|Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.|
As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.
Should You read The Bride Test by Helen Hoang?
He was ignoring everyone, including her, at this expensive wedding. So he could read a novel about alien demon things.
The Bride Test is Helen Hoang’s second novel after her very popular and successful debut The Kiss Quotient. The Bride Test is, in a nutshell, a heartwarming and sexy romance novel with a neurodiverse rep and an outlook into immigration in the US. Let me tell you a bit about the story.
The protagonists are Khai Diep and Esme Tran who meet under the most unusual of circumstances but ultimately fall in love. Khai is vietnamese, autistic and if you’ve read The Kiss Quotient, is unlike Stella. Khai is also Michael’s(from the Kiss Quotient) cousin and works as a tax consultant. We learn of Khai’s autism from the prologue when he tries to bring himself to cry at his friend’s funeral but he can’t. One of his relatives even accuses him of not crying. This is also where Khai mentions that nobody in his family understands what “autism” really is and this is so true.
Then, we meet Esme Tran who’s a single mother and working as a hotel maid. It is in this hotel she’s made a proposition that could change her family’s life. The proposition is made by none other than Khai’s mother who worries for her son and is trying to look for a Vietnamese daughter-in-law. After many failures, it seems that she has finally found her ideal daughter-in-law in Esme. Khai’s mother promises her a summer in California, where Esme can see if she can make Khai fall in love with her and marry her, but if not, she will return back to her family.
Sounds Crazy? Mail order bride anyone? I thought that too but read on...
Esme thought it was crazy too! Who’s this crazy woman who’s offering her to seduce and marry her son and in exchange she will get financial security for her family? Will Khai even go through with it even after he finds out Esme is a mother? However, all of her doubts go away when she stares at her daughter’s face and she agrees to seduce and if possible, marry Khai.
I loved how diverse the book was. You can see how different Khai’s character is from Stella. Helen shows us how wide the autism spectrum can be. Not everyone with autism behaves the same way. Then, there’s the Viet rep and it’s also mentioned in the author’s note that Esme’s character is loosely based on Helen’s mother..Through Esme, we not only get a glimpse at how difficult immigration can be. Esme’s a single mother and I think the reason she didn’t tell Khai about her daughter because she was afraid of the consequences. She left her job back in Vietnam for the promise of a more fulfilling life for her family in the United States. Sure, the US is not a dreamboat of a place to live now but to Esme it was a place she could start anew..learn English properly, finish her high school education and perhaps even go to college.
Please, don’t let me make you cry,” he whispered in her ear. “If something is wrong, tell me so I can fix it. Please.
Also, consent plays such a major role in Hoang’s novels along with all the other representation. This is why the sex scenes are so steamy that you’ll feel like you’re reading/ watching soft porn..which is totally okay(more than okay :-D). There’s a scene when Khai is unsure of what he did after having sex and his brother and cousin(Michael) explain aftercare to him..and I just loved it so much. I don’t know if guys/girls actually explain foreplay and after care to anyone in need but it is so very important!
My heart works in a different way, but it’s yours.
excuse my rambling
Speaking of brother, *holy wow* I need Quan’s book like right now!!!!!!
Overall, I highly recommend this book if you loved The Kiss Quotient, love reading diverse books, love reading stories about loving ourselves and taking the time to do it..gah..It was such a beautiful novel and I am utterly in love with it.. if it wasn’t already clear.
|Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.|
Author: Connect with Author Helen Hoang here.
- Publisher: Corvus
- Publication Date(UK): 6th June , 2019
- Paperback: 296 Pages
What do you think? Will you read the Bride Test? If you have read it already, then let me know if you liked it or not. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!