Helen Hoang’s writing and style is fantastic, and exactly what I love.
The Bride Test – Helen Hoang
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.
ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.
While reading TBT, I caught myself smiling many times because the interactions between Khai, his family, and Esme were just too awesome to not be appreciated. The author’s talent for writing great scenes and wonderful dialogues needs to be recognized. I really valued Esme’s quiet but also sassy personality, and how well it worked for Khai. Because he certainly wasn’t the easiest person to get to know, and Esme’s patience and kindness towards him was inspiring. She was a truly kind, hard working and genuinely wonderful person.
Khai, a virgin which made sense knowing how he struggled with physical contact, slowly made progress opening up and getting used to the idea of Esme. And I really enjoyed his straight forwardness, but otherwise he was a more quiet and introvert character, and their relationship much more slower and an almost understated affair.
There were a couple things I didn’t agree with, and Khai’s big hangup at the end was starting to drag on me. I got slightly bored. And I must admit Esme’s time in America went very smoothly, especially her quick and efficient grasp of the english language. In the end Esme and Khai just weren’t THE couple for me.
But all of this doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this novel, it just wasn’t a WOWing kind of book for me.
TBT was a solid performance, with a couple slower parts, but otherwise nothing to sneeze at. The author emphasized the Vietnamese culture much more deeply in this book than in the last. I couldn’t pronounce the names if my life depended on it – lol. But hearing about all the food made me hungry for some egg rolls.
I can’t wait to read her next books. Her unique and fresh voice is filling a niche and I just wish there were more authors like her.
The Bride Test – Helen Hoang