Title: The Bride Test
Author: Helen Hoang
Book 2 of The Kiss Quotient
It felt too big. At the same time, it didn’t feel like enough.
Esme cleans bathrooms for a living to support her family in Vietnam, and she never expected to find a chance for a new life while working one day. Worried for her son’s lack of relationship ability, Cô Nga brings Esme to California from Vietnam to try and win the heart of her son, Khai. Although skeptical, Esme agrees to travel to America for the summer in the hopes of gaining the attention of Khai and providing a new life for her family. Clicking with Khai and becoming a part of his life is not the hard part, but helping him explain his complicated emotions and let her into his heart is a different matter. Struggling with emotions due to his high-functioning autism and grief, Khai believes that he cannot love– not even Esme, but who defines what love is anyway…?
The Bride Test is a touching novel full of laughter, family, steamy romance, and (quite likely) love. This is my favorite Helen Hoang book to date, and I am so glad that I finally read this story!
Do you know how contemporary books always seem to end right when the couple gets together? Then, they live happily ever after (supposedly), and there’s typically some sort of epilogue that shows you like one year from now or four years from now, and it’s nice but you always want more. That was not this book. (Well, I still want more, but I feel wonderfully satisfied). I was so fascinated by the journeys that these characters went on and how well the author acknowledged their need to grow and develop. There is something heartwarming about reading a book with two people who are struggling with things on their own, but who also work on their problems both individually and together.
I love Khai. He was so sweet, thoughtful, and caring. It was painful to realize that he didn’t think that he could love. Watching him struggle through that was amazing, and I can’t believe how effectively the author wrote this story. I’ll admit, I wanted them to get together the entire time, but I’m glad she made us wait as long as she did because it really made the moment sweet and perfect when it happened.
Esme was so funny, charming, and exciting, and it was a pleasure to get to know her. I felt like her arrangement was strange, but when I put it in the context of the story, then I can begin to understand. As someone who has not had an experience like this, I really enjoyed learning how people feel in this type of situation. The United States is great, but I believe there are some immense problems regarding immigration and citizenship. It was a joy to read a story that discussed this issue in a realistic yet not political tone. I am so thrilled for Esme, and it’s no surprise that she did so well in college.
Some of my favorite parts…
- The ending graduation and acceptance of family- Adorable!
- The sex Ed scene with one Khai, Juan, and Michael.
- Seeing Michael and Stella’s wedding, I love them and I’m so glad we got to see them again!
- When Esme’s dad showed up to her wedding. I knew the Khai had done it, and I cried. At first I thought I was crying because her dad was there, but then I realized that I was crying because Kai took the time to find her dad for her!
I really enjoyed watching Esme learn how to touch Khai. This book celebrates being yourself and being open to differences. Many people act strangely around individuals with developmental disorders, and I believe that this is mainly due to their ignorance about the topic rather than a true desire to harm others. I feel like people need to be more aware about the struggles that others are facing so they can interact in a way that is positive for all parties.
It was painful to see Khai’s family misunderstand autism. I am under the impression that this ignorance led him to feel incapable of love in the first place. Clueless people can say hurtful comments that can change how you see yourself, your emotions, and how you interact with people for the rest of your life. I am glad that Khai had Juan to help him figure out his emotions, and that Hoang wrote this book in such a thought-provoking, sensitive manner.
My only complaints (although obviously they didn’t bother me enough to not give this book 5* 😂😬) were…
- Juan was such an amazing brother, but I feel like there was a much more effective way to help Khai than what he ends up doing. I guess it all worked out in the end, and there’s no doubt that he cares for his brother- and that’s what really counts.
- There was a lot of sexual tension and almost uncomfortable power imbalance that was almost too much for me…but it didn’t quite get there
- Esme kept her family (especially her daughter) secret for too long- I found it annoying and sad that she felt the need to hide this part of her life.
Well there are my thoughts! Have you read this book or others by Helen Hoang? What did you think?
Thanks for stopping by!
3 thoughts on “The Bride Test- Girl Loves Boy, Loves Girl”
The Bride Test was so good! I can’t wait for her next book (2021 is so far)!!
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Right?! I initially thought it was May 2020, and it made me so sad when I realized my mistake! Thanks for reading! 🙃
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