The Bride Test

The Bride Test

by Helen Hoang

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The Bride Test 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous 8 days ago
This+is+another+great+read+by+this+author.++If+you+enjoyed+her+first+book%2C+you+will+like+this+one+too%2C++Familiar+characters+reappear%2C+but+enough+of+a+new+storeyline+to+stand+alone+%28you+won%27t+need+to+read+the+first+to+enjoy+this+one%29.++I+also+thought+this+one+packed+more+emotion.
Anonymous 23 days ago
The feel of this book is different than Kiss Quotient—more melancholy, maybe—but lovely and every bit as engaging. I don’t know if I’ll read it again and again like the first, but I did like it very much.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I+don+usually+write+reviews%2Cbut+I+absolute+adored+this...+After+reading+her+first+book+I+was+hooked%2C+I+can%27t+wait+to+see+what+else+she+has+coming.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I++really++enjoyed++reading++this++book+%2C+it++was++very++heart+warming+.++I++read+the++kiss+quotient++as+well++and++both++books++were++well++written++and++just++a++great++story++all+around+.+I++can%27t++wait++for++the++next++book++
Anonymous 4 months ago
You must read this book. The characters could be your neighbors they feel so real. I enjoyed the story. If you are hedging on purchasing this book, do it!
wendm_ccbh 4 months ago
4.5 STARS! The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang was by far my favorite book of 2018, so naturally when I heard Helen was writing Khai's book I was filled with excitement to once again visit this dynamic world Hoang creates. With that being said, The Bride Test was absolutely perfect! Khai is autistic and doesn't feel nor recogonize emotions. Being from a strict Vietnamese family doesn't help either. It's expected of him to marry and carry on the family name, so you can imagine his irritation and frustration when his mother sets out to set him up. Esme encounters Khai's mother, Cô Nga in the women's bathroom who convinces her to come to the U.S. from Vietnam to meet/marry her son. Thinking of her family struggles, this is an offer Esme cannot refuse as she has hopes of providing a better life for herself and for her family. When Khai and Esme meet it does not go as planned. Not only is their relationship unconventional but Khai feels no connection to Esme and acts rather rudely towards her. Afterall, she is a stranger and in Khai's mind that simple fact is amplified. Then there's Esme, she lives with anxiety of being in a new place and believes that she is the cause of his behavior. It's later on that Esme understands exactly why Khai acts that way. Though their relationship wasn't perfect, with time the relationship between Khai and Esme slowly blooms; and that's the beauty of it all. These two unusual characters complimented one another very well, learning from each other. A slow paced and swoony romance, The Bride Test will have you wanting to read everything Helen Hoang writes!
magicalreads7 less than 1 minute ago
The Kiss Quotient was probably one of my favorite reads of 2018, and I was unbelievably excited for its sequel, The Bride Test! I am always so desperate for Vietnamese rep, and Helen Hoang really delivers it in a way I've never gotten before. The Bride Test is an amazing book, filled with love and understanding and heart. This book really took my breath away; I honestly couldn't put it down! Esme and Khải are great narrators, and I loved following them on their journeys. Esme is struggling to adapt to American life and to make Khải fall in love with her. Khải is trying to adapt to the changes in his life with the introduction of Esme into his life and to not fall in love with her. Esme is truly amazing. Following an immigrant as a narrator was definitely eye-opening, and in Hoang's author's note, she notes that she does not have first-hand experience as an immigrant and goes on to list resources for you to read and to learn more about it. She also writes that the research that went into this novel brought her closer to her mother, a Vietnamese immigrant; I teared up at this point because I share this same experience. This is why we need #ownvoices books! I also liked that Esme has a child (despite never formally being in a relationship with her child's father) but is never ashamed of this. She certainly believes that ever falling for her daughter's father was a mistake, but the love that she has for her daughter is massive and unending. The Bride Test is also #ownvoices for autism representation in Khải. It is definitely interesting reading how he believes he doesn't have feelings, just because he doesn't experience them like most everyone else does. This definitely got me thinking about how we, as a society, portray a "normal" way to feel, when everyone is different and expresses their emotions in different ways, especially love. Khải thinks he's incapable of love because he doesn't feel the passion and intensity that's often portrayed; however, love can be subtle: it can be slow-growing, shown in small, everyday gestures. This book is evidence of that, and I loved reading a different take on a love story. Khải's brother, Quân, is honestly the best! He's such a great brother and overall person, helping both Khải and Esme in their times of need. Can we get a book about him please?? I also loved seeing him and Khải and Michael interact, although I desperately need more of them together. I've touched on this throughout this review, but the Viet representation in this book is truly some of the best I've ever read. The fact that I get to read about Vietnamese people, eating Vietnamese food, mentioning little bits of Vietnamese culture, all while falling in love . . . it honestly still makes me cry. I so rarely get to see Vietnamese characters, much less have them centered in a love story. Hoang is writing more sequels in this series with Michael's sisters as the protagonists, if you didn't know, and I smile every time I remember this. #ownvoices books mean so, so much. The Bride Test is a stunning sequel to its already amazing predecessor. You'll be sure to fall in love with Esme and Khải over and over throughout the book as they fall in love with each other. The Vietnamese rep is some of the best I've ever had the chance to read, and I'm forever grateful for it. The Bride Test is a poignant tale of an immigrant's struggle to adapt, of a man with autism adapting to change, of a slow-growing, but eternally steady love.
