I never actually read The Kiss Quotient, but it got such buzz that I had to read Helen Hoang’s sophomore book, The Bride Test. I wasn’t exactly disappointed, because my expectations were weirdly low, but I don’t necessarily know if I’ll read another Helen Hoang book. I liked some aspects of this book, but overall it felt a little too…much for me.
My (who later becomes Esme…and then My again…) is a maid in Vietnam when she is given the chance of a lifetime: go to America and convince this man to marry her while she lives with him and works for his mom. And she accepts, leaving behind her poor family and her young daughter,because why not? And also, she thinks she’ll find her dad in California. So My/Esme moves to California and shacks up with Khai, an autistic virgin accountant who doesn’t like her interrupting his routine. But of course, this is a rom-com, so eventually attraction blossoms, all while My/Esme keeps secret the existence of her daughter, hunts for her biological father, and takes night classes. Yes, there is that much going on. There’s sex scenes and family weddings and a lot of talk about not being good enough and ultimately, it has a cute but very unrealistic ending and left me ready to move on to another book quickly.
I didn’t hate any major part of this book, let me say that, but every time I thought I liked some aspect of it, Hoang would make it ridiculous. Like there’s a very romantic scene in which Khai is asking a BIG question, and then it just morphs into a half-ass sex scene. It’s really jarring. Similarly, the timeline for the whole thing is weird.Sometimes several chapters take place over a one day. Sometimes a month passes in the span of one sentence. It’s hard to follow and makes this very extreme situation even more unrealistic. I’m all for more autism and immigrant rep in rom-coms, but I still want to enjoy the story.