a meet-cute on the train with the baritone from said quartet—a big, r ...more
mindful.librarian ☀️
Social justice, feminism, and anti-intolerance themed romance set in Toronto - I literally can’t think of any other way to describe it! Really enjoyed.
Sarah {The Bookish Knitter}
3.5 Stars

I was so excited for this book as soon as I saw it was set in Toronto. It started out well, but I started to fall out of the love with the book rather quickly.

The biggest reason for that was our main character Amira. I just didn't like her. She was mean and snarky and had a temper. Now, I do understand that she was dealing with a lot with racism in her work place, and people treating her a certain way due to her religious beliefs and the color of her skin, but she was mean to people who
Leigh Kramer
If you enjoy the enemies to lovers trope, have I got the book for you! The Chai Factor is an incredible debut that kept me glued to its pages.

Let me tell you: this book has some of the best character growth I’ve ever read. But I have to admit, I wasn’t sure about Amira, our Muslim engineer heroine, at first. I thought she was acting rather childishly for a 30 year old woman. Things aren’t going as she planned with her degree and she’s heading home to finish her grad school thesis in peace. This
Jun 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was a waste of my time and if you’re considering reading this then just don’t do it. First of all the premise is ridiculous this stupid barbershop quarter renting 2 rooms in this basement for 2 weeks to rehearse??? And no grad student in their right mind would go away from campus where all their research and their most resources are to go home to finish their report. Amira is incredibly annoying and hypocritical. Duncan is a pain from the start by constantly calling Amira princess when she ...more
Smart Women Read Romance
3.5 stars
First off a disclaimer: I wouldn’t consider this a romcom (it’s heavy) or even a straight-up romance. BUT it is a compelling story about the heroine herself as she deals with a number of social issues including prejudice, sexism, and discrimination.

You can tell that the author feels very strongly about a number of issues, and I’m happy that publishers are recognizing more AOCs with unique perspectives that only they can tell. But she really crams a lot in there (view spoiler)
This was very good. I found the specificity of it really appealing and despite my usual dislike of suddenly very intense romances, I thought it mostly worked here. Except maybe as it related to how angry the heroine was that the hero hadn't confessed his family's bigotry to her so early. Now, I haven't dated in long time and I am not a WOC who faces bigotry in their day to day life, so maybe that's a completely reasonable ask. I don't know. But in two weeks, to me, it just seemed unreasonable fo ...more
Nov 26, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: romance
I am a little skceptical of this as I fear this is geared towards a audience who considers chai exotic ... and that a profession of faith and culture is the same (which is a very complicated discussion of history and culture and identity in Islam which is done so superficially that I despair)

Maybe I’m reading the wrong books but .... but ... this is Canadian ... and the woman is Muslim .. and she didn’t call tea chai lattes (yuck)... and I’m going to have to pick this up eventually aren’t I?!
Colline Vinay Kook-Chun
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This novel was perfect for my mood: a light-hearted story that made me smile; and a story that describes a protagonist that finds love unexpectedly.

Amira is a determined young woman who is very sure of what she wants in life and in love. She reminds me of so many young women who want to put themselves first and are not in a rush to marry. She wants to focus on her studies in order to graduate with her Masters; she wants to advance in her work; and she wants a man who is of the same culture as sh
Would somebody PLEASE ask novelists to stop rehashing Pride and Prejudice again and again and again? This one doesn't even self-identify as a P&P homage but here we go again - people jumping to conclusions and assumptions about others, seeing offence where none is intended, and judging others whilst moaning about themselves being judged. Sigh! Here we go again.

That said, it's not a bad story with a few nice quirks. If I hadn't recently put myself through two other P&P-readie-likies perhaps I wou
Shannon Dyer
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, romance, aoc
Round up to 4.5 stars.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fun and charming with incredibly important moments! I loved the characters and the humor in this book. A cute dude in a in a barbershop quartet? A kickass, smart AF grad student heroine? Definitely a good read. ♥ I look forward to reading more books by Farah Heron!
Sam - Spines in a Line
Maybe more of a 3.5, I’d definitely round it up for the last third where I think we got to see more of the MC, and really powerful discussion about race and prejudice and ignorance.

I had some issues with the MC though cuz she labels every single thing a man does as sexist. Yes, there were many times that was an appropriate label but other times it just felt like it was trying too hard to depict something that wasn’t there. Like when she got upset at one character because he thought she'd care a
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars.

So good and doesn’t quite fit the rom com label. While it does have rom com moments, it goes into so much more then a meet cute. It’s a book based on reality. Cultural barriers and expectations, homophobia and acceptance, misogyny and sexism and just plain old goofiness and corniness. Plus, Amira was such a relatable main character, filled with anger bc she had reached her limit with society’s labeling of her as a brown, Muslim woman. She’s outspoken and speaks her mind. She calls peo
Laura VanZant
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The content of this book as excellent! So relevant to today’s world, and it struck the perfect tone. Amira is an amazing strong, female, minority character and the author did a fabulous job with creating her and her story. Content 5/5

However, my only gripe with this book is that the writing is simplistic, bordering on underdeveloped. Many of the sentences, situations, and structures in the writing read exactly like things I wrote as a teenager. For how well developed the plot is, I was disappoin
Rosanna Leo
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Congrats to Farah Heron on a wonderful debut! The Chai Factor is a book I enjoyed so much. Not only has the author written a great romance, she has written an important romance, one everyone should read. And while it tackles such difficult themes as racism, family and accepting oneself, it delivers on a heart-warming love story as well. Amira and Duncan are such great characters, strong and memorable. They are put to the test in a realistic way, and the reader roots for them until the very end.
first off, yay more Canadian written books with explicitly Canadian settings! however the first two hundred pages felt so much like bad fanfic with awkward set-ups and cringe worthy dialogue that it really damped my enjoyment of the latter half which felt actually good. also the ending felt a bit rushed as so much is still up in the air that it honestly would have felt more organic for them to stay broken up or at least have some scenes showing why them missing each other so the ending felt less ...more
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After a childhood raised on Bollywood, Monty Python, and Jane Austen, Farah self-rejected her writing career before jotting down a single word, despite admitting her ultimate fantasy was to be a writer. But when she could no longer keep the story arcs straight in her daydreams, she started writing a few years ago and never looked back. She writes comedic women’s fiction full of huge South Asian fa ...more

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