BlueLupa 12 days ago
So, if you are first coming across my blog, let me tell you that I LOVE The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, if you aren't new then you are more than aware I'm sure. This author's debut novel took off with amazing writing and an own voice writing that flawlessly incorporates a wonderful fake dating romance with a heroine on the autism spectrum and Vietnamese-american hero. Stella and Michael completely stole my heart. The Bride Test is the next book and is the story of Khai, Michael's cousin and also on the spectrum. My only 'complaint' is that I would have loved to see more of Michael and Stella (though what we did see was adorable!). I absolutely devoured this sequel and I'm already impatient for another book from her! Read this!! Here goes on the formal review. Diversity: In this one both the heroine and the hero are Vietnamese. The hero is on the autism spectrum and the features thereof are directly involved in the story. I absolutely loved it. At no point did it feel as though the hero is expected to change in order to be loved. (Not that I expected any different, but still, it's nice to see) I could guess that the author had personal knowledge on these aspects because they were to naturally incorporated, simply a piece of the whole. Code Status: Definitely a 5 star Emergency Must See!! After a second stellar work, Helen Hoang is definitely an Auto-buy Author for me Allergies/Sensitivities: Trigger warnings There are discussion/memories of family death and coping after Content Warnings The heroine has never known her father and has a child out of wedlock. History: This set in the same world and with the same characters from The Kiss Quotient but it stands alone very well. Caution when reading it that there are spoilers for The Kiss Quotient peppered through, though nothing that I think would affect your enjoyment if you were to read them out of order. Temperature: I'd call this a 3.5 on the heat scale. The hero might be a virgin but there is definitely mentions of arousal from the first meeting and eventually on-page sex. I think my favorite part is that the hero doesn't immediately rock at sex and has to learn. There is actually mentions of How-To Books that are cute and funny. Pain Level: I'd call this a 3 in terms of angst. There are misunderstandings and different goals and conflict enough to keep the book going including some hold-your-breathe moments before that all-important HEA! Heart Rate: This is a contemporary series where there is no world ending disaster or massive conflict. The things at stake are the happiness and future of the characters - which are important - but nothing on a huge scale. I love my paranormals where the universe is on the brink of destruction but it's nice to have it be a more realistic level of conflict too Breathing: This is typical length book though, as with all books I enjoy, I would have loved more :-) Prescription/Rx: If this sounds good, and you haven't read The Kiss Quotient then don't wait buy now!!!
