Early Review: THE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang
Also by this author: The Kiss Quotient
Series: The Kiss Quotient #2
Published by BERKLEY on May 7, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Also in this series: The Kiss Quotient
Source: a Blog Giveaway
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via a Blog Giveaway. All opinions are my own.
THE BRIDE TEST Review
After falling in love with Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient last year, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her newest book, The Bride Test. I was fortunate enough to win a copy of an ARC in a giveaway at jennifertarheelreader.com and dove into the book this past weekend. I’ll admit I was a little nervous that The Bride Test wouldn’t be able to live up to my very high expectations, but I’m happy to report that I loved it. So much so that I devoured the book in less than 24 hours! In addition to being a really sweet and sexy romance, The Bride Test also features so much more. It’s also a powerful and heartfelt read that takes on important topics such as grief and mourning, what it’s like to live with autism, and also what it’s like to be an immigrant who comes to America looking for a better way of life.
I adored the main characters, Khai Diep and Esme Tran, from the first moment I met them. Khai is just precious. He is autistic and doesn’t think that he is capable of feeling emotions. He feels nothing while attending the funeral of one of his best friends and just shies away from most relationships because he thinks everyone deserves better than what he can offer them. Khai’s mother isn’t buying it though. She wants grandbabies and makes it her mission in life to find the perfect girl for Khai. When she has a chance encounter with Esme, a single mom living in Vietnam, she knows Esme is the right girl and makes her a surprising and somewhat shocking offer – she will pay for Esme to come to America if Esme is willing to do whatever it takes to win Khai’s heart. Esme sees this as her best chance to secure a better life for herself and for her daughter, so she accepts the offer. Esme won my heart right away because she’s incredibly brave and resourceful, working on a backup plan for herself so that even if things don’t go well with Khai, she has the skills and education she needs to be able to stay in America and bring her daughter over as well.
There’s just so much to love about The Bride Test. The romance was just so well written. Esme and Khai are adorably awkward together but still manage to have intense chemistry. I loved how realistic the relationship felt with all of its ups and downs. At the same time, however, Hoang also weaves some wonderful family moments into her story. Khai’s siblings, Quan and Vy, are wonderful secondary characters and I just loved watching them educate Khai on all matters of the heart. The family dynamic was so sweet, as they were all so devoted to making sure Khai has every chance at love and happiness. Hoang’s depiction of autism also felt very authentic, as did her portrayal of what it’s like to be an immigrant in search of the “American Dream.” Overall, The Bride Test is a very satisfying read in every way and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to everyone.
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
I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about this book. And I’ve been seeing more and more autism rep in books, which is great!
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…The Friday Face-Off: School
I love seeing all of the autism rep in books lately. Hoang does a really good job of showing what it’s like to have it. I felt like I learned a lot.
This sounds so adorable! I still really need to read the The Kiss Quotient, I’ve heard nothing but good things about these books. Great review!
Jordan Rose recently posted…Reading Recommendations: Arctic Climates
If you enjoy contemporaries, these are both really good. 🙂
I had no idea that Esme was a single mother! That makes me want to read the book even more, because I don’t often see single mothers in romance novels, let alone own voices autistic rep either. I also loved The Kiss Quotient, and I can’t wait till I get my hands on this. Hopefully my library will buy this one, and if they don’t, I’m going to request they do so! 😀
Genni @ Ready, Set, Read! recently posted…BOOK REVIEW | Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
Yes, I loved that Esme was a single mom too. I think it added an extra layer of depth to the story.
Fantastic review Suzanne! I am so happy that you loved it as much as TKQ! It gives me hope 😉
Sophie recently posted…Girl power in pettycoats! I loved To Best the Boys by Mary Webber. 4,5 stars for a very entertaining and empowering read. #review
I hope you love it too!
My heart breaks because I didn’t love this one, but I’m happy you did Suzanne!
Amber Elise @ Du Livre recently posted…Les Petites Revues [#20]
Aww, I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t love it 🙁
I love that in addition to a sweet romance, this is also a family story!
I loved that too. It gave it so much more depth.
Great review! And I love the sound of the premise, Suzanne. Thank you for sharing.
Do excited you loved this! Can’t wait until it comes out!!
I hope you love it when you read it!
I am over here doing a happy dance, because you say all sorts of things I want to hear. I was already all in because of my love for TKQ and I liked Khai in that book too.
Sam@wlabb recently posted…Tell Me Something Tuesday: Got Books?
I can’t wait to see what you think of it!
This review makes me SO happy, Suzanne! I’ve seen some mixed reviews, but yours has me ready to dig in right away! So, so happy you enjoyed it! Wonderful review!
I really loved it. Thanks again for hosting the giveaway for it!
What a wonderful review; I’m glad that it lived up to your expectations. X
Flora recently posted…Flora Reviews… Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel
Thanks, me too! 🙂
This sounds soo good! I still need to read The Kiss Quotient, but I have heard only great things about it. Great review!
Teresa Mary Rose recently posted…89 Thoughts I Had While Re-Reading Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Both of her books have been fantastic reads for me so I hope you have a similar experience with them. 🙂
Excellent review. Sounds like a good read.
RR recently posted…Intro: Jane Godman, Colton’s Secret Bodyguard (The Colton’s of Roaring Spring)
Definitely. I’m really loving Hoang’s books.
YES!! I loved this from begin to end. I am so happy you loved it.
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer recently posted…Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine
I’m so glad to hear you loved it too. I loved both of the characters so much!
I am excited to read both of these books! Thanks for sharing your review. 👍✨
La La in the Library recently posted…FURS-DAY FEATURE – April 2019
Hope you enjoy them both!
Nice review. I want to start this series 😉
It’s a good one. 🙂