The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Publication Date: July 1st 2019
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Series: The Kiss Quotient #2
Blurb: 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
When Esme finds the first woman crying in the bathroom she is trying to clean, she has no idea how much her life is going to change because soon after, in comes a woman with an offer that could change it forever. The Bride Test follows Khai and Esme, as they navigate living together and facing an arranged marriage of sorts. At first Khai doesn’t want Esme there and Esme sees the relationship as, among other things, an opportunity for her own family but things start changing the more and more time Khai and Esme spend together.
This was my first time reading one of Hoang’s books, I had been aware of The Kiss Quotient and it had been on my radar for awhile given the hype around it. Although it is technically the second book in the Kiss Quotient Series, it reads as a complete standalone so I had no issue diving straight into The Bride Test even as the second book in the series.
The Bride Test was, overall, an enjoyable book. I really liked Hoang’s characters. Both Esme and Khai, were well drawn characters and Khai’s brother, Quan, provided the story a lot of fun. I liked that even as Esme was falling in love with Khai, she didn’t let go of her desire to create a better life for her family. That even if she didn’t marry Khai she was looking for alternatives. Khai’s journey to processing Andy’s death and realising that he can love was really great to watch as well.
Despite these enjoyable elements it wasn’t necessarily an instant favourite. I was curious to see where the story would go but not hanging off every page, desperate to see what would happen next. I think it’s definitely a ‘me not the book’ thing because there isn’t anything that stands out as bad about it, it just didn’t wow me.
So I definitely do recommend picking up The Bride Test if you’ve been interested in reading it because while it wasn’t a amazing read for me it was still an enjoyable one.
“Everyone deserved to love and be loved back. Everyone. Even her.”
*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*