Anonymous 18 days ago
Esme Tran is a poor single mixed-race mother living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, cleaning toilets for a living and sharing a tiny apartment with her mother, grandmother and daughter. One day cleaning a toilet in a fancy hotel she strikes up a conversation with one of the ladies using the bathroom which results in a fairy-tale offer - come to the US and meet the woman's son and hopefully get married. Esme jumps at the chance of a better future for her daughter and the opportunity to possibly find her American father, Phil. Khai Diep has problems expressing emotions the way others do, especially after the tragic death of his best friend a decade ago. A tax genius he nevertheless exasperates his traditional mother who desperately wants him to marry a good Vietnamese woman and have lots of lovely grandchildren. Khai doesn't have the heart to tell his mother than he can't love anyone - he just doesn't have the capability but forced by his domineering mother to play host to Esme for several months, and to squire her to three family weddings, he comes to find this strange woman oddly fascinating. I really liked Helen Hoang's previous novel, The Kiss Quotient but this book just didn't resonate with me in the same way, maybe because Esme and Khai both, in different ways, found it hard to understand their environments and were too similar in that respect? Also I didn't really click with either character, not in the way I empathised with Stella Lane in the last book. Overall, this was an enjoyable read, a bit like Crazy Rich Asians meets The Kiss Quotient but didn't have that extra wow factor of the first book. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Take_Me_AwayPH 26 days ago
Just like everyone else, I wasn't sure how this one would go. It would either be just as good as the first, or it would fall victim to the sophomore slump. Lucky for me, it was just as good as the first one for me. The characters, the romance, everything made it a story that I loved! Khai thinks he's defective because he has no emotions, but in reality its his autism that makes him feel the way he does. And because of that, he has strayed from relationships as long as he could. But then his mom takes it into her own hands and takes it upon herself to choose a bride for him. In comes Esme. She takes the opportunity to come to America to see what other opportunities there are. But trying to make him fall in love with her is harder than she thinks. But falling for him is surprisingly easy.... The main thing I liked about this was the characters. I loved the growing that all of them did and it was so great to see all the things they learned along the way. But the best thing was they did it all by themselves. They both had very different lessons to learn and it made them even stronger, individual characters. And when they finally did get together, it was a wonderful romance and they were both able to bring something to the relationship. Another thing I liked about this was the representation. Although everyone's experience with autism isn't the same, this one is #ownvoices. I liked the way it was shown that Khai had to work to feel comfortable with Esme and he wasn't automatically ready to be with her. And I liked that Hoang chose to focus on a different part of the autism spectrum for Khai's character. I thought that was important to show that not everyone's the same. I found the audio of this was just ok for me. All the characters (except for Quan and Mike randomly) sounded the same and that bothered me. (Esme had a bit of a sharper accent, but that was all the difference.) I wish there was more than one person on the production. Just to make them a bit different. Other than that, Emily Woo Zeller did a really spectacular performance. Even though this one was not about Quan like I wanted it to be, it was still an amazing read. (Also because I get Quan's book next lmao) I have grown to really love Hoang's writing style and now I'm excited for what else she will do next.
Caroles_Random_Life 3 months ago
I really liked this romance. It is really hard to avoid comparing this book to the author's debut novel, The Kiss Quotient. We do see some familiar characters in this book and I am actually glad that there is a connection. Don't let that fool you though. This is a very different story and I thought it was pretty original. I have a great time with this one. I liked the set up for this story. I thought that it was fun that the whole story begins with Khai's matchmaking mother. It wasn't quite an arranged marriage story since both characters were able to choose but I thought it was a fun premise for a contemporary story. Both Khai and Esme had personalities that made the entire set up of the story believable and I have to say that I can understand why Khai's mom decided to take matters into her own hands. I really liked both of the characters a lot but I would have to say that Khai was my favorite. Khai is autistic and doesn't always see everything the same way that others do. He knows this and has decided that he is broken and unable to feel. He is very high functioning and is very successful in his career. His personal life isn't doing as well before he meets Esme. I think that Khai learned a lot about himself over the course of this story and it was great to see him learn how to be a part of a relationship. Esme really wants to change her life for herself and her daughter. She decides to take Khai's mother up on her offer to spend the summer with Khai in California in a quest to do just that. She is not afraid of hard work and really does try to make Khai happy. Unfortunately, she didn't always understand what Khai needed. I actually liked Esme more as the story progressed and she started focusing more on herself. It was at that point that I felt like I really got to know her and her passions. I think that the romance between these two worked well on a lot of different levels. Neither one of them felt like they belonged so they had something in common. Khai explained what he needed and Esme worked really hard to deliver. They had a lot of chemistry and I really felt that they both seemed to be better when they were together. I thought that Emily Woo Zeller did an amazing job with this story. I thought that she did a great job with both points of view in the story. Character voices were also really well done and I thought that she brought a lot of emotion into the story. I am really glad that I made the decision to listen to this book. I would recommend this book to others. This was a wonderful romance with incredibly strong and unique characters. It really was a joy to watch this happily ever after come together. I can't wait to read more from Helen Hoang! I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via Edelweiss and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.
