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The Bride Test Paperback – May 7, 2019
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“With The Bride Test, Hoang has once again shown readers the importance of representation in literature, while also creating a sexy, compassionate story about the power of love and the enduring American Dream.”—The Washington Post
“With serious moments offset by spot-on humor, this romance has broad appeal, and it will find a special place in the hearts of autistic people and those who love them.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Everything you want a romance novel to be."—NPR
"Hoang sheds light on a rarely represented segment of society, literally rewriting who is deserving of the leading role in a romantic novel."—Vogue Hong Kong
“The Bride Test is positively delightful....It's smart, honest, and achingly romantic, just as sexy as it is sweet.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Daisy Jones and the Six
“Helen Hoang is a master of building characters that feel relatable.”—New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren
“Prepare to fall in love all over again...The Bride Test is a charming love story that is equal parts sexy and sweet.”—PopSugar
“Refreshingly real.”—Marie Claire
"A heartwarming contemporary romance."—OprahMag.com
“A stunning, superior romance.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A winning love story that gives a voice to underrepresented characters.”—Booklist
"We couldn't get enough of Helen Hoang's debut novel, The Kiss Quotient, so it's no surprise her second book is at the top of our list."—Good Housekeeping
“From the author that rocked the lit world with her 2018 novel The Kiss Quotient, comes an equally addicting read that is perfect for summer.”—Women's Health
"Hoang writes with the kind of humanity that we all should embody, the kind that makes you believe that there is still an abundance of good left in the world at any given moment."—Shondaland
"Funny, heartwrenching, and the sort of book you'll literally clasp to your chest with a happy sigh after you finish it."—Amazon Book Review
“This new quirky, heartwarming romance will make you believe in love again.”—Woman's Day
“Hoang's books are tenderly personal.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Hoang writes sensitively about underrepresented characters, while balancing heavier themes with light, sweet humor.”—PureWow
"You’re not just reading a fun novel, you’re also reading a novel that’s giving visibility to groups that aren’t often written about."—Betches
“A charming novel about the different forms that love can take.”—New York Post
“Helen Hoang's books…are both delicious love stories and also deeply personal.”—Glamour
“Refreshing, different, and uplifting.”—The Everygirl
"This is one of the romance books of the year — deeply felt and beautifully written."—BookBub
About the Author
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In the end this book was a disappointment but maybe TKQ got my expectations way too high. However I did love the Stella/Michael cameo.
Khai stole my heart just like I knew he would. His autism wasn’t the same as Stella’s just as like no two are alike. He didn’t understand his feelings and considered himself to be broken. Reading about Khai coming to terms about finding love and registering that he is capable of love was the best part of 2019 so far me. He’s one of those characters that you want to root for and jump through the pages and comfort.
Esme was relatable from the get go. How many of us thought life would take us one way and ended up somewhere completely different? She ended up being a single mother young in life and was doing what she could for her daughter. She thought that going to America would give them the life she wanted for them. She just didn’t expect to fall in love.
These two weren’t perfect people, but they were perfect for each other. I loved how she wanted Khai’s consent before she did things that would trigger him. How she asked him to show her how he liked things and how he wanted to be touched.
I couldn't give this one 5 stars because I did have some minor issues with it, but it doesn't take from my love of this book. Also, I really need a book on Quan next. He really stood out in this novel and I would love to read about him finding love!
All in all, this book was great and I encourage everyone to read it when it comes out! I preordered as soon as I book the book down!
Top international reviews
The Bride Test has the charm and humour much loved from Hoang’s debut, and with it a heartwarming and emotionally complex layer. It deals with “well intentions” and ignorance of autism, as well as the struggles of immigration and discovering ones true self.
Along with a romance story, it’s a story of self love and particularly in My’s case, her ability to find pride in herself, her heritage and her accomplishments.
There is absolutely no doubt Helen Hoang is an extremely talented and special writer. She is able to give a voice and experience to people who in everyday life may feel unheard and/or misunderstood. Along with the enjoyment I get from her novels I have yet again come away with compassion and understanding those with unseen struggles.
