Ⓐlleskelle - teamSøren♗ ⊲I like big b00ks⊳'s Reviews > The Bride Test

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
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did not like it
bookshelves: 2019, contemp, disability

I’ve read this 2 months ago and still have no idea how to voice my disappointment.
This book was such a let down I can’t quite believe I’m about to hit the one star rating after writing this review.

I’m fully aware that one’s expectations are subjective and self-inflicted but there was no avoiding them after reading the light, funny and emotional romance that was The Kiss Quotient. I wanted more from these characters Helen Hoang penned in her debut novel with such a refreshing take that I pushed all my expectations and need for more toward Kai’s story.

I think my failure to connect with The Bride Test stemmed from the the heroine’s characterization—or lack thereof, the messy execution of the premise, the absence of communication or attempt at communication between the main characters and the rushed ending. There is no mentioning chemistry in this romance, there wasn’t any.

I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for even a moment. I didn’t feel any romance, I couldn’t feel any sympathy for neither the hero or heroine. More than just unrealistic, the main plot development was just silly, poor (and the sub-plot regarding Esme trying to find her dad was so far-fetched and unnecessary).
Offensive even when you stop one second and think this grown-ass woman (Esme) didn’t think for one second she should research and talk with the hero (Kai) about his autism and in what ways it dictates his perspective. Literally she just tried to manipulate him with sex, lies and never tried to engage in conversations—never.

I also wasn’t a fan of how the author portrayed Esme. Was she just naive or simple-minded? My perception inclined toward the later.
I understand she comes from a different country, with a different culture, but the way she acted toward the hero felt reharsed and forced, of course her intentions were to please him enough he would marry her, but her behavior reminded me more of a cat pushing boundaries by pissing all over a territory than a grown-up woman set on seducing a man and make herself wanted, needed, desired.
I’ve rarely felt so removed and dispassionate about a sex scene in a romance book to be honest.

Another thing about Esme I couldn’t quite understand is her role as a mother. Don’t get me wrong I think being able to leave your kid behind in the grand picture of having a chance at securing a better future for them both is admirable, I just didn’t like the poor job Hoang’s made about illustrating Esme’s role as a mother. Her feelings for her daughter. The offhanded way her motherhood status was addressed in this book like her daughter was an afterthought—up until the very end of this book— didn’t help with my dislike of the heroine.

This book was supposed to be Kai’s story and I felt he was relinquished to footnotes in his own book. Kai didn’t do much in this book except for eating Esme’s breakfasts and enduring her presence. His outburst/wakeup call at the end of the book made it all the more unrealistic. It’s like the author finally reminded herself this was Kai’s book and he should have a role to play in this afterall.

The nonsensical take on the mail-order bride trope failed to please this romance reader, especially the many ways several characters had a hand into tricking the hero in marrying Esme.
I missed dialogues, I missed electricity, I missed feelings, I missed chemistry, I missed romance.
In the end, I feel like any woman could have been Kai’s bride, it was just a matter of being resilient and cunning enough to stay on his radar but nothing to do with love and feelings. Rather sad and anticlimactic for a romance don’t you think?

The only thing positive I can think of is the representation of diverse characters and asian/vietnamese culture. I found the author’s note about her mom and the part she played in building Esme character very touching. I’m just really sad it didn’t translate on paper for me.

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Reading Progress

June 2, 2018 – Shelved
March 20, 2019 – Started Reading
March 23, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Lady Heather Great, honest review Alleskelle!

Ⓐlleskelle - teamSøren♗ ⊲I like big b00ks⊳ Lady Heather wrote: "Great, honest review Alleskelle!"

Thank you, Heather.

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