miztrebor 3 months ago
“The Bride Test is the next book in this series and I’m going to devour it when it’s released. I’m expecting great things from Hoang after reading The Kiss Quotient.” That’s a direct quote from my review of Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient. Did I devour The Bride Test? Yes, I think listening to the audio over two days (for me) could be considered devouring. What it worth it? Very much so! As I heard from some other readers, I feel that this book was even better than The Kiss Quotient. Not that either book is worse than the other, but I think the bar was raised even higher with this one. What this book was able to do for me was to actually keep me thinking “will there really be an HEA when this one’s done?” The Romance genre, by definition, needs an HEA. There’s a framework that most books follow and a reader “knows” mostly when things will start wrapping up and all that. Hoang really had me worrying with this one. Even if the HEA didn’t happen, I feel that I was going to be satisfied with the book as a whole. The characters are some of my favorites in recent memory. Esme is one for not being a push-over, despite being a stranger in a new country and building herself up with little help from others. She made sure she had contingencies no matter what happened. And Khai for growing as a person, understanding himself better, and finding happiness he didn’t even think he needed. This is the first time I’ve read a book where a main character, especially from the 1st person POV, is autistic. Was it drilled into my head that this was the case? Was this a book written just to have an autistic character? No and No. Khai is a well-written character who happens to be the way he is because that’s who he is. Some of the secondary characters (family members, to be more specific) don’t understand him or seem to try realizing he’s not an asshole. But then there’s Quan who is such a caring brother and reminded me that not everyone in the family dismisses Khai’s “differences” as him being stubborn or uncaring. And that leads me to what I would love to see next. Quan’s story. I don’t always “need” a certain character to have a book next, but I think a book for Quan would be a really great one to read, especially if we see more of the couple’s from The Bride Test and The Kiss Quotient in them. I enjoyed the cameos from book one in this book but miss them already.
KPagan17 3 months ago
The Bride Test is absolutely captivating. A romance that slowly unfolds with every page turned. A reminder that communication is key in ANY relationship. I read this book in two days and was left wanting more! Do yourself the favor and dive right into this book.
Theresa B 3 months ago
This book did not make me blush the way The Kiss Quotient did. The build up was intense and went on forever, but the story was so sweet. Khai is on the autism spectrum and his mother goes back to Viet Nam to find a wife for him because she wants him to be happy and have someone who will love him (as much as it seems weird for someone to do this; as a mom, I can appreciate wanting someone to love your child and make them happy). She finds My cleaning bathrooms at a fancy hotel and convinces her to come to America. My doesn't want to leave her daughter and other family, but her mother convinces her to go. She does not tell Khai or his mother about her daughter, in fact she lies about a lot of things to try to win Khai over, so she can make a better life for her daughter in America. It is such a sweet, good book and I loved it. I seldom give romance books five stars, but this book made me think about what life is like in other countries and how lucky we are to live where we do. Plus, a week later I am still thinking about the characters and story.
LHill2110 4 months ago
Writing: 3/4 Plot: 4/5 Characters: 3/5 An erotically charged, utterly non-traditional, romance novel. Diệp Khăi is a successful, Vietnamese-American accountant, with his own business in Sunnyvale. He was also diagnosed with Autism and decided long ago that his “Stone Heart” and “inability to feel emotions” disqualified him from having romantic relationships. His grandchildren-desiring mother (Cô Nga), however, is not willing to give up. Unbeknownst to Khăi, she travels to Việtnam to find him a bride. Esme Tran (Việtnamese name — Trán Ngọc Mỹ) cleans bathrooms in a nice hotel in Hơ Chi Minh city. While resting between disappointing bride interviews in the ladies’ lounge, Nga finds what she is looking for in the attractive, diligent, and polite Esme. Esme has a few secrets of her own — she has a five-year old fatherless daughter, and longs to find her own father — an American named “Phil” who went to UC Berkeley over 20 years ago. Esme accepts Nga’s offer — a job and a visa for the summer and a chance to convince the reluctant Khăi that he wants to marry her. Well-written, with alternating chapters offering alternating character insights in addition to steamy prose. In an interview, the author revealed her own recent Autism diagnosis and the evolution of the Esme character based on her own mother’s immigration to U.S. As a side note, I enjoyed all the Vietnamese names written in the full alphabet and made the (somewhat difficult) effort to include them here. It’s a beautiful looking language which I admit to knowing nothing about. If you’re interested, scan the Wikipedia article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_alphabet. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on May 7th, 2019.
taramichelle 4 months ago
The Bride Test was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. It was sweet and it was sexy. It was heart-warning and funny. It was romantic and tragic. And overall, it left me with a smile on my face as I wipe away a few tears. Esme and Khai were both such brilliantly written characters. I loved how Hoang allowed us to go on Khai’s journey with him. However, Esme stole the show for me. I loved how she was strong, resilient, and determined. Hoang mentioned in the author’s note at the end that Esme was inspired by her mother (I HIGHLY recommend reading the author’s note for the full story!). I can’t wait until my physical copy arrives so I can read it again. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Renwarsreads 4 months ago
I loved this book! The characters are so sweet and naive and you love them right from the beginning. The difficulties between them are a mainly lack of being able to communicate and as things progress I really loved them as a couple!! Great romance!!
