2019 Book #27 – The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

5124XuOubiL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Bride Test
Author: Helen Hoang
Date finished: 5/13/19
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: #2 in the Kiss Quotient series
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

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.

My rating: 4.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

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I have heard a lot about this author since her last release, The Kiss Quotient. I was excited to check out her most recent release and I’m so glad I got the chance to read this one! It’s so good, I read the whole thing in a day because I just couldn’t put it down! This book was so entertaining – Khai as a main character was super funny and endearing. I loved the chemistry between Esme and Khai too – it was emotional and intense, but at the same time so very sweet. I especially appreciated that the author wrote the story from both Khai and Esme’s points of view. I have found that reading pieces from both points of view allows readers to see into each character’s mindset and understand both of their character development better. I loved all the side characters too, Quan and Michael’s interactions with Khai were especially entertaining. And I didn’t even realize that Michael was the main character in the author’s first book, The Kiss Quotient, and now I can’t wait to read that one too! There were some kind of cheesy parts to this book, and the ending came together a little quickly for me. I thought that the author could’ve lingered in the resolution to the story a little but who knows. I really enjoyed this book, it was so good that I immediately wanted to start reading it again. I would recommend it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

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2015 Book #50 – Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Date finished: 5/27/15
Genre: Young adult – romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Pages in book: 325
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough… Eleanor.
Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises… Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

My rating: 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a book set in high school” check box since it is in fact about two high school students. I had heard a lot of good things about this book and after reading Fangirl recently, I definitely wanted to get my hands on this one. I saw it a couple weeks ago at my local library and snatched it right up. Almost from the very beginning I was hooked on this book. I have to be honest in saying that I find some young adult romance novels overwhelmingly frustrating because everything is so angst-y all the time and it ends up feeling like the characters are just whining a lot. I have never in my life before had a book make me feel what this book did. I had a high school love, most people do, and even if you didn’t necessarily have a love, most people have felt the thrill of having a crush. Does he like me too? And then once you think he does, there is the thrill of the first time he holds your hand and the first time you kiss and just the thrill of being young and in love. This book dug deep inside my memory banks and brought back all those feelings I experienced in high school to the forefront. It really was astounding for me.
Eleanor has a lot of family issues (Park has some too I guess but Eleanor has way more and they’re more serious) that are discussed in the book. An abusive stepdad, a mom that won’t stand up for herself or her 5 children, an absentee dad, I could just go on and on. She doesn’t have a toothbrush until halfway through the book for goodness sake. Eleanor’s life and her family as it is described in book added a darkness to the book. The harshness of Eleanor’s life really was a great contrast to the joy and light blossoming inside her as she develops her relationship with Park. I mean her home life is awful and I was frustrated with her mom for pretty much the entire book but the fact that Eleanor was able to trust Park was unexpected and it shows how her character grows throughout the novel.
Overall I very much liked this book. I couldn’t put it down, it was one of those that sucks you in and two hours you look up and think “where am I?” The feelings that will consume you while reading this book are overwhelming, so just be prepared. They’re good feels though so don’t panic. The characters both grew a lot in the novel, Park specifically learned that you shouldn’t care what everyone else thinks, which I think was a great life-lesson for him. There are many parts of their relationship that seemed so realistic, especially for high school students, like Park being embarrassed about the way Eleanor dresses only because of how other people think of it. The ending I think is as it should be but I can see how some might like a more neat and defined ending. I like to think that in the future, Eleanor and Park end up together forever and get married and are happy throughout their marriage like Park’s parents.

The bottom line: I would definitely recommend this book. Falling in love for the first time all over again is not something that can usually be duplicated, but this book does a damn good job. Go buy it now, you want to have these emotions!

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page