Book Review : The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan @anujachauhan @HarperCollinsIN

Title : The Zoya Factor

Author : Anuja Chauhan

Genre : Chicklit ; Rom-com ; Cricket

Pages : 508


When the younger players in India’s cricket team find out that advertising executive Zoya Singh Solanki was born at the very moment India won the World Cup back in 1983, they are intrigued. When having breakfast with her is followed by victories on the field, they are impressed. And when not eating with her results in defeat, they decide she’s a lucky charm. The nation goes a step further. Amazed at the ragtag team’s sudden spurt of victories, it declares her a Goddess. So when the eccentric IBCC president and his mesmeric, always-exquisitely-attired Swamiji invite Zoya to accompany the team to the tenth ICC World Cup, she has no choice but to agree. Pursued by international cricket boards on the one hand, wooed by Cola majors on the other, Zoya struggles to stay grounded in the thick of the world cup action. And it doesn’t help that she keeps clashing with the erratically brilliant new skipper who tells her flatly that he doesn’t believe in luck…


The Zoya Factor is the debut novel of India’s most wittiest and sassy novelist Anuja Chauhan. This book was published in 2008 by Harper Collins. The Zoya Factor is a book written based on Cricket and how crazy Indians can be about this game. This book gives a five dimensional view on Cricket and the advertising industry in the country. And it is very satisfying and informative.

The Zoya Factor is the story of a young woman called Zoya Singh Solanki who was born on the exact date and time as India won its first world cup in the year 1983. She works in an advertising agency as advertising executive for a meager salary but she absolutely loves what she does. If there is one thing she doesn’t love in the world, that would be Cricket but as fate would have it, she is forced to work with the Men in Blue for an ad film. That’s when the young boys of Team India finds she is lucky for cricket and decides to have her tagged along with them for all the matches. But whereas the super hot and talented captain of Indian Cricket Team, Nikhil Khoda does’t approve of it. Though he is an incredible player and wonderful captain, he is continuously criticized by the media and people for the poor performance of his team. Nikhil Khoda is a man who believes in his hard work and ability, and he is totally against luck. This actually brings about a turf between The Skipper and our Lucky Charm. Despite having a remarkable chemistry, they both are always on the opposite sides of each other because they both have one hell of an ego clash going on between them.

Can Zoya’s luck actually make India lift the world cup after 28 years in 2011 ? That’s the story of this book!!

Anuja Chauhan’s writing style is her strength and her narrative style is beyond anything the Indian readers would have witnessed. The dialogue delivery and monologues of the protagonist will completely bundle up reader’s attention and one can never get out of the magical spell casted on them by Anuja Chauhan’s words. Anuja Chauhan is indisputably the most wittiest, humorous author India has ever seen. The way she pen down her thoughts are mind blowing and extremely funny. And nobody can write witty one-liners like her. Her writing style is very unique and it has lots of layers and depths to it. If you are reading her book, she will make sure you are absorbing everything about that particular scene in detail. For example, you will know who are the people present in the backdrop of the scene and what they are doing and why they doing it precisely. How does the protagonist feels about it, how is the weather like and what not ? But these information will only enhance the beauty of the scene and it will never be too much or unnecessary or unwanted.

Since the book is based on Cricket and also about Advertising industry, one could get to know about every tiny winy nuances of these industries. And in the end you will almost feel like you are a pro in these respective fields because that is how informed the author is about the industries she was writing about. Since, the author herself was from advertising background, you can understand the authenticity of the information she provided over in the book. All these information was written in a very engaging and remarkable manner.

Anuja Chauhan’s romance and sense of humor is unbelievably adorable. The way she has characterized both Zoya and Nikhil Khoda was very interesting and lovable. Readers just cannot help themselves from falling in love with the lead characters of this book. Nikhil Khoda’s character, his ideology, his physic, his appearance and everything about him was drool worthy. Well, who can resist the charm of the Indian Skipper ? He is one worthy hot book boyfriend anybody could ask for.

Zoya is a kind of character who will make the readers fall in love with, in no time. One of the best things about Anuja Chauhan is, she focuses on all the flaws the protagonist find in themselves which can either be of physical appearance or a characteristic. And this makes Anuja Chauhan’s protagonist more relatable and lovable. Well, with Zoya, the readers can have lots of moments where they will love her from the bottom of their hearts and at the same time they can go ‘Why the hell did she do that? Is she mad or what ?’ in a fraction of seconds. And of course that’s what makes Zoya, Zoya!!

The book was very realistic because throughout the book Zoya was very conscious about ‘what her father might think ? What will her father do when he comes to know what she did?’ And that was super wonderful. We would have read a lot of books where the protagonist go to some other place to be more independent and does all crazy wild things without a single ounce of their body caring about the orthodox family back there who thinks their child is super sanskari. This book constantly pointed out about the mentality of normal Indian parents and their concerns which made this book more relatable.

There was a lot of cricket in this book and every single match in this book was extremely nail-bidding and will put you on the edge of your seats. These match sequences has been written down so brilliantly that you will be satisfied by the way it has been written that you don’t even crave to watch it in real with your eyes because it has been written down that greatly.