VPV613 4 months ago
Oh how I love this author's writing! Another beautiful story, and what a great read!!! I definitely recommend this author, this book, and this wonderful series.
BarbTRC 4 months ago
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is the 2nd book in her The Kiss Quotient series. Hoang gives us another wonderful romantic story, with a fabulous couple and she continues with the background theme of one of them being autistic. I was once again totally surprised when I found myself unable to put the book and down enjoying it very much. Khai Diep, our hero, is a smart successful accountant, but he is also autistic. Khai avoids any kind of relationship, as he feels he is incapable of love, grief or any kind of feelings. He has a wonderful family, who watch over him, and his mother takes matters in her own hands when she travels to Vietnam, and tries to find the right girl to win over Khai. Esme Tran, our heroine, is a young mixed-race girl helping to support her mother and daughter, by working odd jobs cleaning or in restaurants. When Co Nga (Khai’s mother) offers her the opportunity to go to America, for the summer to try and win the son’s hand in marriage. Esme accepts the chance to change her life and her family for the better, as well as find the father she never knew. When Khai finds out that his mother is bringing a young girl to live for the summer at his house, he is not pleased. Khai will find himself battling his attraction to Esme, who is also very sweet and beautiful, as well as caring. Esme, who is quirky and overly friendly, tries everything to make him comfortable around her, doing things in the house, but he does come across as cold and uncaring. Esme has her own issues, always concerned that she comes from the slums, and doesn’t fit in; but she is determined to make Khai see that she is falling in love with him, and would be the perfect wife for him. As time goes on, Khai and Esme will act on their growing feelings, with Khai beginning to accept that perhaps marrying Esme will work. I loved them both together, and rooted hard that they would succumb to their feelings. I also loved Quan (Khai’s brother) who also tried to convince his brother that Esme is the one for him. Quan was willing to do anything, even to make Khai jealous; this was a fun part. Khai doesn’t believe he is capable of love, and denies admitting that loves her; even after she proclaims she loves him, which pushes her away. To say too much more would be spoilers. You need to The Bride Test, as it brings out so many emotional, as well happy feelings as we read this story. The Bride Test was a sensual, emotional, heartwarming and sexy story. As I said, I loved Esme and Khai together, as well as the wonderful cast of secondary characters.. This was so well written by Hoang, as she manages to keep us glued to our seats with this wonderful story, with a fantastic couple.
rlane 4 months ago
I LOVED The Kiss Quotient, couldn’t put it down, and so I’ve been looking forward to The Bride Test, albeit with a little reservation. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high just in case I didn’t like it as much. Looks like I didn’t need to worry, Helen Hoang beautiful, soul reaching writing comes through again in Khai and Esme’s story. I enjoyed their slow journey getting to know each other, figuring each other out, and sorting out their feelings. Khai’s normal balance is upset with the addition of Esme and it was funny watching his frustrated confusion when she did things he didn’t understand. Irritated that this doesn’t stem his growing attraction to her. He’s also sure that starting something with Esme wouldn’t be good long-term for anyone since he doesn’t feel capable of having an emotion like love. Sure, he could become addicted to her to the point Esme’s absence would ruin any future peace. But would getting involved with no prospect for love be fair to her? It was apparent to me that Khai loved by his actions both with Esme and his family, but the problem was this wasn’t how Khai interpreted his own emotions. Esme wanted everything to work out with Khai, at first because of the opportunity for a better life for her and her family, but she was immediately attracted to him, too. Her feelings only intensify as the story goes on, and Esme worried she was headed for heartbreak. Especially since every time she gets her hopes up that Khai’s falling too, something happens to crush her feelings. Understandable when she doesn’t fully understand the issues with autism. Both Khai and Esme were a little outside of the world they lived in, Khai because of his autism and Esme because of her culture, and I feel that commonality bonded them even more. They get their signals mixed a bit at first, but they seem to get a better understanding of each other as the book goes on. What I loved most is how invested I was in these fictional characters! Helen Hoang did a masterful job of bringing Khai and Esme feelings come to life so that I felt their pain, yearning and passion right along with them! With The Bride Test Ms. Hoang proves her writing skills were no fluke, and I can’t wait for whatever she has in store next!
