Book Review:The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Reading (or I should say listening as It was an audio book) ‘The Bride Test’ was a learning curve. I enjoyed the experience and always looked for any spare time I could grab to listen to the story.

This is a love story about Esme and Khai. Khai has autism but is a successful accountant living in California who doesn’t believe he has the ability to love. Esme is a poor girl living in Vietnam with her daughter, mother and grand-mother who has been hand-picked by Khai’s mother as a candidate to marry and live with Khai in America.

This book gave me a better understanding of how people with autism may view our world. How different their thought life is from the average person and how they process their feelings. This was a huge eye opener. It has increased my empathy for those who are on the spectrum and not only them but also people who find it hard to express their feelings to their loved ones. The experience revealed to me how impatient I have been with people who are less expressive with their feelings than me and I honestly had to take a repentance on my thoughts and behavior in this regard. This is because I was frustrated many times when I expected Khai to act in a certain way towards Esme and he didn’t but had to constantly remind myself that he doesn’t see, feel or react to things like most people do.

I loved the way the writer developed each character and her style of writing which made you feel like you knew what each character thought or felt. How the love story between Khai and Esme blossomed even though they were worlds apart and always misinterpreted each other’s actions. Esme was my favorite character for so many reasons. She was able to rise above all her short comings and mistakes and have the courage to hold on to her dream to make a better life for her daughter and her family. In spite of Khai’s shortcomings, she was still able to love him with all her heart and draw him out of his shell which was not an easy task at all. I will have to confess that I had some teary moments reading this book which is a rare thing in my years of reading fiction, but this one really tugged at my heart strings in some parts.

I also loved Khai’s mother’s character (reminds me of a typical overbearing African mother) and his big brother who brought a lot of wit to the book. I was also entertained by the Vietnamese style weddings and a small introduction to their culture especially those who live outside Vietnam and still hold the culture, especially their food dear to their hearts. I don’t have any part of the book I didn’t like although the sex scenes may be a bit too steamy and descriptive for some readers.

In a nut shell, It was a good read and I have already put another book by the author ‘The Kiss Quotient’ on my TBR. I rate this book a big 4 Stars and I recommend it to everyone!

Published: May 7th, 2019 by Berkley

Pages: 296

Genre: Fiction (Contemporary Romance)

Purchase: www.amazon.com/thebridetest

The Author: Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since. In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT. She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.

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