There were lots of supportive characters in the book which made the reading journey much more enjoyable. There is this character called Eppa who is Zoya’s house maid and caretaker, the way she converse and talk is super exciting. Zoya’s three chaperones are the best, Monita and her son Armaan and Rinku Chachi, they are super fun to be around. With them around, there was not a single dull moment. Zahid’s presence in the book was so breezy and chill. The relationship shared between Zoya and her brother Zorovar was extremely adorable and wonderful to read. There was this antagonist called Robin Rawal who also played a significant part.

Zoya’s house in Karol Bagh aka Tera Numbar, her father, her big family will give a good understanding and peep into Zoya’s life and background. This made the book a little more rich and cozy in a very ethereal way.

The plot of the book was extraordinary and how the story marched forward was really amazing. The book was pretty big but that feels like it is damn necessary to get the kind of understanding the readers have now about the plot and the characters.

This is one hell of book which every single person out there should at least once to enjoy this journey of Zoya and Nikhil Khoda with cricket and twice, to immerse in the author’s writing skills, layered narration and so on. Anuja Chauhan is just a brilliant writer whom everyone should read without fail.


I just love The Zoya Factor, Nikhil Khoda and Anuja Chauhan the most!! Like, the most in the world!!!!

I’m basically a die hard cricket fan who is crazy about books. And this book is like the icing on top of the cake. I have been wanting to read this book for since so many year but I only read it in 2019. At the time I loved the book so much, I was mentally dating Nikhil Khoda ever since but I had mild mixed feelings about this book because I felt like the book was kind of too big and some parts could have been cut shorted and chucked out. But now, in 2021, I decided to do Anuja Chauhan reading marathon with a friend of mine and we started to buddy read all her books. Though I have already read The Zoya Factor, I still wanted to re-read it again because of cricket and Nikhil Khoda and Zoya herself. But while reading it for the second time, it was completely different experience. It was now, I looked in between the lines and understood what a great writer Anuja Chauhan is and completely fell in love with her, her writings and her books. Now I do not want to change a thing about this book. I want each and every single word of this book to be there forever because it adds so much color to the book.

I just loved the way Nikhil stood his stand throughout the book and how the book ended. There was a lot of interesting one-liners which I couldn’t stop myself from highlighting. And, oh my god! How does Anuja Chauhan comes up with names like Robin-shoe-steeler-Rawal ; Jogpal-lump-of-shit-Lohia ; Lingnath-long-turd-baba. These names themselves will make us laugh hysterically. Then terms like cute-butt ; biteable-chest just makes us go crazy. Her words are blush worthy, drool worthy and it simple elates my soul.

In between, there was a lot of newspaper articles present in the book, which talks about cricket matches, players performances and few gossip and rumor filled articles which was very interesting to read. And these had a totally different voice and tone to it from the other parts of the book and that is simply damn good. It is very intelligent of the author to come up with this kind of an idea and distinct and authentic writing style of tabloid articles.

I love this book so much! To be very frank the movie was quite disappointing and that was solely because of the great Sonam Kapoor. She is definitely not my Zoya from the book because Zoya Solanki in the book was witty, humorous, strong and bold and she had chubby cheeks which she hides consciously with the curls of her hair and Sonam Kapoor was none of that. She acted like a crackpot, typical bollywood stupid heroine. Oh please!! My zoya moya is so much more better than that. The thing that I loved the most about this movie was Dulquer Salmaan!! Damn man!! The casting was just beyond perfection and he charmed his way right into our hearts through his acting skills and everything about him. While I was reading some movie review of this movie somewhere, I found something like “Though the movie was called The Zoya Factor, it was the Dulquer factor that worked out tremendously on screen” I cannot agree more with this statement. Maybe Mithila Palkar or Nithya Menon would have been a perfect choice for Zoya.

If you haven’t watched the movie, please do read this book and watch the movie later for Dulquer Salman, you will not be disappointed. If have already watched the film, please forget the film altogether and read the book to simply understand how great and wonderful this book is!!

I loved this book very much, I cannot stop myself from saying this regularly. I would like to recommend this book to every single cricket freak like me out there. I just absolutely love the cricket in this book. If you are into rom-coms and keep on reading foreign authors like Sophie Kinsella, Marian keyes and Lauren Weisberger. Then take a breather and check out this wonderful author from India who is raising her yardstick with every single book of hers!! Check this book and the author to know how great an author this country has got!!

When I read it for the first time, I only rated this book 3.8 stars but this time I just want to simply jump over and give a 4.9 out of 5 stars without a second thought. Is this even normal to change your views and rating about a book after few years ? Please let me know, this is normal.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Here is the link to buy this book!!

Do read this book and tell me if you have fallen in love with Nikhil Khoda’s charm as well!!

Happy Reading Folks!!

~ Meenu

If you want to know, how I felt about it last year. Listen to this podcast!


  • Meenu Annadurai

    Meenu Annadurai is the founder & editor of The Nerdy Bookarazzi. Meenu is a Customer Specialist by day and a writer by night. She published her debut novel 'A Place called Home' with Half-Baked Beans which is now available on Amazon. She is insanely addicted to her bookshelf and super possessive about them. She is in a serious relationship with her current Book Boyfriend. [email protected] Annadurai Meenu

3 thoughts on “Book Review : The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan @anujachauhan @HarperCollinsIN

  1. I recently read the Zoya Factor again and I totally agree with you. The should have cast Nithya Menon and the film would have worked.

    1. Oh my god 🤩🤩 you have no idea how happy your comment is making me!!! Hi-fi 🙌🙌
      So happy to find a like minded person who completely agree with my point 😄😄😄

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