BecLibrarian 4 months ago
Oh, my heart! I can't say how happy I am to see neurodiversity so well-represented, especially in the romance genre. I especially loved reading yet another great story about an MC with an autism spectrum disorder, written by an author with an autism spectrum disorder. What is even better is how utterly charming, original, and heartfelt this story is. I could not stop reading it. It's absolutely compelling, and I also hope it is eye opening for those who don't have a lot of experience with or understanding of autism spectrum disorders. This is a great book for awareness, but regardless of that, it's just a great story. I'll definitely read this one again, because it is so utterly satisfying.
Anonymous 4 months ago
With all the hype the Kiss Quotient has received (well earned tbh) I was a little hesitant going into Helen's sophomore novel, but it blew me away! I would have read the whole thing in one sitting, but I had to sleep. If you like romance, please read this one! I loved the main characters and can't wait to read more from Helen!
Anonymous 4 months ago
I'll start by saying when I requested this book, I did not realize it follows after the Kiss Quotient and talks about characters from that story, but that did not in any way impact my ability to follow the story or understand what was going on. Khai Diep believes he is incapable of feeling emotions, ever since his cousin Andy died when he was younger. Because of something an aunt said to him in her grief, Khai feels like he is somehow defective, and ever since then has avoided relationships outside of family and work partnerships at all costs. Esme Tran is a mix of Vietnamese and American, and lives in a poorer neighborhood in Vietnam, working as a maid. One day, while cleaning toilets, the opportunity arises for her (provided by Khai's mother, who has decided to take his marriage/lack thereof situation into her own hands), to go to America and attempt to win his heart and marry him. This was a very sweet novel, and I really enjoyed it. I loved watching as the relationship changes between Esme, who is determined to try to win Khai's affection and ends up growing affection for him in return, and Khai, who truly believes he is better off alone but doesn't understand what's happening as he gets used to having Esme around (but that doesn't mean he actually likes it, according to Khai.) I loved the author's writing style and the banter between characters, and seeing the family dynamic and the different ways all of the characters show love for one another, including Khai's other family members.
bookbruin 4 months ago
4.5 stars I absolutely loved The Kiss Quotient and couldn't wait to get my hands on The Bride Test. Helen Hoang did not disappoint and I continue to be impressed by her incredible writing! Khai and My/Esme have a very unconventional meet cute and situation. Their motivations for agreeing to participate are vastly different, but what they find along the way is so uniquely beautiful. Often when a forced proximity trope is used, things come together really quickly and ignite right away. I loved that Hoang let Khai and Esme's relationship build very organically for their personalities. Both are adjusting and learning and it was hilarious (and heartbreaking) to watch them struggle and tackle new experiences. The slow burn build up was very gradual and Hoang kept things perfectly simmering before letting things boil over. There was so much sweetness in the inexperience and wonder that these two discovered. Tears were definitely shed as they confronted their feelings (or lack of) and I felt like the epilogue suited them perfectly. I truly loved Khai and Esme together, but the real star of the book for me was Esme. Esme grew so much throughout the book and I appreciated reading about such a strong and driven heroine. She is clawing at the ground trying to rise above her lot in life and I respected her so much. Reading the author's note at the end brought tears to my eyes because it was not only refreshing, but it also rang so true to my own family's experiences. I'm sure my own cultural background influenced the impact this book had on me, but I think the theme of being truly accepted and loved for who you are and the hope of the American dream will ring true for many. All I can say is thank you Helen Hoang for staying true to the story that you wanted to write and I can't wait for more! *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book*
KristyJewel 4 months ago
This is easily a 5-star book. I first found Helen Hoang through the Bookish First website, and I fell in love with the The Kiss Quotient. It was unique and honestly one of my favorite romances that I have read. When I first heard about The Bride Test, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I didn't even read the blurb. I just knew that Helen Hoang was a new one-click author for me. Needless to say, when I got the opportunity via NetGalley to read The Bride Test I jumped at the chance. The Bride Test brings some lovable characters from The Kiss Quotient and puts them into a new perspective. This book features Khai Diep, a character we briefly met in her last novel. Khai is such a well-written character, and I just loved Esme as well. Both Esme & Khai are well developed, and the chemistry was exciting and fun. What I love about Helen's books is that they feature characters with autism, but it doesn't define them. She puts so much thought and love into her books that it's hard to read a book after it. The plot was kept me fascinated, and it was unique to me. I loved the cultural aspects present in this book, and I liked how it all played out. This book is probably going to be one of my top books of the year, and it is one of my favorites that I have read.