Thursday 20 February 2020

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

*minor spoilers ahead*

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.

The Bride Test is another one of those books that I’ve been seeing everywhere since before it even released up to the present day.
Everyone seems to love it and I’ve always felt like I was missing out on something by not reading it. I’ve always liked the sound of the book and I would have read it sooner but I’m contrary and rebellious and the more something is hyped the more reluctant I am to read it, even when I want to!

So, that’s what happened with The Bride Test and why it took me so long to read it.
And what an idiot I was! I completely agree with the hype machine! This book was awesome.

It’s funny, sad, sweet, sexy, emotional, frustrating, and motivational and sometimes it’s all those things near simultaneously!

The cultural aspects of the story were fascinating but utterly alien to me.

The level of what I’d consider poverty that Esme and her family lived in was eye-opening and I could wholeheartedly understand why she’d agree to fly to America and marry a stranger to provide a better life for her own daughter (and her mother/grandmother).
I love how hard a worker she was. I adored how much she wanted to learn and “make something of herself.” She never gave up, she was always kind, always tried to be cheerful and look on the brightside. She didn’t complain and she was such a lovely person that I’d want to be her friend if she were real!

Khai was also wonderful. He’s a good son and brother and he works hard. He shows kindness to the random interloper his mum drops in his lap with little warning and tries his best to accommodate her until it’s time for her to go home… For his mother’s scheme will never work, right?

I thought the way Khai was written was very well done. His autism doesn’t define him but it does make him see the world differently and interact with it differently. Esme learning about it and learning what Khai needed was just perfect. Khai learning to live his life with another person and learning that he was capable of love? Also perfect.

Esme and Khai just worked so well together. I was rooting for them all the way through. I was so happy reading this book that I never wanted it to end and to leave these people. I thought the ending was a bit far-fetched but I enjoyed how everything played out.

The only reason I didn’t give the book five stars was the fact that Esme never actually told Khai about her daughter! She kept putting it off and putting it off and the way he found out (even though he handled it like the sweetheart he is) was just not good enough. 

My one and only grumble aside, I highly recommend this book to my fellow romance lovers!

Favourite Quotes:

“How did you change your life when you were trapped like this? Her history didn't define her. Her origins didn't define her. At least, they shouldn't. She could be more, if she had a chance.”


“She needed to get ready for bed, but first, she wanted to do nothing for a few moments. Just nothing. Nothing was such a luxury.”


“My heart works in a different way, but it’s yours. You’re my one.”


  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! I didn’t love it *quite* as much as The Kiss Quotient but it was still such a great read and I gave it at least 4 stars (if not higher... but I can’t be bothered to look it up right now LOL). Esme was so likable. I loved her work ethic, her humility, and positive attitude. And I really fell for Khai and it hut my heart that he was so convinced he could not love. I will say, I was bothered by the fact the Esme never once mentioned her daughter. I mean, hello... that’s kind of a big deal. But I loved everything else so much that I got over it. :)

  2. I've now read a few reviews for this one and it always sounds pretty good.

  3. Hoang's books were both hits for me. I adored Khai, and like you, I really admired Esme's determination and work ethic


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