"The Bride Test" follows the story of Esme, a Vietnamese girl desperate to find a better life for both herself and her family. Given an opportunity she couldn’t refuse, she flew to America to grab the chance of a new life, which is where she met Khai. The tale that then unfolded was one that was so gorgeous that I easily fell in love with everything about it. From the sweet slow burn to the brilliant character development and the cute romance that slowly developed between Esme and Khai, it was absolute perfection. I just had a huge smile on my face and a happy feeling in my heart throughout the majority of this book. Esme and Khai were so adorable together and as I reached the final chapters, I felt giddy with love for the couple and how things had played out for them.
I really can’t recommend this book enough. If you haven’t yet snapped this one up, get clicking. If you love a good romance, you would be crazy not to read this novel. I can’t wait for book number three from Helen Hoang which releases next year.
Young, poverty-stricken single mum Esme agrees to leave Vietnam to try and seduce US-based autistic hunk Khai, who thinks he is not capable of feeling love, but not only does he fall in love with her – she falls head over heels with him!
The good and the bad:
I gobbled this book up within 24 hours while on holiday. It was sweet and a bit saucy!
The book addresses the matter of emotion in autistic people – it questions the idea that autistic people are devoid of the ability to feel emotion and concludes that they do in fact experience a range of emotions, it’s just that emotions do not display in the same way that they do for a non-autistic person.
Hunky Khai is convinced he can’t feel love because some people around him don’t understand his condition and have told him he doesn’t feel emotions. So he believes it. Until persistent and eternally optimistic Esme rocks up and shakes his world, with her disordered approach to life and determination to seduce him!
Esme is adorable – she’s sweet, hardworking and relentlessly cheerful despite having been at the school of hard knocks. I was rooting for her right from the start when she is scrubbing toilets in Vietnam. Khai also invokes sympathy although not for having autism, but for the fact others have convinced him his autism puts him at a disadvantage and makes him odd somehow, when he is actually very caring and intelligent.
The path to true love is very bumpy for the duo but ultimateyly, in Khai, Esme unexpectedly finds someone dependable who will look after her in a way that she really needs. In Esme, Khai finds someone understanding and patient. And together they enjoy the pursuits of sex! Said sex scenes are pretty graphic and are a garnish to the story, rather than the main meal. Just the right mix for this beautifully-written and very romantic story, which I highly recommend!
The Bride Test is another one of those books that I’ve been seeing everywhere since before it even released up to the present day. Everyone seems to love it and I’ve always felt like I was missing out on something by not reading it but the hype machine is a scary thing and it made me reluctant to try it. And what an idiot I was! I completely agree with the hype machine! This book was awesome.
It’s funny, sad, sweet, sexy, emotional, frustrating, and motivational and sometimes it’s all those things near simultaneously!
The cultural aspects of the story were fascinating but utterly alien to me.
The level of what I’d consider poverty that Esme and her family lived in was eye-opening and I could wholeheartedly understand why she’d agree to fly to America and marry a stranger to provide a better life for her own daughter (and her mother/grandmother).
I love how hard a worker she was. I adored how much she wanted to learn and “make something of herself.” She never gave up, she was always kind, always tried to be cheerful and look on the brightside. She didn’t complain and she was such a lovely person that I’d want to be her friend if she were real!
Khai was also wonderful. He’s a good son and brother and he works hard. He shows kindness to the random interloper his mum drops in his lap with little warning and tries his best to accommodate her until it’s time for her to go home… For his mother’s scheme will never work, right?
I thought the way Khai was written was very well done. His autism doesn’t define him but it does make him see the world differently and interact with it differently. Esme learning about it and learning what Khai needed was just perfect. Khai learning to live his life with another person and learning that he was capable of love? Also perfect.
Esme and Khai just worked so well together. I was rooting for them all the way through. I was so happy reading this book that I never wanted it to end and to leave these people. I thought the ending was a bit far-fetched but I enjoyed how everything played out.
The only reason I didn’t give the book five stars was the fact that Esme kept something super SUPER important from Khai. She kept saying she'd tell him but she didn't. She kept putting it off and putting it off and the way he found out (even though he handled it like the sweetheart he is) was just not good enough.
My one and only grumble aside, I highly recommend this book to my fellow romance lovers!
It’s a great play in the idea of arranged marriages and buying brides (a sad fact that this still actually happens in real life...) and makes you fall for the characters, wanting to devour their stories like they’re smothered in melted chocolate.
I loved the characters and the storyline - a great follow up to The Kiss Quotient, one of my favourite books of the year already!
Thank you Helen for this eye opening masterpiece and for changing my perception about autism.