Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test
by Helen Hoang
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Romance

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.



Wow. Helen Hoang has done it again! In The Bride Test we meet Khai and Esme. Khai’s mom is sick of seeing Khai shut himself off from the world. So, on a trip to Vietnam, she sets off to find him a wife. After a long line of awful interviews, she stumbles across a lovely young woman cleaning the bathrooms. Something about Esme speaks to her and she convinces Esme to come to America to meet her son. Soon Esme finds herself in America, trying to win over a guy in the hopes of not only changing her life, but the life of her whole family. The only problem is, Khai is a hard nut to crack. It doesn’t take long for their mutual “trial run” summer to turn into a bond that cannot be broken. The only problem is, Khai is unable to feel emotions and that includes love.

I really liked that we got both POV’s in this story. If we didn’t get Khai’s thoughts on things, he would have been a very easy character to write off and hate. However, you are aware of his inner workings and therefor know that he processes things a lot differently than most people. So, when he reacts a certain way, or says something that could be considered hurtful or tactless, you know that in his mind, he’s just being honest or reacting to the situation naturally.

Esme was also someone that you would probably get the wrong idea about if you didn’t get her POV. I mean, this random woman shows up in the bathroom and offers to fly her to America in order to seduce and marry her son… and she agrees. Is she in it for the money? Is she only looking to get a green card? At first? I’m sure that was in the front of her mind, considering her, her daughter, her mother, and her grandmother were all huddled up on the floor in front of the stove in order to stay warm at night. However, because we get her POV, we see her shift from trying to please Khai and do things that she thinks would gain her favor, to just being herself and trying to help him out.

I really like that this author not only writes about characters that might find themselves in interesting and taboo situations, but she also incorporates characters who fall along the Autism Spectrum. Stella (in the first book) had Asperger’s, and Khai has autism. Both characters view situations differently and both were able to find love in the end (even when they thought it was impossible). While The Kiss Quotient was a bit more on the physical side of things, The Bride Test slowed things down a bit and we got more of an emotional story between two people.

I really enjoyed my time reading The Bride Test. I honestly read it in one sitting because I just couldn’t seem to put the book down. While it had a different tempo than The Kiss Quotient, it was still an amazing read. You don’t need to read The Kiss Quotient in order to read The Bride Test. Even though Khai and Michael are cousins, their stories don’t really intersect at all. So, if The Bride Test sounds like something you’d love, then I highly suggest you grab a copy.



4 Thoughts on “Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

  1. I think I’ll give this one a try. I listened to the first one on audio but this one has a different narrator so I’ll have to pick a format.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  2. I have been hearing about this book and I may have to try it. I didn’t realize the autism aspect and now I’m very curious. Brilly review.

  3. maybe there sound be a bride and a groom test before marriage. lol
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. I still need to read The Kiss Quotient, but I’m glad this was another winner for you. That’s great it has both POVs!


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